Remarks by Consul General Xu Erwen at the 2019 Women's Day Celebration
(Bruce Mason Centre, Auckland, 1 March 2019)

Hon. Minister Jenny Salesa,

Hon. Mayor Phil Golf,

Members of Parliament Mr. Raymond Huo, Dr. Yang Jian, Mr. Simeon Brown and Mr. David Seymour,

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 coming International Women's Day. Women stand for beauty, independence and progress. First of all, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese Consulate General in Auckland, our warmest greetings and best wishes to our fellow women friends present here and all over New Zealand. My special thanks go to Christine Che and the Chinese Women Association of New Zealand for hosting such a wonderful event. On this special occasion, I would also like to express my heartfelt thanks to the government of New Zealand and Auckland council and all the stake-holders, for your strong support to the betterment of the Chinese women community.

As a famous Chinese saying goes, women hold up half of the sky. Promoting gender equality and all-around development of women has always been a basic policy of the Chinese government. The fast economic development and social progress in China has enabled Chinese women to play an increasingly important part in the political and economic life of our society, as well as the private life of our families. At the same time, China has conducted close international cooperation with other countries including NZ for empowerment and poverty alleviation among women as one of the key areas of full-scaled social advancement.

I wish to pay my personal regard to my fellow Chinese women in New Zealand as you have not only taken the major responsibility of caring for families, but also excelled in career performance and contribution to local communities. Many of you have overcome the language barrier and gone through cultural shock, getting used to a once unfamiliar environment, earning respect and praise from local Kiwis thanks to your wisdom, diligence and unselfishness. Besides, you have been making active contribution to the cultural diversity of NZ and promotion of mutual understanding and friendship between China and New Zealand. Your efforts and achievement in this vein deserve appreciation and gratitude from the bottom of our hearts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

People-to-people exchange is one of the key connections concerning the Belt and Road Initiative. Today’s performance, with the theme of Love in Golden Autumn, draws on a harmonious fusion of Chinese and New Zealand culture, which is in line with the spirit of the BRI and will facilitate the connectivity of trade, infrastructure and financing so as to accomplish a win-win cooperation between our two countries.

New Zealand is renowned for being the first country in the world to grant women right to vote as early as 1893. In terms of developing relations with China, New Zealand has also broken records by setting many “first”. Thanks to our concerted efforts, China has become NZ's largest trading partner, largest source of international students, and second largest source of overseas tourists, covering three major drivers to NZ economic growth. I sincerely hope China and New Zealand will grasp the opportunities and make more joint efforts to strengthen pragmatic cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative on the basis of mutual respect, mutual trust and win-win results.

It is also my conviction that our fellow Chinese and New Zealand women will take full advantage of the historic opportunities rendered by the Belt and Road Initiative to make greater contribution to the bilateral exchanges and cooperation while pushing ahead with the cause of self-improvement.

Once again, my very best wishes to all the guests for good health, forever young and more happiness.

Thank you!

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