- Parliamentary Business
- Senators and Members
- News & Events
- About Parliament
- Visit Parliament
Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Table Of ContentsDownload Current Hansard View/Save XML
Previous Fragment Next Fragment
His Excellency Mr XI JINPING (President of the People's Republic of China) (15:57): The Rt Hon. Tony Abbott, Prime Minister of Australia, the Hon. Bronwyn Bishop, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon. Stephen Parry, President of the Senate, the Hon. Bill Shorten, Leader of the Opposition, senators and members of the House, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends: good afternoon. I am delighted to have this opportunity to meet you here at the Parliament of Australia on such a sunny day in the Southern Hemisphere. On behalf of the Chinese government and people, and in my own name, I wish to extend warm greetings and best wishes to you and through you to all the Australian people. I am paying a state visit to Australia at the invitation of Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and I have just attended the ninth G20 summit in Brisbane. Australia has hosted a fruitful and memorable G20 summit, which demonstrates Australia's important status and influence in international and regional affairs. I extend congratulations to Australia on the success of the summit.
This is the fifth time I have set foot on this ancient and dynamic continent of Australia. Since my first visit in 1988, I have visited all six states and two territories of Australia except Tasmania. These visits have left a great impression on me, and I still cherish vivid memories of the strange-looking kangaroo, the cute koala bear, flocks of white sheep, the ingenious Sydney Opera House, and the boundless expanses of the outback. Everywhere I have been, I have personally experienced the goodwill of the Australian people towards the Chinese people. Australia has a vast territory, rich resources and an advanced economy, and it is renowned for its diverse culture and unique landscape. It is not just a country on the sheep's back, or a country sitting on mine cars; more importantly, Australia is a country of dynamism and innovation. It has produced many world renowned scientists and made outstanding contributions to the progress of human civilisation. Many inventions that are important to our lives, such as wi-fi technology, refrigerators and ultrasound scanners, were all made by Australian scientists. China's National Aquatics Center, known as the Water Cube, and used as one of the main venues during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, was jointly designed by Chinese and Australian architects. Just several days ago, I hosted a welcome banquet for the guests attending the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in the Water Cube, and they were all impressed by its ingenious and creative architecture. In this connection, let me express my admiration of the ingenuity of the Australian people, and I sincerely wish Australia an even better future, and its people greater happiness.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, while China and Australia are oceans apart, friendly contacts between our two countries have a long history. Starting from the early 19th century, many Chinese began to arrive in Australia by ship. They gradually integrated themselves into the local community and they made an important contribution to Australia's development. In the first half of the 20th century, Chinese and Australians fought together in two world wars and jointly upheld world peace and human justice. In 1972, China and Australia entered into diplomatic ties, which opened a new chapter of friendship and cooperation in the relations between our two countries. There are now frequent exchanges of visits at the top and other levels, and over 30 government consultation and dialogue mechanisms. Our national legislatures maintain regular exchanges, which serve as an important platform for exchanging views and experiences of governance.
Notably, economic and cultural interactions and cooperation between our two countries are flourishing. Two-way trade grew from US$86 million in the early years of our diplomatic relations to US$136.4 billion in 2013, and China has been Australia's biggest trading partner for five consecutive years. People-to-people exchanges have grown steadily, and China has become Australia's largest source of international students and tourism revenue. We maintain good cooperation in multilateral mechanisms, including the United Nations, APEC and the G20, and also close coordination and consultation on major international and regional issues. In 2013, China and Australia established a strategic partnership which was a significant milestone in the growth of our bilateral relations.
I am delighted to see that Emeritus Professor Colin Mackerras, of Griffith University, is with us today. In 1964, Professor Mackerras went to China for the first time. Over the past five decades he has visited China over 60 times and has made tireless efforts to present a real China to Australia and the world based on his personal experience of China's development and progress. It is worth mentioning that his son Stephen was the first Australian national born in China since the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. With his unremitting efforts and devotion, Professor Mackerras has built a bridge of mutual understanding and amity between our people. Last September, he was conferred the Friendship Award by the Chinese government. Professor Mackerras, I wish to express deep appreciation to both you and many other Australians for what you have done to enhance the friendship between our two countries.
