Chinese diplomat to speak at Massey

Monday 10 September 2012, 4:50PM
By Massey University

The Chinese Embassy’s deputy chief of mission will give his first address to a New Zealand university this week.

Cheng Lei, political counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Wellington, will speak on China’s role in the Pacific at Massey’s Centre for Defence and Security Studies on Friday September 14.

Mr Cheng says the embassy found the centre and its research quite interesting, and welcomed the exchange of ideas.

His talk will focus on China’s role in the Pacific and developments from the Pacific Island Forum.

“We believe China is and continuously will be the positive co-operator in the Pacific. China is never the competitor or challenger in this area to anyone, especially not our good Kiwi friends,” Mr Cheng says.

It is Mr Cheng’s first presentation at a New Zealand university.

Massey lecturer Major Josh Wineera says it will be an invaluable opportunity to hear a definitive explanation of China’s interests in the Pacific and its endeavour for peaceful cooperation in the region.

“Many people are commenting on China’s engagement – some well informed, some not so,” he says. “But hearing directly from a very senior diplomat and representative of the People’s Republic of China will foster a more familiar and informed understanding.”

Major Wineera says Mr Cheng brings a range of insights across a full spectrum of Chinese engagement in the region from political relations, regional security and regional governance, economic and trade/business opportunities and international aid and development initiatives for Pacific countries.

“All of these subjects are studied in some form at Massey, and it is a chance to connect academic enquiry of China with the actual policy and the ‘thinking’ from a senior representative.”

China: A Partner in the South Pacific by Counsellor Cheng Lei, Deputy Chief of Mission, Chinese Embassy NZ
Friday 14 September, 1.30-2.30pm
Social Sciences Lecture Block, Theatre 2, Turitea campus, Palmerston North