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Examining New Zealand’s relationship with China

31 August 2012

Examining New Zealand’s relationship with China

The state of New Zealand’s relationship with China will be examined at a Victoria University event next week.

A milestone in formal engagement between New Zealand and China will be marked by a day of discussion on the state of one of New Zealand’s most important relationships.

A symposium involving figures from government, business, the media, academia and the community will celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and look to develop a roadmap for the future.

The event, to be held at Parliament on 5 September, has been organised by the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre, based at Victoria University, together with the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Tony Browne, Chair of the New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre, says the relationship between the two countries now has political and economic significance for New Zealand that far outstrips anything foreseen 40 years ago.

“China has grown to be our second largest trading partner and a country with which we have strong political, cultural and education ties. This is a good time to reflect on the impact China has had on New Zealand and how we are now viewed by our friends in China.

“Just as importantly, it is an opportunity to bring the leading thinkers, commentators and policy makers together to discuss how to further strengthen engagement in the future.”

Among the line-up of speakers at are two former New Zealand Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Phil Goff and Sir Don McKinnon (who chairs the New Zealand China Council), leading academics and commentators from New Zealand, China and Australia, two former New Zealand ambassadors to China and senior business executives including the Chairman of Kiwibank Rob Morrison, and the CEO of Synlait Milk Dr John Penno. A delegation from China’s Academy of Social Sciences will take part in the symposium.

Sessions at the symposium will cover topics ranging from politics and diplomacy to education, culture, the economic relationship and the challenges ahead.

Up to 200 delegates are expected at the symposium.


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