Ministry Statements & Speeches:
Minister Mahuta and China’s State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi met virtually to reconnect and reaffirm the importance of Aotearoa New Zealand and China’s relationship, one with significant economic, people-to-people, and cultural connections. Both Foreign Ministers recognised that 2022 is a significant year, as it marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China.
Minister Mahuta acknowledged that China has been present in the Pacific for a long time, but underlined the importance of engagement taking place in a manner that advances Pacific priorities, is supportive of Pacific regional institutions such as the Pacific Islands Forum, and addresses the significant challenges in the region. The Minister recorded New Zealand’s views on sensitive issues, including human rights issues in Xinjiang, the erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong, and the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Minister Mahuta also emphasised the importance to Aotearoa New Zealand of the centrality of regional institutions such as ASEAN, noting the upcoming meetings of the ASEAN Regional Forum and the East Asia Summit.
The Minister expressed Aotearoa New Zealand’s concern regarding the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s ballistic missile tests this year, and our opposition to nuclear tests. On Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Minister Mahuta encouraged China to use its access and influence with Russia to promote a return to diplomacy, noting China’s responsibility as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.