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China's top political advisor makes 4-point proposal to boost ties with New Zealand

WELLINGTON, April 17 (Xinhua) -- China's top political advisor Jia Qinglin made a four-point proposal to further deepen the China- New Zealand ties in a speech delivered at the Contemporary China Research Center of Victoria University of Wellington on Tuesday.

Noting the two countries are both important ones in the Asia- Pacific region and members of significant international and regional mechanisms such as the United Nations, the East Asia Summit and Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Jia, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said the two countries should strengthen the all-round cooperative relationship between them in the new circumstances.

"This serves the common interests of the two peoples, the interest of development of the two countries as well as peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond," Jia said.

He called on the two countries to continue high-level exchanges and increase political mutual trust. China will keep close high- level interactions with New Zealand, make full use of the exchanges and consultation mechanisms in various sectors, and communicate with each other in a timely manner on the growth of bilateral relations and other important issues of mutual interests, Jia said.

Meanwhile, the two countries should increase understanding and knowledge of each other's development direction and path, respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns, appropriately handle differences, and firmly keep to the right direction in moving their relations forward, he said.

Jia said the two sides should bring into play the complementarity between them and expand practical cooperation. China and New Zealand should deepen their cooperation in traditional areas such as agriculture, forestry and animal husbandry, and should at the same time actively expand cooperation in such areas as food safety, clean energy and infrastructural development to inject new vigor to the growth of their relations, he added.

The two sides should deepen cultural and people-to-people exchanges and build on popular support for their relationship, Jia said. He called on the two sides to encourage contacts and exchanges between academic institutions, the media, social organizations and the young people and at the local level, and step up cooperation in education, culture, science and technology, tourism and journalism through such platforms as sister cities and Confucius institutes.

According to Jia, the China Central Television will set up its first reporter station in New Zealand soon.

The chairman also called on the two sides to increase communication and coordination under major multilateral mechanisms and on important international and regional hotspot issues, enhance cooperation in coping with climate change and the international financial crisis, push forward regional development, combat cross-border crimes and prevent and mitigate disasters.

"China respects the traditional and major influence of New Zealand in the South Pacific region, and appreciates the constructive role New Zealand plays in promoting regional economic and social development," Jia said, adding China was ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with New Zealand and work together for stability and development in the South Pacific region.

According to Jia, the bilateral trade volume between China and New Zealand exceeded 8.7 billion U.S. dollars in last year, 2.3 times the trade when the free trade agreement (FTA) first took effect in 2008 and 970 times the trade in 1972 when diplomatic relations were established. China is now New Zealand's second largest trading partner and export market and the biggest origin of its import.

China is also New Zealand's biggest source of international students and the fourth largest and fastest growing market of international tourists.

The speech, themed "Deepen All-round Cooperation and Usher in a Brighter Future", were made to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of China-New Zealand ties.

Jia arrived here on Monday for a four-day visit.

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