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High Level Defence Talks with China

High Level Defence Talks with China Canvass Key Security Issues

Defence Minister Phil Goff concluded high-level defence and security discussions in China today.

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Defence Minister Phil Goff concluded high-level defence and security discussions in China today.

The talks included a meeting with Minister of National Defence, General Cao Gang Chuan, one of China's most senior political figures. They also involved discussions at the Academy of Military Science which advises the Central Military Commission, China's highest military command. Mr Goff, in addition addressed more than 150 senior military officers at the prestigious National Defence University.

"The discussions enabled New Zealand and China to canvass major security and defence issues of concern to the region, including the North Korean nuclear test and nuclear proliferation, the potential for conflict over Taiwan and tensions in the Middle East and the Pacific", Mr Goff said.

"With Minister Cao, I welcomed China's support for Resolution 1718 of the United Nations Security Council against North Korea's nuclear test and China's apparently successful efforts to persuade North Korea to return to the six party talks.

"We both agreed that nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula had potentially disastrous consequences for regional stability and non-proliferation. At all meetings I promoted the need for effective action to achieve nuclear disarmament and promote non-proliferation generally.

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"At a lively discussion at the National Defence University I emphasised both New Zealand's urging Taiwan not to provoke confrontation by declaring independence and the need for China to continue to exercise restraint and to resolve the issue of reunification by dialogue and cooperation, not force. I pointed to the disastrous consequences that could follow from military conflict over Taiwan.

"We discussed the need for multilateral action on counter-terrorism, transnational crime and peacekeeping.

"I welcomed China's commitment of peacekeepers in areas such as Sudan, Liberia, the Congo and Lebanon and we discussed the potential for future cooperation in this area", Mr Goff said

ENDS

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