Hon. Minister Jenny Salesa
Mr. Peter Goodfellow, President of National Perty
Hon. Phil Goff, Mayor of Auckland
Sir. Don Mckinnon, Chairman of New Zealand China Council
My colleagues from the Consular corps of Auckland
Ladies and gentlemen, Friends,
Tēnā koutou 大家晚上好 Good evening!
Welcome you all to join us in celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
The path determines destiny.
More than 70 years ago, China was faced with imperialist aggression, feudal autocracy, strife and conflict. Our people lived in misery and the country tried different ways and political systems to make things work. China went through constitutional monarchy, parliamentary system, multiparty system and even presidential system. All of these failed. Eventually, it took a restructure of old social foundation for China to find its feet and forge a clear path to prosperity and well-being for its people. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, Chinese people won the victory of the New Democratic Revolution, and established a new China in 1949. We added "people" to our country’s new name, and ensured that the people remain its own master.
Over the 70 years’ history of the People's Republic, the Communist Party of China has always pursued people-centered and inclusive development. As a result, Chinese nation achieved the best ever development in all times, with China’s overall national strength greatly enhanced, people’s living standards substantially improved, and social civilization significantly increased. China has gone from one of the poorest countries in the world to being the second largest economy, largest industrial producer, largest goods trader, and largest trading partner to nearly 130 countries.
As a saying goes, size shouldn’t matter. Earlier, I mentioned China’s path to well-being, not just prosperity. I’m proud to share that the life expectancy of a Chinese resident has increased from 35 years old to 77 years old in 2018. More than 1.3 billion Chinese people have medical insurance cover and 94.2% of the population have high school qualifications. In contrast, more than 80% of Chinese people were illiterate in the early days of new China. China has lifted 770 million people out of poverty in recent four decades. And we are on track to lift the remaining by 2020.
China’s 70 years’ achievement shows that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics ideally fits with China's actual conditions and the global trend at large. It is a feasible and effective path leading to success. In today’s venue, there are a lot of images demonstrating China’s tremendous achievement of the past 70 years.
The socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. Today’s CPC Central Committee, with president Xi Jinping at its core, has shouldered historic responsibilities. Since the 18th National Congress of the Party, it has led the Chinese people to overcome difficulties and has further advanced reform and opening up. The Chinese people will continue to work together with the rest of the world and stick to the path of peaceful development. Under the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, the Belt and Road Initiative cooperation will lead to development of new globalization. By doing so, we will be able to build a new type of international relations and promote a community with a shared future for mankind.
History teaches us that opening up brings prosperity while isolation leads to decline. Although faced with hegemony, power politics, protectionism and unilateralism, China will unswervingly stick to its own path of development. We will considerably widen domestic market access, improve business environment, strengthen intellectual property protection, extend equal treatment to all foreign investment, and proactively expand imports. This November China will host the second International Import Expo, providing more facilities for all foreign commodities to enter China’s market.
Ladies and gentlemen,
China and New Zealand have chosen different paths of development, and we have distinct social systems. Nevertheless, our two countries are reaching more consensus on seeking mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation. We have the same desire to move economic globalization towards an open, inclusive, balanced and win-win direction. We have the same goals to reduce tariffs, eliminate trade barriers, and promote economic ties. We also share responsibilities to deal with global challenges, especially climate change. The 2008 free trade agreement between China and New Zealand was the first FTA that China had ever signed as well as the first FTA that China signs with a developed country. Over the years, the two sides have created many "firsts". China has been New Zealand's largest trading partner, the largest source of international students and the second largest source of overseas tourists for many years. Since I took office in Auckland, I have made contacts with many local friends and deeply realized the high complementarity of our two economies. New Zealand products are becoming more popular to the booming wealthy Chinese customers. On August 25th in Auckland, a live-streaming celebrity coming from China, sold 30 million dollars New Zealand products to China in less than 5 hours in the platform of Alibaba. We can tell how great the potential is in terms of economic and trade cooperation, as well as people-to-people exchanges.
China will continue to work with New Zealand to further strengthen their comprehensive strategic partnership, jointly safeguard the international system and the multilateral trading system and promote world peace, security and prosperity. I believe that based on the principles of mutual trust and mutual benefit, China-New Zealand good relations will achieve new high with more tangible benefits to the two peoples.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The rapid development of China-New Zealand relations and bilateral cooperation would have been impossible without support from overseas Chinese. The Chinese community in New Zealand has made important contribution to economic development, social harmony and cultural diversity. They also serve as a bridge in promoting China-New Zealand friendly exchanges and cooperation. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Chinese community, and wish you stay in harmony, making greater contribution to the promotion of China-New Zealand friendship.
Now, I would like to propose:
For a better future of the People’s Republic of China,
For a better future of New Zealand,
For a better future of China-New Zealand relations,
For the health of all the friends present,
Kia ora rawa atu，Thank you.