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Li Keqiang Arrives in Wellington, Starting His Official Visit to New Zealand

On the afternoon of March 26, 2017 local time, at the invitation of Prime Minister Bill English of New Zealand, Premier Li Keqiang arrived at Wellington International Airport by special plane, starting his official visit to New Zealand. Premier Li Keqiang’s wife, Mme. Cheng Hong arrived by the same plane.

Prime Minister Bill English of New Zealand and his wife, Mme. Mary English greeted them at the airport. Both couples exchanged greetings and talked warmly beside the ramp. H.E. Wang Lutong, Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand also greeted Premier Li Keqiang at the airport.

Li Keqiang expressed that I am very delighted to visit New Zealand on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the establishment of China-New Zealand diplomatic relations. China-New Zealand relations have scored substantial development, and spearheaded in the forefront of China's relations with developed countries for a long time. I expect to, through this visit, exchange in-depth views with New Zealand on bilateral relations and issues of common interests, elevate the level of cooperation in various fields, and enhance non-governmental friendship, so as to constantly elevate China-New Zealand relations into new highs.

Li Keqiang pointed out that at present, the world economic recovery is sluggish, and the trend of anti-globalization and protectionism is rising. China and New Zealand are both advocators and practitioners of free trade. Both countries took the lead in signing bilateral free trade agreement many years ago. Under the current situation, both sides should jointly send out a positive signal of opposing protectionism and promoting trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, which is not only in line with the common interests of both countries, but also conducive to the stability, development and prosperity of the region and the world.

During the visit, Li Keqiang and Bill English will hold many meetings, witness the signing of bilateral cooperation documents, and jointly meet the press. Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Bill English will jointly visit bilateral cooperation programs, meet with members of Council for Promotion of China-New Zealand Relations, and attend people-to-people and cultural exchanges as well as other activities in Auckland. Li Keqiang will also meet with Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy of New Zealand, Leader of the Labour Party Andrew Little and other political heavyweights.

Li Keqiang arrived in Wellington by special plane after concluding his successful official visit to Australia and attendance at the fifth round of China-Australia Annual Prime Ministerial Meeting. When he left Sydney, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop of Australia specially went to the airport to see him off, and highly appraised the complete success of Li Keqiang’s visit to Australia. H.E. Cheng Jingye, Chinese Ambassador to Australia and others also saw Li Keqiang off at the airport.

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