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Remarks by HE Ambassador Wu Xi at the Opening Ceremony of Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality

Minister Kelvin Davis,

Minister David Parker,

Members of Parliament,

Mayor Justin Lester and other Mayors,

Mr Evan Williams,

Deputy Director General Qian Jikui,


Dear friends,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


E ngā mana

E ngā leo

E ngā lau langatila mā

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou kātoa

Good evening,everyone.


It is my great honour and pleasure to join you at Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand to launch the landmark exhibition Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality.

I want to take the opportunity to give my sincere thanks to those who have been working so hard and so long to make this exhibition possible. My appreciation goes to Shan'xi province, the Tepapa management, all the sponsors, including China Southern and other Chinese companies. In particular, I want to thank Minister Parker and Minister Davis for their valuable support and encouragement to the exhibition.

The terracotta army represents a treasure of ancient Chinese art and civilization, and is one of the eight wonders in the world. Terracotta warriors first came to New Zealand 32 year ago. Now once again they have come through thousands of years and crossed thousand of miles to reach the south pacific. The exhibition has offered an excellent opportunity for the ancient Chinese civilization to interact with young civilization in New Zealand. It serves as a highlight of the people-to-people exchanges between China and New Zealand this year. It also preludes the 2019 China-New Zealand year of Tourism.

Qin Shi Huang, the First Emperor of Qin Dynasty, who ordered the creation of the terracotta army and the alignment of the Great Wall, has a special place in the Chinese history for his contribution to bring the country into unification in 221 BC. Since then, the stronger yearning for unity and stability and the pursuit of peace and prosperity, has been deep in the heart of generations of the Chinese people.

Today, China is in a great process of national rejuvenation. Over the past four decades, great strides have been made in China's economic and social development. Since the implementation of the reform and opening-up in 1978, GDP has averaged an annual growth rate of 9.5% in comparable prices, and its foreign trade has registered an annual growth of 14.5%. For average Chinese, this has meant emerging from a life of shortages and poverty, to one where many can enjoy a moderately prosperous life.

Xi'an, the home of Terracotta warriors, is also renowned as the starting point of the ancient Silk Road. The Belt and Road Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping has revitalized the ancient Silk Road in new era. It is a public good that China provides to the world to help build a community with a shared future for mankind through working together to achieve connectivity in policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people-to-people exchange.

In many areas, China and New Zealand have comparative advantages that complement each other. It is fair to say that with the ongoing development of China's economy and deepening cooperation in Belt and Road Initiative, the future of China-New Zealand relations will remain strong. We hope China and New Zealand will continue to enhance mutual understanding and trust through more cultural and people-to-people exchanges and practical cooperation to bring more benefits to both peoples and to contribute to the peace and prosperity in the region and beyond.

In conclusion, I wish the exhibition a great success and wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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