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Remarks by Ambassador Wang Lutong at the Post Assumption Reception
2013/11/21
Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou Katoa!
Thank you Hon Minister Williamson, Ambassador Powles and Hon Phil Goff MP for your kind words! You'll never know how honored I am to have you all here tonight and share with us your experiences and thoughts on the bilateral relations.
I'd like to acknowledge Hon Minister Michael Woodhouse, Hon Minister Todd McClay, Hon Deputy Speaker Eric Roy, Mr. Peter Goodfellow, MPs from across the House, Mr. John Allen, members of Diplomatic Corps, friends from all walks of life for your presence at this function where hopefully you could enjoy the most delicious Chinese food in New Zealand.
You may have already noticed the 12 Chinese Ambassadors' photos on the wall when you walked through the lobby. As the saying goes, "Draft does not forget to dig well." I hope these photos serve as a way to salute my predecessors and those NZ people committed to the bilateral relations, and to commemorate the last 40 years of this great relationship.
In both China and western world, the number 12 means a circle. In our bilateral relations, 12 means we are at a critical moment to uplift the already booming China-New Zealand relations to a new height. In this sense, it is a great privilege for me to serve as the 12th Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand.
Four decades ago, we reached out our hands of goodwill and friendship across the Pacific to each other. Over the years, we have made our bilateral relationship a model out of China's ties with all western countries. Together we achieved several "firsts", which had been spoken highly of by HE The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, the Governor-General of New Zealand, when he accepted my Letter of Credence last Wednesday. I have just learned that ICBC NZ Limited was granted registration this morning.  This is also the first Chinese registered bank in NZ.
This year, China, for the first time, became the largest trading partner and remains the largest source of foreign students and second largest tourist market of New Zealand. The political mutual-trust and our trade cooperation become the "double engines" of this partnership, as described by Chinese President Xi Jinping when he met the second time this year with Prime Minister John Key during APEC meetings.
Changes make the world it is. They are also the answer to how countries should face chances and challenges alike. Reform is a call of the times.
Last week, the 3rd Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee unveiled a new reform blueprint to push forward the development of the world's second largest economy. Reform is the key word of the session, with 55 detailed tasks covering 15 areas, each with far-reaching significance once implemented.
The reform of the economic system is the focus of all the efforts to deepen the all-round reform, and the core solution is a proper relationship between government and market, leaving the market to play a more decisive role in resource allocation.
China will continue to further expand the opening-up to the outside world, to share opportunities and create common prosperity together.  An important experience we drew from the process of Reform and Opening-up over the past years is that we can't achieve sustainable development if we fail to share it with others.  With fists clenching comes nothing, while opening arms brings opportunities.
A single flower does not make a spring. With China's reform and China on its way into a well-off society by 2020, there lie huge opportunities for outside world and of course for New Zealand.
The Asia-Pacific is the world's fastest-growing and most promising region. As an Asia-Pacific country, China's peaceful development should start from this region. China has taken a new set of diplomatic approaches accentuating the need to forge better ties with neighbors, set up a new pattern of relationships between major countries, and build a community of common destiny, in an effort to contribute to peace and common prosperity.
President Xi pointed out last month at the Conference on the Diplomatic Work with Neighboring Countries that China needs to develop closer ties, more friendly political relations, stronger economic bonds, deeper security cooperation and closer people-to-people contacts with neighboring countries and to enable them to benefit more from China's development and prosperity.
Dear Friends,
Today is exact one month since my arrival. Before my departure from Beijing, my friends congratulated me for my good luck in being Ambassador to NZ. After my arrival, I realized I had come at an interesting and important time, as the relationship is at its best ever and still has great potential. I am deeply impressed by your enthusiasm and commitment, which are the sound foundation of our relations and which inspire me to think smarter and bigger.
I'm here to listen what you have in mind, to offer what I can possibly give, and to meet what you are in need. I myself and Chinese Embassy are more than willing to serve as a window and a bridge, through which, to promote further understanding, exchanges and cooperation and provide my humble service to the growing Chinese community.
I will go all out and stand ready to work with all of you to forge a rich, strong and diverse partnership between China and New Zealand and add more credit and glory to it.
With this, I ask you to kindly join me in a toast,
To the bright prospects of China-New Zealand relations,
To our friendship, and
To your good health!
Cheers!
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