At the invitation of the New Zealand government, Jia Qinglin, chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), arrived in Christchurch on the morning of April 15, local time, kicking off his four-day official good-will visit to New Zealand.
Jia delivered a written speech at the airport. He said this year is the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand. With the joint efforts of the two governments and peoples from all walks of life, China-New Zealand relationship has made considerable progress over the past four decades. Both sides have scored significant outcome in the exchanges and cooperation on economy, trade, science and technology, culture, education, tourism and other fields and coordinated closely in international and regional affairs. The development of China-New Zealand relations has brought tangible benefits to both peoples and has also made positive contributions to peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.
Jia said China has always attached great importance to the relations with New Zealand and deems it as a good partner and good friend with mutual respect, mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation in this region. China would like to work with New Zealand to take the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as an opportunity to enhance mutual political trust, expand pragmatic cooperation, deepen friendly feelings, and push the comprehensive cooperative relations for greater development.
Vice-Chairman and Secretary-General of the National Committee of the CPPCC Qian Yunlu and other accompanying officials arrived by the same plane. Senior officials of New Zealand including Primary Industries Minister David Carter and Mayor of Christchurch Bob Parker as well as Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Xu Jianguo greeted Jia at the airport.