China–New Zealand relations

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Sino-New Zealand relations
Map indicating locations of China and New Zealand

China

New Zealand

Sino-New Zealand relations, bilateral relations between New Zealand and China, are excellent, with ever greater trust being developed and shared between the two countries. The key features of this relationship are the Free Trade Agreement, the only one New Zealand has with a major country, and the Education and Exchange programs provided by both countries.

Free trade agreement[edit]

Chinese Navy ship in Auckland, NZ

A free trade agreement (FTA) between China and New Zealand was signed on 7 April 2008 by Premier of the People's Republic of China Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister of New Zealand Helen Clark in Beijing.[1] Under the agreement, about one third of New Zealand exports to China will be free of tariffs from 1 October 2008, with another third becoming tariff free by 2013, and all but 4% by 2019.[1] In return, 60% of China's exports to New Zealand will become tariff free by 2016 or earlier; more than a third are already duty-free.[2] Investment, migration, and trade in services will also be facilitated.[3]

This free trade agreement is New Zealand's largest since the Closer Economic Relations agreement with Australia was signed in 1983. It is the first time China has entered into a comprehensive free trade agreement with a developed country.[4]

The agreement has taken over three years to negotiate. On 19 November 2004 Helen Clark and President of the People's Republic of China, Hu Jintao announced the commencement of negotiations towards an FTA at the APEC Leaders meeting in Santiago, Chile. The first round of negotiations was held in December 2004. Fifteen rounds took place before the FTA was signed in April 2008.[5]

While the FTA enjoys the support of New Zealand's two largest political parties, Labour and National, other parties such as the Green Party and the Māori Party oppose the agreement.[6][7] Winston Peters was also a vocal opponent of the agreement, but agreed not to criticise it while acting as Minister of Foreign Affairs overseas (a position he held from 2005 to 2008).[8]

Education and Exchange Programmes[edit]

China and New Zealand have a history of education links and exchanges, including bilateral scholarship programmes and academic cooperation. But there has been a dramatic expansion in student flows and other engagement since the late 1990s. Until 1998, a New Zealand quota system permitted only 100 Chinese students per year to study in New Zealand. The removal of this restriction coincided with greater financial and social freedoms for Chinese citizens to study overseas - by 2002 there were over 30,000 Chinese students in New Zealand, and, in 2003/2004, nearly 65,000 mainland Chinese student applied for visas to study in New Zealand. China remains by far New Zealand’s most significant source of foreign students. Delivery of New Zealand education services in China through joint programme arrangements is increasing. The appointment of a New Zealand education counsellor in Beijing, regular high-level meetings, are all playing a role in this effort to broaden and raise the level of education engagement with China.[9]

Historical timeline[edit]

New Zealand's contact with China started early in its history. The first records of ethnic Chinese in New Zealand were immigrants from Guangdong Province, who arrived during the 1860s gold rush era, with missionary, trade, extensive immigration and other links continuing during China’s Republican era (1912–49). The establishment of the People’s Republic brought these links to a halt.

New Zealand formally recognised the PRC in 1972. At the end of 1972 the Third Labour Government was elected, and was expected to recognise the PRC. Then, surprisingly the new Prime Minister, Norman Kirk, hesitated: After barely two weeks in office he suggested that it might be better to delay recognition until his second term. However he was talked out of this by the Foreign Ministry (now under Frank Corner) and the recognition formalities were completed just before Christmas. [10]

The first New Zealand Parliamentary Delegation to the People's Republic of China occurred in April–May 1977. The delegation was led by the Speaker, Sir Roy Jack, and included Hon. Mick Connelly, Mary Batchelor, Mel Courtney, Derek Quigley, Ben Couch, Merv Wellington and Secretary to the Speaker, Robert McKay.

The history of New Zealand’s formal relations with China since then has not been without discord. The crackdown by the Chinese Government on the Tiananmen Square demonstrations of June 1989 was strongly condemned in New Zealand and official ministerial official contact was suspended for more than a year.

