14 Apr 2012

High ranking Chinese leader due on Sunday

5:37 am on 14 April 2012

China's fourth-ranked leader, Jia Qinglin, arrives in New Zealand on Sunday to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

He's the chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and is coming for four days.

Chairman Jia will discuss bilateral issues with acting Prime Minister Bill English, and other ministers and will also travel to Christchurch.

New Zealand was the first developed country to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with China.

Since that agreement came into force in 2008, exports to China have tripled.