Ardern: NZ has been firm in its commitment to one-China policy

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese at the Commonwealth Parliamentary Offices in Sydney on July 8, 2022. (STEVEN SAPHORE / AFP)

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a public speech on Monday that New Zealand has been firm and consistent in its commitment to a one-China policy.

Ardern delivered the speech at the annual China Business Summit in Auckland on Monday Morning.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she is looking forward to a China trip

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand. In reflecting on the bilateral relations, Ardern said that it is one of New Zealand's most important and complex relationships.

"We have a long history of engagement, and of beneficial interactions between our governments, our people, cultures and in commerce. New Zealand has been firm and consistent in our commitment to our one-China policy, and more recently in the implementation of our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership," said Ardern.

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Ardern acknowledged China's success and contribution in poverty alleviation.

"China has witnessed remarkable development, as a result of reform and opening up to the global economy. At the same time, no single country has contributed more to the alleviation of poverty than China," said Ardern.

"Like many others, New Zealand is a supporter of China's integration into the global economy and trading system that helped China achieve this feat, including through China's accession to the World Trade Organization in 2001 and our own early FTA negotiations. As I've said, China has benefited enormously from these processes, as has New Zealand," said Ardern.

Ardern highlighted the people-to-people exchanges, bilateral economic and trade relations, and cultural and educational exchanges between New Zealand and China over the past years.

"In the three years immediately following our first diplomatic connections, bilateral trade increased to 38 million New Zealand dollars. Fast forward 50 years, and that figure is now closer to 38 billion New Zealand dollars. Economic connections between our two countries were further strengthened with the entry into force earlier this year of both the bilateral FTA upgrade, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership", said Ardern.

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Ardern said that both New Zealand and China have benefited from regional and global peace, stability and prosperity.

"Looking back over the 50 years, it is clear that China and New Zealand have both been major beneficiaries of relative peace, stability and prosperity in our region and globally. The rules, norms and institutions, such as the United Nations, that underlie that stability and prosperity remain indispensable. By facilitating global cooperation on issues that can only be solved collectively, international rules, norms and institutions are more important than ever," said Ardern.

The New Zealand prime minister said she is looking forward to a China trip.

"When China's COVID provisions make it possible, I hope to lead a business delegation to China to renew and refresh in-person connections. I hope to build on my 2019 visit to Beijing, to seize new opportunities for dialogue on regional and global issues, to further our cooperation on significant challenges such as climate change, environmental sustainability and biodiversity, to continue to deepen our cultural and people exchanges and support our businesses in charting the way ahead in our trade and economic relationship," said Ardern.

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