File photo of Ron Mark
WELLINGTON, June 29 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand's Defense Minister Ron Mark will depart for China on Sunday for a four-day visit to China's capital Beijing and the central city of Xi'an.
This is Mark's first trip to China, aiming at building on New Zealand's positive defense relationship with the country.
In Beijing, the minister will meet with his Chinese counterpart General Wei Fenghe and the Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission Xu Qiliang, a government release said on Saturday.
"China is a strategic partner for New Zealand. This visit is an opportunity to engage in discussion on matters of common concern such as the security implications of climate change, peacekeeping, and humanitarian and disaster relief activities," Mark said, adding that China is an important partner in these efforts and these are areas where New Zealand wishes to co-operate further.
"My visit is an opportunity to review developments across our defense relationship which in the last year have included the signing of a new logistics agreement between the two countries and multilateral engagement through the ASEAN Defence Minister's Meeting-Plus and at the Shangri-La Dialogue," he said.
"I also want to take this opportunity to not only build on our relationship but to build our understanding of China. This goes hand in hand with strengthening our relationship," the minister said.