China–New Zealand relations

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

China

New Zealand

The China - New Zealand relations, is the international relationship between the People's Republic of China and New Zealand. The establishment of diplomatic relations between the two sovereign states was announced in December, 1972. [1] Improvements in relations between China and New Zealand led to New Zealand becoming the first developed country to sign a Free Trade Agreement with China. However, interaction between the countries started in the mid-nineteenth century when Chinese people, predominantly from the Guangdong province emigrated to New Zealand during the gold rush. [2] During the early days of the Colony of New Zealand many of the early Chinese settlers faced discrimination, with the Government of New Zealand enacting exclusionary laws on Chinese immigration in 1881 - 1934.

China is New Zealand's largest trading partner in merchandise goods ahead of Australia. [3] Relations are currently very good between China and New Zealand. In November 2015 the president of China Xi Jinping visited New Zealand. [4]

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.[5] 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.[5] 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.[6] Investment, migration, and trade in services will also be facilitated.[7]

The free trade agreement with China is New Zealand's most significant since the Closer Economic Relations agreement with Australia was signed in 1983. It was also the first time China has entered into a comprehensive free trade agreement with a developed country.[8]

The agreement took more than 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.[9]

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 opposed the agreement at the time.[10][11] 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).[12]

Education and Exchange Programmes[edit]

China and New Zealand have a history of education links and exchanges, including bilateral scholarship programmes and academic cooperation. There was a dramatic expansion in student flows and other engagement in 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 and 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.[13]

Historical timeline[edit]

New Zealand's contact with China started in the mid 19th century. 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 new links to a halt.

New Zealand formally recognised the People's Republic of China in 1972. At the end of 1972 the Third Labour Government was elected, and was expected to recognize 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. [14]

The first New Zealand Parliamentary Delegation to the People's Republic of China took place 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 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.

Since then bilateral communication between New Zealand and China officials has expanded over the years since the protests. 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.

The bilateral relationship has grown to become one of New Zealand’s most important. As a global and regional influence, the largest goods trading partner of New Zealand and a major source of student migrants and tourists, China is also very important to New Zealand as a multilateral and bilateral partner.

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]

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.

Chinese tours by New Zealand delegates and ministers[edit]

New Zealand Ministerial Visits to the People's Republic of China:[13]

Dates Minister/Delegate Cities visited Reason
April 2008[15] 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
November 2015 President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping Auckland Official Visit
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]

  • New Zealand is represented in China through the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing, with consulates in Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Chengdu. The Chengdu Consulate-General was opened by the New Zealand Prime Minister the Rt Hon John Key in November 2014.
  • China is represented in New Zealand through the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Wellington, with consulates in Auckland and Christchurch.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "New Zealand China Free Trade Agreement". www.chinafta.govt.nz. Retrieved 2015-12-12. 
  2. ^ Taonga, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu. "Chinese – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand". www.teara.govt.nz. Retrieved 2015-12-12. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "The Economic and Commercial Counsellor's Office of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in New zealand". nz2.mofcom.gov.cn. Retrieved 2015-12-12. 
  5. ^ a b Fran O'Sullivan with NZPA (7 April 2008). "Trade agreement just the start - Clark". The New Zealand Herald. 
  6. ^ Key outcomes - Goods, New Zealand - China Free Trade Agreement, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  7. ^ Key outcomes, New Zealand - China Free Trade Agreement, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  8. ^ "Landmark Trade Deal Struck By China, New Zealand". Forbes.com. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  9. ^ "China, New Zealand ink FTA today". chinadaily.com.cn. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  10. ^ Hone Harawira, Maori Party opposes FTA with China. Press release, Maori Party, 1 April 2008.
  11. ^ Russel Norman, Trading away our integrity – for what?. Press release, Green Party, 7 April 2008.
  12. ^ "Clark: I have Winston's assurance on FTA". Fairfax New Zealand. 13 April 2008. Archived from the original on 2008-04-24. 
  13. ^ a b "People's Republic of China". New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 2008-04-04. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  14. ^ Final Approaches: A Memoir by Gerald Hensley (2006, Auckland University Press) p.167 ISBN 1-86940-378-9
  15. ^ "China, NZealand sign free trade pact: foreign ministry". AFP. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 

External links[edit]