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Remarks by Chargé d'affaires Wang Wentian at Reception Celebrating Spring Festival of Lunar New Year

25 January 2017

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Good evening, Bonsoir.

The Spring Festival is at the corner again. As we prepare to ring out the old year of Monkey and ring in the new year of rooster, please allow me, on behalf of all the Chinese Embassy staff, to extend a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests tonight, including MPs, Senators, government officials, friends from the Academic institutions, local Chinese Canadians as well as friends from the media. Thank you very much for coming.

According to Lunar Calendar, 2017 is a year of rooster. In Chinese, rooster (Jī) is a homophone for "lucky", so this will be a year of good luck. On this auspicious occasion, may we wish everybody here tonight and your family a very prosperous and happy new year of rooster!

The Spring Festival of 2017 has special meaning for Asian Canadians, especially for Chinese Canadians, because, starting this year, the Canadian Government will proclaim the first day of the Lunar Year as the beginning of the 15-day "Spring Festival". This is a welcome sign that Chinese culture has increasingly become an integral part of Canada’s diverse culture.

Dear Friends,

As we celebrate the Spring Festival, it is high time for us to celebrate what we achieved in the past year.

In 2016, China continued to deepen comprehensive reforms; and diligently put into practice the principles of innovative, coordinated, green, open, and shared development. The country’s annual economic growth rate reached 6.7 percent, accounting for more than 30 percent of global economic growth.

In 2016, China ratified the Paris Climate Change Agreement ahead of the G20 Hangzhou Summit. More than 100 countries and international organizations support the “Belt and Road Initiative”, while over 40 nations have signed cooperation agreements with China related with the initiative. China contributed significantly China’s concepts and the Chinese wisdom to global governance reform.

In 2016, China-Canada relations were on the fast track. We had more frequent exchanges at all levels and deepened practical cooperation in various areas. The Chinese Premier and Canadian Prime Minister successfully exchanged visits; and they agreed to set important goals of doubling the bilateral trade volume and the two way visits respectively by the year 2025, based on 2015 figures. We witnessed the first annual Foreign Ministers’ meeting, the first High-Level Dialogue on National Security and Rule of Law, the Meetings of Joint Economic and Trade Committee and joint Science and Technology Committee.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

When we celebrate the Spring Festival, it is the right time to plan for the new year.

In 2017, China will continue to support and promote globalization with its commitment of openness to the outside world. We always welcome foreign investments.

In 2017, China will host the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing and as well as the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen.

In 2017, China will continue to make significant contributions to the global economy as our economy will continue to forge ahead steadily with an growth rate of at least 6.5 percent.

Here may I share with you some important figures. In the coming five years, China is expected to import 8 trillion US dollars worth of goods, to attract 600 billion US dollars of foreign investment and make 750 billion US dollars of outbound investment. Chinese tourists will make 700 million visits to all parts of the world.

All these exciting and encouraging trends will surely bring important business and economic opportunities to Canada and countries around the world.

Dear Friends,

China and Canada are important strategic partners of each other in the Asia-Pacific region.

China promotes globalization, free trade and multilateralism, which are very similar to Canada’s perspectives. China and Canada are about to embark on exploratory talks for a free trade deal in this February, which will send a positive signal to the international community, as the world economy and globalization are encountering headwinds.

In 2017, China and Canada should maintain the momentum of exchanges of high level visits. We will work hard to implement the outcomes of the high level visits, and firmly advance our practical cooperation in all fields.

Sound and solid China-Canada relations will benefit not only our two peoples, but also peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

Dear Friends,

In Chinese culture, rooster represents courage, kindness and the spirit of striving for success. I am sure that the coming year of rooster will bring all of you boundless vitality, optimism and hope.

Thank you! Merci!

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