China opposes trade protectionism, supports free trade - vice premier

Posted March 21, 2017

Li Keqiang previously visited New Zealand in 2009 as Vice Premier, at the invitation of Mr English in his then-capacity as Deputy Prime Minister. It will be the most senior visit from a Chinese official since President Xi Jinping's trip in 2014.

Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang told reporters on Tuesday there are "many opportunities and space for cooperation" between China and Australia for One Belt, One Road, a subject he said Li would bring up on his Australia visit.

CANBERRA-Australia's diplomatic juggling act in wooing Chinese investment while strengthening its military alliance with the U.S. will be tested by visits in quick succession by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.

But another source said the Australian side was taking a "wait-and-see" approach to gauge how other major Western economies reacted to China's overtures. Mr. Pence is scheduled to visit Australia next month on a date not.

China is our largest trading partner, with two-way trade of $150 billion in 2016.

In this way, the countries hope to salvage the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

New Zealand International Business Forum's executive director Stephen Jacobi said the visit was likely to discuss upgrading the free trade agreement between New Zealand and China, signed in 2008. On the eve of his visit, Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop delivered an unusually sharp warning to China on its need to move towards democracy.

China opposes various forms of trade protectionism and supports free trade, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli said on Sunday, reaffirming Beijing's stance amid worries over weak global demand.