Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon Nanaia Mahuta spoke with her Chinese counterpart, State Councilor Wang Yi, during a video call on 22 June 2021. The two Ministers discussed several issues, including respective responses to COVID-19 and the importance of a rigorous science-based investigation into its origins. Minister Mahuta also emphasised the importance of constructive support to assist in the economic recovery in the Pacific Islands region. The Ministers also covered New Zealand’s role as the chair of APEC 2021 and the significance of bilateral trade and economic ties, which have been further enhanced by the signing of the upgrade to the free trade agreement.
Minister Mahuta emphasised that Chinese leadership and ambition would be critical to achieving success for the global response to climate change. She outlined the importance that New Zealand places on the international rules-based system, and the values-based approach that New Zealand takes to its foreign policy. In this regard, noting that New Zealand takes a respectful, predictable and firm approach, Minister Mahuta also reiterated New Zealand’s grave concerns over the human rights situation of ethnic Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang province, as well as deep concerns over the erosion of political freedoms in Hong Kong.