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Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui on the Chinese New Year Reception for Canada China Friendship Society
January 27, 2015

On January 27, Ambassador Luo Zhaohui and his wife Madam Jiang Yili hosted a reception for Canada China Friendship Society-Ottawa(CCFS-O) celebrating the forthcoming Chinese Lunar New Year. Assistant deputy Foreign Minister, Ms. Susan Gregson were invited to join the event as a special guest. During the reception, Ambassador Luo delivered a speech. The full text is as follows:

Ms. Susan Gregson, Assistant Deputy Foreign Minister,

Mr. Gary Levy, Co-President of Canada China Friendship Society,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It’s freezing cold outside, but we feel very warm in our hearts when we see so many friends coming all the way to the Embassy in this chilly evening.

The Chinese Spring Festival falls on 19th of Feb. My wife and I are so pleased to host this reception to celebrate Chinese New Year with members of CCFS-O.

Another reason for us to get together tonight is to celebrate the bilateral achievements made by our two countries in 2014.

As Chinese Ambassador to Canada, I am always optimistic about the future development of China-Canada relations.

First of all, people-to-people friendship has provided active support for the future cooperation.

2016 will mark the 40th anniversary of founding of CCFS-O. CCFS-O is aimed “to create friendship between the two peoples through better understanding”. The purpose is quite similar with an old Chinese saying “Amity between people holds the key to sound relations between states”.

Actually, people-to–people exchanges can be traced back to 200 years ago. In early 19th Century, thousands of Chinese people set foot on this continent to work in the gold mines and later railway construction sites. As forerunners of people-to-people exchanges between our two countries, they made great contributions to Canada’s development.

In 1939, a great Canadian doctor Norman Bethune sacrificed his life in helping Chinese people fighting against the Japanese fascist.

A few months ago, I met a Canadian doctor Mr. Dominique Shum-Tim in Montreal. Every year, he spends his vacation in China helping patients in rural areas. I’m deeply touched by his good deeds and sentiment to Chinese people. He is honored by Chinese people as the “contemporary doctor Bethune”.

I am aware that CCFS-O has been working very hard to promote friendship and mutual understanding between our two peoples by holding monthly lectures about China as well as hosting annual New Year receptions. By doing so, more Canadians get to know China. We are so grateful that you have inherited historic tradition of friendship.

I hope CCFS-O could play a more positive role as a bridge in promoting friendship between our two countries and encourage every member to be an unofficial ambassador. You could organize more activities and publish more articles, to let your voice be heard and increase public awareness of China-Canada friendship, to inject more vitality into our bilateral cooperation.

Secondly, previous achievements have provided a solid foundation for the future cooperation.

Last November, Prime Minister Harper paid a successful visit to China with fruitful achievements. It marks another milestone in the history of bilateral relations.

During the visit, we announced a Joint List of Outcomes including 20 agreements in various areas of bilateral cooperation. We agreed to maintain exchanges between top leaders and senior officials, including establishment of an annual Foreign Affairs Ministers Dialogue and an annual Economic and Financial Strategic Dialogue.

We agreed to devote ourselves to expand pragmatic cooperation in setting up the first North America's Renminbi clearing center in Toronto and direct air links between Montreal and Beijing as well as Calgary and Beijing.

We agreed to strengthen bilateral economic and trade ties through establishing Track II dialogue mechanisms to develop approaches to a FTA and an environmentally-safe maritime energy corridor .

And we agreed to further deepen business cooperation in agriculture, energy and civil aviation, expand people-to-people exchanges, and advance anti-graft cooperation.

I’d like to share with you some background. PM Harper has never meant to cancel the trip to China. It is true that there was a conflict between his domestic schedule and APEC agenda. Through our close communication, leaders of both countries have adjusted their schedules respectively to fit into their common agenda, and eventually we made PM Harper’s visit to China a great successful one.

I would also like to take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to Susan. As a major coordinator from Canadian side for the preparation of PM’s trip to China, she has done a wonderful job. I really appreciate that.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of diplomatic ties and the 10th anniversary of strategic partnership between China and Canada. We should translate our great opportunities and prospects of cooperation into reality through our joint efforts.

No.one, we should implement the Joint List of Outcomes and consensus reached by leaders of our countries in a comprehensive manner, particularly to launch track II dialogue mechanisms in an effort to develop approaches on FTA and maritime energy corridor.

No.two, expand bilateral trade by further enhancing and tapping potential of cooperation in energy and resources.

No.Three, facilitate cooperation on major projects of LNG and high-speed railway to add more value to bilateral cooperation.

No.Four, strengthen anti-graft law enforcement cooperation and jointly combat corruption.

Thirdly, the Chinese economic growth has provided huge opportunities for China’s cooperation with Canada, and vice versa.

According to the latest statistics, China’s economy grew by 7.4% in 2014, and GDP reached over 10 trillion US dollars. Compared with the high-speed growth in past 30 years, the medium-to-high growth rate is still within a reasonable range. The annual incremental quantity is around 800 billion US dollars, slightly less than half of Canada’s GDP.

It is estimated that China’s outbound investment will reach 1.25 trillion US Dollar over the next ten years. In the next five years, China will import over 10 trillion US Dollar of goods, and the number of outbound Chinese tourists will exceed 500 million. China’s development will generate everlasting business opportunities for China-Canada cooperation.

Dear Friends,

The promising future of bilateral relations could not have been realized without your support and engagement.

The Chinese Embassy will always stand with you for the cause of China-Canada friendship. Let’s join our hands to create a prosperous future for our two peoples.

Thank you all!

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