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Minister-Consular Mr. Zhang Jun Gao's speech at the reception dinner welcoming Rotary Australia's visit to the Embassy
2005/11/17

Our friends from Rotary Australia

Ladies and gentelmen

 

Good evening.  

 

First of all, on behalf of Ambassador Fu Ying and all the staff at the Chinese Embassy here in Australia, I would like to extend our warm welcome to all of you coming to visit our place. 

 

It is pleasing to see that presently the growth of China-Australia relations is gaining momentum and our cooperation in a wide range of fields is in full swing.  However, through our association with people from diverse circle of Australian society, we have come to realize that somehow ordinary Australian people may still lack comprehensive understanding of Chinese society today.  There have even been some instances of misunderstanding and prejudice among certain individuals.

 

With the deepening of bilateral relations and increase of our exchange and cooperation in a variety of fields, more and more Australians are showing their great interest in China.  Today we really appreciate this excellent opportunity that our Rotarian friends are visiting our Embassy and having some discussion with our staff.  It is our sincere hope that such an activity will further facilitate your understanding of China.

 

The past one-hundred years have witnessed Rotary International having grown into one of the most famous non-government organization in the world.   Over the past century, with its significant contribution to the public welfare and social progress in every corner of the world, Rotary International has won the respect and praise from the people and the governments in different countries. 

 

In managing its own country, the Chinese government has also focused on raising the living and welfare standards of Chinese people while promoting the human development.  The 5th plenary session of the 16th Central Committee of the Communist Party recently held has once again highlighted the concept of "People-orientation" in China's development, stressing the need for the average person to share the benefits brought about by the reform and the development.  We have shifted from being inclined to emphasize the growth of material wealth to attaining greater importance to promoting human development.  The conference has put forward the major goals for China's economic and social development in its 11th Five-year plan for the period between 2006 and 2010.  A wide range of humane and social indexes including employment, education, health and public securities has been brought into this blueprint guiding China's development over the next five years.  China is aiming to build a harmonious, peaceful yet vibrant society with adequate democracy and legal systems where people can enjoy equity and justice as well as trustful and friendly relations between each other.

 

Naturally, in a country with 1.3 billion population and huge gaps in economic development between different areas, there is going to be a long way before China is able to realize its goal of building up a harmonious society where each individual would have the opportunity of bringing his or her potential into full play.  It is an arduous task not only requiring the government but also the joint efforts of diverse circles in the society including non-government agencies.  The establishments of a variety of community service agencies are now springing up like mushrooms in China.  At present, there are more than 70,000 community-based volunteer organizations with over 16 million volunteers across the nation.  The fields of services have continuously being expanded, ranging from aid and assistance for the poor, aged, disabled, to environmental protection, charity and public welfare.  In the same time, youth volunteer organizations and a wide range of professional volunteer agencies are also playing significant roles in enhancing community service and social welfare as well as promoting social security and progress.

 

It is our hope that all kinds of non-government organizations and domestic societies in Australia including Rotary Club will make further efforts to strengthen communication and association with their Chinese counterparts.  I believe that such endeavor will not only further facilitate the mutual understanding between the people in our two countries but also make positive contribution to the growth of cooperation in community-related projects between us.

 

Thank you.

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