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PM Meets New Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

Rt Hon John Key
Prime Minister
11 April 2013 Media Statement

PM Meets New Chinese Premier Li Keqiang

Prime Minister John Key says a suite of signings following his bilateral meeting yesterday with new Chinese Premier Li Keqiang reflects the significant level of engagement between New Zealand and China.

Mr Key met with Premier Li Keqiang after an official welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Mr Key has met Premier Li before, when he visited New Zealand as Vice-Premier in 2009.

There were six arrangements signed after the bilateral meeting, which included arrangements that see:

• Both the Chinese and New Zealand Governments introducing new three-year, multiple-entry business visas, making it easier for business people to move between the two countries.
• New Zealand and China working more closely together to prevent the illegal production of methamphetamine.
• The introduction of a New Zealand-China Scientist Exchange Programme.
• A strategic education partnership confirmed between China and New Zealand, which builds on the existing positive relationship between the two countries.
• More fisheries cooperation, including monitoring, control and surveillance to help counter illegal fishing and to ensure the sustainable management of fisheries resources.
• New Zealand government-owned AsureQuality, which offers food safety and biosecurity services, working with Mengniu, one of China’s largest dairy manufacturing companies, and COFCO Corporation on food safety.

The narcotics arrangement will boost Police cooperation between New Zealand and China over stemming the flow of precursor chemicals, which are used in the manufacture of illegal drugs such as methamphetamine.

Mr Key also briefed Premier Li on the joint NZ-US proposal to establish the world's largest marine protected area in Antarctica, the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area (MPA).

Mr Key also registered New Zealand’s deep concerns about the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

“We appreciate the significant steps China has taken on this issue in the past as the Chair of the Six Party talks, and more recently in supporting strengthened UNSC resolutions on North Korea’s missile and nuclear testing.

“My meeting with Premier Li provided an opportunity for constructive discussion on an issue, which is fundamentally important to the security and prosperity of the region,” says Mr Key.

“New Zealand and China also discussed the importance of high-level contact between our two countries and committed to maintaining at least annual meetings between leaders.”

ENDS

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