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New Zealand China Council
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October 3, 2017

Chinese Consul General in Auckland, Madam Xu Erwen, kindly invited NZCC Executive Director to speak at the reception she hosted on the occasion of the 68th anniversary of the founding of the PRC.  Here is the text of Stephen’s remarks:




It is an honour for me to be with you this evening and to convey the warmest greetings and congratulations of the New Zealand China Council on the 68th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

I would like to thank Consul General Madam Xu Erwen and wish her and the staff and families of the Consulate-General all the best for this auspicious day.

This year New Zealand and China are celebrating 45 years of diplomatic relations.

The relationship is going from strength to strength, building on the firm foundation of mutual respect, shared interests and a history of co-operation.

It was 90 years ago that the famous New Zealander Rewi Alley arrived in China to lend a hand in the country’s development and education of its children.

As we have watched China emerge as a major global power, we have continued Rewi’s pioneering spirit as we have built a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership based on expanding trade, investment and people to people links.

From the earliest days in the history of our country we have welcomed Chinese immigrants, thereby increasing the vitality and diversity of our nation,

This evening I would like to thank Chinese New Zealanders for their contribution to our communities up and down this country of ours.

I would also like to congratulate Dr Jian Yang MP and Raymond Huo MP and the other MPs with us this evening on their re-election to Parliament.

The first New Zealand diplomats had to walk into China from Hong Kong because there were no air links.

Today our two countries are linked by daily flights from multiple cities transporting tourists, business people and migrants, bringing opportunities for cultural and economic exchange and expanding the ties between us.

While we have achieved much together, I believe there is more to come.

Continuing to deepen our cultural understanding, encouraging the learning of Chinese language in our schools, completing the upgrade of our groundbreaking FTA, finding new ways to co-operate within the framework of China’s ambitious Belt and Road initiative, inspiring the next generation of leaders in the relationship – these are all part of an exciting agenda between our two countries which the NZ China Council is keen to encourage and support.

For now, though, it gives me great pleasure to propose a toast to the health and prosperity of the great Chinese people and to the relationship between New Zealand and the People’s Republic of China.

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