Remarks by Consul General Xu Erwen at "Cultures of China, Festival of Spring" Chinese New Year Gala
(ASB Theatre, Aotea Center, Auckland, 22 February 2018)

My Dear Chinese Compatriots, Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Good Evening!

I am very delighted to be here tonight to be part of this wonderful event in celebration of the Chinese New Year. First of all, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Consulate General of China in Auckland, our warmest greetings and best wishes to the audience present here tonight, and through you to all the friends including our Chinese compatriots, students, business people and media for a very happy and prosperous New Year! Tonight, we are going to enjoy the performance given by the artists both from China and New Zealand. At this special occasion, I would like to extend my warmest welcome to the Chinese delegation and my appreciation to overseas Chinese Affairs office of the State Council, China Overseas Exchange Association and Chinese communities in New Zealand, for organizing this beautiful cultural gala tonight and for traveling thousands miles away from our motherland just after the spring festival to share the festival joy with us.

The Chinese Spring Festival is the most important and most traditional festival in China which symbolizes reunion, harmony, happiness and hope. These days, people in Auckland and other parts of New Zealand have been immersed into the sea of festival joy. A series of Chinese cultural events have attracted nationwide participation of more than one hundred thousand people and a wide range of media coverage. The Spring Festival has become an inalienable part of the multi-culture in New Zealand and greatly enriched the cultural life of people of New Zealand.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

National relationship is based on the affection of the people. Cultural exchanges serve as important bridges in promotion of mutual understanding and friendship between our two countries and two peoples. I am very pleased to see that China-New Zealand co-operations have been growing very fast at all areas. New Zealand became the very first country in the whole world to have two cultural centers, one in Wellington and the other in Auckland. China has maintained to be New Zealand’s largest trading partner, largest source of international students and the second largest source of overseas tourists. In our consulate district of Auckland, we have witnessed upsurge in our cooperation and communication. One Belt One Road construction has achieved many early harvest, particularly, in area of direct flights, financing, cultural and educational exchanges, primary industry, etc.

The above-mentioned achievement could not be accomplished without the great support and efforts of Chinese compatriots and without the support and help of our New Zealand friends. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to overseas Chinese for their contribution in promotion of the bilateral cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between China and New Zealand, and for inheriting and carrying forward the traditional Chinese fine culture as well as for advocating harmony and unity among the overseas Chinese community.

I believe that the Chinese artists will not only bring us joys of the Spring Festival, but also the goodwill and friendship of Chinese people to those of New Zealand. Once again, thank you for your attendance.

Wish today’s performance a complete success! Wish you have a wonderful evening!Thank you very much!

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