Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends,
First of all, I would wish all of you good health and every success in the Chinese year of Rooster!
As Consul General, It is my third time to host a function to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Taj Mahal Palace,Mumbai. I feel quite pleased to see so many familiar friends here. Last year, the Consulate General donated a white marble Guanyin Buddha to the Chinese Temple in Mumbai. On the New Year's Eve, I joined the overseas Chinese in the temple, lighted incense and prayed for our motherland's prosperity and Chinese community's thriving. In history, the overseas Chinese dedicated to the development of Mumbai. Nowadays, Chinese enterprises and new generations of overseas Chinese are sparing no effort to participate in the construction of sea link, subway and industry zones in Mumbai. Consequently, they greatly promote the exchanges of Sino-Indian trade and culture.
Today we will also celebrate the first anniversary of the establishment of Mumbai Chinese Enterprise Association (MCEA). Since the founding of the organization, they have gained support from the government of Maharashtra and various Indian chambers of commerce. They carried out some studies on the Chinese companies' operations in Mumbai and upheld their legitimate rights and interests. What they have done is highly appreciated. Now I want to take this opportunity to express my congratulations to Chairman of MCEA, Mr. Zheng Bin, vice Chairperson, and Secretary of MCEA Ms. Ye Zhen. I hope that MCEA will continue to advance the Sino-Indian economic cooperation, and further the mutual trust and exchange between China and India.
Today His Excellency, Mr. Lyu Xinhua is present at our function. He is Vice Chairman of the CPPCC Foreign Affairs Committee, and Chairman of Council for Promoting South-South Cooperation (CPSSC). He is also former Vice Foreign Minister, former Commissioner of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, and former spokesperson of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. What's more, Mr. Liu Youfa, former Consul General of the Chinese Consulate in Mumbai, and some entrepreneurs also attend tonight's celebration. The purpose of their visit to India soon after the Chinese New Year is to enhance the collaboration between our two countries. This year China is going to hold "International Cooperation Summit Forum on One-Belt-One-Road" in Beijing as well as BRICS Summit in Xiamen. Not only will South-South cooperation be the focus of the forum, but also it provides a significant platform for the five countries of BRICS. I believe that under the leadership of Mr. Lyu, the CPSSC will play an important role in deepening the collaboration between China and South Asian countries, especially between China and India.
My dear friends, in the past one year, China's economy has been running steadily. The employment growth rate was higher than expected, the reform and opening up were carried out in depth, the economic restructuring was speeding up, the development of new energy continued to increase, and people's lives kept improving. We have obtained a good start for the 13th national five-year plan. In the face of severe challenges at home and abroad, it was not easy for us to make such achievements.
Over the past year, the Chinese Consulate General in Mumbai has adhered to the principle of "diplomacy for the people", wholeheartedly provided services for Chinese enterprises and overseas Chinese, and made unremitting efforts to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests. In the new year, we will continue to provide them with quality and efficient consular services. We are looking forward to opinions and suggestions whatever you have to me and the Consulate General!
Tonight, Chinese musicians and a number of Indian students learning Chinese will offer us wonderful performances. Let's welcome them with warm applause and express our sincere thanks!
At the beginning of the new year, everything is new. Let's work hard together and compose a brilliant new chapter of Sino-Indian relations.
Finally, I propose to toast for our health and happiness, for the Sino-Indian friendship, and for the first anniversary of the establishment of Mumbai Chinese Enterprise Association. Cheers!