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Li Keqiang Holds Talks with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand

2019-04-01

On the morning of April 1, 2019, Premier Li Keqiang held talks with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand at the Great Hall of the People.

Li Keqiang once again extended his sincere condolences to Jacinda Ardern over the recent serious shooting incidents in New Zealand, which caused heavy casualties. Jacinda Ardern expressed her gratitude.

Li Keqiang expressed that China-New Zealand relations have maintained a stable development momentum. With the spirit of mutual respect and equal treatment, the two sides have been constantly strengthening political mutual trust, deepening practical cooperation and expanding people-to-people and cultural exchanges to maximize the common interests and promote the constant progress of China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership. This is not only in the fundamental interests of the two peoples but also conducive to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.

Li Keqiang pointed out that China-New Zealand cooperation is always standing at the forefront of cooperation between China and Western countries, and the two countries now face new opportunities. China stands ready to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative with development strategies of the New Zealand side, broaden minds, tap into the potential, and promote the development of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, so as to make the cake of cooperation bigger. The two countries should create a fair, just, transparent, convenient and non-discriminatory business environment for enterprises from both sides to invest in each other's country, accelerate negotiations on upgrading the bilateral free trade agreement and lift bilateral economic and trade cooperation to a higher level. The two sides should also deepen cooperation in agriculture and animal husbandry, finance, taxation and infrastructure construction, and expand tourism cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges.

Li Keqiang emphasized that the current international situation is undergoing profound and complex changes. Both China and New Zealand are responsible countries with a tradition of independent diplomacy in the Asia-Pacific region. China is willing to work with the New Zealand side to strengthen communication and coordination within the multilateral mechanisms, jointly support rules-based multilateralism and the multilateral trading regime, cope with global issues including climate change and promote regional and world peace and development.

Jacinda Ardern expressed that the New Zealand side highly values New Zealand-China relations. As one of the first Western countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China and sign a bilateral free trade agreement with the Chinese side, New Zealand firmly adheres to the one-China policy. The New Zealand side welcomes investment from Chinese enterprises, and will create a sound business environment for enterprises without discrimination against any enterprise from any country. With a tradition of independent diplomacy, the New Zealand side will make decisions on major issues independently in line with its own interests. The New Zealand side stands ready to work with the Chinese side to speed up the work and advance negotiations on upgrading the free trade agreement, strengthen cooperation on issues including climate change and reform of the multilateral trading regime and jointly safeguard the international order and the rules-based multilateral trading regime.

Both sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern.

After the talks, Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern witnessed the signing of cooperation documents on taxation, agriculture, finance and scientific research, and issued a statement between leaders of China and New Zealand on climate change.

Prior to the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcome ceremony for Jacinda Ardern at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and Director of the National Development and Reform Commission He Lifeng attended relevant events.

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