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China, New Zealand Forge Closer Partnership, Cooperation
   2014-11-21 18:26:58    Xinhua      Web Editor: Yangyang

Chinese President Xi Jinping left here for Fiji on Friday, wrapping up a fruitful visit to New Zealand that charted the course for the future development of bilateral ties.

It was Xi's first state visit to New Zealand after he took office as president last year and the first by a Chinese head of state to the country in 11 years.


One of the major results of Xi's three-day New Zealand trip was the upgrading of bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

The China-New Zealand relationship stands at the forefront of China's relations with developed countries and sets a good example for interaction between countries of different political systems, history, culture and stages of development, Xi told New Zealand Governor-General Jerry Mateparae during their meeting.

The two countries have built high-level political mutual trust and carried out mutually beneficial cooperation in a wide range of areas on the basis of mutual understanding, inclusiveness and equality, said Xi in his talks with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in Wellington.

He suggested the two sides maintain high-level contact and form a multi-layer, multi-channel pattern of bilateral exchanges and cooperation.

China and New Zealand, he said, should also strengthen exchanges on defense and law enforcement, and promote cooperation in anti-corruption and the tracking of corrupt Chinese officials and their illicit assets.

On a regional scale, Xi noted China and New Zealand are both members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and negotiating parties of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, urging the two sides to enhance coordination and cooperation within these mechanisms and advance economic integration in the Asia-Pacific.

Specifically, Xi said, China and New Zealand can join hands in helping forge a regional free trade arrangement that benefits all parties and establishing the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Describing the South Pacific as a natural extension of China's 21st Century Maritime Silk Road initiative, he said Beijing welcomes New Zealand's participation in the program, which will generate greater progress in bilateral economic and trade collaboration.


After their talks, Xi and Key witnessed the signing of a number of bilateral cooperation documents in such areas as climate change, education, Antarctica, finance, tourism and food safety.

They also attended an agricultural technology exhibition in Auckland.

China became the largest goods trading partner of New Zealand for the first time in 2013, and that the goal of doubling two-way trade to 20 billion New Zealand dollars (15.69 billion U.S. dollars) by 2015 was achieved ahead of schedule.

Calling for an early realization of the new goal of increasing bilateral trade to 30 billion New Zealand dollars (about 23.5 billion U.S. dollars) by 2020, Xi said the two sides should further consolidate cooperation in traditional fields like agriculture and animal husbandry as well as other areas such as financial service, information technology, energy conservation, environmental protection and bio-medicine.

These are the key areas for China's development in the future, while New Zealand enjoys competitiveness in them, he noted.

"China, with a population over 1.3 billion, has a huge market, while New Zealand's high-quality products like dairy, wool, mutton, beef and seafood are well-received in China," he said.

Xi also called upon the New Zealand side to guarantee the safety of its exports to China and protect the rights and interests of Chinese consumers.

For his part, Key spoke highly of the achievements in bilateral cooperation since the pair signed a free trade agreement six years ago, saying that his country wishes to export more agricultural and dairy products to China and welcomes Chinese investment.


During the visit, the two countries also pledged to further expand cooperation in areas such as tourism, culture, sports, broadcasting and television. The New Zealand side vowed to simplify visa application process for Chinese citizens.

In particular, an agreement on jointly producing TV programs has been reached -- the first of its kind between China and a foreign government.

Calling on China and New Zealand to enhance people-to-people exchanges so as to promote mutual understanding and friendship, Xi announced that China will set up a Chinese culture center in New Zealand.

"China is willing to enhance cooperation with New Zealand on issues related to Antarctica and Pacific island nations," he added.

When attending a welcome lunch reception in Auckland, the Chinese president envisioned that China-New Zealand relations will embrace an even brighter future with joint efforts made by the two peoples.

The two countries, though being geographically far apart, have enjoyed long-standing friendship and interaction which date back to the middle of the 19th century, Xi noted.

"The Chinese people are willing to work with the New Zealanders to 'ride through waves' to embrace a brighter future," he added.




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