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Remarks by Ambassador WU Xi at Gala Dinner Hosted by the New Zealand China Council

Rt Hon Sir Don McKinnon,

Rt Hon Dame Jenny Shipley,

Mr. Bill Cashmore, Deputy Mayor of Auckland,

Mr. Stephen Jacobi,

Members of Parliament,

Dear friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is my great honor to join you this evening. Let me first thank Sir Don and the New Zealand China Council for hosting this wonderful Gala Dinner. I also want to thank Mr. Jacobi for his kind introduction and his team for their hard-work to make the evening so enjoyable. Thank Fiona for her wonder performance. I am truly heartened by the warm reception accorded to me. It’s not only my personal honour, it is a vivid reflection of friendship between the Chinese and New Zealand people.

Over the years, the New Zealand China Council has made tremendous contribution to China-New Zealand relations. Here, I would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to Sir Don and Mr. Jacobi for their vision and leadership and to all the Council members for their dedication to this very important relationship. Last May, the Council issued the report entitled Belt and Road Initiative: A Strategic Pathway, which is well received by the governments, the public and private sectors in both countries. I believe this report will help shape the Action Plan for the implementation of the Memorandum of Arrangement on the Belt and Road cooperation, which was signed last year between China and New Zealand.

Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, marked progress has been made in China-New Zealand relations since the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. We enjoy an impressive and proud list of ‘firsts’ in China’s relations with developed countries. China has now become New Zealand’s largest trading partner, second largest source of tourists and the largest source of international students. Our cooperation has been deepening and broadening, bringing tangible benefits for our two peoples.

While we celebrate our achievements, we should also be sober-minded that the world is undergoing profound and complex changes. We need to deal with the economic and social divide in many countries, address the international divide between the existing powers and the emerging countries, and to handle the divide between 21st century realities and outdated policies. How do we respond to these profound challenges we face? What kind of vision should we have for our two countries and for our relationship? The choices we make today will not only influence our own development, but also have an impact on the long-term development of our relations and even the evolution of the world order.

China has made its own choice. The 19th Party Congress held last October drew a new blueprint for China’s development for the decades to come. China will continue to follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. China’s development has entered a new era with the main task of addressing imbalances and inadequacies of our development, in order to meet growing needs of our people for a better life. China will continue to maintain a strong economic growth, guided by the new vision with greater emphasis on innovation, coordination, green growth, openness and inclusiveness.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. Tremendous achievements have been made over the past 40 years. As put in his keynote speech at the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia last April, President Xi Jinping reaffirmed that China would adhere to its fundamental national policy of opening-up, and pursue development with its door wide open. President Xi also announced a series of major measures for further opening up.

A stronger and more confident China will be able to make even greater contribution to the international community. China will stay as determined as ever to build world peace, contribute to global prosperity and uphold the international order. China will continue to follow the path of peaceful development, implement a strategy of opening for mutual benefit and win-win outcome. What China seeks is global partnership, instead of global dominance. Our aim is to build a new model of international relations and a community of shared future for mankind.

With a view of solving problems in the global and regional economy, President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013. It is a new platform of open and inclusive cooperation and a public good that China provides to the world. Adhering to the principle of seeking shared benefits through extensive consultation and joint contribution, we hope to achieve connectivity in policy, infrastructure, trade, finance, and people-to-people friendship, thus contributing to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

It needs courage to address the fundamental domestic problem of disparity between the better-offs and the worse-offs in some countries. It needs more vision to give up old and zero-sum game mentality and to adopt win-win cooperation in international relations. But what I see is the neglect and lack of will to act on the part of some policymakers for an equitable sharing of the newly created wealth from the benefit of globalization. In stead, they try to turn their own problem into an international one by making other countries scapegoats. That’s why we see the resurgence of unilateralism, protectionism and even trade war, in clear defiance of WTO rules. This will not only disrupt the global economy, but also undermine the multilateral trade system we rely on. In an increasingly interdependent world, any attempt to seek benefits for itself at the expense of other countries will not succeed. To succeed in today’s world, the best choice is to take a win-win approach.

Both China and New Zealand are beneficiaries of the current international system and stanch supporters for the current international order and the multilateral trading system. We should work together and give firm support to the WTO in playing a greater role in global economic governance, and building a global economic governance system based on equality, equity and win-win cooperation. We should also keep a clear vision of what we can do together for an even stronger relationship. The Chinese stands ready to work with the New Zealand to further consolidate the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, better serve the interests of our two countries and peoples, and safeguard the international regime and multilateral trading system for security, common development and prosperity of the world as a whole. In this regard, I believe the Council will continue to play a more active role and make more contributions to the advancement of China-New Zealand relations.

Thank you!

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