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Opinion Piece in Today's NZ Herald by Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Wang Xiaolong on China-NZ Relations and the Upcoming Visit of Prime Minister Hipkins to China----Keep up with the Trend of the Times, and Strive to be First to Jointly Open a New Chapter of China-New Zealand Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

(From Chinese Embassy in New Zealand)

2023-06-22 05:47

Keep up with the Trend of the Times, and Strive to be First to Jointly Open a New Chapter of
China-New Zealand Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

HE Ambassador Wang Xiaolong

Nāku te rourou nāu te rourou ka ora ai te iwi.With your basket and my basket, the people will live.

Though separated by the ocean and located in two different hemispheres, divergent in social system, development stage, history and culture, and economic size, China and New Zealand are bold enough to transcend the distance and differences and strive to be first to ever expand friendly engagement and cooperation in a creative way. 

Over the past five decades, through joint efforts and based on mutual respect, seeking commonality while shelving differences, and win-win cooperation, the bilateral relationship has come a long way with many firsts created, greatly benefiting the two countries, particularly the two peoples, and making positive contribution to regional peace, stability, and prosperity.    

Last year, the two countries jointly celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, taking stock of the remarkable achievements and summing up the lessons we have learnt. In the opening year of the next 50 years of the China-New Zealand relations, people from all walks of life in both countries look forward to the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Hipkins to China with anticipation. 

Such high-level exchanges always provide significant guidance to the development of the bilateral relations. The leaders of both countries at each stage have attached great importance to the bilateral relations and worked together to keep the relations on the right track. Last year, President Xi Jinping met with the then Prime Minister Ardern in Bangkok and reached important consensus on further promoting the development of the bilateral relations . 

Hopefully, with the visit of Prime Minister Hipkins, the leaders of the two countries will reach new consensus, set the tone and point the way for the development of the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in both depth and width, and deepen mutual understanding and trust between the two countries. 

Since the beginning of this year, the bilateral exchanges have picked up momentum. New Zealand’s Minister of Foreign Affairs has visited China, China’s Minister of Science and Technology has visited New Zealand. The two ministers of defence have met during the Shangri-La Dialogue. And officials at various levels have engaged with each other through dialogues and communication in areas such as trade and economic cooperation, foreign affairs, climate change, defence, science and technology, education, and sub-national cooperation, continuously strengthening the communication and cooperation bonds between both countries.

Practical cooperation is a powerful driver for the China-New Zealand relations. The economic complementarity between the two countries has our interests deeply interwoven. The bilateral trade registered over NZ$40 billion in 2022, rocketing from the NZ$7 million when the diplomatic relations were established. Last year, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement and the protocol of the upgraded FTA between China and New Zealand came into force, injecting new vitality to the trade and economic cooperation between the two countries.  

The practical cooperation has brought about high-quality products and services, thus creating tremendous income, revenue, and job opportunities. Currently, the two sides are exploring the opportunities of cooperation in such areas as climate change, clean energy, E-Vehicle, resilient infrastructure, new technology, and health care. The visit of Prime Minister Hipkins will surely help to create new growth points for the bilateral practical cooperation and boost high-quality development of both countries. 

People-to-people friendship serves as a solid foundation for the bilateral relations. The friendship between the two peoples dates far back in history. The bilateral relations originates in and serve the two peoples. The first Chinese set their foot on Aotearoa soil as early as more than 180 years ago. Since then, generations of Chinese immigrants, with their diligence, perseverance, and wisdom, have made their share of contributions to New Zealand’s economic and social development, and thus becoming an integral part of the country’s multi-ethnic and multicultural landscape. Numerous Chinese visitors and students coming to New Zealand for tour or study have served as yet another important bridge for friendship, understanding and cooperation. 

The Chinese people will always remember Rewi Alley and Kathleen Hall among the numerous Kiwis who have made remarkable contribution to the revolution and construction of China. The Chinese people cherish the friendship with Kiwi people. The visit of Prime Minister Hipkins will surely inspire increased interest in New Zealand and enhance the appeal of the National Branding of New Zealand . 

Cooperation on regional and international issues enriches the partnership between our two countries, where we share extensive commonalities. Both countries support global peace and development, dedicated to building a world that is peaceful, stable, open, inclusive and prosperous. 

Both countries are firm supporters of multilateralism and open regionalism. Both embrace free trade and an open world economy. Both endorse an international system with the United Nations as its core and an international order based on the international law. Both are committed to tackling global challenges like climate change through international cooperation. Both do their parts to help the Pacific partners in their pursuit for sustainable development. The enhancement of China-New Zealand cooperation will surely bring more certainty to the deeply evolving international landscape. 

The development of China-New Zealand relations in the past five decades has demonstrated clearly that the common interests between the two countries far outweigh our differences and that dialogue and cooperation, and mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation remain the mainstream of the bilateral relations. Differences in national conditions give rise to natural differences in opinion from time to time. However, we shall never let the differences define the bilateral relations or impinge on the overall trend of mutually beneficial cooperation.  

I believe, if the two countries could continue to strive to be first, respect the core and critical interests of each other, refrain from interfering with each other’s internal affairs, and conduct dialogues and consultations on the basis of equality and mutual respect, we can manage and transcend differences in a constructive manner, retain the nature of mutually-beneficial and win-win cooperation, and sustain the momentum of sound and stable development of the bilateral relations. 

He rā ki tua. Still better times are coming.I have full confidence that the leaders of two countries will craft a new blueprint for the development of the China-New Zealand Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and explore new ways of cooperation to better benefit the two countries and the world. 

I wish the visit a great success and the China-New Zealand friendship and cooperation a bright future.

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