Defence Minister meets Chinese counterpart

  • Jonathan Coleman

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has held successful talks with China’s Minister of National Defense, General Chang Wanquan.

“It has been great to visit China for the first time in my role as Minister of Defence,” says Dr Coleman. “It has also been good to reciprocate the many visits to New Zealand by senior members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), including General Zhao Keshi’s recent visit.

“Our defence engagement with China continues to progress alongside the development of our broader political and economic links. The NZDF’s relationship with the PLA has been evolving over the last 10 years.

“This year has seen a high level of defence engagement activities between our two countries. In August, the NZDF hosted Australian, US and Chinese military personnel for the first time for Exercise Phoenix Spirit, a humanitarian and disaster relief activity. We look forward to building on our engagement with the PLA in the future.

“My meetings in Beijing also allowed for exchanges of views on China’s Air Defense Identification Zone and on East China Sea issues.”

Dr Coleman is visiting China from 27-30 November 2013. In addition to holding a series of meetings with defence officials, Dr Coleman is visiting the PLA Peacekeeping Training Centre, PLA University of Science and Technology, and Nanjing Military Regional command.