On April 16, 2012, local time, CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin met wit Speaker of the House of Representatives of New Zealand Alexander Lockwood Smith in Wellington.
Jia first conveyed the cordial greetings of Chairman Wu Bangguo. Jia said that Mr. Speaker has been long committed to the friendship with China. When he served as the Minister for International Trade, Mr. Smith played a positive role in the bilateral negotiations on China's accession to the WTO and making New Zealand the first developed country to conclude bilateral agreements with China. When he served as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Smith has done a tremendous amount of work to promote the exchanges between the legislative bodies of the two countries, which the Chinese side sincerely appreciates.
Jia said that since the establishment of diplomatic relations 40 years ago, the bilateral relations have maintained a good momentum of development. Economic and trade cooperation is the priority and highlight of China-New Zealand relationship. The two sides have actively engaged in the exchanges in science, education, culture, tourism and other related areas. China has always attached great importance to developing the relationship with New Zealand and has regarded New Zealand as a good friend and partner of China in the Asia-Pacific region to engage in mutually-beneficial cooperation. China is willing to work together with New Zealand to take the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries as an opportunity to continue to maintain exchanges at all levels and deepen pragmatic cooperation in trade, agriculture, clean energy, disaster prevention and mitigation, and other areas. In line with the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, China is willing to work together with New Zealand to push for greater development of China-New Zealand relationship from a new starting point so that the comprehensive cooperative relationship between China and New Zealand could become a model of peaceful co-existence between countries with different political systems, different cultural backgrounds, and different stages of development on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win results.
Jia said that strengthening international exchanges and enhancing mutual understanding and friendship with the people around the world is an important task of the CPPCC National Committee. CPPCC is willing to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the parliament of New Zealand and share experiences in managing state affairs so as to make a positive contribution to the respective national economic and social development and the healthy and stable development of the comprehensive cooperative relationship between China and New Zealand.
Mr. Smith thanked Chairman Wu Bangguo for his greetings. He said the development of New Zealand-China relationship is of great significance to New Zealand. In recent years, bilateral relations have witnessed considerable progress, especially since the free trade agreement between New Zealand and China was signed, the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries have become increasingly closer, which has made a positive contribution to helping New Zealand overcome the financial crisis and maintain economic growth. He said that he was honored to be able to play a positive role in the negotiations on China's accession to the WTO. He said that supporting the development of New Zealand-China relationship was an important part of his political career and the parliament of New Zealand is willing to continue to play a constructive role in developing New Zealand-China relationship.
The two sides also exchanged views on issues of common concern.
Vice Chairman and Secretary General of the CPPCC National Committee Qian Yunlu and Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Xu Jianguo were also present at the meeting.