As an old Chinese saying goes, the ocean is vast because it admits numerous rivers. It is the steady streams of mutual understanding and friendship between our two peoples that have created the vast ocean of goodwill between China and Australia. I am greatly heartened by the immense support for China-Australia relations in both countries.
Over the next few days, I look forward to discussing ways to boost the future growth of our bilateral relations with Australian leaders and friends. This, I am sure, will help enhance our mutual understanding and friendship, expand mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, draw a more ambitious blueprint for advancing bilateral relations and add new impetus to the efforts to realise our respective development strategies.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, we Chinese are striving to achieve the Chinese dream, which is the great renewal of the Chinese nation. The Chinese dream is about enhancing the strength and prosperity of the nation and the wellbeing of the Chinese people. We have set two goals for China's future development. The first is to double the 2010 GDP and per capita income of urban and rural residents and build a society of initial prosperity in all respects by 2020. The second is to turn China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious by the middle of the century. To realise the Chinese dream we will comprehensively intensify reform and opening up, promote the rule of law in an all-round way, stay committed to socialism with Chinese features, advance the modernisation drive and steadily improve peoples' lives.
How will China develop itself? What will China be like when it grows in strength? I believe many of you are quite interested in these questions, as are many people around the world. I know that there are different views on these two questions.
Many people applaud China's achievements and have great confidence in China, while some others have concerns about China—and there are also people who find fault with everything China does. I think these diverse views are to be expected. After all, China is a large country of over 1.3 billion people. It is like the big guy in the crowd. Others naturally wonder how the big guy will move and act, and they may be concerned that the big guy may push them around, stand in their way or even take up their place. So let me address several key issues that are of interest to you.
First, China remains unshakeable in its resolve to pursue peaceful development. We Chinese cherish peace, and the Chinese nation has always been a peace-loving one. Since ancient times the Chinese have held fast to the belief that peace is of paramount importance and that one should not do unto others what one does not want others to do unto oneself. In modern times China was ravaged by turmoil and war for more than a century, and development and a decent life were beyond the reach of its people. Having gone through this, the Chinese people will never subject any country or nation to the same ordeal. China needs peace. A harmonious and a stable domestic environment and a peaceful international environment are what China needs most. Neither turbulence nor war serves the fundamental interests of the Chinese people. While China is big in size, our forefathers realised over 2,000 years ago that a warlike state, however big it may be, will eventually fall. A review of history shows that countries that attempted to pursue their development goals with the use of force invariably failed. All such empires, no matter how powerful they once were, eventually vanished. This is what history teaches us.
China is dedicated to upholding peace. There is only one trend in today's world, and that is the trend of peace and development and win-win cooperation. Both history and reality have shown that those who follow this trend will prosper while those who go against it will perish. Peace is precious and needs to be protected. We must always be on high alert against factors that may deprive us of peace. If people just want to enjoy peace but do nothing to uphold it, peace will be gone. We Chinese are committed to pursuing peaceful development, and we sincerely hope that all other countries will do the same. We should jointly counter threats that undermine peace so as to build a harmonious world of durable peace and common prosperity.
Second, China remains unshakeable in its commitment to pursuing common development. The world today is a community of common destiny. Markets, capital, resources, information and human talent have all become highly globalised. A world that is developing will promote the development of all countries, which in turn will spur global development. As we in China like to say, many people adding fuel to the bonfire will raise this flame. China stands ready to pursue common development and prosperity with all other countries. China will continue to follow a win-win strategy of opening up; it will both uphold justice and promote cooperation, develop an open economy and strengthen and expand all-around mutual beneficial cooperation with other countries. China will never develop itself at the expense of others.
