On June 10th, 2009, H.E. Mr. Zhang Junsai, the Chinese Ambassador attended the Ginkgo tree planting ceremony at the Canberra International Arboretum and Gardens. Around 100 attendants from local media, governments, diplomatic Corps and some local business circles witnessed the tree planting at the planned Ginkgo tree venue. Both Ambassador Zhang and the ACT Chief Minister Hon. Jon Stanhope delivered speeches at the event.
Ambassador Zhang appreciated the wonderful concept of'100 Forests 100 Gardens'at the international arboretum which will feature different types of threatened and symbolic trees from various parts of the world. "By bringing together symbolic trees from all countries into one arboretum, it not only beautifies Canberra's landscape and protects the environment but also embodies diversified nature of the world. "
Ginkgo is one of the oldest existing trees on this planet and is one of the best-known examples of a living fossil . It is also a longevity tree with an average life span of 1000 years. Ambassador Zhang mentioned that he is happy to see that the Ginkgo tree has found a new home in Canberra, Beijing's sister city. He felt pleased to see the Ginkgo tree included in the arboretum as a representative tree from China as the Ginkgo trees can stand for the symbol of the existing ties between our two countries as well as the sister-city relationship between Beijing and Canberra.
He hopes the Ginkgo tree will witness the advancements of the sound China and Australia friendly relationship from generation to generation and a growing sister-city relationship between Beijing and Canberra. "I hope the friendship between our two peoples will outlive the longevity Ginkgo tree", Ambassador Zhang said.
The ACT Chief Minister Hon. Jon Stanhope expounded in his speech the concept and goal of Canberra International Arboretum and Gardens. He also expressed his fond expectation that the Ginkgo trees in the arboretum will grow as beautiful as those in the Fragrant Hills in Beijing. He said next year will mark the 10th Anniversary of Canberra-Beijing Sister-City relationship and he wishes the Ginkgo trees will testify the ever growing friendly relations between the two capitals.