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Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui at Reception Marking the 67th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China and Upon Completion of his Tour of Duty
2016/09/18

The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good Evening, Bonsoir,

It is a great pleasure for my wife Dr. Jiang Yili and I to host our National Day reception. Welcome to join us tonight.

Every person, family and country has its own history. When we talk about China, we know this civilization has a long history of more than 5000 years. For the history of the People’s Republic of China, it is relatively young with only 67 years.

For the past 67 years, China has made tremendous progress. In 1949, China’s GDP per capita was only 35 US dollars. Now the GDP per capita reached 8000 US Dollars. The number of middle class reaches over 100 million. China is now the world’s second largest economy. China’s progress lies on the strong leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the reform and opening-up policies since 1978.

China’s development also relies heavily on the outside world. China’s trade with the rest of the world reached 4 trillion US Dollars last year. At the meantime, China’s development provides great opportunities for the world. Two weeks ago, the G20 Summit was held in Hangzhou where Alibaba, the world’s largest e-commerce company, is located. The Summit kept Alibaba’s President Jack Ma busy. Quite a number of leaders, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, visited Alibaba and discussed with Jack about how to use his platform to enlarge their access to the Chinese market.

Before the G20 Summit, Prime Minister Trudeau paid his first official visit to China. Foreign Minister Dion was a member of the delegation. My wife and I were honoured to accompany them on this trip.

A lot of consensus have been reached during the visit. The two sides agreed to establish the annual dialogue between the Chinese Premier and the Canadian Prime Minister, as well as the high level dialogue on national security and rule of law. Canada decided to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The two sides announced 2018 as the China-Canada Year of Tourism. Canada will set up 7 additional visa application centers in China. Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation on climate change, environmental protection, green energy and other international and regional issues. More than 50 commercial contracts were signed during the visit.

Prime Minister Trudeau and his family were warmly received by the Chinese government and the Chinese people. They visited the Great Wall and played basketball with Yao Ming, China’s basketball superstar. After the visit, I believe Mr. Trudeau might have more fans than Yao Ming does.

Following the successful visit of Mr. Trudeau, I am happy to announce that Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will visit Canada next week. It is quite unusual that two leaders exchange visits within one month. It clearly underscores the importance we attach to this relationship.

Friends,

After receiving Premier Li’s visit, I will complete my tour of duty in Canada. I have been working here for two years and 4 months. Yili and I enjoy our lives here.

I have been to all the 13 provinces and territories. The vast land, natural beauty and the unique cultural diversity of Canada left deep impression on me. I learnt what double-double means in Tim Hortons. I understood that London doesn’t need to be in UK. I realized that one of the best winter coats is called Canada Goose. I witnessed the change of the governments and Canada’s return to the international stage. What impress me most are the Canadian people. They are so friendly, warm and generous.

As Ambassador, I’ve tried my best to enhance bilateral cooperation and promote mutual understanding between our two countries. Over the last two years, we have been talking a lot about FTA, about China-Canada maritime energy corridor. We have made some progress in these regards. I also witnessed the establishment of RMB clearing center, Canada’s membership at AIIB, 10-year visa arrangement, and more direct flights between China and Canada. We also welcomed the birth of two panda cubs in Toronto Zoo.

China and Canada are both great nations. But it is only natural that we have differences. One of my priorities is to promote cooperation while managing differences. During my tenure, we have handled some sensitive issues properly and made our ties better.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today’s achievements will certainly lay a solid foundation for tomorrow’s relations. I am quite optimistic about our future ties. Our ties are not only expected to catch up with China’s relations with other western countries, but also pass them over.

I am grateful to all friends from the government, parliament, business community, think tanks, media and different sectors, for your contribution to our bilateral relations, and the support given to me and to my embassy. My special appreciation goes to Foreign Minister Dion and his colleagues in the Global Affairs Canada for their generous assistance provided to us. With his outstanding leadership, wisdom and professionalism, Minister Dion has been making great efforts to promote China-Canada relations.

I also want to thank the Chinese community and the Chinese entrepreneurs here. They serve as unique bridges connecting China and Canada.

Last but not the least, I want to thank and my colleague from the Chinese Embassy for their hard work, team spirit and professionalism as we work relentlessly to move forward our bilateral relations.

Since friends never say goodbye, I would rather say see you later. It’s a small world after all. I wish we will meet again somewhere in the future.

Now may I propose a toast,

To the friendship between China and Canada

To the prosperity of our great nations,

And to the good health of everyone present today.

Thank you. (Merci. Xie Xie)

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