PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT CHINA

  • Jim Bolger
Prime Minister

Prime Minister Jim Bolger today announced he will make a three-day visit to China after attending the APEC leaders meeting in Vancouver at the end of November.

The visit, from 27 - 29 November, is being made at the invitation of Chinese Premier Li Peng to mark the 25th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand.

Mr Bolger said the 25th Anniversary is a diplomatic milestone between the two countries and highlights the significant progress in New Zealand's trading and political relations with China.

"China and Hong Kong combined now account for $1.1 billion of New Zealand exports. China is also a valued partner in APEC dialogue and the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)."

Mr Bolger will speak at a special seminar in Beijing to mark the Anniversary and will mark the growing business links between the two countries by opening a New Zealand constructed walk-through aquarium, similar in concept to Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World in Auckland.

The 25th Anniversary celebrations also coincide with the centenary of the birth of Rewi Alley, the most famous New Zealander to have lived and worked in China.

Mr Bolger said celebrations to mark that event will be held in China and New Zealand in, with former Chinese Foreign Minister Huang Hua (who signed the original document establishing diplomatic relations between the two countries) among the Chinese representatives expected to attend in New Zealand.