Enhance Capacity and Promote Mutual Understanding
--Address by Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu at the Opening Ceremony of China Advanced Leadership Program
(24 November 2014, Canberra)
The Hon. Julie Bishop, Foreign Minister of Australia,
Professor Allan Fels,
Party Secretary Mr. Zhang Guangrong,
I am delighted to attend the Opening Ceremony of 2014 China Advanced Leadership Program. First, for all of you attending this year's program, welcome to Canberra! Second, my thanks go to Minister Bishop and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for your contribution to the program. I also want to thank the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), Chinese Academy of Governance and the Organization Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee for the thoughtful arrangement. My special thanks go to Professor Allan Fels for your devotion to the program.
Last November, I attended the Opening Ceremony of the 2013 China Advanced Leadership Program with Minister Bishop. Over the past one year, China-Australia relations have made important progress.
The leadership program this year is both timely and of special significance. Just four days ago, President Xi Jinping concluded his successful state visit to Australia. This historic visit bore abundant fruits. President Xi and Prime Minister Abbott agreed to elevate bialteral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership, announced the substantive conclusion of the negotiations on bilateral free trade agreement, set up China-Australia Provincial/State Leaders Forum and decided to start implementing the New Colombo Plan in mainland China in 2015. They also witnessed the signing of as many as 27 cooperation agreements between the two countries, covering wide-ranging fields of trade, investment, finance, education, climate change, agriculture, animal husbandry, infrastructure building, scientific research and local cooperation. This historic visit is a milestone for the future development of bilateral ties.
In his address to the Federal Parliament of Australia, President Xi stressed that the two countries should strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges to become real friends and soul mates, so that people in both countries support, promote and benefit from bilateral friendship and cooperation. In my view, the China Advanced Leadership Program is a perfect example of such friendly exchanges. Since its set-up in 2011, thanks to concerted efforts from both sides, the Program has not only become an important platform to share experience in governance, but also played an irreplaceable role in promoting mutual understanding. All of you attending this year's program are leading officials from both central and local governments of China. I hope you could seize this opportunity to have a better knowledge and understanding of Australia, and make your own contribution to China-Australia friendship and development of bilateral ties.
The theme of this year's program, "National Governance Structure and Governance Capacity-Building", is highly relevant and inspiring. I hope the program could highlight such areas as capacity building, public managment, organization and strategic thinking, and all of you could enhance your capabilities through active interaction and mutual learning.
At last, I wish all of you a rewarding and happy stay in Australia and the 2014 program a big success!