Former Prime Minister John Key met with China's President Xi Jinping this week, where the Chinese leader reportedly spoke highly of Key's contribution to the New Zealand/China relationship.

The pair met in the Chinese capital of Beijing on Wednesday where, according to media site Xinhuanet, Xi noted the situation in the world had undergone profound and complicated changes.

Xi said China had become even more willing to co-operate with other countries, given this change.

China sticks to the path of peaceful development, Xi is reported as saying, adding that China's door will be open even wider to the world.


This comes as China faces pressure as it ramps up efforts to crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong.

Yesterday, China's foreign ministry threatened unspecific "strong countermeasures" if the US Congress enacted legislation which would support the protesters in Hong Kong.

Despite this, Chinese media reported that Xi said China welcomed all countries and their companies to "grasp the opportunity provided by China's development to better realise mutual benefit".

Xi reportedly spoke highly of Key's contribution to the China-New Zealand relations in his capacity as Prime Minister and said he hoped Key could continue to enhance the friendships between the two countries.

Key congratulated China on its 70th anniversary and said he would continue to play an active role in promoting the "understanding and cooperation" of the two countries, according to Xinhuanet.

When Key was Prime Minister, he made regular trips to China and often spoke highly of the two countries' relationship.

In 2018, two years after he resigned as Prime Minister, Key said: "Xi Jinping's going to go down in history as a good leader of China."