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Speech by Chinese Ambassador Her Excellency Wu Xi
2018/09/29

Mr. Raymond Huo MP, founding trustee and co-chair of the NZ Chinese Language Week Trust,

Chinese Language Week Trustees,

Distinguished guests,

E ngā mana

E ngā leo

E ngā lau langatila mā

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou kātoa

Ko Wu Xi ahau My name is Wu Xi

你们好!

I am greatly honored to attend the New Zealand Chinese Language Week Stakeholder Event. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chinese Language Week Trustees for all they have done, as well as all those who contribute passionately to the Chinese Language Week.

Mutual understanding is the foundation of friendship, and language is the bridge for communication. In today’s world, there are 7 billion people live in over 200 countries and regions and speak more than 5,000 languages. Different nations and civilizations are rich in diversity and have their own distinctive cultures. No civilization or culture is superior or inferior to others. “All living things are nourished without injuring one another, and all roads run parallel without interfering with one another.”

Confucius said “If three men are walking together, one of them is bound to be good enough to be my teacher. ”

China’s Reform and Opening up is a process of actively engaging with the rest of the world, as well as a course of mutual learning. While we learn from others, we would like to share our culture, dream and vision for the world with other countries.

There has been a long history between China and New Zealand for cultural and people-to-people exchanges. The Chinese gold miners came to New Zealand in 1860s. They not only contributed to the development of local economy but to the multi-culturalism in New Zealand. Thanks to Rewi Alley, an old friend of the Chinese people, as well as thousands of people like Rewi Alley who contributed to China New Zealand friendship, cultural and people-to-people exchanges between our two countries have flourished. We are honoured that Mr. Maurice Alley, the nephew of Mr. Rewi Alley is with us today.

There are more than 50,000 Chinese students studying in New Zealand. Last year, more than 400,000 Chinese tourists visited New Zealand. All of these have played a positive role in enhancing mutual understanding and developing cultural and people-to-people exchanges between our two countries.

Since my arrival in New Zealand, I have met many New Zealand friends who speak fluent Chinese, which really warms my heart. For two consecutive years, Mandarin has become New Zealand’s number one foreign language. There is a huge demand for Chinese language training. The Confucius Institutes in New Zealand have played an important role in promoting Chinese language training and enhancing mutual understanding between our two peoples.

The Chinese Language Week adds to the long list of “Firsts” in China-New Zealand relations. I believe this is the most popular “First” in our relationship, because it is a people-driven “First” and it provides practical platform for Kiwis to learn Chinese language and Chinese culture. It is developed to prepare the young generation to embrace the growth and prosperity of both countries. I believe Chinese Language Week will contribute to the integration of Chinese culture into New Zealand’s multi-cultural society, and strengthen mutual trust and friendship between our two peoples.

I wish the Chinese Language Week a complete success.

No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou kātoa.

Therefore, thank you all!

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