New Zealand’s foreign minister has said his country has expressed concern over China’s human rights abuses and escalating tensions with Taiwan.
In an interview with the French news agency AFP on Saturday, Foreign Minister Nania Mahuta said that she had a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Geng in which they discussed “challenging issues”, including human rights in Xinjiang, Hong Kong includes freedom of expression and China’s influence in the Pacific.
“There’s a lot we can agree on and we’ve also discussed some challenging issues, where we don’t agree,” said Nania Mahuta, speaking at the New Zealand embassy in Beijing. They also include the issue of human rights, regarding which we have discussed some issues on which we do not agree.
Nania Mahuta’s visit to Beijing this week is the first visit by a New Zealand foreign minister to China since 2018.
Earlier in a statement, New Zealand’s foreign minister said he told his Chinese counterpart that his government was “deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.”
Regarding the Ukraine war, he said that in his meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister, he highlighted New Zealand’s position on Russia’s illegal and unprovoked aggression against Ukraine.
Nania Mahuta said New Zealand had “urged China to use its influence on Russia to withdraw troops and get a ceasefire”.