China's development offers an important opportunity to the world. China is speeding up a new type of industrialisation, IT application, urbanisation and agricultural modernisation which will create many new growth areas. With over 1.3 billion people, China is a market of immense potential. Our efforts to adjust economic structure and upgrade industries will generate enormous demands. It is estimated that in the next five years China will import more than US$10 trillion of goods, its outbound investment will exceed US$500 billion, and Chinese tourists will make over 500 million overseas visits. All this will provide a bigger market, more capital and products, and valuable cooperation opportunities for our partners in the region and the world.
China remains unshakeable in its resolve to pursue a policy of promoting cooperation and development in the Asia-Pacific. China is an Asia-Pacific country. Without peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific, stability and development in China cannot be assured. The enormous progress China has made in reform and opening up in the last 30 years and more is possible both because of its own hard work and also an inclusive and open Asia-Pacific region. China sincerely hopes to work with other countries in the region to enlarge the pie of common interest and achieve win-win progress. China remains committed to building friendly relations and partnerships with its neighbours. We follow the principle of promoting amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. and advocate a new vision of Asian security, featuring common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We strive to deliver more benefits to our neighbours and other countries in the Asia-Pacific through our own development. China will work with other countries to make good use of such platforms as APEC, EAS and AIF, promote the conclusion of the ASEP negotiations as scheduled, and accelerate the building of the Silk Road economic belt and the 21st century maritime Silk Road. This will create a virtuous cycle of development and security in the Asia-Pacific region.
Given China's high dependence on maritime routes for trade and energy imports, navigation freedom and safety is crucial to China. The Chinese government is ready to enhance dialogue and cooperation with relevant countries to jointly maintain freedom of navigation and safety of maritime routes and ensure a maritime order of peace, tranquillity and win-win cooperation. At the same time, the Chinese people will firmly uphold the core interests of China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.
The UN Charter and the basic norms governing international relations should apply to all countries. With that, countries big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are all equal. This means not only equal rights and interests for all countries but also equality of all countries before international rules. It is China's longstanding position to address peacefully its disputes with countries concerning territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests through dialogue and consultation. China has settled land boundary issues with 12 out of its 14 neighbours through friendly consultation and will continue to work in this direction. China sincerely hopes to work with other countries in the region to build a harmonious and prosperous Asia-Pacific.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, China has always viewed Australia as an important partner. During my visit, the two sides have decided to elevate our bilateral relations into a comprehensive strategic partnership and announced the substantial completion of FTA negotiations. These two important outcomes will further boost China-Australia relations. Our relationship has reached a new and higher starting point, and we should be more visionary, broad minded and set more ambitious goals. Our two countries should increase dialogue and exchanges and deepen political trust, expand result-oriented cooperation, and work together to sustain peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific.
For this to happen, we should take the following steps. Firstly, we should increase mutual understanding and be sincere and trustworthy partners. Both China and Australia are important countries in the Asia-Pacific. We are not burdened by historical problems between us, nor do we have any conflict of fundamental interests. We are both committed to peace, cooperation and development, and we both endeavour to uphold and ensure stability and prosperity in our region and the world. We have every reason to go beyond a commercial partnership to become strategic partners who have a shared vision and pursue common goals.
There is an Australian saying, 'Keep your eyes on the sun and you will not see the shadows.' China and Australia differ in history, culture, social system and stage of development, so it is natural for us to have disagreements on some issues. What is important is that we keep to the right direction of bilateral relations, talk to each other candidly, seek common ground despite our differences and meet each other halfway. We should respect each other's core interests and major concerns and appropriately handle our differences. As long as we have our long-term and larger interests in mind, increase positive factors and remove obstacles, we will certainly forge a closer and more dynamic comprehensive strategic partnership between us.
Secondly, we should deepen result oriented cooperation and be close partners of mutual benefit. China and Australia have a lot to offer each other economically, and our development strategies complement each other in many ways. China is intensifying all-round reform, and Australia is pursuing diversified and sustainable growth. Our two countries should ensure that our development strategies reinforce each other's, and we should draw upon each other's strengths and build an even closer partnership of win-win cooperation.
