The Right Honorable Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters
Honorable Minister Jenny Salesa
Respected Ministers, Members of Parliament
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
Tēnā koutou katoa,
Ngā mihi o te tau hou, te tau o te Poaka!
It is my great pleasure to join you all on this beautiful summer day here at the Parliament Building to celebrate the Chinese New Year. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand, let me extend my warm New Year greetings to all the friends present here, and through you to the local Chinese community for a happy and prosperous year of the Pig!
The New Zealand Government has been holding this celebration at the Parliament Building for more than two decades. Since its debut in 1998, this annual event has served as an effective platform for building bridges of mutual understanding between the Chinese and New Zealand peoples. Let me take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the New Zealand Government, Minister Salesa and the Office of Ethnic Communities for their great efforts and thoughtful arrangment.
Since the establishment of diplomatic ties in 1972, great progress has been made in our bilateral relationship. We enjoy an impressive and proud list of 'firsts' in China's relations with developed countries. China has 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 both our peoples.
Over the past decade, profound changes have taken place in the world. What we see today is an international landscape filled with uncertainties and destabilizing factors. The shift in the balance of power accelerated, unilateralism and protectionism further developed, and the international system came under serious strain. However, peace and development remain the dominant theme of the time. We live in a world where interests of different countries are deeply intertwined, and the future of all countries are interconnected.
The evolution of the international situation underscore the need for closer China-New Zealand cooperation. While celebrating the achievements we have made in the past, it is also important for us to look ahead and work together for even greater success. We are now at an important point of building our relationship upon the past and forging ahead into the future.
No matter how the international situation evolves, what remains unchanged is the mutually beneficial nature of our cooperation. Our economies are highly complementary and our peoples bear friendly feelings toward each other. We share common responsibility for maintaining global and regional peace and prosperity. We have common interests in safeguarding the international order underpinned by multilateralism and free trade.
China remains committed to expanding our cooperation and strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership with New Zealand on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. We will continue to carry out reform, pursue supply-side structural reform, carry out targeted poverty alleviation, prevent and control pollution, and promote sustained and sound economic development. We will also continue to promote opening-up, advance international cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative, upgrade an open world economy, and work for a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation. China's development will provide even more opportunities for New Zealand and create broader space for our bilateral cooperation.
2019 is also a year of delivery for New Zealand. We are confident that the New Zealand government will carry on the vision and spirit of the pioneers in the history of our relations, seize the current opportunities, strengthen our pragmatic cooperation, properly handle the differences, so as to accomplish more tangible win-win outcomes for our two peoples. As a Mauri proverb goes, "mauri mahi, mauri ora" which means through work and cooperation, we prosper.
In the Chinese culture, pig symbolises affluence and good harvest. Let me wish all of you a happy and prosperous New Year and all the best for the Year of the Pig.
Feb 24, 2019