A retrospective on Nanaia Mahuta's trip to China and what's to come

A retrospective on Nanaia Mahuta's trip to China and what's to come

New Zealand Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, has recently concluded a visit to China, which has been closely watched by international observers.

Geoffrey Miller, an international analyst with the Democracy Project, spoke to Rachel Smalley on First Light on Monday morning. Miller weighed in on New Zealand's recent diplomatic visit to China.

"Overall, she got not just one, but two meetings," Miller said.

"She had one meeting with Qin Gang, who is her direct counterpart, but also had a meeting with Wang Yi.  He used to be the foreign minister, but now is director of foreign affairs in the Politburo. The fact that she got these two meetings was significant. 

"If you look at the Chinese account of the meeting, it was very positive. (It) talked about a resumption of high-level engagement and gave a lot of compliments to New Zealand and was indicating how important the relationship was for China. 

"If you look at Mahuta’s statement, it was also positive, but mentioned the familiar issues of Xinjiang, Hong Kong, the issues in the Taiwan Strait and the South China Sea, and also mentioned New Zealand's concerns about China potentially supplying weapons to Russia."

Amidst all the business and concerns discussed in the meetings, there was also some forward planning taking place.

"If you look at both the Chinese and the New Zealand accounts of the meetings that focussed on this, saying that there are going to be more high-level meetings in the future.

"These meetings by Mahuta and China were all about securing future meetings and going right to the top. 

"There was a mention in the New Zealand statement about a potential visit by Chris Hipkins to China later this year, it’s still in the works. It hasn't been announced. We don't have any concrete details, but it's still being talked about and we wait and wait with interest to see when and if this actually eventuates."

Listen to the full interview between Geoffrey Miller and Rachel Smalley above.

You can also download the full interview on the First Light podcast, and listen on the go. 

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