Bilateral communication between New Zealand and China officials has expanded over the years since the protests though. Foreign policy talks, and economic and trade talks, are held regularly. A Trade and Economic Cooperation Framework (TECF) signed in 2004 provides a mechanism for increased cooperation in areas of mutual interest. There are formal bilateral dialogues on agriculture, dairy and forestry. New Zealand and China launched negotiations towards a free trade agreement in November 2004, with an agreement being signed in April 2008. There is regular contact on a wide range of issues including defence, law and governance, human rights, multilateral trade, regional security, international fisheries management, and developmental assistance.

New Zealand and China celebrated 35 years of diplomatic relations in 2007. The bilateral relationship has grown to become one of New Zealand’s most important. As a global and regional influence, the fourth largest trading partner of New Zealand and a major source of student immigrants and tourists, China is extremely important to New Zealand as a multilateral and bilateral partner. Trade between the two countries totals about NZD$7.54 billion.[11]

The China/New Zealand relationship is characterised by various & regular high-level contacts, an expanding range of official dialogues - both formal and informal, healthy and diversifying trade and economic flows in both directions, and extensive people to people links.

Migration[edit]

Main article: Chinese New Zealander

China and New Zealand have a long history of people to people contacts, beginning with the arrival in New Zealand of large numbers of Chinese immigrants in the middle of the nineteenth century (notably goldminers) and travel by New Zealand missionaries and others to China to live and work. Of the early New Zealanders in China, the best known is Rewi Alley, who was a New Zealand-born writer, educator, social reformer, potter, and member of the Communist Party of China and lived and worked in China for 60 years until his death in 1987. He came to symbolise the important role of people to people contacts in building good relations and accentuating common ground between countries as different as New Zealand and China. In 1997, the 100th anniversary of Alley’s birth was marked by celebrations in Beijing and New Zealand, and the 110th anniversary was commemorated in 2007.

Bilateral representation[edit]

There are many official contacts between New Zealand and the PRC, which provide the opportunity for high-level discussions and the continued development of bilateral relations. Many ministers meet with their Chinese counterparts at international meetings and events.

Chinese tours by New Zealand delegates and ministers[edit]

New Zealand Ministerial Visits to the People's Republic of China:[9]

Dates Minister/Delegate Cities visited Reason
April 2008[12] Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rt Hon Helen Clark Beijing Official Visit
November 2007 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters Official visit
September 2007 Deputy Prime Minister, Dr Michael Cullen Official visit
August 2007 Minister of Customs and Youth Affairs, Nanaia Mahuta Official visit
July 2007 Minister of State, Dover Samuels Official visit
May 2007 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters Official visit
April 2007 Minister of Civil Aviation; Minister of Police, Annette King Official visit
March 2007 Minister of Communications & IT, David Cunliffe Official Visit
December 2006 Minister of Food Safety & Minister of Police, Annette King Official Visit
November 2006 Minister for Trade Negotiations & Minister of Defence, Phil Goff Official Visit
November 2006 Minister of Tourism, Damien O'Connor Official Visit
April 2006 Minister of State, Jim Sutton Beijing Official Visit
July 2005 Minister for Trade Negotiations, Jim Sutton Beijing Official Visit
June 2005 Minister for Trade Negotiations, Jim Sutton Beijing Official Visit
May 2005 Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rt Hon Helen Clark Beijing Official Visit
February 2005 Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Phil Goff Beijing Official Visit
September 2004 Minister of Health, Annette King Beijing Official Visit
August 2004 Minister for Research, Science and Technology, Pete Hodgson Various Official Visit
February 2004 Minister for Trade Negotiations, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Forestry, Jim Sutton Various Official Visit
September 2003 Speaker of the House of Representatives, Jonathan Hunt Beijing Led a Parliamentary Delegation to China
September 2003 Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Phil Goff Beijing Official Visit
September 2003 Minister of Education, Trevor Mallard Various Official Visit
December 2002 Minister for Trade Negotiations, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Forestry, Jim Sutton Various Official Visit
May 2002 Minister of Education, Trevor Mallard Various Official Visit
April 2002 Graham Kelly and four other MP’s Tibet Official Visit
March 2002 Minister for Trade Negotiations, Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Forestry, Jim Sutton Various Official Visit
October 2001 Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rt Hon Helen Clark Beijing Official Visit
April 2001 Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rt Hon Helen Clark Beijing Official Visit
November -December 2000 Governor General of New Zealand, Sir Michael Hardie Boys Beijing Official Visit
July 1999 Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rt Hon Jenny Shipley Beijing Official Visit

