Key in China

Key has signed a major trade agreement in China which will be a major boost to valued-added sheep meat and venison exports.

Stuff: Major gains made in commercial meat export agreements with China

A multimillion dollar deal with a farming corporation in China will see New Zealand’s  Alliance Group become one of the largest exporters of meat in that market.

The “grand alliance” between Alliance Group and Beijing Businesman Chen Xibin, who owns Grand Farms, will help to boost large volumes of valued-added sheep meat and venison products into the Chinese market

The deal was signed at an event in Beijing, where Prime Minister John Key is leading a 40-strong trade delegation.

Alliance chief executive David Surveyor said it shifted the relationship from a transactional one, to a value-added one, which included services and expertise training.

But the deal is around the export of frozen meat only. Restrictions on chilled meats meant New Zealand could not export chilled meat to China, although Australia delivered its first shipment of chilled meat this year, under their FTA.

Renegotiating New Zealand’s FTA with China is a work in progress.

Stuff: Key chalks up small win in push for free-trade upgrade after China talks

China will allow dairy to remain on the table as it progresses talks with New Zealand over an upgrade to an existing free-trade agreement.

But it’s not yet promising that formal re-negotiations will begin over an eight-year-old pact that the government would argue has fallen victim to its own success.

Prime Minister John Key met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing overnight (NZ time), and said he left the meeting more optimistic than when he went into it, about China’s willingness to progress free-trade talks.

So the FTA talks are ongoing, but with some trade gains at the start of his six day visit to China Key – and our meat industry  – will be pleased to have had some success.

But negotiations require give as well as take, and Key looks like giving on an extradition agreement with China.

Stuff: New Zealand wants an FTA upgrade, and China has its bargaining chip

This time last year, Key was adamant an extradition treaty with China was not something New Zealand would consider.

But now:

Question: How important is trade to New Zealand?

Answer: Important enough to risk sending economic fugitives back to a country that uses the death penalty.

Prime Minister John Key’s concessions over the potential to negotiate an extradition treaty with China, are a major turnaround on New Zealand’s previously-held stance.

In a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday evening he may not have been so blunt, but  when talking to the media on Tuesday morning he did not rule out a treaty.

As the Chinese Government embarks on a fox hunt to weed out corrupt officials and hold those who managed to escape China  with hundreds of millions in embezzled funds, New Zealand has remained clear it could perhaps negotiate on a case-by-case basis provided the use of the death penalty and torture were explicitly ruled out.

Key has come to China to bargain, and that’s exactly what the Chinese Government is doing.

Bargains work both ways.

Leave a comment


  1. Brown

     /  20th April 2016

    No, bargains don’t work both ways. China is bigger, more powerful, more ruthless and NZ is a pimple they will pop whenever it suits.

  2. Dougal

     /  20th April 2016

    It puzzles me why we are so reluctant to hand over criminals. In some cases, especially where drugs are concerned, Indonesia assigns the death penalty along with Thailand and others. This is the law of their land, ask Chapelle Corby. I would wager the death penalty is kinder than spending he rest of your life in an Indonesian or Thai jail. If China has evidence of these peoples offending then send the buggers back regardless. One in particular that comes to mind I mentioned yesterday. One that Labour hugged continuously and greased the wheels of immigration NZ to get him in. This person was named on the top 100 list of Chinese fugitives, he also has the dubious honour of having an Interpol deportation order.

    We don’t want these people in NZ. We have enough of our own trouble without importing in as well. Let the Chinese deal with it. Even if they promise not to kill or torture him we would never know either way. People “disappear” in China all the time..It seems keeping our reputation as a world leader in human rights is more important than booting out wanted criminals. The Aussies have it right..lock em up until there is an available plane. The crimms are here because we are a soft touch, Mr Dot-hacker demonstrates this well.

    • Klik Bate

       /  20th April 2016

      It puzzles me as well, as to why this country is seemingly so reluctant to hand back the fugitive criminals that China is seeking. We actually seem to welcome them, and their ill-gotten gains, without question.

      John Key, who openly admits there are, ‘a reasonable number here’, calls it ‘a difficult exercise’.

      And putting all the corrupt businessmen aside for a moment, what’s happened with the Chinaman who was allowed in here, that’s wanted for sex allegations in his homeland – is he still walking among us?

      • Gezza

         /  20th April 2016

        As the Chinese Government embarks on a fox hunt to weed out corrupt officials and hold those who managed to escape China with hundreds of millions in embezzled funds, New Zealand has remained clear it could perhaps negotiate on a case-by-case basis provided the use of the death penalty and torture were explicitly ruled out.

        We need to be sure the individuals are genuine embezzlers and not primarily political refugees. The above seems a reasonable stance, though I imagine any assurances given that the death penalty and torture would not be applied would be worthless and once they have departed our shores our interest in them will be forgotten. Once they are back home in Xi’s China PRC law & Communist party policy will be applied.

        • Nelly Smickers

           /  20th April 2016

          My hubby took me to a flash Chinese restaurant a few weeks ago for Valentines Day ❤

          Once we were seated, Wayne was positive he recognized our waiter as being one of those on China's '100 Most Wanted list', which he had seen published in the Herald.

          In fact, by the time we were ready to leave, Wayne was convinced the whole lot of them were working there.

          • Blazer

             /  21st April 2016

            the staff would have been excited to be serving the NZ P.M and his wife…I’m sure.


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