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Speech by Consul General Han Tao at the National Day Reception
2019/09/25

Hon. Senator Victor Oh,

Dear honoured representatives from the three levels of Canadian government,

Dear colleagues from the Consular Corps in Toronto,

Dear friends from the Chinese community and the media,

Ladies and gentlemen:

Good evening!

It is a real delight to have you with us to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.

The past 70 years have witnessed the Chinese people united as one, blazing new trails and achieving historic feats.

In the past 70 years, the Chinese people have created an economic miracle through their hard work. With the GDP increasing by more than 450 times, from $30 billion in the early years of New China to more than $13.6 trillion in 2018. China is now the world's second largest economy, largest industrial country, largest trader in goods, biggest holder of foreign exchange reserves, and top producer of more than 200 products.

The Chinese people have created a scientific and technological miracle through their intelligence and wisdom. China has made remarkable achievements in manned space flight, lunar exploration, quantum science, deep-sea exploration, super-computing and satellite navigation. These are all fruits of the strategy of pursuing innovation-driven development.

The Chinese people have also created a miracle of better livelihood through their strenuous efforts. 70 years ago, the average life expectancy in China was 35, now it goes up to 77. In the 40-odd years since reform and opening up, China has lifted more than 700 million people out of poverty. Today, China has the world's largest middle-income population, that is, more than 400 million.

China is where it is today because of the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). After the Opium War in 1840, China became a poor and weak country. China was oppressed by big powers externally and trapped in tangled warfare of warlords internally. Suffering misery and despair, its people found it hard to make a living. In 1921, the CPC was born. At its birth, the number of the party members was just over 50. Today, the number is over 90 million.

Over the past 98 years, to accomplish the historic mission of national rejuvenation, whether in times of weakness or strength, whether in times of adversity or smooth sailing, the CPC has never forgotten its founding mission, nor wavered in its pursuit. It has united the people and led them in conquering countless challenges, making enormous sacrifices, meeting setbacks squarely, and courageously righting wrongs. Thus we have, time and again, overcome the seemingly insurmountable and created miracle upon miracle.

China's development is also inseparable from the support of overseas Chinese. There are large numbers of overseas Chinese in our consular district, with elites from all walks of life.

You have actively integrated into local society while promoting the development of the local economy and its cultural diversity. You have given full play to your strengths in supporting China's modernization drive, its reunification, the great practice of "one country, two systems", and China-Canada friendly cooperation in all fields.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my utmost respect and heartfelt gratitude to you for your hard work and great support.

This year marks the 22nd Anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China.

Since 1997, the practice of "one country, two systems" has been a resounding success. The policy of "one country, two systems" has proved to be the best solution to the questions of Hong Kong, left by history, and the best institutional guarantee for the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong after its return.

Since June this year, some Hong Kong people have peacefully marched and gathered to express their demands, which is allowed by law. But there have also been violent crimes and challenges to the bottom line of "one country, two systems", which must be severely punished in accordance with the law. In the face of lawbreaking and crimes, law enforcement is justice and law protection is righteousness.

At present, the situation in Hong Kong is undergoing some positive changes. "Curb violence and restore social order" has become the most widely shared view in Hong Kong.

We believe that with the support of the central government and the concerted efforts of the Hong Kong people, the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region has the will and ability to take all necessary measures in accordance with law to "curb violence and restore social order" as soon as possible.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In the 1970s, the Chinese and Canadian statesmen of the elder generation forged our diplomatic relations with remarkable political courage and insight,despite all the obstacles.

China has all along valued our bilateral relations. Currently, China-Canada relations face huge difficulties. We hope to strengthen communication with the Canadian side and remove obstacles to bring China-Canada relations back to the right track.

A sound China-Canada relationship not only serves the shared interests of two peoples, but the long-term development of our two countries.

As an essential component of our bilateral relationship, the cooperation between Ontario, Manitoba and China has also achieved fruitful results.

In the first half of 2019, China's trade with Ontario reached 22.58 billion Canadian dollars, accounting for 47.3 percent of China-Canada trade volume, up by over 4.8 percent year-on-year. China and the two provinces have also made important progress on cooperation in the fields of education, culture and tourism.

The Chinese Consulate General in Toronto would like to work together with friends from all walks of life in the consular district, to make new progress in promoting our relations, pragmatic cooperation and friendship between peoples.

Finally, I would like to propose a toast,

To the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China,

To the prosperity of China and Canada and the happiness of our two peoples,

To the health and happiness of friends here present,

Cheers!

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