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Remarks by Ambassador Wu Xi at the Opening Ceremony of the 20th Teochew International Conference

Mr Zhang Yikun, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Teochew International Federation and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Chao Shan General Association of New Zealand,

Mr Li Zhuobin, Vice Chairman of All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese,

Mr Yang Zhiming, Chairman of Chaozhou Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference,

Hon Jenny Salasa, Minister of Ethnic Communities,

Hon Phil Goff, Mayor of Auckland,

H.E Mr Leasi Scanlan, High Commissioner of Samoa to New Zealand,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to be here at the 20th Convention of the Teochew International Federation. On behalf of the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand, I would like to extend my warmest congratulations on the convening of this event! A warm welcome to the 1,000-plus delegates from over 60 countries and regions, and greetings to the 60 million Teochew fellows around the world!

This year marks the 39th anniversary of the establishment of the Teochew International Federation and the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and with the hard work of the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, the Chinese nation has achieved a tremendous transformation from standing up, growing rich to becoming strong.

China’s transformation over the past 70 years has not only brought profound changes to our country, but we have also made significant contributions to world peace and prosperity. Right now, the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core, is leading the Chinese people to strive to complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects, continue to win new victories for socialism with Chinese characteristics, and to realise the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

The Teochow people are a respected and valued part of our Chinese nation. It’s no surprise that the Teochew community has taken roots and flourished all over the world, they have the traditional Chinese virtues running in their blood - diligence, hard work and solidarity. We admire the economic and social contributions the overseas Teochow communities make to their resident countries. And we appreciate the active support they offer for the ongoing development and reunification of the Chinese nation.

‘One country, Two systems’ has proven to be the best solution to the questions left over from history, and the best system for realising the reunification of China. It is a unique contribution of the Chinese nation to political civilization of humanity. The practice of ‘One country, Two systems’ has achieved widely recognised success since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland. The principle of ‘One country, Two systems,’ ‘Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong’ and a high degree of autonomy have been effectively implemented. The ‘One country’ is the premise and basis of the ‘Two systems,’ and the ‘Two systems’ is subordinate to and derived from ‘One country.’ ‘One country, Two systems’ is the best institutional arrangement for maintaining the long-term prosperity and stability of Hong Kong. We will never tolerate any challenge to ‘One country, Two systems’ or any move that undermines Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity.

Teochow people are some of the world’s great traders. Renowned for its open-minded pioneering spirit, the Teochew Merchant Group is among the ten leading Merchant Groups in China. It has become one of the promoters and beneficiaries of economic globalization through its involvement in international business. But today, protectionism and unilateralism are on the rise. The United States has provoked trade frictions against China, posing unprecedented challenges to the multilateral trading system. Globalisation has been running into headwinds. And this is a concern for everyone in the world.

Facts show that there are no winners in a trade war. Economic globalisation is a key driver of world economic growth, and an irreversible trend of the times.

The ‘Belt and Road’ Initiative has brought a new philosophy to economic globalisation, and is providing new drivers for global economic growth. We invite Teochew merchants from all over the world to find more business partners to participate in ‘Belt and Road’ initiatives.

Over the years, the New Zealand Teochew community has been actively engaged in cooperation between China and New Zealand and played an important role in the smooth development of China-New Zealand relations. The 20th Convention of Teochew International Federation is an opportunity not only to cultivate friendship and fellowship amongst the members from all over the world, but also to promote a better understanding of New Zealand and to find mutually beneficial business opportunities here. I hope this event will further strengthen economic and trade cooperation between China, New Zealand and the rest of the world. I sincerely wish this convention a complete success!

Thank you!

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