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NZ signs consular agreement with China

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Media Statement

26 October 2003
NZ signs consular agreement with China


Foreign Minister Phil Goff and his Chinese counterpart Li Zhaoxing today signed an agreement strengthening consular relations between the two countries.

“This agreement offers support to the rapidly growing links between New Zealand and China at a time when the number of people traveling between the two countries is increasing dramatically," Mr Goff said.

“Last year, more than 100,000 Chinese citizens traveled to New Zealand for tourism and study purposes while about 40,000 New Zealanders visited China."

Mr Goff said the agreement was an important outcome of the visit to New Zealand by the President of China Hu Jintao.

“It confirms in a bilateral setting the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and covers a range of consular services applying to each country's nationals in the receiving state.

"It spells out the rights of citizens, including dual nationals, to access a range of consular services and the circumstances in which they may call upon the assistance of their government.

"It also deals with the provision of assistance in the event of an air or shipping accident.

“This is the first bilateral agreement of its kind that New Zealand has signed. Both the New Zealand and Chinese governments see it as a sign of the importance we attach to developing the relationship further through greater understanding and contact at a community and business level,” Mr Goff said.

ENDS

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