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Remarks by Chargé d'affaires Wang Wentian at CCLA's Spring Festival Reception

The Honorable Senator Joseph Day, Co Chair of CCLA

Member of Parliament, Mr. Geng Tan, Co-Chair of CCLA

Distinguished Members of CCLA,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Afternoon.

Today is the 4th day of the lunar year of the rooster. My colleagues and I are truly delighted to join you at the parliament hill to celebrate the Chinese lunar New Year---the Spring Festival. On this happy occasion, may I wish all of you here today a prosperous, happy and successful new year of the rooster.

The Spring Festival is the most important Chinese festival with more than 4000 years history. We celebrate the Spring Festival because it is a synonym of family reunion, and bonds with loved ones. It is a symbol of the traditional family value of the Chinese people.

We are happy to notice that as a cultural shape, the Spring Festival is being marked by more and more countries in the world along with China's opening up to the outside world.

Thanks to Mr. Geng Tan's motion in the parliament, starting from this year, 2017, the Canadian government will officially proclaim the first day of the lunar year as the beginning of the 15-day "Spring Festival".

This indicates that in Canada, the Chinese New Year is no more a festival only for the Chinese Canadians, but also a common festival of all Canadians.

This also indicates that Chinese culture has gradually become an integral part of Canada's diverse culture.

We have happily noticed that PM Justin Trudeau sent his New Year greetings to all the Chinese people and took part in the Spring Festival parade in Vancouver. And today CCLA hosts expressly a reception to mark the Spring Festival.

All these, to some extent, show the importance attached by the Canadian government to our bilateral ties and closeness of relations between China and Canada.

In conclusion, I would like to thank the co-chairs of CCLA for hosting this event and hope CCLA will continue to promote mutual understanding and cooperation between our two peoples and countries. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Senator Joseph Day on his election as Co Chair of the CCLA and thank his predecessor Senator Victor Oh for his unremitting efforts to push forward our bilateral cooperation.

Thank you. Merci.

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