New Zealand Assured China-Australia Deal Will Not Affect Demand

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (C) talks to Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, April 11, 2014. REUTERS/Parker Song/Pool
IN PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott (C) talks to Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, April 11, 2014. Reuters/Stringer

China's deal with Australia will not affect New Zealand. Chinese President Xi Jin Ping assured the New Zealand government that the China-Australia preliminary free-trade agreement will not hurt the country's demand for New Zealand exports.

Mr Xi also met with newly installed Labour leader Andrew Little and praised the party for being a "trailblazer" in spurring relations between China and New Zealand. The Chinese president noted that it was the Labour government that established diplomatic relations with China in 1972. The free trade agreement was also made possible under the leadership of the Labour party.

According to a New Zealand Herald report, former Trade Minister Phil Goff attended a meeting with Mr Xi in Auckland, together with Labour foreign affairs spokesperson David Shearer and former MP Raymond Huo. Goff had negotiated the 2008 deal between China and New Zealand.

Mr Xi said through an interpreter that China will not forget the "important contribution" of the Labour party. On Nov 21, the Chinese leader met with the mayors of New Zealand's major cities ahead of the signing of an agreement to improve cooperation between the local and provincial government and China's cities.

The Chinese leader described China's relationship with New Zealand as a painting with a "riot of colours and rich in content as new elements can be added on both parties. Mr Xi said both countries can gain from the new strategic partnership at the local level.

In one of his speeches, Mr Xi revealed he had felt the sense of New Zealand's slogan, "100 percent pure" and said the country remains "the most talked about destination" among the Chinese. Up to 30 agreements were signed between China and New Zealand covering trade, education and the environment.

Local Government New Zealand President and Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule said China's outgoing investments is expected to exceed $1.25 trillion in the next 10 years. He hoped that New Zealand will attract some of the investments of the world's second-biggest economy.

The Chinese president was given a New Zealand All Blacks jersey with his favourite number 8 as a souvenir at the end of his bilateral meeting with Prime Minister John Key.

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