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Speech in Senate Chamber: Senator Cools congratulates the People's Republic of China on its Sixtieth Anniversary of the 1949 Revolution.

Hon. Anne C. Cools: Honourable senators, I rise to extend my congratulations to President Jintao Hu and the Chinese people, 1.3 billion strong, as today they celebrate the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of their People's Republic of China. The Chinese people have overcome incalculable and insurmountable obstacles to bring their nation from where it was in 1949 to where it is today. The Chinese people are known for their ingenuity, their industriousness and their tenacity. In the last many years, they have expanded in every field of human endeavour, particularly science, medicine, technology, industry, academia, scholarship and the arts. They have moved to the forefront of contemporary society. I greatly admire the people of China and their capacity to struggle with adversity, as in their heroic efforts in last year's earthquake. The Chinese people have an ability to maintain their ties to their culture of antiquity, alongside their bold capacity to face modernity and modern challenges, as demonstrated by the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, which we can all agree was an international triumph.

Honourable senators, Monday last marked nine years since the passing of Canada's former Prime Minister, the late Pierre Elliott Trudeau. I had the honour to be personally chosen by him to serve in this place. Among Mr. Trudeau's most worthy contributions were his efforts to establish diplomatic relations between Canada and the People's Republic of China. Today, I uphold his faith in diplomatic discourse as a means of advancing the peoples of the world, reducing conflict and attaining world peace.

I also uphold today the memory of another Canadian, from my home province of Ontario, Dr. Norman Bethune, and his contribution to China during the Chinese Revolution. The affection felt by China for Dr. Bethune remains legendary.

Honourable senators, I speak now of China's friendship with Canada, in particular the annual Great Wall Friendship Award, established in 1999 by Beijing's municipal government to honour foreign professionals living in Beijing who make significant contribution to Beijing's development. Several Canadians have been honoured by this award, including Peter King of Ottawa, a former civil servant known to many of us.

Honourable senators, today we celebrate the founding of the People's Republic of China and the coming together of many peoples of diverse ethnicities, religions and languages — the coming together of populations whose numbers are too vast for our minds.

Yesterday, several senators, myself included, celebrated this sixtieth anniversary with China's ambassador to Canada, His Excellency Lan Lijun, and the many guests of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China. Once again, I congratulate President Jintao Hu, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao, the Government and the people of China for their significant achievement.

 

The remainder of this day's Senate Debates are available here.