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Create a Brighter Future for China and New Zealand from a New Historical Juncture
--Remarks by HE Ambassador Wang Xiaolong at the Lunch to Celebrate 50 Years of Diplomatic Relations between New Zealand and the People's Republic of China Dec 9, 2022, Auckland
2022-12-09 18:13

Rt Hon Prime Minister Ardern,

Ambassador McKinnon,

Mr Thomson,

Hon Ministers and MPs, 

Sir John and Dame Jenny,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Kia ora!

It gives me great pleasure to join you today to celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China.  

Fifty years is not a long episode in history but are truly golden times worth celebrating for relationships between countries. Back in 1972, our leaders made the visionary and strategic decision to establish diplomatic ties. Through the joint efforts across generations, our bilateral relations have made tremendous progress, bringing enormous benefits to our peoples and making at the same time significant contributions to global and regional peace, stability, and prosperity.

Looking back, I would like to use four key words to recapitulate the extraordinary journey we have taken together.

The first word is Direction. Successive leaders of both countries have valued this relationship and worked to keep it on the right track. Not long ago, President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Ardern on the margins of APEC. The two leaders reached important consensus which set the keynote and, above all, the direction for deepening our relations. I would also like to pay tribute to other leaders on both sides, including late President Jiang Zemin, for their leadership. Some of them have joined us here today. 

The second word is Cooperation. Defying the changes in the global landscape, mutually beneficial cooperation has always been our common choice and the mainstream of our relationship. Building on the highly complementary structures of the two economies, our bilateral trade has delivered high-quality products and services to both peoples, generated tremendous job opportunities, and contributed to the development of the overall relationship between the two countries.

The third word is Friendship. Our people-to-people links has a long history. The Chinese community has worked hard and contributed to the diverse society here, having become an essential and vibrant part of New Zealand’s multicultural mosaic. Together with the Chinese students and tourists, they have built bridges of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. On the Chinese side, we will never forget the contributions made by kiwi friends like Rewi Alley and Kathleen Hall to China’s revolution and development. 

The fourth word is Enterprise. Always ready to break new ground, the two sides have created many “firsts” in China’s relations with western developed countries, over and above our differences in political system, historical and cultural backgrounds, and stage of development.   

This year, both countries have held a series of celebrations, with People, Planet, and Prosperity as the organizing theme for the NZ side. Indeed, our two countries do share a lot in common in these three and other areas.

We both put our people front and center, sharing the belief that our relationship starts with the people and is meant to serve the people.

We are both committed to maintaining peace and stability in our common home and support the international system with the United Nations at its core, the international order based on international law. 

We both support multilateralism, free trade and an open world economy, and international cooperation to tackle global challenges and facilitate common development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Amid the increasing uncertainties in today’s world, I firmly believe that cooperation between China and New Zealand can create more certainties for each other and the whole world. Looking ahead, we should strive to go with the trend of the times, implement the consensus reached by our leaders, and above all, meet the aspirations of the two peoples, with a view to advancing our comprehensive strategic partnership towards an even brighter future.

First, we need to enhance mutual trust, and constructively manage and transcend our differences to ensure that our relationship continues to evolve in the right direction.  

Second, we need to expand our practical cooperation by making full use of the upgraded FTA and RCEP to grow the pie of common interests bigger. We can also explore cooperation in climate change, the digital economy, innovation, and the Maori economy to deliver more benefits to our two peoples.

Third, we need to deepen our people-to-people friendship by restarting face-to-face interactions and facilitating dialogues and exchanges at all levels, particularly among the younger generation. 

Fourth, we need to strengthen cooperation on global and regional affairs, including in the South Pacific, where there is   ample room for us to work together.  

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For all the turmoils in the world, China always regards New Zealand as an important partner and friend, and China’s commitment to the partnership with New Zealand has not and will not change. China looks forward to working closely with New Zealand to take our relationship to an even higher level so as to better benefit our two peoples and make greater contributions to the world.  

Finally, I wish the two countries a prosperous future! And may the friendship between China and New Zealand thrive forever!

Thank you!

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