On April 15, 2012, Chairman Jia Qinglin of the CPPCC National Committee met with Mayor of the City of Christchurch Bob Parker in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Jia said that Christchurch is the hometown of Mr. Rewi Alley, an old friend of the Chinese people, who has made a positive contribution to enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the people of China and New Zealand. He is a well-known figure in China. In February last year, a devastating earthquake took place in Christchurch. It was the worst one in New Zealand in the past almost 80 years, which caused heavy casualties, for which the Chinese people are sympathetic. Currently, the reconstruction is moving forward steadily in Christchurch. He expressed the belief that with joint efforts of Mr. Mayor and the various communities, the people of Christchurch will be able to rebuild their homes as soon as possible. There is a broad space for cooperation between China and New Zealand in disaster prevention and mitigation, reconstruction, and other related fields. He hoped that the relevant departments, enterprises and local governments could strengthen exchanges and cooperation in this regard.
Jia said that China and New Zealand are both important countries in the Asia-Pacific region. The two economies are highly complementary. The two countries have a long history of friendly exchanges and enjoy a solid political, economic and public-opinion foundation for mutually-beneficial cooperation. "My visit coincides with the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand. We would like to join hands with New Zealand to take the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries as an opportunity and take full advantage of favorable conditions created by the free trade agreements between China and New Zealand and common elements in the economic development strategies of the two countries to uplift the comprehensive cooperative relations between China and New Zealand to a higher level at the new starting point," said Jia.
Parker said that the City of Christchurch has a long historical tie with China and is the hometown of Mr. Rewi Alley, the son of the people of both New Zealand and China. In recent years, New Zealand-China relationship has witnessed great development. New Zealand is honored for and satisfied with such development. New Zealand is very proud to become the first western country to sign the free trade agreements with China. Parker said, "I am fortunate to witness the signing ceremony of the Agreement at the Great Hall of the People, which I'll never forget in my life. We are willing to make joint efforts with China to further strengthen cooperation on the basis of the Agreement and uplift the bilateral relations to a new level."
On the morning when he arrived at the airport of Christchurch, Jia Qinglin, accompanied by Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee, went to visit the worse-hit downtown area. He stood before the site of Canterbury TV Building in silent tribute to the Chinese students who died in the earthquake. He had cordial talks with the local Chinese affected by the disaster and expressed deep condolences and sympathies to the compatriots who lost their lives in the earthquake and their relatives on behalf of the Chinese government and people.
Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the CPPCC National Committee Qian Yunlu and Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Xu Jianguo also attended the above activities.