Remarks by Consul General Zhou Limin at the Reception Celebrating the 2023 Chinese New Year

On January 12, 2023, the Chinese Consulate General in Sydney hosted a reception celebrating the 2023 Chinese New Year. Consul General Zhou Limin extended his New Year greetings to friends from different sectors in New South Wales and representatives of the local Chinese community, Chinese institutions and Chinese overseas students. The full text of his remarks is as follows: 

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Good evening! Thank you for attending today’s reception. It gives me great pleasure to celebrate with you the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year, the most important traditional festival for the Chinese people.

This is the first offline Chinese New Year reception held by the Chinese Consulate General in three years due to COVID-19. In 10 days, we will say farewell to the Year of the Tiger and usher in the Year of the Rabbit. As we wrap up the year, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General, I would like to extend warm greetings and sincere wishes to all of the friends present.

In the past year, the Chinese people have gone through an extraordinary and glorious journey with unity, perseverance and hard work, and made great achievements that have won the world’s attention.

-- The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China elected a new leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, and laid out a blueprint for China's development in the next five years and beyond.

-- China has been coordinating COVID-19 prevention and control with economic and social development, constantly refining and adjusting the prevention and control measures in light of the time and situation, maximizing the protection of people's safety and health, and minimizing the impact of COVID-19 on economic and social development.

-- The Chinese economy withstood the impact of complex and severe conditions at home and abroad as well as multiple factors that exceeded expectations. In the first three quarters of 2022, China's GDP grew by 3% year on year, consolidating the momentum of recovery compared with 2.5% year on year growth in the first half of the year.

-- China's comprehensive national strength continues to grow. Beijing became the world's first city to have held both the Summer Olympic Games and the Winter Olympic Games. China ranks first in the world in the cumulative installed capacity of hydropower, wind power and solar power generation, as well as in the number of electric vehicles. Breakthroughs have been made in major technological fields such as aerospace, artificial intelligence and quantum computing.

China could not have achieved these achievements without the correct leadership of the Communist Party of China and the achievements should be attributed to the concerted and hard work of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and in accordance with the blueprint drawn up at the CPC 20Th National Congress, the Chinese people will firmly follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and strive to complete the building of a modern socialist country in all respects and realize the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation through China’ path to modernization.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

China is the world's second largest economy and contributed an average of 38.6% to global economic growth from 2013 to 2021, more than the combined contribution of the G7 countries. Looking ahead, the world wishes to know where and how China will develop, and what China's development means to the world.

The 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has given answers to these questions. China will actively promote high-quality development and promote green transformation of its development model. China will keep pursuing opening-up at a high level and share development opportunities with other countries. China will firmly safeguard world peace, promote common development and push forward building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Despite the impact of COVID-19 and the international complex situation, the fundamentals of the Chinese economy, with its strong resilience, great potential and long-term prospect, remain unchanged. Recently, China adjusted its COVID-19 prevention and control measures and announced measures to facilitate international personnel exchanges, which have been widely welcomed by the international community. Several international agencies have raised their forecasts for China's economic growth in 2023, with the consensus predicting that China will achieve a growth rate of more than 5%. According to a recent survey conducted by the Australian Chamber of Commerce in China, 66% of the Australian companies plan to expand investment in China, and 58% of the Australian companies regard China as one of the top three investment destinations in the world in the coming three years.

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

China and Australia have just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Two months ago, the meeting between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Bali, Indonesia has provided a good guideline to the future development of China-Australia relations. Last month, Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong was invited to visit China for the sixth round of Diplomatic and Strategic Dialogue, which aimed at steering the China-Australia relations in the right direction. These positive developments in China-Australia relations have not come easily and should be cherished. We hope that Australia will make joint efforts with China, upholding the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit and seeking common ground while shelving differences, to implement the consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries as well as the outcomes of the China-Australia Diplomatic and Strategic Dialogue, and to promote the sustained and long-term development of China-Australia relations so as to bring more benefits to the two peoples.

NSW is the main force and a front runner of China-Australia practical cooperation. New achievements have been continuously made between China and NSW in various fields. In 2023, NSW will host the 29th Joint Economic Meeting between Guangdong Province and NSW. The Chinese side wishes the meeting a great success. Under the current circumstances, the Chinese side is willing to expand areas of cooperation with NSW and elevate the friendly cooperation between the two sides to a higher level by strengthening exchanges and taking advantages of each other's strengths.

The Chinese community in NSW is an important part of Australia's multicultural society and have long made tremendous contributions to Australia's economic and social development as well as China-Australia friendly exchanges and cooperation. The Chinese Consulate General will strengthen dialogue with governments at all levels in NSW and try hard to provide better consular services.

Rabbits symbolize intelligence, health and vigor in traditional Chinese culture. I sincerely wish you all good health and success in the Year of the Rabbit.

Thank you. Cheers!