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China, New Zealand see close, constructive, increasingly mature relationship: official
Last Updated: 2017-12-05 14:13 | Xinhua
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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of New Zealand Winston Peters speaks during a symposium marking the 45th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China, in Wellington, New Zealand, Dec. 5, 2017. "New Zealand will continue to seek close cooperation with China, as both countries focus on sustainable economic development, and the well-being of our peoples," said Winston Peters. (Xinhua/Su Liang)

"New Zealand will continue to seek close cooperation with China, as both countries focus on sustainable economic development, and the well-being of our people," said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of New Zealand Winston Peters on Tuesday.

Peters attended a symposium on the day to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the People's Republic of China, organized by the Confucius Institute at Victoria University and Wellington Branch of New Zealand Institution of International Affairs.

The New Zealand official started his speech in the symposium by recalling the first Chinese immigrant, Appo Hocton, who arrived in New Zealand 175 years ago in 1842.

He also mentioned Rewi Alley, the enduring icon bridging New Zealand and China.

Peters said the relationship between China and New Zealand began from ordinary people, including members of the New Zealand China Friendship Society founded in 1952 and New Zealand MPs who visited China in their private capacities in the 1950s and 1960s.

"The New Zealand-China relationship started with ordinary people. What gives the New Zealand government confidence in the future of the relationship are connections between our people," said Peters.

It is a quite different situation of the relationship between the two countries from the beginning of diplomatic relations, he said.

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