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Remarks by Consul General Xu Erwen at the Deck Reception

(From Chinese Consulate General in Auckland)

2017/06/21

(17 June 2017, Princes Wharf, Auckland)

Hon. Rear Admiral Zhao Jicheng, Commander of ETG 568,
Commodore David Gibbs, Deputy Chief of New Zealand Navy,
Members of New Zealand Parliament, Dr. Yang Jian, Jami-Lee Ross, Raymond Huo,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and gentlemen, Good evening!

It is my great pleasure and honor to be here together with my colleagues in the consulate and the embassy to attend today's deck reception. Please allow me on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Auckland to extend a warmest welcome and our highest tribute to all my country fellow commanders, officers and soldiers on board. Also, I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the friends present here tonight and through you to all the friends from New Zealand navy, government, media, Chinese companies, overseas Chinese community, Chinese student group and other local walks of life for your gracious support and warm welcome extended to our commanders, officers and soldiers.

China is committed to peaceful development and friendly relations with all countries of the world. Chinese Navy is a significant force to maintain peace and stability in the region and beyond. Last year, the PLA Navy Yancheng Ship and Zhenghe Ship successfully visited Auckland, with peace, friendship and cooperation as the common theme of their visits. Today, the PLA Navy fleet is coming also as an envoy of friendship, with the noble mission of promoting mutual trust and cooperation between China and New Zealand. It is also a demonstration of the fast growing communication and relationship between our two armies and our two nations.

New Zealand is one of China's most important cooperative partners, a natural extension of the 21st Maritime Silk Road. The bilateral relations have been hailed as a model of relations between China and western countries. As the 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our two countries, this year witnesses the fast development of China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership. In March, Premier Li Keqiang's successful visit to New Zealand generated a strong push to the bilateral relationship. The two sides signed around 20 agreements related to trade, culture, education, science, customs, tourism, and international development, adding more "firsts" to the history of China-New Zealand relations. Last month, China successfully hosted the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, with more than 270 cooperation outcomes covering connectivity of policy, transportation, trade, finance and people. One belt and one road is the road of peace, prosperity, openness, innovation and civilization. New Zealand government shows its support of the forum by sending a high-level delegation to attend the forum. We look forward to working together with New Zealand friends to further our cooperation in all areas, especially in jointly building One Belt One Road initiative, so as to bring more tangible benefits to the two peoples and two countries.

In the field of defense affairs, the friendly exchanges and cooperation between our two armies are in a very good shape. We have seen many high level visits, constructive dialogues and close cooperation in training, peace keeping and joint exercises. This visit by the PLA Navy fleet is one of the highlights. I believe via a series of friendly exchanges and events, this visit will further strengthen the friendship, mutual understanding, communication and cooperation between the two navies, bring more contribution to regional peace and stability, and become a new milestone in the history of military-to-military contacts between our two countries.

I wish the PLA Navy fleet's visit a complete success!

And I wish everyone a very happy evening!

Thank you!

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