New Zealand prime minister says she hopes to go to major commerce associate early subsequent yr if border restrictions permit.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has expressed her intention to steer a commerce mission to China as soon as the nation reopens its borders.
Ardern stated on Friday she had expressed her hopes to go to to China’s President Xi Jinping throughout talks final month on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Financial Cooperation (APEC) summit in Bangkok, their first in-person assembly since 2018.
“I do hope to return to China in particular person when the settings permit, and I mentioned with the president our ambition of taking a commerce mission into China early subsequent yr – a plan that was welcomed by the president,” Ardern advised a gathering of the New Zealand-China Council in Auckland.
Ardern stated New Zealand’s commerce and financial hyperlinks with China have confirmed resilient regardless of the challenges of COVID. Her feedback got here simply two days after China announced it was dismantling key elements of a strict “zero-COVID” coverage, in a much-needed transfer to provide momentum to a flagging economic system.
Delivering a speech marking the fiftieth anniversary of diplomatic relations between the 2 international locations, Ardern stated New Zealand’s relationship with China was necessary however complicated and evolving.
Ardern stated, “We proceed to recognise that there are areas the place China and New Zealand don’t agree, the place our pursuits or world view differ.”
She added that in these areas the place New Zealand and China disagreed her authorities remained keen to have interaction however would all the time advocate for New Zealand’s pursuits and values, and converse out when wanted.
“We do that predictably, constantly and respectfully,” she stated.
Through the talks in Bangkok Ardern mentioned bilateral relations and areas of cooperation with Xi whereas additionally elevating issues about human rights and the Taiwan Strait.
New Zealand has lengthy been seen because the reasonable, even absent, voice on China within the 5 Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, however it adopted a harder tone this yr after China and the Solomon Islands struck a safety pact.
Whereas Australia’s relationship with China has deteriorated, New Zealand and China’s interactions have remained largely cordial.