Remarks by Consul-General Chen Shijie at the Reception Celebrating the 74th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China 29 September 2023, Auckland
2023-09-29 18:26

Mr. Wayne Brown, Mayor of Auckland,

Distinguished guests,

Dear compatriots,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.Good evening!

It is my great pleasure to have you all here this evening in the celebration of the 74thAnniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and the traditional Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. The two joyful occasions, one for China’s national day and the other for Chinese family re-union, come at almost the same time and bring Chinese people double blessings. At this auspicious moment, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude and greetings to all friends and Chinese compatriots, who are caring for China's development and promoting friendship between China and New Zealand.

As you know, the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China came to a successful conclusion in October last year, comprehensively summarizing the great transformation and historic achievements China has made over the past decade in the new era, and outlining a grand blueprint to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, and to realize the Second Centenary Goal of building China into a great modern socialist country in all respects. China will remain committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind and its fundamental national policy of opening up to the outside world, creating new opportunities for the world with its own development.

Since the beginning of this year, China has forged ahead on its economic rebound and high-quality development. In the first half of the year, China's economy sustained a 5.5% growth in GDP, much higher than 3% last year; domestic demand contributed 110.8% to its economic growth, an increase of 59.4 percentage points over the same period in 2022; China's trade in goods exceeded 20 trillion RMB with a year-on-year growth of 2.1%; the combined export of electric vehicles, lithium batteries, and solar panels increased by 61.6%, making China the world's largest automotive producer, consumer, and exporter.

From January to July, investment in high-tech industries rose by 11.5%, and investment in scientific research and technology services industries was up by 23.1%. Moreover, China’s installed capacity for renewable energy exceeded the coal-fired power generating capacity, while the installed capacity for wind power and solar power ranked top globally for the 13th and 8th consecutive year respectively. China is still regarded as a highly favoured investment destination for global investors, where more than 30,000 new foreign-invested companies were established from January to August, 33% more than the same period of last year.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping. In October, China will hold the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and a number of innovative measures and initiatives will be introduced. In November, the 6th China International Import Expo will be held in Shanghai, which is a good opportunity to engage all parties in the pursuit of global sustainable development. In addition, China has adopted effective measures that are tailored to attract foreign investment, including the shortening of the Negative List for Foreign Investment, easing or removal of relevant restrictions, and expanding opening up in services areas.

IMF and the World Bank project that China’s economy will grow by 5.2% and 5.6% respectively, contributing over a third of the global growth. Against the backdrop of weak recovery and high inflation of the global economy as well as a complex geo-political environment, China’s economy grew significantly faster than other major economies. Apparently, the fundamentals sustaining China’s long-term growth remain unchanged; the strong resilience, tremendous potential and great vitality of China’s economy remain unchanged; and the positive factors underpinning high-quality development remain unchanged.

China, as an important engine of global economy, dedicates itself to serving as a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order with a broader vision and a more open-minded and positive posture, which writes new chapter of the progress of human political civilization and provides a strong driving force for world economic recovery.

Ladies and gentlemen,

China has always viewed the relations with New Zealand from a strategic and long-term perspective. Attaining several “firsts” in history, China-New Zealand relationship is leading the ones between China and other western countries, bringing tangible benefits to our two peoples.

On the political front, the frequent high-level exchanges have deepened and consolidated the bilateral relations. In particular, Prime Minister Hipkins made a successful and fruitful visit to China in June this year, injecting new impetus into the mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries in various fields.

On the economic front, China has been New Zealand's largest trading partner, import source and export destination for many years in a row. Our bilateral trade has increased from 7 million New Zealand dollars in the early 1970s to over 40 billion dollars last year.

People-to-people exchanges have been boosted in such areas as culture, education, tourism and local governments. The art troupes from Guangzhou, Auckland's sister city, and Gansu province are both visiting Auckland. This evening, they will bring us wonderful performances at the reception.

New Zealand’s general election is around the corner. We have reasons to believe that the incoming government of New Zealand will carry on with the friendly policy towards China, paving the way for a brighter prospect of our bilateral relations.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Overseas Chinese have put down roots in New Zealand for a century and a half. Over the years, they have firmly supported China’s economic and social development and national reunification, actively integrated into the society of New Zealand, vigorously promoted the fine traditional Chinese culture, and played an indispensable role in fostering the relations between our two countries and the exchanges between our two peoples.

During the traditional festivals of the two countries, the Chinese communities always join other ethnic groups in various celebration activities. We can enjoy Chinese songs under the Matariki stars, and Maori dancing under the Mid-Autumn moon.

As a popular Chinese poem goes, it is on the festival occasions that we miss our home most. There is also a Māori proverb which means there is no place like home. But I believe once we are close as one family, we can always feel at home.

This year marks the beginning of the second 50 years of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand, as well as the 10th anniversary of the establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries. I am sure that as long as we pursue mutual respect and mutual benefit, the friendship and cooperation between our two countries will score new achievements in the years to come.

Now let me conclude by proposing a toast with you all,

May China and New Zealand be prosperous and strong!

Long live the friendship between China and New Zealand!

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