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Shared aspirations, friendship key to China-New Zealand ties: banker

(Xinhua)

09:47, February 27, 2012

WELLINGTON, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- A leading New Zealand bank executive has called for greater efforts to fight a "climate of fear and distrust" between New Zealand and China, which could harm trade between the two countries.

"Accepting the role of China in our future remains a challenge for some New Zealanders," ANZ New Zealand institutional managing director David Green told Xinhua in an e-mail interview

The interview came in when the New Zealand government launched its "NZ Inc China Strategy" to support trade, as well as business deals such as Chinese telecommunications maker Huawei's second major contract in the government's scheme to bring ultrafast broadband to most of New Zealand, and the arrival from China of one of the largest-ever land rigs to work on New Zealand's oldest natural gas field.

However, it also saw a High Court judgment overturning the government's approval of the sale of 16 North Island dairy farms to China's Shanghai Pengxin, amid criticisms of "anti-Chinese sentiment."

Green said it was unacceptable to single out China as a negative influence in New Zealand's inward investment and trade.

"China is not seen as a major part of our cultural make-up. But Chinese New Zealanders have played an important role in building this country. While many of our traditions are different, New Zealanders and Chinese share many of the same values and aspirations," he said.

"It is not acceptable when people use any differences between our cultures to create a climate of fear and distrust. New Zealand trades with many other countries and welcomes their investment in New Zealand. Singling out China as an exception makes no sense."

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