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China and NZ move closer on air links

MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday 15 September 1999

CHINA AND NEW ZEALAND MOVE CLOSER ON AIR LINKS

The Prime Minister announced today that the commencement of air services between New Zealand and China moved a step closer following a bilateral agreement that permits New Zealand airlines to operate to Beijing and Shanghai.

"I am delighted to receive this news. The decision, conveyed to our Embassy in Beijing yesterday, was clearly taken to coincide with the State visit of President Jiang to New Zealand," Mrs Shipley said.

At present it is not possible to fly direct between New Zealand and China. Visitors and cargo typically have to travel either via Australia or Singapore on third airlines.

"While it will be a commercial decision as to whether the airlines take up this option, the framework now exists to intensify bilateral air links between New Zealand and China.

"Provision for up to daily flights by both New Zealand and Chinese airlines have also been confirmed.

"On the back of the recent decision taken by the Chinese Government to approve New Zealand as a tourism destination, this announcement represents a further valuable development. Efficient air services are essential to promoting people-to-people links as well as assisting our exporters get their goods into China.

"This is a particularly pleasing announcement as it also underpins the recently issued APEC Leaders' communique. The communique supported steps to open up air service arrangements in the region. Clearly China has accorded this objective priority and acted accordingly," Mrs Shipley said.

ENDS


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