H.E. XIAO Qian, Chinese Ambassador – Address at the ACBC Canberra Networking Day

16 Sep 2022

Address at the ACBC Canberra Networking Day
H.E. XIAO Qian, Chinese Ambassador
2022-09-14 20:30

President David Olsson,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good morning! Let me start by expressing my deep condolence over the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, my sincere sympathy to the Australian people, and my warm congratulations to His Majesty King Charles III on his accession to the throne.

My thanks go to Mr David Olsson, National President of ACBC, for your unswerving commitments and to ACBC for its long-standing contributions to the exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia.

Over the past 50 years of diplomatic relations, China-Australia practical cooperation across the board has maintained a momentum of rapid growth. Today, China is Australia’s largest trading partner, largest source of international students and tourists, and an important source of investment. And for China, Australia is also a critical trading partner and important source of investment.

When we look back, mutual-benefit and win-win have always been the essence of China-Australia relations. The cooperation between us has benefited China greatly, at the same time, has contributed to the economic development and prosperity of Australia, helping it to sail smoothly through economic storm such as the international financial crisis. China is committed to building a comprehensive strategic partnership with Australia, as established by leaders of our two countries in 2014. By comprehensive, it means we’re not only cooperating in areas of trade and economics, but in all the possible areas. By strategic, it means that as two big countries, we are important players in this region, the relationship of China and Australia is beyond bilateral relationship and carries regional even global significance. By partnership, it means we are friends, not foes. China is committed to actively developing friendly and collaborative relations with Australia in various fields and at all levels. This policy remains unchanged.

Over the past couple of years, there was a difficult situation between our two countries. The new Australian government has provided a possible opportunity to reset the China-Australia relationship. We have seen high-level communications conducted and important consensus reached. The two sides reaffirmed their comprehensive strategic partnership, and expressed willingness to strengthen engagements, enhance mutual trust, properly handle differences, remove obstacles, and promote practical cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect and mutual benefit. So now we have a good momentum. It needs to be kept, otherwise we’ll lose the momentum. The Chinese side is ready to work together with the Australian side to keep the momentum, to consolidate the momentum and to expand the momentum so that we could indeed put our relationship back on the right track at an early date. In this process, Australian business community has an important role to play.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The international situation is faced with various challenges. The world economic growth is apparently slowing down. In face of the downward pressure on the economy, the Chinese government has promptly issued 33 policy measures in six areas to stabilize growth, and relevant authorities at all levels have acted swiftly to put these measures into effective implementation. Judging from the recent economic data, the policy of stabilizing growth is showing its effect. We have reason to believe that China’s economy will pick up speed, and continue to be the powerhouse of the world economy.

China’s development is closely linked to the world, and China is willing to achieve common development together with the world. At the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in September 2021, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the “Global Development Initiative (GDI)”. At the High-level Dialogue on Global Development held on June 24, an outcome document of 32 deliverables was released, covering 8 priority areas of the GDI, including poverty alleviation, food security, Covid-19 and vaccines, financing for development, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy, and connectivity in the digital age. China looks forward to working with the international community, Australia included, to implement the outcomes of the High-level Dialogue, open up a GDI project pool for all parties, and add strong momentum to accelerate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China’s door of opening-up will only open wider, and will never be closed. On 16 September 2021, China officially applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which reflects China’s confidence and determination to further deepen domestic reforms and expand high-level opening up. After joining CPTPP, China will play a positive role in the economic integration and long-term prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and the world in the post-COVID era. It will also provide important opportunities for China and Australia to take our cooperation based on the bilateral Free Trade Agreement to a higher level.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The theme of this year’s ACBC Canberra Networking Day, China-Australia collaboration on the transition to a net zero economy, is both significant and timely. It has well grasped the emerging opportunity for cooperation between China and Australia.

China is striving to achieve the ambitious goals of “carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060”. Australian Labour government has just made into law the 2030 target of 43% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on 2005 levels.

Emissions cutting targets cannot be achieved without the development of the new energy industry. In recent years, China’s new energy industry, represented by wind power and photovoltaic (PV) power, has achieved remarkable results. Installed capacity in China ranks first in the world; share in power generation increasing steadily; and costs dropping quickly. China has relative advantages in the industry, market, policies and services in developing new energy, while Australia’s strengths lie in some key technologies, funds and policies. Cooperation between China and Australia on new energy has great potential and bright prospects. As far as I know, Fortescue (FMG) Future Industries, is already discussing cooperation with China’s Hunan Province on the industrial chain of green hydrogen equipment. China’s largest oil companies, PetroChina and Sinopec’s Australian subsidiaries are also actively developing new energy, and will give top priority to new energy as a future strategy. We welcome such cooperation to be expanded and bear fruit at an early date. And we hope and believe that the cooperation between our two countries will contribute to achieving the emissions cutting targets, and bring benefits to people of our two countries and the entire world.

Thank you!