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Li Keqiang Attends and Addresses the Welcoming Banquet Held by Various Circles of New Zealand

On the noon of March 28, 2017 local time, Premier Li Keqiang, who was in New Zealand for an official visit, jointly attended the welcoming banquet held by various circles of New Zealand with Prime Minister Bill English of New Zealand and delivered a speech at the hotel where he stayed in Auckland. Over 500 people from political, business, academic and other circles of New Zealand attended the event.

Li Keqiang firstly greeted the guests present in Maori, and expressed that since the establishment of China-New Zealand diplomatic relations 45 years ago, bilateral relations have always enjoyed stable and healthy development, and at present, it is in the best period of history with unprecedented breadth and depth of cooperation in various fields. New Zealand always walks in the forefront of western developed countries' relations with China, and has created many "firsts", which manifests the pioneering, special and demonstrative China-New Zealand relations, and brings tangible benefits to the two peoples. China-New Zealand friendly practice proved that all countries can absolutely seek common grounds while reserving differences, increase common interests and dissolve differences, and become good friends and good partners as long as they stick to mutual respect and equal treatment and believe the development of the other side is an opportunity rather than a challenge.

Li Keqiang pointed out that the economic globalization, which is represented by trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, is an important impetus for the rapid development of world economy. The development processes of both China and New Zealand also show that only openness and inclusiveness can make a country flourish. China is willing to, together with New Zealand and other countries, jointly discuss and build a community of shared future for mankind, and improve global economic governance system, so as to make economic globalization benefit more countries and more people. We should jointly advance the construction of open and transparent regional free trade arrangements while safeguarding the authority and effectiveness of the multilateral trading system, which is also conducive to the peace, development and cooperation of the region and the world. China will continuously carry forward supply-side structural reform, firmly expand opening-up, and the gate of opening-up will only be wider and wider. China is open to all free trade arrangements that are conducive to promoting regional economic integration.

Li Keqiang stressed that during my visit to New Zealand this time, China and New Zealand reached important consensus and achieved important outcomes on developing China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership and coping with uncertainties in external environment with the stability of development and cooperation. Both sides will make joint efforts to deepen political mutual trust, well integrate economic development strategies, take negotiations on the upgrade of bilateral free trade agreement as an opportunity to push bilateral trade for expansion and upgrade, and continuously intensify people-to-people and cultural exchanges, so as to make China-New Zealand friendship take deeper root in people's hearts and pass on from generation to generation.

Bill English expressed that Premier Li Keqiang's visit this time vigorously promoted the development of New Zealand-China relations and practical cooperation in various fields. The booming development of China's economy is an important opportunity for New Zealand. The development of bilateral relations brings tangible benefits to the two peoples. New Zealand is willing to continuously well develop its special relations with China, and make unremitting efforts to the future of the two countries as well as the peace, stability, development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

There were art performances which fused Maori cultural characteristics of New Zealand and themed on the development of China-New Zealand relations amid this event. Local Chinese community organized dragon dance performance, and Maori arts troupe gave a live rendition of Chinese songs. Li Keqiang expressed that cultures of all countries and nations are flowers in the garden of world civilization, and human civilization is wonderful because of its diversity. Both China and New Zealand propel multicultural exchanges and fusion, and the two countries should firmly safeguard the diversity of civilizations, and promote mutual exchanges, mutual learning as well as mutual reference among civilizations.

People from various circles of New Zealand who attended the event warmly applauded for Premier Li Keqiang's speech.

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