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Li's letter in local newspaper focuses on trade

CCTV.com

03-27-2017 13:50 BJT

Full coverage: Premier Li Visits Australia, New Zealand

(Source: CGTN)

A New Zealand newspaper published a letter from Premier Li before his visit. The letter reviews the relationship between China and New Zealand, and introduces the main focal points of the visit.

Expanding free trade is Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's top mission to

In his article published on March 27, Premier Li Keqiang outlined his ambitions about China-New Zealand relations with his visit.

In his article published on March 27, Premier Li Keqiang outlined his ambitions about China-New Zealand relations with his visit.

New Zealand, according to a letter he wrote for the New Zealand Herald column, titled "To New Zealand, with love".

The love comes with a solid reason. Wellington has long been more supportive of China's global ambitions than some of its other Western allies. It was the first developed country to sign and implement a bilateral free trade agreement with China, in 2008. And it was the first to recognise China's full market-economy status, as well as the first to join the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a founding member.

In the past few years, the countries began to reap the rewards of these actions:

China has become New Zealand's largest export destination, import source and trading partner. Two-way trade increased to 23 billion US dollars in 2016.

Both sides agreed in 2015 to upgrade the FTA, which has helped triple bilateral trade in the past 8 years, and Li's visit is seen as a way to speed up negotiations. The talks are expected to officially kick off within months.

Li also cited a Maori proverb in the letter: "Aim for the highest cloud, so that if you miss it, you will reach a lofty mountain." The quotation echoes his aims for more high-tech-driven, high-value-added, whole-industrial-chain co-operation in the coming FTA upgrade talks.