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Wednesday, November 19, 2014, 18:07

Xi calls for stronger ties with NZ

By Xinhua
   Xi calls for stronger ties with NZ

Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) shakes hands with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (L) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on March 19, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / Feng Li)

WELLINGTON - Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for joint efforts with New Zealand to work for "an even better future" of bilateral relations.

In a signed article published on the New Zealand Herald, Xi said he is looking forward to his upcoming visit to the country, during which he will discuss with the government and people from various sectors about ways to advance bilateral ties.

The Chinese president lauded the friendship between the two peoples and "historic strides forward" in their bilateral relations.

"The two countries have set many records in China's relations with developed countries," Xi said.

"For example, China is now the largest trading partner and source of international students for New Zealand. In particular, New Zealand is the first developed country to have signed and implemented a free trade agreement with China," Xi said.

"From more quality and inexpensive goods and services to more jobs, from more convenient people-to-people exchanges to better study opportunities, more and more visible and tangible benefits are made available to our two countries and peoples as a result of our friendly cooperation," Xi said.

Stressing mutual respect and equality, complementarity and mutual benefit, and a pioneering spirit and the readiness to seek common ground while shelving differences, Xi said the China-New Zealand relations have gone beyond the bilateral scope and set a fine example for the pursuit of successful state-to-state relations.

As both nations are striving for reform and development, more converging interests are seen between China and New Zealand, said Xi.

"Aligning our development strategies effectively, we will have the rare opportunities and broad prospects for even stronger cooperation in all fields," he said.


To better achieve development and prosperity in both countries, the Chinese president outlined a three-point proposal.

Firstly, the two countries should forge a new pattern of converging interests. They need to advance practical cooperation in various fields and build a strong community of common interests.

"We should consolidate the basis of cooperation in agriculture, husbandry and other traditional sectors, and at the same time create new bright spots of cooperation," Xi said.

With China's strengths in infrastructure and manufacturing and New Zealand's advantages in agricultural science and technology, IT and clean energy, the two countries have much to offer to each other and may draw upon each other's strong points, Xi said.

The two sides should be committed to win-win co-operation, keep the markets open and create a more friendly and level playing field for their companies to access each other's market, make investment and grow businesses, Xi said.

Secondly, the two countries should open new horizons for cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

"Governments of the two countries should create conditions to facilitate more people-to-people exchanges," said Xi.

"New Zealand is a popular filming location for more and more Chinese TV and film producers. The natural beauty of its landscape and the sincerity and kindness of its people have left the Chinese audience with very fond impressions," Xi said.

Expressing his confidence that more Chinese tourists will go to New Zealand, the Chinese president said the two countries are having talks on a television co-production agreement, which, once signed, will inject new vitality into their cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

Thirdly, China and New Zealand should raise coordination in multilateral arenas to a new level, said Xi.

"Both China and New Zealand are participants of and contributors to the current international system, and as such, we should enhance cooperation," he said.

The Chinese president congratulated New Zealand on its election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for 2015-2016, saying it demonstrates the importance the international community places on the country's international standing and influence.

"China stands ready to increase cooperation with New Zealand in the United Nations, APEC, the Pacific Islands Forum and other regional and international mechanisms to advance our common interests and work with the international community to uphold regional and global peace and stability," he said.

Citing a Maori adage, "your livelihood is in your own hands," Xi urged both sides to grasp the opportunity to set out a new journey of bilateral cooperation.

"China is ready to move forward hand in hand with New Zealand as good partners for win-win cooperation and good friends sticking together through thick and thin, and work together for an even better future of the China-New Zealand relations," said the president.

Xi is due to arrive in New Zealand on Wednesday evening for a state visit, the second leg of his ongoing three-nation trip, which will also take him to Fiji.

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