In what has been one of her most important diplomatic mission, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta has opened the door for a visit to Beijing by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins later this year.
Such a mission is regarded as vital with a new Prime Minister Li Qiang settling into office. NZ’s last contact at prime ministerial level was in 2019 when what was a planned extended Jacinda Ardern mission had to be cut short.
Since then tensions have deepened between China (which is New Zealand’s largest market) and the US (NZ’s traditional defence partner).
So as Mahuta said on her return from a four-day visit to China, NZ’s relationship with the leaders in Beijing “is very important and complex”.
It requires “continual management” to make sure the two countries do not lose sight of each others’ views and perspectives.
Mahuta had talks with Foreign Minister Qin Gang and the message she received is that the relationship is strong; China appreciates New Zealand’s “objective and friendly approach” and is keen to pursue opportunities to increase trade and economic co-operation.
Continue reading “Mahuta’s talks succeed in warming up high-level relationships in Beijing, and she opens way for visit by PM”