Remarks by Consul General Dr Xu Jie at the 2019 Chinese New Year Reception
(24th January, 2019, Convention & Exhibition Centre)
Hon. Mark Bailey MP, Minister for Transport and Main Roads, representing the Premier of Queensland,
Ms Deb Frecklington MP, Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Minister for Trade,
Cr. Angela Owen, representing the Lord Mayor of Brisbane,
Mr. Michael Ma, Secretary-General of Queensland Chinese United Council,
Dear guests, friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Good evening!
Welcome to the 2019 Chinese Lunar New Year Reception held by the Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Brisbane. It's a great pleasure to gather on this beautiful evening to ring out the old year and ring in the new. It is also an occasion to renew our friendship.  At this joyous moment , I would like to, on behalf of the Consulate-General,  express our best wishes and greetings to you all, and through you to all overseas Chinese in Queensland, staff of Chinese Enterprises, Chinese students and people from all walks of life in Queensland. 
The Chinese Lunar New Year is the grandest, liveliest and most important traditional festival for Chinese people. It carries the rich heritage and cultural essence of the Chinese civilization, while reflecting the characteristics and emotions of the Chinese nation. It also shows our aspirations for a better life. When the festive season comes, people will gather for various celebration activities.
From Brisbane to Gold Coast, from Bundaberg to Cairns, various activities and unique celebrations will be held in Queensland in this festive season, adding more charm to multiculturalism of Queensland and Australia. It can be said that the Chinese Lunar New Year has become an important tie connecting the friendship between Chinese and Australians, as well as Chinese and Queenslanders.
2018 was the first year to put all guiding principles from the 19th National Congress of the CPC into actions, and marked the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. Faced with complex situations and kinds of challenges, the people of all ethnic groups across the country have worked together to overcome difficulties and have reached main development goals satisfactorily. Major targets for economic and social development have been achieved. Preliminary statistics indicated that the country's annual gross domestic product exceeded 90 trillion RMB, an increase of 6.6 % year-on-year, lining with the target. The country's social undertakings has been accelerated, people's living standards have been continuously improved, the major economic indicators have been kept within a reasonable range, a generally stable and steadily advancing momentum has been maintained, all heading towards the goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects .
China's development deliver benefits to its people, and opportunities to other countries' development as well. The success of the First China International Import Expo manifested the country's firm support to building up an open world economy. The circle of friends for "Belt and Road Initiative" has been widening along with the signing of new cooperation agreements with more than 60 countries and international organizations, making the total signed agreements exceed 150. As president Xi Jinping remarks, 'China's reforms will never stop, and its door will open ever wider'.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Both China and Australia are major countries in the Asia-Pacfic region. The two countries are important partners of each other. 2018 saw the first annual meeting between Chinese Premier and Australian Prime Minister since Australia's new government took office. Foreign ministers of two countries held the fifth round of China-Australia Diplomatic and Strategic Dialogue. Facts have shown that a healthy and stable China-Australia relationship serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and our peoples.
As an important component of China-Australia relations, China-Queensland relations have maintained a momentum of healthy and stable development in the past year. The Governor of Queensland, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey, Premier of Queensland the Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk and Chief Justice Catherine Holmes have made successful visits to China, demonstrating the great importance attached to developing relations with China by all walks of life in Queensland. China and Queensland work together and have made steady progress on practical cooperation in economy, trade, science, technology, education and many other fields, enhancing the regional communications and people-to-people exchanges.
Ladies and gentlemen,
2019 is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. It is also a critical year for securing a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. China is steadfast in furthering the reform and opening up to improve people's sense of gain, happiness and security. China will hold the the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, promoting the construction both in substance and depth. China will also hold the second China International Import Expo, sharing the opportunities brought about by its development with the rest of the world. We welcome Queensland's enterprises to seize the opportunities to participate in the Expo and seek common development. This year is also the 30th anniversary of friendly relations between Shanghai and Queensland. We hope that both sides further advance exchanges and deepen cooperation in various areas, making the tree of friendship more fruitful.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Overseas Chinese, staff from Chinese enterprises and overseas students in Queensland have long been caring and supportive of China's development as well as China-Australia and China-Queensland relations. You have played an important role in social and economic development and multiculturalism of local community, and made great contribution to promoting friendship, exchanges and cooperation between the two sides. We expect your continuing caring and support for China's development and playing a role of bridge in our friendly exchanges and practical cooperation.
The development of China and China-Australia and China-Queensland relations are inseparable from all your support and assistance. I would like to extend my deep respect and hearty gratitude for your contributions. In the coming year, Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Brisbane will spare no effort in providing high-quality and efficient services. Let's join hands to push forward the China-Australia, China-Queensland friendships.
As the Chinese Lunar New Year is approaching, I wish everyone and your family healthy, happy and a good harvest in the year of the pig!
Thank you!