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Remarks by Consul General Xue Bing At the Flag Raising Ceremony in Toronto

His Worship Mayor John Tory,

Honorable City Councilors,

Respected Chinese Community leaders,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good afternoon!

I am so happy to get together with all of you in the City Hall of Toronto for the Chinese national flag-raising ceremony in celebrating the 66th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

66 years is but a blink of an eye in human history. However, the Chinese nation has made magnificent progress in building a thriving and promising new China in the past six decades, embarking on the journey of realizing the Chinese Dream of prosperity, happiness and national rejuvenation. Thanks to the policies of reform and opening up, China has now become the second largest economy in the world after over 30 years of rapid growth. Nowadays, China’s economy has come to the stage of a "new normal", where the economy is shifting from the extensive growth of quantity and high speed to the intensive growth of quality and efficiency, with its structure being constantly improved and upgraded. Despite the downward pressure on China's economy, China still maintained 7% growth in the first half of this year, contributing 30% to world growth. China’s economy enjoys a bright future and great potentials.

Today will be the third time that the national flag of China be raised and flown in the City of Toronto, the capital city of Ontario, and the center of finance, economy, trade, science and technology and education in the country. The City itself has played an important role in promoting bilateral relations between China and Canada.

This year also marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between China and Canada, and the 30th anniversary of the sister province relationship between China's Jiangsu Province and the Province of Ontario. In the 1980s, Mayor John Tory contributed his personal efforts to setting up this very important and mutually beneficial relationship. I want to thank you, Mr. Mayor for making this happen.

Next year we will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the sister city relationship between China's City of Chongqing and the City of Toronto. I am very happy to learn that Mr. Mayor will pay his first official visit to China early next year. I believe that such a visit will surely bring benefits to both sides and further promote the mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples.

I would also like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt thanks to the Chinese community in Toronto. They have been making every effort to enhance the exchanges and cooperation between China and Canada. They are the unique bridges linking the Chinese people and the Canadian people.

Finally, I wish China and the City of Toronto a prosperous future, I wish China and Canada an everlasting friendship, and all our guests present here this afternoon a good health and happiness.

Thank you.

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