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Ambassador Wu Xi's Speech at the Summit of Tripartite Economic Alliance

The Honorable Mayor Phil Goff,

Party Secretary Zhang Shuofu,

Deputy Mayor Jeff Gorell,

Ladies and gentlemen,

Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa

It is my pleasure to join you to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Guangzhou-Auckland sister city relationship and Tripartite 2019.

Guangzhou, Auckland and Los Angeles are very special cities. All are located in Asia Pacific, all are leaders in industry, trade and technology, and all are dynamic, open and inclusive.

The city of Guangzhou has been at the forefront of China’s reform and opening up for decades. It is now renowned globally for its innovation, infrastructure and industry. At the same time, Guangzhou has become a major engine of growth for the wider Pearl River Delta by boosting connectivity in trade, capital, infrastructure and people.

By joining the Tripartite Economic Alliance in 2014, Guangzhou has sought to extend this connectivity from Asia to Oceania and North America. It will generate prosperity, boost development, and raise the quality of life for millions of people.

Connectivity is the foundation for cooperation that works for everyone. This is also well aligned with the spirit and idea of the Belt and Road Initiative. The success of the Belt and Road shows that geographic distance is no longer the barrier it once was.

Over the last 40 years, China has joined the world community, embracing free trade and multilateral cooperation. We’ve seen many benefits from this opening up, as have many other countries.

Today, with protectionism and unilateralism on the rise, the environment for free trade is becoming less certain, and less stable. Recent moves by the United States to raise barriers to trade are at odds with that country’s traditional role in supporting free trade.

These moves also undermine China's interests, contradict the rules and spirit of free trade, and generate risks to the global economy. Ultimately, they will undermine the interests of the United States, too.

History has amply proved that globalization and multilateralism are in line with the trend of the times, and cooperation is the only way to address challenges, and the only way to make each of us stronger.

As President Xi Jinping once pointed out, “The global economy is a big ocean that you cannot escape from. Any attempt to cut off the flow of capital, technologies, products, industries and people between economies, and channel the waters in the ocean back into isolated lakes and creeks is simply not possible. ”

For our part, China remains committed to peaceful development, and working towards new forms of international relations grounded in mutual respect, mutual benefits, justice and fairness. China will also continue to deepen reform and further open up. A more open and prosperous China means greater opportunities for all the countries in the world, including New Zealand and the United States.

The Pacific ocean is a bridge connecting us all. Let us make our goal to all join hands and reap the benefits of cooperation by building greater connectivity across the Pacific - in trade, policy, infrastructure, finance, and people-to-people exchange.

Let me wish all of you a successful Tripartite 2019!

Thank you.

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