Remarks by Chinese Ambassador to Canada Lu Shaye at the Opening Ceremony of Calgary Zoo's Panda Passage

Honorable Ms. Lois Mitchell, Lieutenant Governor of Alberta,

Honorable Ms. Rachel Notley, Premier of Alberta,

Honorable Mr. Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities,

Mr. Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary,

Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

It is my great pleasure to attend the opening ceremony of the Calgary Zoo’s Panda Passage on this spring day. First of all, I would like to extend my warm congratulations to the opening of Calgary Zoo’s Panda Passage and express my gratitude to the zoo’s careful preparations for China’s giant pandas on their moving into a new home. Meanwhile, I’d like to pay tribute to the staff of the two countries who have been engaged in the research on protection of the giant pandas.

In the spring of 2013, the giant pandas Da Mao and Er Shun arrived to Canada with the friendship of the Chinese people and were warmly welcomed and loved by the Canadian people. They enjoyed five years of happy life at the Toronto Zoo and gave birth to two cute pandas cubs— Jia Panpan and Jia Yueyue. Over the past five years, about 6 million Canadians have watched the giant pandas intimately, close at hand. From now on, Da Mao and Er Shun will live in the Calgary Zoo for five years. And their two babies will also live here for some time. The four cute and cuddly giant pandas will impress more Canadian people and leave them with wonderful memories.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. At the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2018 held recently, Chinese President Xi Jinping announced major measures including significantly broadening market access, creating a more attractive investment environment, strengthening protection of intellectual property rights and pro active increasing of imports. These measures will move China’s opening-up to a higher level. China will hold its first International Import Expo in Shanghai in November this year. We look forward to Canada’s active participation which will bring more business opportunities for bilateral trade.

Currently, China-Canada relations are holding out great promise for further development. This year is the China-Canada Year of Tourism, hence a vigorous development of tourism of the two countries is largely expected. This will procure to both sides new opportunities to strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges and deepen practical cooperation in various fields.

Alberta’s cooperation with China is at the forefront among the Canadian provinces and territories for many years. Alberta is hosting the largest number of Chinese enterprises investing in Canada, and China is its second largest trading partner. I believe that driven by Giant Pandas settlement, the prospect of cooperation between China and Alberta will become even broader.

Thank you!