23 November 2012, Canberra
Professor Rigby, Chairman Tudor,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
I warmly welcome you to the Chinese Embassy for this "Dialogue with China" forum.
I am delighted to see so many old and new friends, and thank you for your long-standing support to China-Australia relations and my Embassy over the years.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and Australia.
The relationship has gone through an extraordinary course over 40 years, with historic achievements.
In the next 40 years, what should we do to make this relationship achieve sustainable development and have more stable and better growth?
This is a question that keeps coming into my mind, and I am sure it may interest you too.
Let me make a few points first.
In my view, sustainable development of China-Australia relations is determined by three key elements.
The first is economic mutual benefit.
To a large extent, 40 years of strong growth in China-Australia relations resulted from economic complementarity and integration.
It has been driven by strong economic cooperation, which has brought tangible benefits to our peoples.
China is more than a major buyer of Australia's energy and resources products.
It is also a main supplier of Australia's imports and important player in investment activities.
A quarter of Australia's exports go to China.
Chinese investments increased 20 times in the last 6 years.
But they still account for only 2-3% of total stock in Australia.
In the long run, economic and investment relations between China and Australia have clear strategic value.
Our cooperation must diversify. It needs to be extended from traditional energy and resources area into agriculture, environmental protection, financial and monetary sector, tourism, and infrastructure development.
They will open huge space for further growth of bilateral cooperation, and add new impetus to our respective economies.
The second element is political mutual trust.
A key experience from the development of relations through wind and frost in 40 years is to respect each other's choices and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns.
It is also the foundation for steady and healthy growth of China-Australia relations in the future.
We appreciate Australia's reaffirmed positions that it respects China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, and attaches importance to China's concerns on sensitive issues.
We appreciate a welcoming attitude and positive and objective views on China's development long held by the broad Australian society.
Our two sides should cherish such a sense of trust, which does not come easily.
We need to build on that and take real actions to enhance political, economic and security mutual trust.
At the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which concluded last week, China reaffirmed to the world that it will stick to reform and opening up, firmly follow the path of peaceful development, and remain committed to the strategy of mutual benefit and win-win development.
China's development brings opportunity to the rest of the world.
We can't see how China will threaten Australia.
Neither can we understand "China threat" used as an excuse by some people in the world for containment and precaution.
We hope the Australian society will be more tolerant towards Chinese companies making investments and undertaking projects in Australia, and give them equal treatment.
We hope Australia will approach relations with China in keeping with the two countries' common interests and its own needs, free from disturbance from a third party.
To conduct independent political thinking as a guide to diplomacy is China's practical experience in strengthening its influence and role in the world.
The third element is cultural connectivity.
China and Australia have different cultural background, values and historical experiences.
Because of that, same practices may lead to different judgment, and result in misunderstandings, which are avoidable.
We should make more efforts to think from other's perspective, and be considerate to other's feelings.
Such consideration needs to be built on knowledge and familiarity of each other's history and culture.
It requires closer exchanges between young students, academics, media and the public, and wider cultural exchanges.
One in every three international students in Australia has a Chinese face.
More and more Chinese people know not only Sydney and Melbourne, but also Gallipoli and the Kokoda Track, and why Perth is called the "City of Light".
We also hope the Australian people will learn more about Chinese culture and history.
If one is familiar with the wars, hunger and humiliation the Chinese people have suffered in modern history, he will better understand why they are so sensitive to sovereignty issues, cherish peace so dearly, and aspire for development so strongly.
As the Chinese Ambassador, I sincerely hope in the next 40 years, China-Australia relations will be more stable, healthy and mature.
I hope our next generation will be more than business partners, but also good friends who trust each other.