Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's top level meetings on Monday will inject "new impetus" into the development of the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and New Zealand.

That is the view of Ambassador Wu Xi who says China is committed to expanding bilateral cooperation and strengthening the comprehensive strategic partnership with New Zealand on the basis of mutual respect and trust, equality and mutual benefit.

In an exclusive interview with the Weekend Herald, Wu foreshadowed the talks will result in a further push to the negotiations on the upgrade of the 2008 China-New Zealand free trade agreement. "We hope the two teams will step up their efforts and reach consensus at an early date."

Ardern will touch down in Beijing tomorrow evening ahead of a working meeting with Premier Li Keqiang — who issued the invitation for her to make an official visit — and a call on President Xi Jinping.


Talks on Huawei's bid to be part of Spark's 5G upgrade may not be plain sailing. The GCSB last year blocked Spark from using Huawei on its 5G rollout on national security grounds.

But Wu said Huawei observes the laws and regulations of New Zealand as well as international rules. "There is no evidence to prove that Huawei poses threat to New Zealand."

She said China and NZ face identical or similar new problems and challenges from the backlash against globalisation, emerging isolationism and resurgent protectionism.

"While the world is faced with many unstable and uncertain factors, it's all the more necessary for China and New Zealand to strengthen high-level exchanges and promote pragmatic cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and win-win outcome," said Wu. "It will not only bring tangible benefits to our two peoples, but also play a positive role in maintaining peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole."