China's Premier Li arrives in New Zealand for talks

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The premier traveled to New Zealand after visiting Australia, where he warned against protectionism and said China wanted to expand its trading relationship.

Two agricultural initiatives signed today will see a new joint programme focused on animal health and a new research arrangement on biosecurity and plant protection.

He said the decision by the two countries to start talks on upgrading China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement will send a positive signal to the world that both sides will support free and open trade, which will increase the well-beings of the two peoples.

As one third of New Zealand's dairy products are exported to China, English said the dairy products and any other products going to China will be of the quality Chinese consumers would expect to be.

"The belt and road initiative of China includes a 21st century maritime Silk Road".

English said that he expected that more products could be exported to China from New Zealand.

"We hope it underpins the opportunity for New Zealand firms to take part in what's by global standards a pretty large infrastructure investment", Mr English said. The two countries have signed several agreements covering trade and other issues.

China is not militarizing the South China Sea, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday, although he acknowledged that defense equipment on islands in the disputed waterway had been placed there to maintain "freedom of navigation".

Negotiations will touch on investment, service trade, quarantine of animals and plants, the Principle of Original Production Place, economy and technology, e-commerce, and competition policies, in order to promote the FTA to a higher level.

"China is New Zealand's second largest market and has made a valued contribution to the strong growth in New Zealand global visitor arrivals and expenditure over the last few years", Mr Woodhouse says.

The New Zealand government aims to increase the trade exchange with China to 30 billion New Zealand dollars by 2020.

New Zealand hopes are betting on Chinese tourists to give a boost to New Zealand tourism in the off-season.

Meanwhile, New Zealand also issues one-stop Pathway Student Visas to Chinese students, with periods of validity up to five years.

The first round of negotiations was set down for the first half of 2017, with Key saying the process would take about a year.

Li will also pay a visit to Auckland, the largest city of the country, for a number of business and culture exchange activities.

Mr English is open to them doing that, but less sure about China bringing in its own workers.

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