Remarks by Consul General Xu Erwen at 2018 WTV Chinese New Year Festival Market Day
(Vodafone Event Center, Auckland, 10 February 2018)
2018/02/14

Hon. Minister Jenny Salesa,

Hon. Mayor Phil Golf,

Respected Members of Parliament,

My Dear Chinese Compatriots, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good Evening!

I am pleased to be here today to participate in this great event in celebration of the Chinese Lunar New Year of Dog, together with so many distinguished guests. The year of dog in Chinese means a year of Wongwong and stands for prosperity and good luck. So at this joyful and festive moment, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Auckland, our warmest greetings and best wishes to all the friends present here today, for a very happy and prosperous Wongwong New Year!

It is a real delight to join so many friends on this special occasion where we will together look back at the past year and look forward to the new one.

Over the past year, our friends from all walks of life including our Chinese compatriots in New Zealand have contributed enormously to China's growing friendship and cooperation with NZ, I wish to salute and thank all of you for your good efforts.

The year 2017 was significant for China.

It witnessed the 19th National Congress of the CPC, which marked a new era in socialism with Chinese characteristics. At this Congress, a general goal was set for China's diplomacy - to foster a new type of international relations and to build a community with a shared future for mankind; a two-stage blueprint for a modern China for the next 3 decades was drawn up; and China's commitment to working with other countries for a bright future was fully demonstrated.

It witnessed the successful convening of the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. It yielded over 270 outcomes and facilitated a number of major cooperation projects, creating a strong momentum of extensive participation from around the world. Today, the Belt and Road has become the biggest platform for international cooperation and a most welcomed international public good.

It witnessed China’s economic growth at a rate of 6.9%, contributing more than 30% to the world economic growth, exceeding the combined total of US, Japan and Europe. China’s economy is upgrading with its consumption contributing 67% to its GDP. The latest figure indicates that China is on tract to become the largest market of the world. At same time, the reform measures brought more substantial benefits to the people.10 million people were lifted out of poverty. 13 million new jobs were created.

It witnessed China’s exploring more avenues to advance our mutually beneficial relations with other countries. New progress has been made in our coordination and cooperation with other countries like the United States and Russia and with Europe. Our mutual trust and cooperation strengthened with our neighbors, and more substance has been added to our partnerships with other developing countries. China's preference for dialogue and partnership over confrontation and alliance has created greater resonance, which opens up exciting possibilities for this new approach to state-to-state relations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The year 2017 was a significant year for China and New Zealand relations. We held numerous events celebrating the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-New Zealand diplomatic relations and commemorating the 90th anniversary of the arrival in China of Mr. Rewi Alley both in China and New Zealand. Cooperations between our two countries 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, we witnessed a boom of cooperation in various fields. The direct flights between China’s major cities and Auckland back and forth have exceeded more than 150 per week, and the number of Chinese tourists and students came to New Zealand has surpassed 400,000 and 50,000 respectively in 2017, which were really hard to imagine just a few years back.

Look for the coming New Year, I am even more confident.

2018 marks 40th anniversary of China’s Reform and Opening-up policy and the first year following the 19th National Congress of CPC. China’s door will open wider to the outside world. We will carry on the economic structural reform, putting more emphasis on quality and efficient of development, we will stay actively engaged in reforming and developing the global governance system to make economic globalization more open, inclusive and balanced so that its benefits can be shared by all. We will work on the Belt and Road Initiative by implementing deliverables of the first Forum and starting preparations for the second one. We will host a number of events like the annual conference of the Bo’ao Forum for Asia, the Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, and the China International Import Expo to add momentum to the trend of openness and development.

In 2018, We look forward to working 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, and make full use of the high economic complementarities of our two countries. Along with a fast-growing middle-income and people-oriented concept of development in China, there will be more and more opportunities for China and New Zealand to further cooperate in areas of tourism, aviation interconnection, energy conservation, environmental protection, food safety, information technology, infrastructure, and cultural exchanges. I strongly believe a good relationship between our two countries is not only in the interest of both countries and peoples, but also conducive to the Asia pacific and the whole world.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

At this special occasion, I would also like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to the government of New Zealand and Auckland, and all the friends present here, for your strong support to the development of the relations between our two countries and two peoples, and for your support to the development of the Chinese communities in New Zealand. And thank you so much, WTV for your contribution to making this fantastic event possible.

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

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