On April 16, 2012, local time, CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin held talks with New Zealand's acting Prime Minister Bill English in Wellington.
Jia first conveyed the cordial greetings of Premier Wen Jiabao to Prime Minister John Key. Jia said that the relations between China and New Zealand have maintained a sound momentum of development in recent years. New Zealand has created many No. 1s in developing the relationship with China. The two countries have maintained frequent high-level exchanges and the mutual political trust has been increasing. The two countries have achieved productive results in the economic and trade cooperation, with the free trade agreement and the currency swap agreement being implemented smoothly. The bilateral trade volume reached $8,723 million dollars last year, more than doubled the figure in 2008 when the bilateral free trade agreement was just implemented. China has become the second largest trading partner, the second largest export market and the biggest source of import for New Zealand while New Zealand has been the largest exporter of dairy products to China. The two countries have carried out productive exchanges and cooperation in the field of science, education, culture and tourism. The local and non-governmental exchanges have become increasingly closer. China has become the largest source of international students to New Zealand and the fastest growing overseas tourist market for New Zealand. China and New Zealand have maintained close communication and coordination concerning international and regional affairs such as the international financial crisis, climate change, and promoting the cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
Jia said that this year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand. Over the past 40 years, the relationship between China and New Zealand has gradually grown into maturity, with the connotations of such relationship getting richer and richer. It has not only brought tangible benefits to the two peoples, but also made positive contributions to the peace, stability and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the world. China is satisfied with the achievements made in the past 40 years and confident in the prospects for future development. In retrospect, the constant development of China-New Zealand relationship can be attributed to the following factors: first, mutual respect, mutual understanding, equal treatment, and taking care of each other's core interests and major concerns; second, mutual benefits, win-win cooperation, and propelling bilateral relations through economic and trade cooperation; third, friendly exchanges between the people. Amity between people holds the key to sound relations between states. Mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples has played an important role in promoting the development of bilateral relations.
Jia said that China and New Zealand should take full advantage of the common elements in the respective economic development strategies and further deepen bilateral pragmatic cooperation. The two countries should continue to make good use of the free trade agreement and the bilateral currency swap agreement and strive to have an early realization of the goal of bringing the bilateral trade volume to 20 billion New Zealand dollars by 2015, which was set by the leaders of the two countries. The two countries should explore new areas of cooperation while deepening cooperation in traditional fields. The two sides should take the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as an opportunity to further expand cooperation in education, science & technology, culture, tourism, media and other fields. China supports New Zealand to play an active role in international and regional affairs and is ready to work with New Zealand to further strengthen communication and coordination in multilateral mechanisms so as to contribute to the peace and development of the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
Bill English said that Chairman Jia's visit is an important embodiment of the increasingly frequent high-level exchanges between China and New Zealand in recent years and is of great significance to increasing mutual understanding and cooperation between the two countries. New Zealand has benefited greatly from the development of bilateral relations. New Zealand is determined to push forward New Zealand-China cooperation from a strategic height. New Zealand is willing to take the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as an opportunity to strengthen cooperation with China in politics, trade, education, tourism, aviation and other areas. New Zealand welcomes more Chinese businesses and tourists to invest in and visit New Zealand so that New Zealand-China relations can constantly grow for the benefit of the two peoples.
After the talks, Jia Qinglin and Bill English jointly attended the signing ceremony of agreements concerning investment and clean energy cooperation between the two countries.
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.