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Remarks by Consul General Zhang Ping at the 2019 Lunar New Year Reception
( January 29, 2019)

Chinese lunar New Year, the Year of the Pig, is just around the corner. Tonight it is with great joy that we gather here to celebrate this traditional Chinese festival.

First of all, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles, new year greetings and best wishes to all our distinguished guests present here and, through you, to all the friends of different walks of life in our consular district, including members of Chinese community, staff of the Chinese enterprises and Chinese students, wishing everyone great happiness and all the success in the coming new year!

2018 marked the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. During the past year, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core, the Chinese government remained cool headed in dealing with various risks and challenges and has taken further measures to deepen reform and expand opening-up. The Chinese people have made concerted and unremitting efforts in pursuit of the country's development and achieved new progress in various undertakings. China's economy remained in the reasonable range of growth with year-on-year GDP growth reaching 6.6 percent in 2018. Various efforts to improve people's livelihood have been accelerated and the standard of living has seen further rise. Chinese people have a stronger sense of fulfillment and greater happiness, and feel safer and more secure in a more direct and tangible manner.

Amid the profound changes of international situation unseen in a century, China's diplomacy stayed steadfastly in its set course. It opened new prospects, broke new grounds and achieved new progress. Under the guidance of Xi Jinping's Thought on Diplomacy, we stood firm in safeguarding national interests, sought active ways to expanded mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries. We continued to promoted a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation and advocate the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, making important contributions to global peace and development.

In the past year, developments in China-US relations captured global attention. At the end of last year, President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump had a successful meeting during the G20 Summit. Both leaders agreed to pursue a China-US relationship defined by coordination, cooperation and stability, and charted the way for addressing the existing issues between the two countries and promoting the healthy growth of China-US relations.

In the past year, sub-national cooperation witnessed further expansion and new progress within our consular district. Los Angeles welcomed 1.2 million Chinese visitors in 2018, hitting a new record high. Events like Happy Spring Festival Cultural program, California-China Business Summit, CHINAWEEK, the Lotus Festival with China being the host country last year, Chinese-American Film and TV Festival and many others were brought to stage consecutively throughout the year, highlighting the close trade and cultural ties between our two sides.

Over the past year, out of a sincere aspiration for better China-US relations, many people in various circles of our consular district, including the Chinese community, devoted themselves to maintaining and developing China-US relations by promoting exchanges and cooperation and enhancing understanding and friendship between our two countries and two peoples. While contributing their share to the local economic and social development here in the US, many Chinese community members have actively participated in the bilateral exchange and cooperation, promoted Chinese culture and peaceful reunification of China, becoming the important bond that connects the two peoples together and the important bridge that facilitates cooperation. I wish to take this opportunity to pay tribute and express profound thanks to them.

2019 marks the 40th anniversary of establishment of China-US diplomatic relations. The history of four decade long relationship tells us that our two countries stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. Cooperation is the only right choice. There exists a wide range of common interests between China and the US. We should rise above various noises to ensure that China-US relationship continues to develop along the right track. We shall never allow rivalry to define our bilateral relations, nor shall we allow our relationship derail to the wrong path of de-coupling, let alone to allow it dip into the abyss of confrontation. We need to expand sub national cooperation and exchange to bring more benefits to our two peoples.

2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the issuance of Message to Compatriots in Taiwan by the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress. In his recent speech at a gathering to commemorate the 40th anniversary of its issuance, President Xi Jinping proposed major policies on advancing the course of China's peaceful reunification along with the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation in the new era. This is of historical significance. Achieving the national rejuvenation and reunification is the tide of the time that can never be stopped by anyone or any force. Chinese people across the Taiwan Strait as well as at home and abroad should work together for the Chinese nation's greater good and go with the tide of history, and on the basis of One China principle, jointly push forward the peaceful development of cross-Straits relations and advance the process of the peaceful reunification.

2019 also marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. It is also a crucial year for China to realize its first centenary goal of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Braving thorny paths and confronting stormy weather over the past 70 years, the Chinese people have found a development path that fits our own national conditions; over the last 70 years, through hard work and with our wisdom, the Chinese people have created many miracles in the human history of development. Looking ahead, no matter what complexities and difficulties we may face on the road ahead, with rock-solid confidence and unwavering determination, we will continue to march forward toward the goal of national rejuvenation.

In the upcoming new year, the Chinese Consulate General will endeavor to enhance communication with our friends of various circles in our consular district with the aim to further expand and deepen our exchange and cooperation. We will adhere to the mission of "serving the people" and do what we can to provide better consular services. We look forward to working more closely with our friends and hope we will get your continuous support. It is our belief that with your care and support, we can make further stride in China-US relationship as well as the sub-national exchange and cooperation between China and our consular district.

Again, Happy New Year to everyone. I wish everyone good health, success, prosperity and happiness in the Year of the Pig.

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