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Remarks by Ambassador Wu Xi at the launching event of the "Lessons from Asia - Building Cities" research report

Mr. Brad Ward,
Mrs. Lesley Baddon,
Dear friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is my pleasure to join you again for the Building Nations Symposium and to share the experience of Infrastructure New Zealand's recent trip to Asia. Let me first thank INZ for hosting this wonderful event. I really look forward to the introduction and discussion.

In March this year, INZ led a delegation of 50 senior public and private sector representatives to Singapore, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. I am pleased to hear this two-week program was successful and constructive. I would like to congratulate INZ and give my appreciation to those who facilitated this trip.

During the visit to China, the delegation had in-depth meetings and discussions with central and local government as well as private companies, which formed a research report that introduces China's model, planning, funding and delivery of national development.

One of the key findings of the report is that, over the past four decades, China has enjoyed unprecedented economic growth, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. China is now in a leading position in terms of economic and technological advancement, defence capabilities, and national strength.

Under the guidance of President Xi Jinping's thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we will continue to build a people's government focused on serving our people's well-being and improving their lives. We will continue to implement measures to ensure people's basic living needs, address their key concerns, make more quality resources available, and deliver more tangible benefits to our people.

The success of China's development means that the path, the theory, the system, and the culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics have kept developing, demonstrating a model for other developing countries to achieve modernization. It offers an example for other countries and nations who want to speed up their own development.

When sharing our knowledge and model of development with other countries, we have no intention to interfere in their internal affairs, export our own social system and model of development, or impose our own will on others.

What we are trying to do is to create new opportunities for common development. This is why China has established the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and invited other countries to participate.

Since its introduction in 2013, BRI has become the largest cooperation platform in the world, with remarkable results achieved in promoting connectivity and interconnected development of countries along its routes. Through cooperation under BRI, East Africa now has its first motorway; the Maldives has built its first inter-island bridge; Kazakhstan is connected to the sea, and the Eurasian continent is benefiting from the longest-distance freight train service in operation.

In April this year, the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was successfully held in Beijing. During his remarks, President Xi Jinping noted that infrastructure is the bedrock of connectivity. However, a lack of infrastructure continues to hold up the development of many countries.

High-quality, sustainable, resilient, affordable, inclusive and accessible infrastructure projects can help countries fully leverage their resources, better integrate these resources into the global supply, industrial and value chains, and realise inter-connected development.

China will remain dedicated to promoting practical collaboration on infrastructure construction with countries along the BRI including New Zealand, to further promote common prosperity and development of all countries in the world.

You may be aware that China and New Zealand signed a BRI Memorandum of Agreement in 2017, the first developed country to sign such an agreement with China. During Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's successful visit to China in early April, the two sides reached a broad consensus on deepening cooperation in various fields, including the BRI.

China is committed to strengthening communication and coordination of economic policy and development strategies with New Zealand, carrying out more pragmatic cooperation under BRI, and to bring more benefits to both Chinese people and New Zealanders.

The development of every nation needs global cooperation and a stable international environment. The increase in unilateralism and trade protectionism are both challenges to international cooperation. A zero-sum approach to politics and protectionism must be rejected in favour of more policy communication and political trust.

New Zealand is a strong supporter of global free trade and was the first developed country to sign a bilateral free trade agreement with China. China is willing to further strengthen our cooperation with New Zealand in international affairs, jointly promote the construction of an open world economy, uphold multilateralism and the multilateral trading system, and ensure that global trade remains free and open.

I hope and believe that this launch event will be an important platform for learning from each other and for strengthening bilateral cooperation between China and New Zealand.

Let me wish this event a great success!

Thank you

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