On February 9, 2017 local time, Prime Minister Bill English of New Zealand met in Auckland with Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Bill English expressed that New Zealand has created many "firsts" in developing its relations with China. The country has been the first to support China's accession to the World Trade Organization, establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as well as the construction of the "Belt and Road" initiative among the developed western countries. New Zealand highly appreciates President Xi Jinping's speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, which delivers important and positive messages to the world, and is willing to, together with China, firmly support economic globalization and trade liberalization. It is hoped that both countries could take the 45th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations as an opportunity to intensify high-level exchanges, initiate negotiations on the upgrade of New Zealand-China free trade agreement and deepen exchanges and cooperation in such areas as infrastructure, people-to-people and cultural engagement, tourism, education, science and technology as well as judicial and law enforcement. The country welcomes Chinese enterprises to invest and cooperate in New Zealand.
Wang Yi noted that China and New Zealand have become a model of mutually beneficial cooperation between countries of different social systems and territorial sizes. New Zealand's cooperation with China is a pioneer and forerunner among developed countries, which highly conforms to the fundamental and long-term interests of New Zealand and its people. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations as well as an important year for bilateral relations to inherit the past and usher in the future. The two sides could effectively implement China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership by holding commemorative activities, carrying out high-level exchanges, consolidating and enhancing mutual trust. China and New Zealand are both advocators and practitioners of free trade. The two countries should jointly safeguard the international trade system, build an open economy, take practical actions to this end and start negotiations on the upgrade of bilateral free trade agreement. China also hopes to work with New Zealand to well manage the docking between the "Belt and Road" initiative and New Zealand's infrastructure construction plans as well as strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges and judicial and law enforcement cooperation, so as to let the two peoples feel more tangible outcomes.