New Zealand PM to make curtailed China trip

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. AFP File photo

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Monday that a long-awaited trip to China will take place next week, but had been shortened in the wake of the Christchurch mosque killings.

Ardern said she would travel to Beijing on Sunday then hold a full day of meetings Monday with the leaders of New Zealand's largest trading partner, including President Xi Jinping, before returning home the next day.

She said she did not want to spend too long away from New Zealand as it continues to mourn the March 15 shootings at two Christchurch mosques that claimed 50 lives.

"It was originally intended to be a longer visit, including a business delegation, but under the circumstances that did not seem appropriate to be away for longer," she told reporters.

It will be Ardern's first visit to China since she was elected in late 2017 -- an unusually long wait for the leader of a nation that signed a pioneering free-trade deal with Beijing in 2008.

There were fears that Beijing had postponed the trip amid strained relations after New Zealand's intelligence agency last November halted plans for Chinese-owned Huawei to participate in a proposed 5G network, citing "significant security risks".

Ardern has repeatedly played down the Huawei spat and did not directly address it on Monday.

"This is an important visit, New Zealand places a high priority on our relationship with China," she said.

"I look forward to our ongoing engagement." She said discussion items would include upgrading the bilateral free trade deal and combatting climate change. 

Narendra Modi or Rahul Gandhi? Who will win the battle royale of the Lok Sabha Elections 2019


Get real-time news updates, views and analysis on Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on Deccanherald.com/news/lok-sabha-elections-2019 


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram with #DHPoliticalTheatre for live updates on the Indian general elections 2019.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry

Comments:

New Zealand PM to make curtailed China trip

0 comments

Write the first review for this !