29 Jun 2019

Defence Minister to make first visit to China

7:42 pm on 29 June 2019

The Defence Minister heads to China tomorrow, where he will speak at the National Defence University in Beijing.

Defence Minister Ron Mark

Ron Mark said China is a key strategic partner. Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

It will be Ron Mark's first trip to China, and he said he hopes to strengthen the relationship between the two nations.

Ron Mark will meet with the Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe and the vice chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission Air Chief Marshal Xu Qiliang during his four day stay in Beijing and Xi'an.

Mr Mark said China is a key strategic partner and the visit will not only improve the relationship, but help build our understanding of the country.

He said he will discuss the security implications of climate change, and will also discuss peacekeeping and disaster relief efforts.

At the National Defence University, Mr Mark plans to outline the country's defence priorities, security challenges, and how he would like to co-operate with China's future military leaders.