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Remarks by Consul General Xu Erwen at the Celebration for the Second Anniversary of Inaugural Nonstop Flight between Shanghai and Auckland by China Eastern Airlines

(From Chinese Consulate General in Auckland)

2017/11/08

(Hilton Hotel, Auckland, 3 November 2017)

Respected MPs Raymond Huo, Dr. Jian Yang,
Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening!

I am so delighted to be invited to this event in celebration of the second anniversary of inaugural nonstop flight between Shanghai and Auckland by China Eastern Airlines. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Auckland, I would like to extend our warmest congratulations to the success of China Eastern Airlines in New Zealand.

Tonight's celebration takes place at a very important time for the development of China and China New Zealand bilateral relationship. As you know, the 19th National Congress of CPC was successfully concluded one week ago in Beijing, which has attracted world wide attention. I believe our friends present here tonight might have great interest in it. So at this joyful moment, I would like to take this opportunity to share with you on three points.

First is about the 19th National Congress of CPC and the tremendous opportunities this Congress brings to China and the whole world. The Congress elected a strong leadership of the central party committee with General Secretary Xi Jinping at its core and worked out a very clear blueprint for China's future development. General Secretary Xi Jinping stated in his report that China has entered a new era of building socialism with Chinese characteristics. With the hard work over the past decades, today's China is closer, more confident and more capable than ever before of making China dream of national rejuvenation a reality. As a landmark, China has entered a new era of winning the decisive victory to build a better-off society in all respects by 2020 and will start to reach a two-stage development goal from 2020 to the middle of this century to develop China into a great modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious, and beautiful. In the new era, China is committed to its peaceful development, reform and open-up policy. China will continue to be the booster of multilateralism, free trade and globalization. We are ready to work together with all the countries in the world including New Zealand to build a community of shared future for mankind, to build a new type of international relationship based on mutual respect, fairness and justice as well as mutual benefit. China is dedicated to making more contribution to the world peace, stability and prosperity, providing more wisdom for global governance and tackling the challenges of the world. China's new era development will provide great opportunities for the co-operations between China and New Zealand.

The Second point I would like to express tonight is about my appreciation to China Eastern Airlines for its contribution to the Belt and Road construction between China and New Zealand. Belt and Road means building a free and convenient flow of goods, services and peoples. It is about connectivity of policy, trade, financing, infrastructure and people to people exchanges. President Xi Jinping said that New Zealand is the natural extension of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. New Zealand and China are oceans apart, so strengthening connectivity of air-routes is vitally important for enhancing our co-operations and communications.

Promote nonstop flights between major cities of China and Auckland and other cities in my consulate district has been one of the top work priorities for me and my colleagues of the consulate over the past years. In the past two years, through our joint efforts the flights between Auckland and major cities of China have tripled. According to the statistics by Auckland airport, there are more than 150 flights back and forth each week between major cities of China to Auckland. Each flight generates as much as 130 to 160 million US dollars on average to New Zealand per year and also bring many jobs opportunities directly and indirectly. The nonstop flights between our two sides not only facilitate the exchanges and communications between our two peoples, but also greatly promote the business and provide huge opportunities for trade and investment, bring tremendous benefits to the two peoples and two countries. This is a good example of win-win co-operation. New Zealand's economy is mainly driven by fast growing export and tourists, in which China plays a very important role. I am confident that Auckland is likely to become an international air-hub not only to Australia and other pacific countries, but also to South and North America.

The third point I would like to express is about sending my best wishes to China Eastern Airlines for its greater success in future. China Eastern Airlines is one of China's Top Three state-owned airlines, with its headquarters based in Shanghai. As one of the member airlines of the SkyTeam Alliance , China Eastern Airlines owns a fleet of more than 600 aircrafts, carried more than 100 million passengers and extended its network from Shanghai to 1062 destinations in 177 countries in 2016. China Eastern Airlines growth in Auckland is in line with the rapid development of China-New Zealand relations, relying on strong route capacity network of the headquarter.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good relationship is in the interest of not only both peoples and both countries, but also to the Asia Pacific. I want to thank all the friends present here tonight for your kind support to China and China New Zealand relationship. Finally, once again my best wishes to China Eastern Airlines in New Zealand for your greater success in future. I hope you will make greater contribution to the friendly cooperation between China and New Zealand. Thank you!

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