Remarks by H.E Ambassador XIAO Qian at the Opening Ceremony of The 15th Australia-China Emerging Leaders Summit
(29 July 2022)
2022-07-30 07:00

Your Excellency Ambassador Graham Fletcher,

Distinguished Ms. Yvonne Weldon,

Distinguished Deputy CEO Mr. Gareth Williams,

Distinguished Senior Commissioner Ms. Helen Sawczak,

Chair of ACYA, Mr.William Sun and Project Manager Ms. Hilary Kuang,

Dear young friends,

Good morning!

It gives me great pleasure to attend virtually the 15th Australia-China Emerging Leaders Summit (ACELS) held by the Australia-China Youth Association (ACYA). I would like to extend my warmest greetings to all the participating young friends and guests. Since its inception more than ten years ago, the ACYA has played a unique role and made significant contributions to promoting exchanges between Chinese and Australian youth and the friendly cooperation between China and Australia. I would like to express my thanks and appreciation.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia. Over the past 50 years, China-Australia relations have been moving forward in general terms. Friendship between our two countries  continued to deepen, and common development and respective growth have been achieved in areas of economic and trade, people-to-people and cultural exchanges etc. Regrettably, in the past few years, our relationship has encountered serious difficulties. With the new government in office following the Australian federal election this year, our bilateral relations are facing new development opportunities. Recently, high-level bilateral engagements and communication have been conducted, and important consensus has been reached on advancing China-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership and promoting mutually beneficial cooperation. To maintain, consolidate and strengthen this positive momentum, it requires joint efforts from both sides . I wish to highlight, among others, the following points.

First, to view each other in an objective light and be good friends and partners. The ultimate goal of China’s development is to improve the well-being of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, not to challenge or replace anyone. China has always pursued an independent foreign policy of peace, and its policy of developing China-Australia friendly cooperation has been consistent. China and Australia share a wide range of common interests, and there are no historical grievances or fundamental conflict of interests between us. We have every reason to be good friends and partners.

Second, to respect each other, seek common ground while shelving differences, and try to find a way of peaceful coexistence between countries with different political systems and in different development stages. Despite our differences in history, culture, political system and development model, we both share the features of diversity and believe in the philosophy of seeking common ground while reserving differences. Our two sides should uphold the principle of inclusiveness and openness, view one another’s differences in a positive frame of mind, try to seek consensus, properly handle disagreements, and carry out win-win cooperation.

Third, to proceed from the interests of our two countries and peoples when developing bilateral relations. Mutual benefit and win-win lies at the core of China-Australia relations. In the past 50 years, the exchanges and cooperation between our two countries in various areas have achieved fruitful results, which have greatly benefited our peoples. The development of China-Australia relations does not target at any third party. Nor should it be subject to any third party. As long as we bear in mind the fundamental interests of our two countries and two peoples, the development of bilateral relations will surely yield more cooperation outcomes and bring more benefits to the peoples of our two nations.

Fourth, to strengthen communication and enhance mutual understanding. Amity between peoples holds the key to sound relations between countries, whereas  communication between hearts opens the door to deep friendship between people. Although China and Australia are geographically far apart, the friendship between our two peoples has a time-honored history. Over the past 50 years, China and Australia have engaged in extensive cultural and people-to-people exchanges and mutual learning, and established over 100 pairs of sister provinces/states and cities. Before the COVID-19, there were nearly 200 flights between China and Australia every week, carrying nearly 2 million passengers across the equator every year. There are 1.2 million overseas Chinese living in Australia. They are bridges of friendship and belt of cooperation linking our two countries and two peoples. Our two sides should work together to continue cultivating objective public perceptions toward each other, so as to lay a solid foundation of popular support for the development of bilateral relations.

Youth is the hope for the development of China and Australia, and young emerging leaders are the future of China-Australia relations. China is Australia’s largest source of overseas students and one of the most popular destinations for Australian students. The interactions between young students have played an important role in promoting friendly exchanges and cooperation between our two countries. As China-Australia relations are facing new opportunities, our young friends have a lot to achieve. It is my sincere hope that our young friends will make greater achievements academically and professionally, and make greater contributions to the healthy and stable development of China-Australia relations!

In his congratulatory letter to the World Youth Development Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping rightly pointed out that the youth represent hope and are the architects of the future. I believe that with the joint efforts of the young people of our two countries, China-Australia relations will surely enjoy a brighter future.

I wish this summit a complete success!

Thank you!

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