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Remarks by Consul General Xu Erwen at the Opening of the Next Summit

(From Chinese Consulate General in Auckland)

2017/12/03

Cordis Hotel, Auckland, 27 November 2017

Hon Li Zhaoxing, Honorary Chairman of the People's Institute of Foreign Affairs,
Hon Essam Sharaf, former Prime Minister of Egypt,
His Majesty Mauri King Tuhete and Madame Consort,
Hon Paul Goldsmith, New Zealand Former Minister for Science and Innovation,
Mr. Peter Goodfellow, New Zealand National Party President,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very delighted and honored to join so many distinguished guests today at this wonderful event. First of all, please allow me on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Auckland to express our warmest welcome to all the distinguished guests and friends present here today. And our warmest congratulation to the opening of the Next Summit, which makes another "first" in the history of New Zealand and the whole South Pacific region in developing co-operations with China. At this auspicious moment, I would like to express my deep appreciation to the Oceania Silk Road Network (OSRN) for organizing this important event and providing such a beautiful platform for discussion and cooperation here in Auckland.

Ladies and gentlemen, we gather here to build friendship and strengthen co-operations. New Zealand is a great nation built on free trade, openness and innovation, and has been very active in engaging with the rest of the world. Auckland, as the commercial, financial, cultural and educational center of New Zealand, and an important transportation hub in the South Pacific region, is just the right place to hold such a summit. It is also just the right time to hold this conference in New Zealand because this year is a significant year for China New Zealand relations. It marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-New Zealand diplomatic relations and the 90th anniversary of the arrival in China of Mr. Rewi Alley, the great Kiwi friend of the Chinese people. Over the past four decades, our bilateral relations have enjoyed stable and healthy development. Especially after President Xi Jinping's successful state visit to New Zealand by the end of 2014, China-New Zealand relationship has upgraded to the comprehensive strategic partnership and maintained in a very good momentum of development with deepened political mutual trust and enhanced co-operations in all areas. Now, China is New Zealand's largest trading partner, largest source of foreign students, and second largest source of overseas tourists. The good momentum of the fast growing relationship between China and New Zealand has been extended to other Oceania countries as well.

Ladies and gentlemen, we gather here to consult the Belt and Road construction. Belt and Road is based on extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared gains. It means to tap the economic comparative advantages of our partners along the routes to achieve win-win results. It is about a road of connectivity of policy, trade, financing, infrastructure and people to people. It is about encouraging the free and convenient flow of all elements of production, developing multidimensional cooperation platforms, and achieving mutual gains and shared development. This initiative has gained big attraction and won world-wide support. Close to 80 countries and international organizations have signed cooperation agreements with China. In May this year, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held in Beijing, achieved 270 deliverables. New Zealand is the natural extension of 21st maritime silk road. New Zealand was the very first western country to sign Belt and Road cooperation agreement with China. As a pioneer, many early harvest has been yielded in our construction of Belt and Road, particularly in Auckland. Over the past year, air routes have been growing very fast. There are more than 150 non-stop flights flying back and forth between major cities of China and Auckland, which not only greatly facilitate the people to people exchange but also bring a lot of opportunities of trade and investment. China and Oceania countries are oceans apart, and air routes and maritime routes play an vitally important role for us to connect with each other. The potential for us to co-operate within the framework of Belt and Road is huge.

Ladies and gentlemen, we gather here to explore the new opportunities for future. Looking into the future, we are faced with tremendous opportunities. The opportunities come from both sides. For China, the prospect of its development is bright and encouraging. As you all know, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China laid out a very clear blueprint and program of action for turning China into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and beautiful by the middle of this century. This milestone congress is solemnly declaring to the world that the CPC is now leading Chinese people to embark on a new journey to deepen reform in all respects and sustainably release development vigor; a journey to advance with the times and innovate development pattern; a journey to go global further and develop an open economy of higher standards; a journey to get a people-centered approach towards a better life; a journey to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind featuring enduring peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness and inclusiveness as well as clean and beautiful world. These commitments are regarded as an important positive signal of China's economy and policy. China's development concept of innovation, co-ordination, openness, greenness and shared development is very much in line with that of New Zealand and other Oceania countries. Our two economies are highly complimentary with each other. The pioneering spirit and policy in developing good relationship with China will enable New Zealand to benefit more and more from China's future development . I am confident China's new era development will generate tremendous opportunities between China and New Zealand, and Oceania countries as well.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for participating in this timely forum.Once again, I wish the forum a great success! Thank you!

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