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The fourth-ranked Chinese leader, Jia Qinglin, will arrive in New Zealand on Sunday for a four day visit to celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Chairman Jia, who will be hosted in New Zealand by Acting Prime Minister Bill English, is chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.
In addition to discussing bilateral issues in meetings with Mr English and other ministers, Chairman Jia will make a courtesy call on the Governor-General, will meet the Speaker, Dr the Rt Hon Lockwood Smith, give a 40th anniversary speech, undertake business related calls, and visit Christchurch and Queenstown.
"We are continuing to develop the political and economic relationship between China and New Zealand," says Mr English.
Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully has visited this year and Trade Minister Tim Groser has led a trade mission to China.
"The Government’s commitment to advance this relationship in a strategic way is clear in the NZ Inc China Strategy launched by the Prime Minister in February.
"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."
New Zealand was the first developed country to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with China, and exports to China have tripled since the agreement came into force in 2008.