On December 10, 2020, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with New Zealand’s new Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta at the latter’s request.
Mahuta said, New Zealand-China relations are one of the most important bilateral ties of New Zealand, have brought tangible benefits to the two peoples, and are becoming increasingly mature and stable. New Zealand firmly adheres to the one-China policy, and the two countries respect each other, and have been supporting and helping each other during the COVID-19 pandemic. China takes the lead in realizing positive economic growth, demonstrating it has made remarkable achievements in the anti-pandemic fight. New Zealand speaks highly of President Xi Jinping’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality and welcomes China’s leading role in tackling climate change. New Zealand is willing to actively participate in the Belt and Road cooperation, step up cooperation with China in areas such as vaccine research and development, carry out tripartite cooperation in affairs of Pacific island countries, and promote the establishment of a rules-based multilateral trading system.
Wang Yi congratulated Mahuta on taking office as foreign minister of New Zealand. He said, China and New Zealand are important partners to each other. He appreciates Mahuta for her remarks that regarded the task of building up the understanding of China as a top priority shortly after assuming the post. For years, China and New Zealand have appreciated, respected, understood and trusted each other, and maintained a good momentum in advancement of bilateral ties, setting a model for mutually beneficial cooperation between countries that are different in social systems, stages of development and economic sizes. The exchanges between the two countries have created many “firsts” and played an important exemplary role. China and New Zealand have smoothly concluded the talks on upgrading the free trade agreement, creating new prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries. China and New Zealand have offered each other invaluable supports in such fields as pandemic prevention and economic revitalization, and maintained sound coordination and cooperation in international affairs, which fully embodies the essence of China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership.
Wang Yi said, China is ready to make joint efforts with New Zealand to implement the important consensus of the two countries’ leaders, continue to uphold the spirit of “striving to be the first” and push for greater development of China-New Zealand relations in the new era. Both parties should sign a protocol on upgrading the China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, accelerate the talks on and signing of a specific plan for China-New Zealand cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, and actively foster new growth drivers in emerging fields. He hopes New Zealand would, in line with the principles of market economy and the spirit of the China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement, provide an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese enterprises in New Zealand.
Wang Yi said, as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, China firmly safeguards the international system with the UN at its core, the international order underpinned by international law, and the free trade system with the World Trade Organization as the cornerstone. China has always insisted that all countries, big or small, are equal, and stands ready to work with the international community, including New Zealand, to strive for democratization of international relations and steer the reform and improvement of globalization in a more inclusive and win-win direction. China attaches importance to and supports New Zealand’s hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders’ Meeting in 2021, and is willing to join New Zealand in promoting the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership to come into effect as quickly as possible. China is pleased to see that New Zealand plays a more important role in regional and international affairs, and is ready to work with New Zealand on mutually beneficial cooperation in climate change and affairs of Pacific island countries.