Wednesday, December 24, 2008

New Zealand minister on China's great achievements in reform, opening up

by Huang Xingwei

WELLINGTON, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Pansy Wong, New Zealand's newly appointed minister for ethnic affairs and women's affairs, says great changes have taken place in China since it launched reform and opening up 30 years ago.

Pansy also said in a recent interview with Xinhua that living standards in China have been greatly improved during that time.

Pansy was born in Shanghai, grew up in Hong Kong and moved to New Zealand in 1974. She became the first ethnic Chinese member of New Zealand's parliament in 1996.

She was appointed the country's first Asian minister holding the cabinet position of ethnic and women's affairs after the National Party won the general elections on Nov. 8.

Pansy told Xinhua that the Chinese government attaches great importance to infrastructure construction and urban planning.

"Their urban planning are quite successful, even taking account of the development in the next 50 years," she said.

New Zealand and China signed a free trade agreement in April, a first FTA China signed with a developed country.

Pansy said bilateral cooperation has huge potential and broad prospects.

"New Zealand boasts advantages in creative industry, environment protection, farming and animal husbandry, while China has huge markets. The two countries can cooperate in such areas," she said.