In the morning of April 17 local time, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Jia Qinglin delivered a keynote speech under the title Deepening All-round Cooperation for a Better Future on the 40th anniversary of China-New Zealand diplomatic ties in the Contemporary China Research Center of Victoria University of Wellington.
Jia said that New Zealand is a beautiful and rich country in the South Pacific and has been well known as the "land of long white cloud" and "the country of one hundred percent pureness". Today, New Zealand enjoys political stability, economic growth, social harmony and broad prospects of development.
He noted that the Chinese and New Zealand people have a long history of friendly exchanges although the two countries are far away from each other. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 40 years ago, China-New Zealand relations have gained significant progress with the joint efforts of the two governments and peoples. In particular, leaders of the two countries in 2006 reached the important consensus on building and developing the mutually beneficial and all-round cooperative relations in the 21st century, bringing the bilateral ties to a new development stage.
Jia pointed out that China and New Zealand are good partners with equality and mutual trust politically, mutually beneficial partners in the economic sector and good friends sharing knowledge in the cultural field. China and New Zealand have neither historical grudge nor conflict of fundamental interests. Our industrial structure and resource endowments are highly complementary. People of both countries always have friendly feelings for each other. He believes that the bilateral relations will continue to mature with the joint efforts of the two governments and peoples and become a role model of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between countries with different social systems, cultural backgrounds and development stages.
He noted that China has successfully found the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics suitable to its national conditions and achieved world-acclaimed development since the launch of reform and opening up more than 30 years ago. Meanwhile, we are fully aware that China remains a developing country, the problems of unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable economic growth are still serious and some structural contradictions are rising and need to be addressed gradually. China still has a long way to go and needs to make arduous efforts in the long run in order to realize modernization.
He reiterated that China will unswervingly maintain stable and relatively fast economic growth, unswervingly open wider to the outside world, unswervingly pursue the road of peaceful development and unswervingly promote worldwide prosperity.
He also raised four proposals on further deepening China-New Zealand all-round cooperative relations:
First, keep high-level exchanges and increase political mutual trust. We are willing to maintain close high-level contacts with New Zealand, make full use of the bilateral exchange and consultation mechanisms and keep timely communications on the development of bilateral ties and other major issues of common concern.
Second, give play to our complementary advantages and expand pragmatic cooperation. While deepening cooperation in the traditional areas of agriculture, forestry and husbandry, both countries should actively explore cooperation on food security, clean energy and infrastructure construction to inject vigor constantly into the bilateral ties. Qualified and experienced companies with relative advantages of the two countries should be encouraged and supported to make mutual investment. At the same time, joint efforts should be made to oppose protectionism and create a fair playfield for companies of both sides.
Third, deepen cultural exchanges and consolidate support from the people. The two sides should take the opportunity of celebrations on the 40th anniversary of bilateral ties to facilitate exchanges of academic institutions, media, social groups and youth and at local levels and step up cooperation on education, culture, science and technology, tourism and journalism.
Fourth, enhance communication and coordination and safeguard common interests. China and New Zealand should keep closer communications within major multilateral mechanisms and on major regional and international hotspot issues. We should cement collaboration to handle climate change, address international financial crisis, push forward regional development, fight cross-border crimes and prevent and mitigate disasters.
He said that New Zealand is an important country of South Pacific. China and New Zealand hold common interests in maintaining regional stability and development. China respects New Zealand's traditionally key influence in South Pacific, admires its constructive role of promoting regional economic and social progress and expects to continue to strengthen coordination and cooperation with it to jointly safeguard stability and development in South Pacific.
He pointed out that China and New Zealand should join hands, respond to the call of the times, cooperate sincerely, forge ahead together, inject new vigor into the traditional friendship and push for greater progress of the all-round cooperative relations.
After finishing the speech, Jia answered two questions raised by Acting Vice-Chancellor Quigley on behalf of the audiences and exchanged opinions briefly with the New Zealand students on site.
Chancellor of Victoria University Ian McKinnon, Justice Minister of New Zealand Judith Collins and Quigley made remarks respectively, saying that Jia's visit and speech on the 40th anniversary of bilateral ties show the importance China attaches to maintaining and developing the bilateral relations. Jia's keynote speech and answers to the questions enabled them to better understand China's development and foreign policy. New Zealand feels proud of the tremendous achievements of the bilateral relations and expects to work with China for greater development of bilateral ties in the future.
New Zealand National Party Congressman Yang Jian said that New Zealand always views China's development as an opportunity and on this basis develops relations with China. Jia in his speech reaffirmed China's stance on peaceful development and sharing development opportunities with the international community. The New Zealand government accepts such stance and welcomes China's growth.
Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the CPPCC National Committee Qian Yunlu, Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Xu Jianguo and around 150 Chinese and New Zealand delegates attended the event.