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Consul-General Lei Kezhong's Speech on 2017 Chinese Race Day

(From Chinese Consulate General in Perth)

4 February 2017

Hon Dr Mike Nahan, MLA, Treasurer, Minister for energy, Citizenship and Multicultural Interests,
Mr. Neil Pinner, Chairman of Perth Racing,
Dr Edward Zhang, President of Association of Great China,
Distinguished Guests,
Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning!

It's a great pleasure for me to join all of you here to celebrate the Lunar Chinese New Year - the year of the rooster and to enjoy the horse race.

First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Perth, I'd like to congratulate the Association of Great China and Perth Racing on co-hosting the 2017 Chinese Race Day.

It's a great idea to combine the horse racing with the celebration of Chinese New Year, because we have a saying in Chinese, 马到成功,which means success upon the the arrival of the horse. Therefore, I wish you a great success in the New Year!

Ladies & Gentlemen,

This year, thanks to the efforts by the State government, various parties as well as Chinese communities WA, we have had a colorful Chinese Spring Festival celebrations in Western Australia. This not only showcases the inclusiveness of our both culture, but also reflects the close relationship between China and Western Australia.

Since the establishment of China-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership, and the implementation of the Free Trade agreement between our two countries, exchanges and cooperation between our two sides have grown steadily.

Just to give two examples, China is Australia's most rapidly growing source of origin of international tourists, with an annual growth rate of 20%. In 2016, the total Chinese tourists to Australia is 1.21million, accounting for 21.9% of Australia's total international tourists. In terms of international students studying in Australia, China is also the biggest source of origin. Up to Oct 2016, there are about 189,000 Chinese students in Australia, accounting for 28% of Australia's total number of international students.

Ladies & Gentlemen,

This year also marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia, and is at the same time the year of Tourism between our two countries. We have every reason to believe that by working together, we can usher in a great chapter of our bilateral relations in 2017.

Last but not least, I'd like to extend my best wishes to all of you for the Chinese New year: 鸡年快乐,马到成功!

Thank you!

Now I have the honor to officially declare 2017 Chinese Race Day open!

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