Dear Chinese friends in southwest China
Recently, both Australia and China have experienced unprecedented challenges in our respective countries. After a prolonged drought, Australia has endured devastating bushfires. Fires still rage in some parts of our country. China is battling the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which has affected all my Chinese friends, and to varying extents, people around the world.
When I travelled back to Chengdu a few days ago, I was struck by how sombre this Spring Festival has been for everyone.
I want to let you know that the Australian Government and the Australian people are concerned by what the Chinese people are going through. We stand in solidarity with you. I have heard of many Australians of all walks of life – including our vibrant Chinese-Australian community – donating personal protective equipment to China. The Australian business community and industry groups have also provided assistance.
At the same time, Australia’s world class scientists are racing to uunderstand more about the virus and develop a vaccine. In particular, the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and the University of Queensland are spearheading efforts.
Australians and Chinese are both resilient peoples. When this episode is over, I look forward to continuing to work together with you to advance the mutually beneficial relationship between Australia and China. The role we play, the energy we bring, and the confidence we give, will be fundamental to helping Australia and China rebound from these challenging times.