17 Mar 2012

Trade Minister to meet dumped Chinese official's replacement

7:15 am on 17 March 2012

Trade Minister Tim Groser is to push ahead with top level talks in Chongqing next week despite the dramatic dumping of the city's mayor.

Mr Groser was to have met Bo Xilai, one of the Communist Party's high flyers, as part of a New Zealand trade mission to the southern China city.

However Mr Bo was ousted as mayor last week following claims from his own police chief that he had tried to have the officer killed.

He was already a controversial figure within the party for his drive to stamp out inequality and corruption in the city of 30 million people.

As the country's commerce minister in 2004, Mr Bo who signed a forerunner to the trade deal between New Zealand and China,

Mr Groser says developing links with Chongqing is massively important to New Zealand's trade with China, and it is that spirit he will meet Mr Bo's successor next week.