Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today. 

“I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says.

“The Premier and I discussed our significant economic relationship, which benefits people in both countries with two-way trade in goods worth nearly $38 billion. 

“New Zealand companies work hard to compete in China, and innovation will be crucial to ensuring we can continue to gain the highest value from our Kiwi products and services.” 

The Prime Minister reaffirmed to Premier Li the importance of enduring people-to-people connections between New Zealand and China.

“These connections have enriched both of our countries and support cooperation where we share interests. We can do more together to support positive outcomes in climate change, education, sport, and conservation.”

Mr Luxon also noted the importance of leader-level diplomacy to supporting a resilient relationship, enabling New Zealand and China to cooperate and to raise points of difference.

“I raised with Premier Li a number of issues that are important to New Zealanders and which speak to our core values, including human rights and foreign interference. New Zealand will continue to engage predictably and consistently with China, including on issues where we disagree,” Mr Luxon says.

Mr Luxon noted the importance that New Zealand placed on supporting Pacific priorities, and on strengthening existing regional organisations, particularly the Pacific Islands Forum.

“I also raised the importance of the current international rules-based system, which has benefited us both. China has a role to play to support this system, and to contribute to the resolution of global security challenges. More, rather than less, dialogue with China is needed on these issues.

“I also raised the Indo-Pacific, a region that is essential to New Zealand’s essential security and economic interests. I outlined to Premier Li our concern at the strategic context, including in the South China Sea", says Mr Luxon. The two sides discussed a range of regional and international security challenges.

In reaffirming New Zealand’s commitment to its One China Policy, Mr Luxon also noted New Zealand’s interest in the peaceful resolution of issues in the Taiwan Strait.

At the conclusion of their meeting Mr Luxon and Premier Li issued a Joint Statement. They witnessed the signing of a number of arrangements which will support closer cooperation in areas of shared interest, such as trade facilitation and climate change. These are:

  • Exchange of Letters on the Commencement of the Trade in Services Negotiations Based on a Negative List Approach under the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement;
  • Export Plan Concerning Phytosanitary Requirements for the Export of Fresh Kiwiberry from New Zealand to China;
  • Memorandum of Arrangement on Infant Formula Cooperation;
  • Memorandum of Arrangement Concerning Cooperation on Business Environment Optimisation;
  • Memorandum of Arrangement on the Patent Prosecution Highway Pilot Programme;
  • Memorandum of Arrangement on Cooperation to Promote the Exchange of Bird Banding Data for Migratory Shorebirds and Seabirds; and
  • Exchange of Letters confirming the Ninth Round New Zealand-China Strategic Research Alliance recipients.

Attached: Joint statement