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Ambassador Wu Xi Holds Symphony Concert in the Cook Islands in Celebrations of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China

On October 25th, China’s Ambassador to New Zealand, the Cook Islands and Niue Wu Xi held a reception and symphony concert in Avarua, the capital of the Cook Islands, to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Ambassador Wu Xi and the Cook Islands’ Acting Prime Minister and Minster of Infrastructure & Planning Robert Tapaitau delivered speeches at the reception. Over 200 people attended the event, including the Minister of Agriculture Rose Toki-Brown; Akaiti Puna, the wife of Prime Minister Henry Puna; Members of Parliament; representatives from the local community, the overseas Chinese community and Chinese institutions in the Cook Islands.

Ambassador Wu noted that over the past seven decades, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people have made great achievements that amaze the world through concerted efforts and arduous struggle. China has transformed from a poor and backward agricultural country, into the world's second largest economy, the world's largest industrial manufacturer, and the world's largest trader of goods. Chinese people's living standards have been improved dramatically. China's development over the past 70 years has not only benefited the 1.3 billion Chinese people, but also made significant contributions to world peace and prosperity. As an supporter of world peace, a contributor to global development and a guardian of the global order, China will adhere to the path of peaceful development, pursue a win-win strategy of opening up, contribute Chinese wisdom to global development, and work with the rest of the world toward a community with a shared future for mankind.

Ambassador Wu noted that China and the Cook Islands, although separated by vast oceans and different in historical backgrounds and cultural traditions, have maintained good relations. Over the past 22 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, we have cooperated across all fields on the basis of sincerity, mutual respect, mutual help and mutual learning, and maintained good communication and coordination in international and regional affairs. China highly appreciates the Cook Islands’ adherence to the one-China policy. Last November in Papua New Guinea, President Xi Jinping met with leaders from the Pacific countries which have established diplomatic ties with China. President Xi also held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Henry Puna. The two sides agreed to upgrade the China-Niue relationship to a comprehensive strategic partnership of mutual respect for common development. This has pointed out the direction for the future development of bilateral relations. During the third China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum held recently, Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua met with Deputy Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown. The two sides exchanged in-depth views on bilateral relations. China is ready to work with the Cook Islands to actively implement the important consensus reached by the two leaders to further advance the relationship between the two countries.

Ambassador Wu noted that China has followed the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith to develop relations with Pacific island countries, including the Cook Islands. China attaches great importance to the special concerns and legitimate demands of Pacific island countries in combating climate change. China would strengthen cooperation with the Cook Islands to jointly tackle these challenges. Cooperation between the two countries under the Belt and Road Initiative has broad prospects. In November last year, China and the Cook Islands signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, which has injected new impetus into mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

In November this year, the second China International Import Expo will kick off in Shanghai. China welcomes the Cook Islands to be present at the Import Expo to promote trade and enhance connectivity between the two countries. The China-Pacific Island Tourism Year 2019 was launched this year. The China National Symphony Orchestra has made a special trip to perform in the Cook Islands. This is a vivid portrayal of closer people-to people ties between the two countries. China would like to work with the Cook Islands to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and jointly promote the building of a community with shared future for mankind.

In his speech, Mr Tapaitau extended his warm congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, noting that China's achievements over the past 70 years have truly impressed the world. He also spoke highly of China’s important contributions to promoting world peace, stability and sustainable development. He thanked China for its generous help in the economic transformation and social development of the Cook Islands. He said that since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the two countries have always adhered to the principle of mutual respect and sincerity. This is an important foundation for the smooth development of bilateral relations. He believes that under the guidance of such trustworthy partnership, the relationship between the two countries will continue to prosper. The Cook Islands will continue to firmly adhere to the one-China policy. Next year, the Cook Islands is set to become a high-income country. The Cook Islands would like to strengthen communication and coordination with China and expand cooperation in various fields including agriculture, education, and tourism to bring more tangible benefits to the two peoples.

The atmosphere of the reception was warm and convivial. The China National Symphony Orchestra played the national anthems of China and the Cook Islands. The participating guests expressed their warm congratulations on the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, speaking highly of the tremendous achievements made by China over the past 70 years. They believed that the friendly relations between the two countries will continue to develop to bring more benefits to the two peoples.

After the reception, the China National Symphony Orchestra presented a wonderful symphony performance to the guests and the local people. This was the first time in 20 years that the Cook Islands had hosted a symphony orchestra. The musicians played traditional Chinese music and classical Western music, wining rounds of applause from the audience. The performance was warmly received because of its message of friendship, and the technical skill of the musicians. The guests believed that cultural exchange activities such as this concert will surely enhance friendship between the two peoples.

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