Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in New Zealand on 26th March for an official visit. In his message published in the New Zealand Herald, Premier Li quoted a Maori proverb, "Aim for the highest cloud, so that if you miss it, you will reach a lofty mountain." Both China and New Zealand are scaling the highest peaks in their bilateral relationship.
Miss Bethany Robb speaks in mandarin
Premier Li mentioned that he had been told that "New Zealand people have a strong interest in Chinese culture and language". To prove that, some young Kiwis stood up on the podium to send messages of their appreciation at the gala lunch, hosted by Prime Minister Bill English in Auckland on 28th March. Miss Bethany Robb, a Mandarin teaching assistant from the University of Auckland, made a short speech to Premier Li and Prime Minister English on behalf of thousands of Chinese language learners in New Zealand. “After falling in love with Chinese language, people, and culture, I studied Chinese at the University of Auckland." said Miss Robb, "I'm very grateful to have received a Confucius Institute Scholarship and the Prime Minister's Scholarship for Asia that enabled me to go on exchange to both Fudan and Nanjing Universities. Currently, I teach Chinese at the University of Auckland and hope to return to China one day.”
MFAT produced a short video clip entitled "NZ-China relationship - the future", which was screened at the gala lunch to more than 600 guests from New Zealand and China.