Remarks by Consul-General Dr. Xu Jie at the Welcome Reception by Lord Mayor of Brisbane

(6th December, City Council)

The Right Honorable Lord Mayor Graham Quirk,
Distinguished guests, dear friends,

Good evening!
As I begin, I want to thank Lord Mayor and your team for holding such wonderful reception. I feel very much honored. I've been in Brisbane for over four months, and have met with Lord Mayor and many of the guests tonight on various occasions. As a Chinese saying goes "the first time strangers, the second time friends". It feels good to see so many familiar faces and get to know new friends. So my thanks also goes to all guests present here.

After taking office, I've met with politicians, businessmen, scholars and people from all walks of life in Queensland and Brisbane, and have been impressed with warmth and friendliness of Australian people, and that our bilateral cooperations in various fields are with good foundation and great potential. We are delighted to see that exchanges and cooperations between Chinese cities and Brisbane have yielded substantial results.

This September a delegation led by Lord Mayor visited Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing and Shenzhen. I heard the schedule was full and followed with fruitful achievements. The successful visits were widely reported by local media.

We often proudly speak of the "five-first or largest" between China and Queensland. To Queensland, China is the largest trading partner, the largest export market and the largest source of import, foreign tourists and foreign students. Of all the "five-first", Brisbane occupied the main share. In recent years, Chinese airlines have successively launched direct flights between Chinese cities and Brisbane, which shows China's preference for Brisbane as a destination for trade, investment, tourism and study and China's confidence in the development of partnership with Brisbane.

Brisbane has stable, advanced policy and business environment and is blessed with charming multiculturalism. It is increasing investment in innovation and research. Major infrastructure projects when completed will further change the appearance of the city. Brisbane will surely be made a smart-thinking, easy-living, world-class city. We believe that the pragmatic cooperation between Chinese cities and Brisbane is helpful in achieving this goal.

The newly held the 19th national congress of the CPC highlighted the implementation of new development concepts and building of a modern economic system, and actively promote Belt and Road international cooperation. It also stresses that we will continue to advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and make economic globalization more open, inclusive, and achieve a win-win result. It is believed that China's development will bring new and greater opportunities to all countries, including Australia.

The Chinese Consulate General in Brisbane has maintained a good working relations with Brisbane City Council. I'd like to thank Lord Mayor and the city council for your great support and help in our work. We also appreciate that Brisbane provides a friendly environment for all Chinese living and working here. We encourage the Chinese community to actively integrate into the mainstream society and contribute to the development of the local economy and harmonious society.

As festive season is approaching, I wish all guests here and your family healthy and happy. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Thank you!