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H.E.Ambassador Cheng Jingye's Remarks at the 2017 Canberra Networking Day Opening Event
2017/06/15

The Honorable Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs,

The Honorable John Brumby, Chairman of the Australia China Business Council,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It's a great pleasure for me to attend this year's Canberra Networking Day Opening. I look forward to meeting you this evening at the reception in the Chinese Embassy and sharing with you some of my thoughts on furthering our two countries' economic and trade cooperation.

I would like to take this opportunity to make a few remarks about a program called "Power and Influence of China", broadcast recently by ABC. It alleges that the Chinese government was behind the donations made to major political parties in this country by some Chinese or Australian Chinese business people, with the aim to 'influence' Australian politics and foreign policy. What a sensational report. The spokesperson of Chinese Foreign Ministry has already given response to it in the first instance. Now I just want to add the following:

Firstly, what was reported in the program is basically a kind of platitude. I've heard the allegations more than once since I was posted here. In Chinese, we call it "cook up the overnight cold rice", which means repeating the same old stuff again and again. Maybe the producers of the program believe that those groundless allegations may turn to be truth after repeating thousand times. Those who have fabricated the allegations really have an imagination that is wild and morbid. If they were to apply their imagination to scientific research, they might be accorded with a Nobel Prize someday.

Secondly, as the allegations being made up out of thin air, a few people are still bent on spreading them. This only show, that they are politically motivated. Apparently those people are not willing to see the continuing growth of the friendly cooperation between our two countries and two peoples. Their main purpose is to instigate China panic. A scholar interviewed by the program recently wrote that the program is not about Sinophobia. But this reminds me of an old Chinese saying 'the more one tries to hide, the more his intention is exposed'.

Over the years, China has been committed to developing and enhancing friendly relations with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which is an important cornerstone of China's foreign policy. Its crux is mutual respect for each others' territorial integrity and sovereignty and non-interference in each others' internal affairs. In modern history, China suffered immensely from external aggression and bully. We have a deeper understanding of the importance of territorial integrity, sovereignty and non-interference. The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius said, "Do not do to others what you do not want others to do to you." China firmly pursues a path of development that is consistent with its own national conditions. We have no intention to impose our development model on others and in turn, we expect others to respect our development path, not trying to impose their social system and values on China.

China's transformation from a poor and weak country into the world's second largest economy has been achieved not by military expansion or colonial plunder, but through the hard work of its people and the wise leadership of the Chinese Communist party. It's true that China's development has benefited a lot from the international community and the regional peace and stability. But it's also true that China has made significant contributions to the world's development and the maintenance of regional peace and stability. Though China being the second largest economy, it still is a developing country which has a long way to go in its modernization drive. China will never waver in its pursuit of peaceful development and win-win cooperation. China will firmly uphold the international order with the UN Charter as its core and the multilateral trade system with WTO as its core, as well as the global climate governance based on the Paris Agreement. No matter how strong its economy grows,China will stick to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, instead of seeking hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia. In the past 45 years, we have witnessed the rapid growth of our friendly relations and economic cooperation, which has not only delivered real benefits to the two peoples, but also contributed in no small measure to the steady growth of our two economies. The development of our relations can't be persistent without the support of friendly groups like ACBC. I sincerely hope today's event could bring positive impact on our mutual beneficial cooperation and mutual political trust.

Thank you.

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