Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has concluded her visit to China where she emphasised New Zealand’s interest in a “peaceful and stable” Pacific region, she says.
Mahuta’s visit in which she met with her newly appointed counterpart, Qin Gang, was the first by a New Zealand foreign minister to China since 2018.
“I emphasised Aotearoa New Zealand’s interest in a peaceful, stable and resilient Pacific region and the importance of engaging through existing regional institutions and arrangements, in particular on regional security matters,” Mahuta said Saturday in a statement.
New Zealand’s foreign minister said she covered “all aspects of our bilateral relationship”, including the resilience of trade between the countries through Covid, and added that with borders now open in both directions “reconnecting people will be priority this year”.
Mahuta said she also “observed” areas where they disagree as part of a “mature relationship”.
“I noted New Zealand’s deep concerns regarding the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.”
As well, the foreign minister said she expressed concerns over developments in the South China Sea, increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait and reiterated New Zealand’s condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Aotearoa New Zealand would be concerned by any provision of lethal aid in support of Russia’s illegal war.”
Mahuta has invited Minister Qin to visit New Zealand and discussed a possible visit by Prime Minister Chris Hipkins to China this year.
“We look forward to the resumption of a range of in-person high level discussions and officials’ dialogues, including on foreign affairs, climate change, human rights, the Pacific, and trade, which provide a valuable platform for engagement.”
Credit: Source link
For more News go to ovanewsblast.com