New Zealand’s foreign minister said that in a meeting with his Chinese counterpart, he had raised the country’s human rights concerns in tensions between China and Taiwan.
Nanaia Mahuta said that in her meeting with her Chinese counterpart Qin Gang, she expressed “deep concern about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the weakening of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong” in New Zealand. This was stated in a statement from his office.
During the meeting with Qin, he also raised concerns about developments in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait, he said.
Mahuta’s four-day visit to China ends on Saturday. This is the first visit by a New Zealand foreign minister since before the coronavirus pandemic broke out.
China’s relationship with Russia is also on the agenda, he said.
– New Zealand will be worried about providing lethal aid to support Russia’s illegal war, he said.
In Beijing, Mahuta also met China’s top diplomat Wang Yi, its female leader and business representative. Wang said in a statement that China and New Zealand have always respected and trusted each other.
Mahuta said he hoped the visit could mark the resumption of high-level talks between the two countries, opening the door to the possibility of an upcoming visit from New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, perhaps later this year.
– I emphasize Aotearoa New Zealand’s interest in a peaceful, stable and robust Pacific region, said Mahuta, who invited Qin to visit Wellington.
China is New Zealand’s largest trading partner.
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