New Zealand's Ambassador to China, Carl Worker, has seen firsthand how the country has changed in the last thirty years.
First posted here in 1984, Worker arrived just six years after Deng began to implement his reform and opening policies in 1978. China was "a country just embarking on a major change," Ambassador Worker remembered.
Over the next thirty years, China lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. That is "no small matter," he noted.
It is also very much to the credit of China's leadership, Ambassador Worker said. "There has been a very remarkable consistency around modernization, around economic reform, around opening up to the outside world," he said.
This includes not only what he called "hardware," – economic institutions, infrastructure, and development – but also include "software – the attitude of people, especially younger people".
As a result, today, China is a major global player. "China is inevitably a vital part of the solution to the problems that face us the world in common, such as climate change issue, nuclear weapon issue, and terrorism," Ambassador Worker said. "So all of these problems will only be resolved well with China's active participation, creativity and support."
Ambassador Worker became the New Zealand Ambassador to China in April of this year. He has previously served twice at the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing, as Deputy Head of Mission from 1992 to 1994, and before that as Second Political Secretary from 1984 to 1986. Ambassador Worker also was the New Zealand Consul General in Hong Kong from 1994 to 1998. He studied at Auckland University and Oxford University, and is married with four children.