New Zealand foreign minister to meet Chinese counterpart in Beijing

FILE PHOTO-New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta speaks during a session of the UN Human Rights Council, which voted to hold an urgent debate about Russia's deadly invasion of Ukraine at Kyiv's request, amid widespread international condemnation of Moscow's attack, in Geneva, Switzerland February 28, 2022. Fabrice Coffrini/Pool via REUTERS

SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand’s foreign minister, Nanaia Mahuta, will leave for China on Tuesday to meet her counterpart Qin Gang on the first such visit by a New Zealand minister since 2019.

Mahuta said she would raise New Zealand’s concerns about key security challenges at the meeting in Beijing, such as the “illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine”, and advocate for outcomes reflecting its values on issues such as human rights.

“New Zealand’s relationship with China is one of our most important, complex and wide ranging,” she said in a statement. “I intend to discuss areas where we co-operate, such as on trade, people-to-people and climate and environmental issues.”

The trip follows the easing of COVID-19 travel curbs between the countries, she said.

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