Generating a kubeconfig file and authenticating for google cloud

I have a Kubernetes cluster. Inside my cluster is a Django application which needs to connect to my Kubernetes cluster on GKE. Upon my Django start up (inside my Dockerfile), I authenticate with Google Cloud by using:

gcloud auth activate-service-account $GKE_SERVICE_ACCOUNT_NAME --key-file=$GOOGLE_APPLICATION_CREDENTIALS
gcloud config set project $GKE_PROJECT_NAME
gcloud container clusters get-credentials $GKE_CLUSTER_NAME --zone $GKE_ZONE

I am not really sure if I need to do this everytime my Django container starts, and I am not sure I understand how authentication to Google Cloud works. Could I perhaps just generate my Kubeconfig file, store it somewhere safe and use it all the time instead of authenticating?
In other words, is a Kubeconfig file enough to connect to my GKE cluster?

Source: Docker Questions

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