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Senior Chinese official in New Zealand to mark 40 years of diplomatic links

(Xinhua)

11:00, April 13, 2012

WELLINGTON, April 13 (Xinhua) --- The head of China's top political advisory body will arrive in New Zealand Sunday to join celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries, the New Zealand government announced Friday.

Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), would be hosted by Acting Prime Minister Bill English.

Jia would discuss bilateral issues with English and hold meetings with Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae and Speaker of the House of Parliament Lockwood Smith, English said in a statement.

Jia would also give a 40th anniversary speech, undertake business related calls, and visit Christchurch and Queenstown in the South Island.

"We are continuing to develop the political and economic relationship between China and New Zealand," said English.

Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully had visited China this year and Trade Minister Tim Groser had led a trade mission to China, while the government's "NZ Inc China Strategy" for trade showed its commitment to advance relations with China in a strategic way, he said.

"The government is committed to building the political, trade, education, tourism and cultural links with China that are important to New Zealand's future prosperity," said English.

New Zealand was the first developed country to negotiate a free trade agreement with China, and exports to China had tripled since the agreement came into force in 2008.

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