The conclusion of the China-Australia FTA negotiations will create a higher level platform and provide better institutional arrangements for our economic cooperation. We should boost our traditional cooperation in such priority areas as energy and resources and accelerate the growth of new cooperation areas such as infrastructure, agriculture and animal husbandry so as to further diversify our business ties. China supports Australia's plan to develop its northern region and welcomes Australian companies to actively participate in the development of China's western region. We should also increase two-way investment and create a fairer and more enabling environment for it.
Thirdly, we should intensify people-to-people exchanges and be friends who open their hearts to each other. If a tree is to be forever lush and exuberant, its roots must strike deep in the soil. Likewise, if the China-Australia relationship is to flourish, it must be supported by stronger people-to-people ties. We should create more opportunities to boost exchanges and cooperation in education, culture, science, technology and tourism as well as between local governments and to build more bridges of understanding and friendship between our two peoples. China is ready to work with Australia to implement the New Colombo Plan to expand two-way exchanges of our students.
We should take full advantage of the China-Australia high-level dialogue to enhance dialogues and exchanges between our two governments and public sectors. We should use new platforms, such as the mechanism of state provincial leader exchanges and cooperation and the Chinese Cultural Centre in Sydney. With enhanced mutual understanding, more people in our two countries will support and contribute to the China-Australia friendship and cooperation and will benefit from this relationship.
Fourthly, we should enhance strategic dialogue and be harmonious neighbours who stick together in both good times and bad times. Australia is an influential country in the Asia-Pacific, and China welcomes Australia playing a more constructive role in the region. We should encourage countries in the region to increase coordination of macro-economic policies, speed up infrastructure connectivity, upgrade monetary and financial cooperation, promote trade liberalisation and expand people-to-people exchanges. In so doing, we can create better physical and institutional conditions to boost regional economic integration and promote industrial structural adjustment and upgrading in our economies. Oceania is a natural extension of the ancient maritime Silk Road, and China welcomes Australia's participation in the 21st century maritime Silk Road. Our two countries should enhance cooperation in humanitarian disaster relief, counter-terrorism and maritime safety to jointly meet various security challenges to our region.
Ladies and gentlemen, dear friends, tomorrow I will fly to Tasmania, which means that I will have covered each and every Australian state and that I will gain a fuller understanding of Australia. I do not know whether I can get a certificate for that! Before I embarked on my visit to Australia, my wife and I received letters from 16 pupils of Tasmania's Scotch Oakburn College Junior School. They are at the age of 10 or 11, and they each sent me a letter. In their letters they described Tasmania's unique products and beautiful scenery, and they wrote their letters in Chinese. They mentioned in particular the Tahune AirWalk and Cataract Gorge, and, of course, the Tasmanian devil. They also wrote in their letters that if I go to the gorge I could come across beautiful peacock feathers. Their words have filled me with curiosity. I look forward to my visit to Tasmania tomorrow and to meeting these children. I am sure that Tasmania will give me wonderful memories and my visit there will broaden my understanding of your great country.
As the Chinese saying goes, true friendship exists only when there is an abiding commitment to pursue common goals. I am confident that, with our joint efforts, the friendship between the Chinese and Australian people will span over mountains and oceans. Such friendship will withstand rain and storm, and will be as strong and everlasting as the majestic Uluru rock in Central Australia and the Great Wall in northern China. Australians often say that those who lose dreaming are lost. As the Chinese and Australian people strive to fulfil our respective dreams, let us join hands and work shoulder to shoulder to create a brighter future for the China-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership and to enhance peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific. I thank you all.
The SPEAKER: As the Prime Minister takes the President round and greets members and senators, can I say to you, Mr President, and to Madam Peng: we wish you a successful and enjoyable stay in Australia. I thank senators for joining us here today. I know that the Prime Minister will enjoy introducing you to members of the front bench of both the government and the opposition.