Joint Statement with General Fan ChanglongDefence
At the invitation of the New Zealand Minister of Defence, the Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission of the People’s Republic of China, General Fan Changlong, visited New Zealand from 19 to 22 July, 2014. On 21 July, General Fan met with New Zealand Prime Minister, the Rt Hon John Key, and held formal talks with Minister Coleman. The two sides discussed enhancing the bilateral defence relationship, current regional security issues, and other matters of common interest.
General Fan was accompanied by senior officers from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA), including the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the PLA, Lieutenant General Wang Ning, the Political Commissar of the PLA Navy, Admiral Liu Xiaojiang, the Commander of the Guangzhou Military Region, General Xu Fenlin, and the Deputy Commander of Guangzhou Military Region and Commander of Guangzhou Regional Air Force, Lieutenant General Xu Anxiang. He was also accompanied by China’s Ambassador to New Zealand, HE Mr Wang Lutong.
Both sides recalled the steady development of the defence relationship over recent years and the positive advances made in terms of regular high-level visits, strategic dialogue, and educational exchanges. Both sides agreed that defence ties between New Zealand and China were an important component in the comprehensive, cooperative and mutually beneficial bilateral relationship.
Looking ahead, both sides undertook to continue to strengthen defence ties. They agreed to enhance exchanges, in particular on non-traditional security issues, including through on-going high-level bilateral defence visits and strengthened strategic communications. The Vice Chief of Defence Force, Air Vice Marshal Kevin Short, and Deputy Secretary of Defence, Mr Tony Lynch, will visit China to attend the 7th China-New Zealand Strategic Defence Dialogue later this year.
The two sides agreed to a mechanism for conducting humanitarian and disaster relief exercises. The PLA invited the New Zealand Defence Force to participate in the “Cooperation Spirit 2014” joint humanitarian and disaster relief exercise involving military personnel from China, New Zealand, Australia and the United States, being held in China later this year.
The two sides considered that maritime security is of vital importance to all countries in this region and discussed ways to further regional cooperation.
The two sides agreed to enhance cooperation on peacekeeping. The two sides also agreed to enhance defence cooperation on South Pacific affairs, in particular in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
During his visit to New Zealand, General Fan also met with New Zealand Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant General Tim Keating, and Acting Secretary of Defence, Mr Tony Lynch, and visited Joint Forces Headquarters and RNZAF Base Auckland.