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Create an Even Brighter Future for China-New Zealand Relations
Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping President of the People's Republic of China At Welcoming Luncheon
2014/11/21

Create an Even Brighter Future for China-New Zealand Relations

Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping

President of the People's Republic of China

At Welcoming Luncheon

Auckland, 21 November 2014

The Right Honorable John Key,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Kia ora! Thank you, Prime Minister, for your heart-warming words. It is a great pleasure for me to come again to the beautiful “land of the long white cloud” and feel the “100 percent pure” New Zealand. I am happy to get together with friends, both old and new, in New Zealand to talk about our friendship and future. I wish to give my sincere greetings and best regards to those from all walks of life in New Zealand who care about and support the growth of China-New Zealand ties.

New Zealand is blessed with rich natural resources, magnificent landscape and talented people. The movies like The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit are great hits around the world. They capture the amazing scenery here and are attracting tourists from all over. Not long ago, a very popular Chinese reality show Where Are We Going, Dad had one episode shot in Rotorua, making New Zealand the most talked-about destination among the Chinese audience.

Apart from the abundant resources and beautiful nature of New Zealand, what we admire even more are the courage and pioneering spirit of New Zealanders. Sir Edmund Hillary was the first to reach the top of Mount Qomolangma. Professor Ernest Rutherford was the first to establish the nuclear structure of the atom. And Dr. William Hayward Pickering was the first to explore the Venus. Setting one record after another, New Zealand has scored great achievements in national development. I sincerely wish New Zealand an even better future!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Despite the vast distance between China and New Zealand, we have already had a long history of friendly exchanges. As early as mid-19th century, the first group of Chinese immigrants came across the vast ocean to New Zealand, and joined the local people in creating a better life. In 1927, Mr. Rewi Alley from Christchurch traveled all the way to China and had since then gone through thick and thin with the Chinese people for 60 years. He devoted his entire life to China's national independence and development.

Our two countries established diplomatic ties in 1972, and the bilateral ties have made leapfrog progress ever since. China, for the first time, became New Zealand's largest trading partner in 2013. By now, we have already reached ahead of schedule our trade target of 20 billion New Zealand dollars, and we are well on the way toward the goal of 30 billion by 2020. And China has, for many years in a row, been New Zealand's largest source of international students and second largest market of foreign tourists.

Since the inception of diplomatic ties 42 years ago, China and New Zealand have worked together and taken ambitious steps to build our relations into a fine model of harmony, friendship and win-win cooperation between countries of different social systems, cultural traditions and development stages.

-- Mutual trust and mutual accommodation is an important foundation for the growth of China-New Zealand relations. Treating each other as equals, we have always respected each other’s choice of development path and social system as well as core interests and major concerns. Whenever there are frictions in our interactions and cooperation, we have been willing to step into the shoes of the other side and tried to dissolve differences and disputes through the constructive approach of dialogue and cooperation constructively.

-- Win-win cooperation provides a strong driving force for the growth of China-New Zealand relations. Both countries see important opportunities in each other’s development. We have worked to expand converging interests through practical cooperation and build the trade and economic cooperation framework by implementing the bilateral free trade agreement. Since the free trade agreement took effect six years ago, New Zealand’s export to China has quadrupled, and “Made in China” products of high quality and reasonable price have offered a greater variety in supplies and choices for the New Zealanders in their daily life. The free trade agreement has brought a lot of benefits to the people of both countries.

-- The pioneering spirit is a source of energy for the growth of China-New Zealand relations. Together, our two countries have set many records in China’s relations with developed countries. New Zealand is the first developed country to have recognized China as a full market economy, the first developed country to have launched negotiations with us on a bilateral free trade agreement and the first developed country to have signed and implemented the agreement with China. During this visit of mine, New Zealand has set another record as the first country to enter an inter-governmental agreement with China on television co-production.

As an ancient Chinese saying goes, “All living things are nourished without injuring one another; all roads run parallel without interfering one another.” The journey of China-New Zealand relations tells us that the vast ocean has not separated us, cultural differences have not alienated us, and different social systems and development models have not held back our relations. This experience applies to all state-to-state relations. In the Chinese culture, when people are given a gift of melon, they will, in appreciation, offer a piece of jade in return. So as long as there is mutual respect, equality and win-win cooperation, our friendship of mutual benefit will last from generation to generation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

China-New Zealand relations have come to an important phase of building on past achievements and striving for new prospects. China is ready to work hand in hand with New Zealand and elevate the bilateral relations to a higher level to better serve our two peoples. To that end, I would like to make the following proposals:

First, take a long-term perspective and align our development strategies effectively. China is comprehensively deepening the reform and opening-up program. New Zealand is building a more competitive economy through restructuring and reform. Our development strategies and economic agendas have a lot in common, offering broad space for cooperation. We need to act in the spirit of pioneers and vanguards, add new dimensions to the comprehensive strategic partnership, explore new ways of strategic cooperation, pool together our ideas and strengths for development, better serve the development of both countries through high-level, all-round cooperation of mutual benefit, and work hard to build a commonality of interests between China and New Zealand.

