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Mr. Li Jianping’s Speech on the Welcoming Banquet for New Zealand-China Friendship Society Delegation and Signing of MOU of Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange Fund

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Sept. 21st, 2012

Honorable Vice President Mr. David Bromwich,
Colleagues from Ministry of Foreign Affairs and New Zealand Embassy in China,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

This year is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relationship between China and New Zealand, the 60th anniversary of the establishment of New Zealand - China Friendship Society, the 115th anniversary of Rewi Alley’s birthday, the 85th anniversary of his coming to China and the 25th anniversary of his passing away. It is the time with significance for New Zealand-China Friendship Society Delegation to visit the former residence where the old friend of Chinese people and respectful internationalist fighter Rewi Alley had lived and worked hard and commemorate him.

Today, we have signed the “Memorandum of Understanding between China Oceania Friendship Association, New Zealand China Friendship Society Incorporated and China Friendship Foundation for Peace & Development for the Establishment of Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange Fund”, which represents that new contents have been added to our cooperation.

New Zealand had set up a model for western countries in developing ties with China, including first ending bilateral negotiation with China on her entry to World Trade Organization, first acknowledging China’s full market economy status and first completing the bilateral free trade agreement negotiation. Under the joint efforts of our two governments and peoples, the bilateral relationship between China and New Zealand will become a good example for seeking common ground while reserving differences, coexisting peacefully and benefiting mutually among state-to-state relationships.

Friends may notice that the establishment of New Zealand-China Friendship Society is 20 years earlier than that of diplomatic relations. During the 20 years, people of all circles had devoted themselves on developing friendship between our two countries and created a favorable diplomatic environment among people for formal diplomatic relationship.

Quite a few New Zealanders coming forth during that time deserve our praise. The most outstanding one is Rewi Alley, friendship bridge builder and envoy of friendship between Chinese people and people in the world at large. What he had done were not limited to devoting to Chinese revolution and construction but also extended to promoting friendship between China and New Zealand. His hometown Christchurch and second hometown Gansu Province of China had become the first pair of sister city. Bailie School and Gong-ho (Industrial Cooperatives) which he created had always been a focus to the New Zealand government and people. The support to both had been greatly regarded as a crucial action in enhancing friendship between China and New Zealand peoples.

Today, to inherit and develop Rewi Alley’s spirit as well as his career, we get together and sign "A Memorandum of Understanding between China Oceania Friendship Association, New Zealand China Friendship Society Incorporated and China Friendship Foundation for Peace & Development for the Establishment of Rewi Alley Friendship and Exchange Fund". This is truly something we should celebrate.
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

As the Mid Autumn Day is approaching, while the China-New Zealand relationship is developing steadily, we believe we will enjoy a even brighter future under our joint efforts.

Thank you!

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