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Address by Consul General Xue Bing at the Spring Festival Reception
2016/02/03

Address by Consul General Xue Bing at the Spring Festival Reception

(Jan 29th, 2016)

Distinguished guests,

Dear compatriots and Chinese community representatives,

Dear friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Good Evening!

With the coming of the new year, all things take on a new start. In a few days, there comes the traditional Chinese Spring Festival. Today we are getting together here to celebrate the coming lunar new year. I would like to, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Toronto, extend our warmest welcome to all of you, and our sincere greetings and best wishes to the Chinese compatriots and Chinese Canadians, overseas Chinese enterprise staffs and students in our consular district.

In the just passed 2015, progress were continuously made in China’s economic and social development, and hard-won achievements were gained. We saw a successful conclusion of the "12th Five-Year Plan". Faced with the sustained weak world economic recovery and the downward pressure on our own economy, China's GDP grew 6.9 percent in 2015, among the top of the world's major economies. The increment is over 500 billion US dollars. The contribution to world economic growth rate reaches 25%. Chinese people's standard of living continued to improve. The per capita disposable income of residents increased by 7.4%. All the Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, are making arduous efforts to achieve the “two centenary goals” and realize the Chinese Dream of great renewal of the Chinese nation.

In 2015, all-round progress was also made in advancing the major-country diplomacy with distinctive Chinese features. We stayed committed to peaceful development and national rejuvenation. Focusing on the themes of peace and development, we made historic progress. China's international status and influence, including the institutional ones, improved significantly. China enjoyed a favorable position in interactions among major countries, played a more active role in dealing with hot-spot issues, and made great strides in advancing relations with developing countries. The RMB was adopted by the IMF to be a global reserve currency in the Special Drawing Right basket. Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank was set up and put into operation. We comprehensively promoted the "The Belt and Road Initiative", providing strong impetus to the development and revitalization of countries along the routes.

In 2015, China and Canada jointly celebrated the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. Now the bilateral relations face new opportunities. Recently, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held their first meeting and reached broad consensus, laying a solid foundation for the bilateral relation and providing a right direction for further development of China-Canada Strategic Partnership. With a steadily growing trade volume of 55.7 billion US dollars, China remains the second largest trade partner of Canada. The first clearing center in North America for the RMB was officially opened and operated in Toronto. Chinese students in Canada reached 140 thousands. Mutual agreement to issue multiple-entry visas valid for 10 years facilitated a closer people-to-people exchanges.

The exchanges and cooperation between China and the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba achieved great results. Ontario and Jiangsu Province held series of celebrations observing the 30th anniversary of the sister province relationship. The trade volume between China and Ontario exceeded 40 billion Canadian dollars, amounting to near half of the total trade volume between China and Canada. Premier Katherine Wynne and the Mayors of the Greater Toronto Area paid successful visits to China, achieving many practical results and bringing solid benefits to both sides. The exchanges between China and the provinces of Ontario and Manitoba were more frequent and closer in the fields of economy, culture, technology, education and so on.

The rapid progress of China-Canada relations would not have been achieved without the efforts and support from the local Chinese community. In 2015, the Chinese community in our consular district made tremendous contribution to the local economic and social development, and added colorful elements to the multiculturalism society in Canada. These won them respect and commendation from the mainstream and other ethnic groups. At the same time, they paid close attention to the development in China. When China ran into difficulties, the Chinese community always extended helpful hands, showcasing the blood bond among the Chinese people across the world. You played the important role of bridge, connecting China and Canada and facilitating lots of pragmatic cooperation in various fields. In one word, you are the valuable promoter and catalyst to the stable and healthy relations between China and Canada. On this occasion, I would like to extend heartfelt thanks to all of you for your devotion and contribution.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The new year of Monkey is around the corner. Looking into 2016, China will implement the development concept of innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing. We will strive to achieve high quality, well-performing and sustainable growth, and China’s economy still holds bright prospect and great potential in the long term. We will shoulder our due responsibility in the world stage, endeavor to foster a more favorable international environment for finishing building a society of initial prosperity in all respects, and thus make new contribution to world peace and development.We will assume our full share of responsibility and redouble efforts to ensure the well-being of Chinese nationals overseas, and protect the lawful rights and interests as well as the life and property of Chinese citizens and businesses overseas. China will maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges with Canada, endeavor to enhance the economic, trade, culture and people-to-people exchanges and collaborations, keep facilitating the friendly interactions and practical cooperation with Ontario and Manitoba, and promote the friendship between provinces and cities in China and Canada to a new high.

The Year of Monkey carries the meaning of intelligence, wisdom, vitality and hope. At this festive moment, I would like to propose a toast,

To the prosperity of the Motherland, and the happiness of Chinese people,

To the long-lasting friendship between China and Canada,

To the health, success and happiness of all the Chinese people in our consular area, and of all the friends supporting the economic and social development of China,

Cheers!

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