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Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui At National Day Reception Marking the 66th Anniversary of the Founding of The People's Republic of China

Senator Donald Neil Plett,
Senator Joseph Day,
Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Jean,
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Bob Hamilton,
Senior Associate Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Peter M. Boehm,
Assistant Deputy Foreign Minister Susan Gregson,
Ladies and gentlemen,

My wife and I are very pleased to host this National Day Reception to celebrate the 66th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Thank you all for your presence.

A week ago, I visited the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Yukon. I was greatly impressed by their vast land, breath-taking landscape, natural resource endowment, and diverse aboriginalheritage. The NWT premier Bob McLeodtold me that they received more than 7,000 Chinese tourists last year. That's a big surprise to me.

To my further surprise, on my way back, I happened to meet a group of 35 Chinese self-driving tourists at the Whitehorse airport. They had driven all the way into the Arctic Circle from Vancouver.

Last year, outbound Chinese tourist visits were over 117 million, with a total spending of 165 billion U.S. dollars overseas. China's domestic tourism is also booming. Take last year for example, domestic tourist visits numbered 3.6 billion.

What is behind all those figures? As I see it, they are an indication of confidence.

First, the Chinese people have confidence in themselves. The household bank savings deposit in China is over eight trillion U.S. dollars. People in China are more satisfied with their financial situation. With more money in pocket, like people in other countries, theycan afford to travel anywhere, and shop in anyplace.

Secondly, the Chinese people have confidence in the country's economy. Last year, China's GDP grew by 7.4 percent, reaching over ten trillion U.S. dollars. China's total foreign trade volume amounted 4.3 trillion U.S. dollars. China is now the largest trading partner of 128 countries and regions in the world.

By the way, Chinese president Xi Jinping is now in the United States on a state visit. The first agreement signed during his visit was a deal worth about 38 billion U.S. dollars to buy 300 Boeing jets. As Chinese Ambassador to Canada, I do wish the deal had been done with Canada's Bombardier.

China is deepening reform and opening-up, streamlining the administration to delegate more powers to lower levels of government, and advancing the process urbanisation and a new type of industrialisation. Mass entrepreneurship and innovation is gaining momentum. The Chinese people are also satisfied with the progress of the anti-corruption campaign and advancement of law-based governance. China has come up with the initiatives to build a land-based "Silk Road Economic Belt" and an oceangoing "21st Century Maritime Silk Road," and establish an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Beijing is now the host city of 2022 Winter Olympic Games.Earlier this month, at the rally marking the 70th anniversary of the Victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War, Chinese president Xi Jinping announced a troop cut by 300,000. We are closer to the fulfilment of the Chinese dream. All this makes the Chinese people more optimistic about China's economy and future.

Thirdly, the Chinese people have confidence in China's growing relations with the rest of the world. China now has diplomatic ties with 172 countries. Globalisation, economic integration, and IT application make today's world a global village. Interflow and interaction among countries are increasingly closer and Chinese outbound travelling is now much easier than ever before. For instance, China concluded reciprocal arrangements for 10-year multiple entry visas with Canada and the United States respectively.

For most outbound Chinese tourists, they go abroad for both sight-seeing and shopping. It is also the case for China-bound foreign tourists. Last year China hosted a total of 128 million foreign tourist visits. Tourism helps promote local economic prosperity, create jobs, and contributes to greater interaction and stronger friendship between the people of China and other countries.

This year has seen significant progress of China-Canada relations. In the first seven months of the year, Canada-bound Chinese tourist visits exceeded 400,000, representing a 10 percent increase over the same period last year. Next Tuesday I will be going to Montreal and attend a ceremony in celebration Air China's inaugural Beijing-Montreal non-stop flight.

In March this year, the Toronto RMB clearing centre, the first of its kind in North America, was officially opened. The volume of our two-way trade in the first half of this year reached 40 billion Canadian dollars. China has been Canada's second largest trading partner for many years. We are confident in the bright future of China-Canada relations.

Dear Friends,

Six is considered a lucky number in Chinese tradition. Double six means double luck. I am hopeful and confident that our double six anniversary will bring you more happiness, bring China-Canada relations further progress, and bring my country greater prosperity.


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