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Remarks by Consul General Xu Erwen At Chinese New Year Dinner

(From Chinese Consulate General in Auckland)

2018/01/30

(Ellerslie Racecourse, Auckland, 27 January 2018)

The Rt. Hon. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters,
Respected Members of Parliament,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good Evening!

I am delighted and honored to join so many distinguished guests today at this wonderful event in celebration of the upcoming Lunar New Year of Dog. The year of Dog means a year of "旺旺" in Chinese which stands for prosperity and good luck. So at this joyful and auspicious moment, I would like, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Auckland, to express my warmest greetings and best wishes to all the guests present here today, and through you, to all the friends in New Zealand, for a very happy and prosperous New Year!

The year 2017 was significant for China. We held the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, embarking on a new journey towards the all-round building of a modern socialist country. This milestone congress designed a blueprint for China's development for the next three decades. Our economy grew at a rate of 6.9%, contributing more than 30% to the world economic growth. Our reform measures brought more substantial benefits to the people. More than ten million people were lifted out of poverty last year. A series of breakthroughs and innovation were made in quantum science, space technology, aircraft carrier and bullet trains, etc. Meantime, the Belt and Road initiative, which has attracted more than 100 countries support and achieved hundred deliverables so far, has become a very important platform for China to have win-win co-operations with other countries in the world.

The year 2017 was a special year for China-New Zealand relations. Numerous activities were held by both countries in celebration of 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. The leaders of our two countries have kept close contacts and communications and they are committed to develop the comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries. With the joint efforts of both sides, our bilateral relations have been growing very fast. At present, China maintains to be New Zealand's largest trading partner in goods, largest source of international students, and second largest source of overseas tourists. In our consular district, particularly in Auckland, the down to earth co-operation with China has been upgraded to a historic level, witnessing a massive upsurge in the cooperation of aviation connectivity, trade, tourism, cultural exchanges, education and other fields. The direct flights back and forth between China's major cities and Auckland has exceeded more than 150 per week, and the number of Chinese visitors came here to visit New Zealand has surpassed 400,000 last year, which were really hard to imagine just a few years back.

The year 2017 was a shining year for our Chinese compatriots, students and business people in New Zealand. They made great contribution to New Zealand political, economic and social development ,the diversity of culture as well as to the development of the bilateral relations between china and New Zealand. They warmly welcomed China's Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to New Zealand last March, and were actively involved in many other friendly exchanges between the two peoples and two countries. At this special occasion, I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks, for their contribution and achievement!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

2018 marks the beginning of China putting into action the guiding principles of the 19th CPC National Congress, and also the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening-up policy. This policy is the only way for modern China to make progress in its development as well as to realize the Chinese dream. We will not close our door, but only open wider to the outside world. We are ready to work together with all the countries in the world, New Zealand included, to build a community of shared future for mankind featuring enduring peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness and inclusiveness as well as clean and beautiful world. And to establish a new type of international relationship based on mutual respect, just and fair as well as win-win cooperation. China will actively push forward the implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative. China will continue to be the anchor of the world peace, the booster of multilateralism and free trade.

In 2018, we are faced with great opportunities in developing our relationship between our two countries. We cherish New Zealand's friendship and co-operative policy and will continue to work hard together with our New Zealand friends to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries based on mutual respect, equality and win-win cooperation. China will continue to integrate the One Belt One Road Initiative with New Zealand's development. To deepen our cooperation, connectivity and dialogue. Our two economies are highly complimentary with each other. China is carrying out the new development concept featuring innovation, coordination, openness, greenness and shared development which is very much in line with that of New Zealand. We have a lot to learn from our Kiwi friends in this endeavor. Along with the increase of China's middle class and the continued implementation of people oriented policy, it is believed that both sides will benefit from the fast growing cooperation in the fields such as tourism, primary industry, aviation interconnection, energy conservation, environmental protection, food safety, information technology, infrastructure, and so on.

Our consulate will continue to provide efficient and high-quality consular services, further improve the well-being of our Chinese compatriots in the consular districts, and protect the lawful interest for Chinese nationals in New Zealand. Just as stated by President Xi Jinping in his report at the 19th CPC National Congress, we will maintain extensive contacts with overseas Chinese nationals, returned Chinese and their relatives and unite them so that they can join our endeavors to revitalize the Chinese nation.

At last, my very best wishes again to you all for a very happy and prosperous New Year! Good Luck!

Thank you!

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