6 Apr 2012

NZ calls for joint development projects with China in Pacific

3:02 pm on 6 April 2012

The New Zealand foreign minister has called for closer cooperation with China in the Pacific by delivering joint development projects.

Murray McCully made the call in a speech in Beijing where he acknowledged China's international footprint, saying Beijing now has more diplomats in the Pacific than New Zealand and Australia combined.

Mr McCully says New Zealand cannot solve the Pacific's problems on its own, but says efforts can be maximised if Wellington and Beijing work together more closely.

He says New Zealand has a deep knowledge and familiarity with the issues while China has much to offer in terms of its own resources and development experience.

Mr McCully says it is New Zealand's ambition to be first in delivering a joint development project with China in the Pacific.

He says this is something being actively discussed, and something New Zealand's Pacific neighbours will welcome.