Xi Jinping Holds Talks with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand Jointly Deciding to Upgrade the China-New Zealand Relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

On November 20 local time, President Xi Jinping held talks with Prime Minister John Key of New Zealand in Wellington and the two sides decided to upgrade the China-New Zealand relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership, to jointly build a community of common interests between China and New Zealand and to constantly push bilateral cooperation to new highs.

Xi Jinping pointed out that China and New Zealand have shown mutual understanding, mutual inclusiveness and equal treatment, built high-level political mutual trust and carried out mutually beneficial cooperation in broad areas. Both peoples support the development of the China-New Zealand relations. The two countries have decided to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership, charting the general direction for the development of the China-New Zealand relations.

Xi Jinping stressed that the two countries should maintain high-level exchanges and build a multi-level and multi-channel communication and cooperation pattern. The China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (FTA) is China's first FTA reached with a developed country. Both sides should take positive measures to constantly promote bilateral economic and trade relations to a new level, and strive to achieve at an early date the new target of 30 billion NZD in bilateral trade volume by 2020. Both sides should continue to consolidate and upgrade cooperation in agriculture and animal husbandry and other traditional areas. China is a very large market with a population of more than 1.3 billion. New Zealand's dairy products, wool, beef and mutton, marine products and other quality products are very popular in China. I hope New Zealand will earnestly guarantee the quality and safety of products exported to China so as to protect Chinese consumers' rights and interests. Financial services, information technology, energy conservation and environmental protection, biomedicine and other industries are development priority in China and New Zealand is competitive in these industries, so the two sides can conduct more cooperation.

Xi Jinping stressed that lately China and the other parties together pushed the 22th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders' Meeting to start the process of the Free Trade Area for Asia-Pacific (FTAAP). Both China and New Zealand are APEC members and also negotiating parties of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. Therefore, the two sides can strengthen coordination and cooperation in these mechanisms and promote the process of Asia-Pacific economic integration through creating regional free trade arrangements beneficial to all parties and well building the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The South Pacific region is also a natural extension of the 21st- Century Maritime Silk Road initiative put forward by China and we welcome New Zealand to participate, so as to promote the China-New Zealand economic and trade cooperation for greater development.

Xi Jinping stressed that the two countries should strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges and enhance mutual understanding and friendship and the Chinese side will set up a Chinese Culture Center in New Zealand. The Television Co-production Agreement signed between China and New Zealand is the first television co-production agreement signed by the Chinese government with a foreign government. The two sides should strengthen exchanges in defense and law enforcement and conduct cooperation in anti-corruption, pursuit evasion and recovery of illicit assets and other aspects. The Chinese side is ready to strengthen cooperation with New Zealand in the Antarctic and the Pacific Island countries affairs.

John Key expressed that since the establishment of the diplomatic relationship 42 years ago, New Zealand and China have witnessed substantial progress in bilateral relations, continuously deepened and expanded cooperation and become good partners to each other. New Zealand is committed to working with China to well build the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership. New Zealand will continue to support the Chinese side on issues regarding China's core interests and major concerns. Since the New Zealand-China FTA was signed 6 years ago, bilateral cooperation has yielded fruitful results. Under the new situation, both countries should improve the level of bilateral trade and investment. New Zealand hopes to expand export of its agricultural and dairy products to China and welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest in New Zealand. New Zealand attaches importance to the role of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and will actively participate in the construction of the bank. New Zealand will streamline visa procedure and welcomes more Chinese citizens to travel and study in the country. The positive efforts made by the Chinese side in energy conservation and emission reduction have set a good example to the international community in terms of cooperating to tackle climate change. New Zealand hopes to strengthen cooperation with the Chinese side. He congratulates the Chinese side on successfully hosting the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. New Zealand is willing to work with China to push forward regional integration process and promote peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

After the talks, both sides issued the Joint Statement Between China and New Zealand on Establishing Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

Xi Jinping and John Key jointly witnessed the signing of multiple documents on bilateral cooperation, involving climate change, television, education, the Antarctic, finance, tourism, food safety and other fields.

Leaders of both countries also jointly met the press. Xi Jinping stressed that the China-New Zealand relations are of groundbreaking and exemplary significance. China and New Zealand have established a comprehensive strategic partnership, drawing a grand blueprint for the bilateral relations. China and New Zealand have signed a series of cooperation agreements, fully demonstrating the breadth and depth of bilateral practical cooperation. The Chinese people say "If brothers are of the same mind, their sharpness can cut through metal." Maori proverb says "If your basket and mine are put together, everyone has better live." Let us work together to write a new chapter in the development of the China-New Zealand relations and better benefit the two peoples.

John Key expressed that New Zealand admires the extraordinary achievements made by China and expressed his belief that China's development will not only benefit the Chinese people, but also bring huge opportunities to various countries including New Zealand. They are willing to work with the Chinese side to jointly promote the development of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership.

Wang Huning, Li Zhanshu, Yang Jiechi and others attended the above events.

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