Remarks by H.E. Xiao Qian at the Reception in Celebration of the 74th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

2023-09-28 19:57

Dr. Carina Garland, Chair of the Australia-China Parliamentary Group,

Hon. Benjamin Franklin, President of the Legislative Council of New South Wales,

Hon. Ron Hoenig, Minister for Local Government of New South Wales,

Acting Consul General Wang Chunsheng,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon! It gives me great pleasure to co-host this reception in Sydney with Acting Consul General Wang Chunsheng to celebrate the 74th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. I would like to extend a warm welcome and sincere gratitude to all of you for attending today's event, especially those who made their trip from all over Australia.

Over the past 74 years, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Chinese people have made remarkable achievements in the process of advancing socialist construction. In particular, in the past decade, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. We have brought about a historic resolution to the problem of absolute poverty in China, lifted nearly 100 million people out of extreme poverty, and achieved the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. China remains steadfast in quest of a global community of shared future, thus contributing to world peace and development. Last October, the 20th National Congress of the CPC was successfully convened, drawing the blueprint for China's future development. We are full of confidence in advancing the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts and providing opportunities for world development through a Chinese path to modernization.

I especially want to talk about the Chinese economy. Since the reform and opening up, China's economy has developed rapidly and achieved remarkable results. However, since the beginning of this year, amid a sluggish world economy recovery and complex external challenges, China's economic data have presented some fluctuations, yet some Western media selected certain data to judge the overall situation of China's economy, exaggerated the challenges faced by China's economic development, and even chanted China's collapse. It should be recognized that, due to the impact of three years of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is normal for China’s economic recovery to be characterized by undulating progress sometimes with twists and turns. Since the Chinese government has introduced a series of new measures to stabilize the economy, positive factors for China's economic recovery have added up while the policy effect accumulates and the internal momentum for development has increased remarkably. The latest economic data for August in China show a stronger momentum of stabilization and rebounding. The value-added industrial output and the total retail sales of consumer goods continued to recover and grow, the decline in imports and exports has narrowed, the CPI has stopped decreasing and started to climb, the decline in producer prices for industrial products and profits made by industrial enterprises has also narrowed, the surveyed urban unemployment rate has inched down, the manufacturing PMI has continued to rise, the real estate policy has been optimized and adjusted, and China's small and medium-sized enterprise development index has been rising for three consecutive month. The figures above show that the Chinese economy has strong resilience, tremendous potential and great vitality. In the future, with the concerted policy efforts of preventing a build-up of new debts while working to reduce existing one, the Chinese economy will keep rebounding and improving in the long run. IMF forecasts that China will account for about a third of global growth in 2023, as much as China did in the previous decade. China will continue to make the largest contribution to global economic growth.

China is forging ahead on the path of high-quality development, so as to achieve effective improvements in quality and reasonable growth in quantity. In the first seven months of this year, investment in high-tech industries grew by 11.5% year-on-year, significantly faster than the growth rate of total investment. The added value of equipment manufacturing increased by 6.1% year-on-year, continuing to outpace the overall growth of industrial enterprises above designated size. In July, the output of solar cells and new energy vehicles grew by 65.1% and 24.9% respectively. The data indicate that new drivers in the Chinese economy are increasingly setting the pace for growth. China's huge consumer market, ever-upgrading consumer demand, continuously broadened market access, comprehensively improved business environment, mature and complete industrial chain and supply chain system, and the accelerated release of ‘engineering bonus’ will continue to provide rich opportunities for foreign companies to invest and do business in China and inject impetus into the recovery of the world economy. In the first eight months of this year, the number of newly established foreign-invested enterprises in China exceeded 33,000, indicating an increase of 33% year-on-year. it is especially worth noting that the actual use of foreign capital in high-tech manufacturing increased by 19.7% year-on-year, demonstrating the trust and confidence of multinational companies for the bright future of the Chinese economy.

China's super large-scale market and huge domestic demand potential, as well as continued economic recovery, will deliver major benefits to Australia and countries across the world. It is expected that by 2035, China's current 400 million middle-income population will have doubled to 800 million, adding advantages to China's market scale and provide even more opportunities for the development of all countries. Facing multiple risks and challenges confronting the global economy, we should replace division with unity, confrontation with cooperation, and exclusion with inclusiveness. All countries should join hands to promote an open world economy. No one should engage in beggar-thy-neighbor practices, building “a small yard with high fences”, or creating closed and exclusive clubs. Decoupling and chain breaking serve no one’s interest. China always supports economic globalization, firmly upholds the multilateral trading system, and unswervingly promotes high-level opening-up. We hope that Australia and other countries can look at China and its development in an objective and rational light, and realize that China’s development is not a risk, but an opportunity. China will continue to follow the path of openness, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, and create more opportunities for the world through its own development.

Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Friends,

Mutual benefit and win-win results are the essence of China-Australia relations, and bilateral friendly cooperation meets the fundamental interests and common aspiration of the two peoples. since the establishment of diplomatic relations more than 50 years ago,  China-Australia cooperation at all levels has yielded fruitful results, especially in the past decade. For many years in a row, China has been Australia's largest trading partner, largest source of international students and an important source of inbound tourists as well as tourist spending. Our close ties in the fields of economy, trade, investment, culture and education have brought tangible benefits to our two peoples.

Currently, the China-Australia relationship is at a critical stage of stabilization and improvement. Last year, President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Albanese in Bali, Indonesia, and reached an important consensus on advancing China-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership. Senator Penny Wong and Foreign Minister Wang Yi successfully held the latest round of foreign and strategic dialogue in Beijing to lay out the road-map to implement the consensus reached by the two leaders. During the recent East Asia Summit in Jakarta Indonesia, Prime Minister Albanese and Chinese Premier Li Qiang had a very constructive bilateral meeting.

Under the guidance of high-level exchanges, our diplomatic, economic, educational, parliamentary and sub-national exchanges have gradually resumed and produced positive progress in various fields. In 2022, China-Australia trade exceeded US $200 billion and China accounted for about a third of Australia's exports. In addition, China's direct investment in Australia reached US $3.1 billion. In the first half of 2023, 133,000 Chinese students went to Australia, accounting for 21% of the total number of overseas students in Australia. In August this year, Australia has been reincluded on China’s list of approved outgoing group travel destinations. The arrival of Chinese tourists will further boost the development of Australia's tourism industry. China has a complete green industrial chain that covers lithium ore processing, lithium battery production, electric vehicle manufacturing, and photovoltaic and wind power equipment manufacturing. Emerging industries such as e-commerce are also developing rapidly. This means our two countries have great potential to expand cooperation in areas such as climate change and clean energy.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam's historic trip to China. Not long ago, Prime Minister Albanese announced his plan to visit China later this year. This visit will take place at a significant moment as our two countries are standing at the start point of another 50 years of our bilateral relations. It’s my belief that his visit will certainly exert an important influence on the sound and stable development of China-Australia relations in the coming years and decades.

We hope and believe that as long as our two sides adhere to the original intention of establishing diplomatic ties, transcend differences, respect each other and achieve mutual benefit, we will surely be able to promote the steady and long-term growth of China-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership and contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Tomorrow will be the traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, a festival for family reunion and celebration of harvest. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in Australia, I would like to extend festive greetings to all Chinese in Australia and Australian friends from different walks of life who have long been committed to China-Australia friendship and cooperation. I wish you all success and happiness.

Thank you!