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Taiwanese mark Century plus two in Auckland

New Zealand should strive to strengthen its ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan), create a more congenial environment for two-way investment and promote better understanding between the two peoples.

That was a statement that underpinned the reception hosted by Lincoln Ting, Director General of the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office ((TECO) to mark the 102nd Anniversary of his country at Crowne Plaza Hotel in Auckland.

National Party President Peter Good Fellow joined a number of Councillors, diplomats, businesspersons and community leaders at Crowne Plaza Hotel on October 7 in seeking a higher level of understanding between the two countries.

Among them were Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga, United Future Leader Peter Dunne, Auckland Councillors George Wood and Arthur Anae, St Johns Northern Region General Manager Gary Salmon and New Zealand India Central Association President Harshad Patel.

“Taiwan is an important trade partner and is the 12th largest export market for New Zealand. The trade agreement signed in July 2013 will provide better opportunities to improve our bilateral trade,” Mr Goodfellow said.

Economic Pact

Mr Ting said that the ANZTEC (Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Cooperation) signed in Wellington on July 10, 2013 would facilitate mutually beneficial economic co-operation and enhance bilateral and regional trade.

“ANZTEC shows that the Republic of China is actively opening up its domestic market and is determined to participate in regional economic integration. We have a strong desire to contribute towards further cooperation in the Pacific by joining Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) of which New Zealand is a founder-member,” he said.

Political storms

Mr Ting said that Taiwan has had to endure rough weather since its establishment as an independent country in 1912. The KMT (Kuomintang of China or Chinese National People’s Party) lost to the Communist Party in 1949 and the ROC retreated to Taiwan.

“Although efforts were made to retake the mainland at that time, eventually even more was accomplished in the land we all call home. Constitutional normality was restored in 1987, as our longstanding Martial Law was abolished, allowing us to take the first step towards a true democracy and an open door economy,” he said.

Taiwan’s democracy has become mature and Taiwanese understand and cherish its values, he added.

“TECO Auckland and our Representative Office in Wellington are working to improve economic cooperation between Taiwan and New Zealand and to promote culture, arts and educational exchanges,” Mr Ting said and cited the example of the screening of ‘Life of Pi’ in Auckland on April 13, 2013.

Our commitment to New Zealand is further evidenced by the donation of two ambulance vehicles to St John,” he said.

Photo Caption: Mr Ting and others at the Taiwanese National Day on October 7 in Auckland

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