|Speech by H.E. Consul General Duan Jielong At the Reception celebrating the 62nd Anniversary of the People's Republic of China|
The Honorable Barry O'Farrell, MP, Premier of New South Wales,
The Honorable Graham Annesley MP, Minister for Sport and Recreation of New South Wales,
The Honorable Bob Hawke, AC, Former Prime Minister of Australia,
Members of New South Wales Parliament,
Mrs. Karen Lanyon, Director of DFAT New South Wales State Office,
Honorable Consul General Mr. Azam Mohammed, Dean of New South Wales Consular Corps,
Dear colleagues of Consular Corp
Ladies and Gentlemen:
First of all, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Sydney, our warm welcome and sincere thanks to everyone for coming to today's reception celebrating the Sixty Second Anniversary of the People's Republic of China.
Sixty-two years ago, on the October the first, the People's Republic of China was founded and the history of the Chinese Nation entered a new era. Since then, especially after the reform and opening-up at the end of 1970s, China underwent profound changes and obtained outstanding achievements. The quality of people's lives was obviously improved. The country's overall development level was greatly lifted. China's exchange and cooperation with the international community were continuously deepened.
Meanwhile, we are also aware of the growing international interests in and attention to the direction that China takes in its future development. In order to respond to these interests and attention, I would like to quote some statistics to footnote the philosophy of peaceful development, which China followed in the past and will continue to follow in the future.
As you all know, ever since the founding of the People's Republic of China 62 years ago, China, together with many other newly independent countries, proposed and advocated the "Five Fundamental Principles" governing relations between sovereign states featuring mutual respect and peaceful co-existence.
Based on these principles, today China has built diplomatic relations with 172 countries. Since resumed its legitimate seat in UN in 1971, China has participated in over 100 inter-governmental international organizations, signed and ratified more than 300 multilateral international conventions and treaties. China is also the biggest contributor of peacekeeping staff among all Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and has accumulatively sent about 21,000 person-times peace-keeping staff of all types.
At the same time, China has established various long-term and stable exchange, cooperation and dialogue mechanisms with many countries and regions. China actively participated in international cooperation in anti-terrorism and non-proliferation areas, and provided humanitarian assistance and sent rescue teams to those countries affected by severe natural disasters. China also participated in international navy cruise to fight pirates in the gulf of Aden.
Apart from that, till the end of 2009, China has provided assistance to 161 countries and 30 international and regional organizations with a total value of 256.3 billion RMB yuan. China also sent altogether 21,000 medical staff to help many developing countries.
In business area, ever since joined WTO in 2001, China imports 750 billion US dollars' goods on average annually, which is equivalent to creating 140 million jobs in related countries and regions.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
What I want to illustrate with these figures is that my country firmly believe that our progress and development in the past 60 years should be attributed to a peaceful international environment, and therefore for China's future development, we have the responsibility to continuously support and maintain a lasting and stable peaceful international environment.
As you know, now China's per capita GDP is around 4,400 US dollars, which ranked behind one hundredth in the world. While Australia's per capita GDP registered at 56,000 US dollars in 2010, which is almost 30 times of that of China. In addition, China still has to feed 20% of the world's population with only 7.9% of the arable land and 6.5% of the fresh water of the world. So, how to support the large population's survival, dignity and development will remain a big challenge to China for quite a long time. Such challenge is unparalleled in both scale and difficulty in today's world.
It is based on these experiences and reality that the Chinese people believe that peaceful development is the only choice for China, the largest developing country in the world. To make new progresses alongside this new development path, China needs both the unremitting efforts of the Chinese people and, even more importantly, the understanding and support from the outside world.
Having said above, I would also like to stress that the peaceful development that China is upholding includes the goal of mutual benefits and win-win situation for all countries in the world. And we are not only saying, but are meeting these words with concrete actions.
For example, in the newly adopted "Twelfth Five Year Plan" by our national congress, China decides to upgrade internal consumption structure so as to further tap the consumption potential of the Chinese people. In the next five years, China's domestic market will grow into one of the largest domestic markets in the world. Our import is estimated to grow to the level of 8 trillion US dollars. It will bring more business opportunities to the world.
China is willing to expand our common interests with the rest of the world, establish and develop a community of interest covering multiple levels and areas, and jointly build an international structure of peaceful development based on equality, mutual benefits, cooperation and win-win situation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Next year, It will be the 40th Anniversary of diplomatic relationship between China and Australia. Therefore, I would also like to stress that a long-term good relationship between China-Australia is closely linked with China's development and it has brought real benefits to our peoples.
Here, may I take this opportunity to express my highest respect to the friendly Australian people, and many visionary Australian statesmen in particular, including The Hon. Gough Whitlam, and The Hon. Bob Hawke, and many of others. Your great contribution to the friendship and cooperation between China and Australia has far-reaching historic significance.
At the same time, with the joint support and efforts of all walks of life, the friendly cooperative relationship between China and New South Wales has long been an important and productive component of the China-Australia relations.
I want to thank Premier O'Farrell for his long-term attention and emphasis he gives to New South Wales' relations with China. Shortly after being elected as the Premier, he not only met and talked with representatives of the local Chinese community, but also led a business delegation to China. During his visit, he established contacts with different communities from North to South in China, and score various positive results in practical cooperation. He was warmly received and welcomed by state leaders of China and related sides.
Looking into the future, I believe under his leadership the China-New South Wales mutually beneficial cooperation will have a broader prospect.
The Honorable Premier, I can assure you, my colleagues and I will closely work with you and your team to jointly promote the exchanges, mutual understanding and mutual trust between our peoples, and continuously deepen the friendly cooperative relations between China and New South Wales.
Last but not least, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Please allow me conclude by proposing a toast:
To the friendship and cooperation between the Chinese and Australian peoples and our two countries,
To the good health of every guests and friends,