AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- Chinese ambassador to New Zealand Wang Xiaolong on Monday called for joint efforts by China and New Zealand to focus on commitment, consolidation and growth in developing bilateral relations.
"We shall not waver in our commitment to the relationship no matter how the international situation evolves," he said, noting that the success of the China-New Zealand economic and trade relations has been blessed by the strategic guidance of the leaders of both countries and the broad-based support of the two peoples.
China and New Zealand signed a free trade agreement in 2008, and its upgraded version came into force in April this year.
"Since 2008, China-New Zealand trade in goods has maintained an average annual growth rate of 17 percent, much higher than the 3 percent annual growth rate of New Zealand's total export of goods during the same period. In that process, China has become New Zealand's biggest trading partner and the biggest source of surplus," Wang said.
The two sides could strengthen the alignment of priorities and aim to break new grounds in cooperation, including climate change, sustainable agriculture, public health and pandemic preparedness and response, bio-medicines, infrastructure development, and people-to-people exchanges, Wang said.
This year, the two countries celebrate the 50th anniversary of establishing diplomatic relations, the ambassador said. Over the past 50 years, China-New Zealand cooperation has created many "firsts," taking the lead in the development of relations between China and Western developed countries, he noted.
Wang said that these rich assets have laid a solid foundation for the further development of bilateral relations.
Wang also stressed in his speech China's commitment to regional and global peace and stability.