New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said on Saturday (Mar 25) she had expressed concerns over the South China Sea and tensions in the Taiwan Strait during talks with her Chinese counterpart at the end of a visit to Beijing.
Mahuta also said in a statement she “noted New Zealand’s deep concerns regarding the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong”, during her meeting with Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister Qin Gang.
“Nanaia Mahuta expressed concerns over developments in the South China Sea and increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait,” the foreign minister’s statement said.
Mahuta said she reiterated New Zealand’s condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. China is a key ally of Russia and both have criticised the US and NATO for undermining global stability.
Mahuta arrived in China on Wednesday for the four-day trip, the first by a New Zealand minister since 2019, and also met China’s top diplomat Wang Yi as well as business and women leaders.
Wang told Mahuta that China and New Zealand had always respected and trusted each other, according to a statement by the Chinese foreign ministry.