Second, advance with the times and make headway in practical cooperation. During my visit, our two countries signed a number of cooperation documents in the fields of economy, trade, agriculture, forestry, finance, culture, education and the Antarctic, demonstrating, once again, the great potential of our cooperation. It is important that we make good use of the institutional advantage of our bilateral free trade agreement to consolidate cooperation in the traditional areas of agriculture and animal husbandry, while fostering new areas of cooperation in food safety, biomedicine, energy conservation, environmental protection and infrastructure development. In our investment cooperation, mutual benefit is the defining feature. We should therefore support our respective enterprises in making investment or starting business in each other’s country, and strive to create a level playing field for such investment. China welcomes New Zealand's active participation in the building of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, an initiative I put forward last year, so as to jointly create a new platform for bilateral cooperation.

Third, learn from each other and cement the friendship between our two peoples. Based on mutual understanding, the China-New Zealand friendship is deep-rooted in the people of our two countries. We should bring into full play the role of the exchanges and cooperation mechanism between the mayors of our two countries, the China Culture Center, Confucius Institutes and other bridges between us, and encourage more interactions between our think tanks, media, youth and ordinary people to enhance mutual understanding, so that the China-New Zealand friendship will take a deeper root in our people's hearts. As an ancient Chinese philosopher wrote, "It is better to see for yourself than to hear from others, and it is even better to experience for yourself than merely to see." We welcome more New Zealand friends to China for a visit.

Fourth, help each other and work together to build a harmonious region and a prosperous world. Both China and New Zealand are important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, sharing the aspiration for peace and development and having similar positions on regional and international issues. To deepen coordination on multilateral affairs is part of our comprehensive strategic partnership. China stands ready to strengthen coordination and collaboration with New Zealand at the UN and its Security Council. We also need to maintain the momentum of close cooperation at APEC and other regional cooperation mechanisms and work together to advance the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership process and the building of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific to jointly safeguard peace and prosperity of the region.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

The Chinese people are striving to achieve the "two centenary goals", namely doubling our GDP and per capita urban and rural income of 2010 and completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects by 2020, and turning China into a harmonious modern socialist country that is prosperous, democratic and culturally advanced by the middle of the century. To make this dream a reality, we are now making unremitting efforts in a down-to-earth manner. Last November, at its Third Plenary Session, the 18th CPC Central Committee laid out a master plan for the comprehensive deepening of our reform, and put forth the roadmap and timetable for reform. So far, comprehensive plans have been made for all the reform initiatives, and a clear responsibility system established to implement them one by one. Last month, at its Fourth Plenary Session, the 18th CPC Central Committee set forth the general objective of promoting rule of law on all fronts, that is to say, to build a socialist system of rule of law with Chinese characteristics and a socialist country based on rule of law. This is intended to ensure both vibrancy and order as China goes through profound changes, and enable us to truly achieve economic growth, honest government, cultural prosperity, social justice and sound ecology.

While relying on our own effort to turn these blueprints into reality, China also needs an enabling international environment. Committed to peace, development, cooperation and win-win progress, China will stick to the path of peaceful development and unswervingly pursue the win-win strategy of opening up. The more progress China makes, the more China will contribute to world peace and development. In the next five years, China will import over 10 trillion US dollars worth of commodities and invest more than 500 billion US dollars overseas, and the number of outbound Chinese tourists will reach 500 million. All these will provide broader space for mutually beneficial cooperation between us in all areas.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Auckland is known as the “City of Sails”. As a Chinese saying goes, “When a hundred boats compete, the one who pulls the oar the hardest wins out”. The Chinese people are persevering and hard-working. The New Zealand people are courageous and pioneering. So let us brave the wind and waves and set sail to jointly create an even brighter future for China-New Zealand relations.

Now, please join me in a toast:

To the prosperity of New Zealand and the well-being of its people;

To the everlasting friendship between China and New Zealand and our two peoples;

To the health of Prime Minister John Key and all the friends present.

Cheers!

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