New Zealand PM Says China Premier Li Qiang to Visit This Week

New Zealand PM Says China Premier Li Qiang to Visit This Week

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon said on Monday that China's Premier Li Qiang would visit the country this week, in the first trip to the nation in seven years by a Chinese premier.

Luxon said in a statement that he looked forward to warmly welcoming Premier Li in New Zealand and that the visit would be a valuable opportunity for exchanges on areas of cooperation between the two countries.

“The challenging global outlook makes it vital that we are sharing perspectives and engaging China on key issues that matter to New Zealand,” Luxon said, Reuters reported.

This is the second high-profile visit from a high-ranking Chinese official to New Zealand this year, with China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi visiting in late March.

New Zealand has long been seen as a moderate or absent voice on China in the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, which includes the United States, but in recent years has spoken up about what it considers to be concerning actions by China.

During Yi’s March visit, ministers discussed trade, business and security in the Pacific.

China is New Zealand's top trading partner. Statistics New Zealand reported two-way goods and services trade was nearly NZ$38 billion ($23.2 billion) in the year that ended in March 2024.

Luxon said on Monday that he is confident that trade with China would continue to grow, supporting the government’s goal to double the value of exports in the next decade.

The government has not yet released dates for Li’s visit.

Luxon also said he would travel to Japan with a business delegation from June 16-20.

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