Hon. Minister Jenny Salesa,
Hon. National Party Leader Simon Bridges,
Hon. Mayor Phil Golf,
Hon. Deputy Minister Michael Wood,
Respected Members of Parliament, Raymond Huo, Dr. Yang Jian, Deborah Russell, Melissa Lee. Dan Bidios, Dr. Parmjeet Parmar,
My Dear Chinese Compatriots, Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is my real pleasure to join so many distinguished friends and guests here today in celebration of the upcoming Chinese lunar New Year, the year of Pig, which symbolizes well developed, prosperous and bumper harvest. Today is a very auspicious day, January 19, 2019, and in Chinese and Chinese culture, the number “9” stands for everlasting success. So double “9” heralds more prosperity and fortune. All these make today a wonderful start for celebrating this promising New Year. At this occasion of double happiness, I’d like to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Auckland, my best wishes to all the friends present here tonight, and through you to all my dear overseas Chinese compatriots and friends in the consulate district and NZ for a very happy, prosperous and healthy lunar new year!
Over the past year, our friends from all walks of life, including our Chinese compatriots in NZ have made great contribution to strengthening friendship and cooperation between China and NZ. I wish to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to you for your valuable support and relentless efforts in this regard, and my sincere appreciation to the WTV, Auckland Council and many others for the hard work and wonderful job you have done in making this annual event possible.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Over the past year, great achievements were made by China and hardworking Chinese people. Despite all kinds of challenges and risks, China approached the full year with steadfast and resolute determination, pushed its economy towards high quality development, and kept the major economic indicator within a reasonable range. The fundamentals of our economy maintained to be sound and stable with strong resilience and potential. We intensified our efforts to improve people’s well-being and living standard. Another 10 million people were lifted out of poverty.
Over the past year, China celebrated its 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up, launched a serious of major measures for further reforms and opening up, held the first international import expo in Shanghai and began construction of a pilot free trade zone in Hainan province. As the world’s No 2 economy, the largest manufacturer, the largest trader of goods and the second largest consumer in commodity, China continued to be the major contributor to the world economic growth. China’s development has benefited not only China herself but the world as a whole including NZ.
As NZ’s largest trading partner, largest source of international students, and second largest source of overseas tourists, China plays a role of top three major drivers to NZ’s economic growth, which shows our two economies are highly complementary with each other. The nature of our cooperation is mutually beneficial, in such areas of aviation connectivity, trade, tourism, cultural exchanges, education, etc. The direct flights back and forth between China’s major cities and Auckland have reached more than 160 per week at peak time. Each flight generates around 130 to 160 million NZ dollars to NZ. Last year, my colleagues and I paid many visits to cities in our consular district and hosted a number of events and business forums. We were very much impressed by the huge potential of cooperation and opportunities between our two countries and encouraged by the strong desire of the local governments and people from all walks of life to forge stronger partnership with China.
The bilateral relationship between China and NZ has come to a critical stage of development. We sincerely hope the two countries will make joint efforts to grasp the opportunities and overcome difficulties to strengthen pragmatic cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative so as to accomplish more tangible win-win results for our two peoples. 2019 is the Year of Tourism between China and New Zealand, we hope that mutual understanding between both sides will be further strengthened and deepened through people-to-people exchanges.
The year of 2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. This is a crucial year for meeting the first centenary goal, namely building up a moderately prosperous society in all respects. China will firmly take its own path and focus on ensuring its people to have better lives. No matter how the international landscape changes, China will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy of peaceful development and win-win cooperation. China will never stop reform and will open wider to the outside world. We will continue to hold high the banner of free trade, multilateralism and rules based international order, push forward the construction of Belt and Road Initiative, and promote the building of a community with a shared future and new type of international relationship based on mutual respect, fairness and justice as well as mutual benefit.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Just this month, President Xi Jinping delivered a significant speech at a gathering to commemorate the 40th anniversary of issuing the Message to Compatriots in Taiwan, setting the course for the future development of cross-strait relationship and laying out a clear blueprint for peaceful reunification. National reunification and the great rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation serve the fundamental interests of all Chinese people including overseas compatriots. Recently the Chinese communities in my consulate district hosted several forums to express their support to President Xi’s speech, which we appreciate a lot. We hope that all Chinese compatriots continue to actively support the historical task of the reunification of China, while making greater contribution to the political, economic, social and multicultural development of New Zealand, and serving as bridges for building the 21st Maritime Silk Road between China and NZ.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let me conclude by quoting a Maori saying, “With red and black the work will be complete”. Red and black happen to be the national colors of China and New Zealand respectively. Let’s make joint efforts in working together to push forward the friendship between our two countries and two peoples last forever.
Once again, I wish you a beautiful night and happy Chinese New Year!