New Zealand tours by Chinese delegates and ministers[edit]

Chinese dancers welcome the new year in Dunedin

Chinese Ministerial Visits to New Zealand

President[edit]

Dates Minister/Delegate Cities visited Reason
October 2003 President of the People's Republic of China, Hu Jintao Wellington Official Visit
September 1999 President of the People’s Republic of China, Jiang Zemin Wellington Official Visit

Premier[edit]

Dates Minister/Delegate Cities visited Reason
April 2006 Premier, Wen Jiabao Various Politburo Standing Committee
May 2005 Chairman, National People's Congress, Wu Bangguo Wellington Official Visit
February 2004 Member of the Politburo Standing Committee, He Guoqiang Wellington Official Visit
November 2003 Member of the Politburo Standing Committee, Zhang Dejiang Wellington Official Visit
July 2003 Member of the Politburo Standing Committee, Li Changchun Wellington Official Visit
April 2002 Member of the Politburo Standing Committee, Wu Guanzheng Wellington Official Visit
May 2001 Member of the Politburo Standing Committee, Jia Qinglin Wellington Official Visit
March 2000 Member of the Politburo Standing Committee, Zeng Qinghong Wellington Official Visit

State Council[edit]

Dates Minister/Delegate Cities visited Reason
January 2006 Secretary-General, Hua Jianmin Wellington Official Visit
September 2006 Member of the Central Military Commission, Vice-Chairman, Xu Caihou Wellington Official Visit
April 2001 Member of the Central Military Commission, Vice-Chairman, Zhang Wannian Wellington Official Visit

Ministers[edit]

Dates Minister/Delegate Cities visited Reason
April 2006 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Li Zhaoxing Wellington Official Visit
April 2006 Minister of Commerce, Bo Xilai Wellington Official Visit
April 2006 Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, Ma Kai Wellington Official Visit
February 2006 Minister of Science and Technology, Xu Guanhua Wellington Official Visit
November 2004 Chief of General Staff, People's Liberation Army, General Liang Guanglie Various Official Visit
May 2004 Minister of Commerce, Bo Xilai Wellington Official Visit
October 2003 Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission, Ma Kai Wellington Official Visit
October 2003 Minister, General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), Li Changjiang Wellington Official Visit
October 2003 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Li Zhaoxing Wellington Official Visit
July 2003 Minister of Culture, Sun Jiazheng Various Official Visit
March 2002 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tang Jiaxuan Wellington Official Visit
September 2001 Minister of Justice, Zhang Fusen Wellington Official Visit
September 1999 Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tang Jiaxuan Wellington Official Visit

Diplomatic Representation[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Fran O'Sullivan with NZPA (7 April 2008). "Trade agreement just the start - Clark". The New Zealand Herald. 
  2. ^ Key outcomes - Goods, New Zealand - China Free Trade Agreement, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  3. ^ Key outcomes, New Zealand - China Free Trade Agreement, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  4. ^ "Landmark Trade Deal Struck By China, New Zealand". Forbes.com. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  5. ^ "China, New Zealand ink FTA today". chinadaily.com.cn. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  6. ^ Hone Harawira, Maori Party opposes FTA with China. Press release, Maori Party, 1 April 2008.
  7. ^ Russel Norman, Trading away our integrity – for what?. Press release, Green Party, 7 April 2008.
  8. ^ "Clark: I have Winston's assurance on FTA". Fairfax New Zealand. 13 April 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-04-25. 
  9. ^ a b "People’s Republic of China". New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  10. ^ Final Approaches: A Memoir by Gerald Hensley (2006, Auckland University Press) p.167 ISBN 1-86940-378-9
  11. ^ China - Country Information Paper - NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  12. ^ "China, NZealand sign free trade pact: foreign ministry". AFP. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 

External links[edit]