On October 31, Ambassador Wang Lutong met with Mr. Michael Woodhouse, the New Zealand Minister of Immigration. The two sides exchanged views on furthering the facilitation of personnel exchanges between the two countries.
Ambassador Wang noted that, in recent years, bilateral relations have developed smoothly with increasing personnel exchanges. China has become New Zealand's fastest-growing overseas tourists market, and will become the largest source of tourists for New Zealand in a few years. China is the largest source of overseas students for New Zealand, and the fourth largest source of investment country. The facilitation of personnel exchanges is in line with the interest of both sides and the potential for bilateral cooperation is huge in this respect. China is willing to continue to strengthen cooperation with New Zealand to further promote personnel exchanges between the two countries.
Minster Woodhouse noted that in recent years, China and New Zealand have collaborated well in the facilitation of personnel exchanges. Currently, New Zealand is carrying out an assessment with respect to this, and is willing to work with China to introduce more facilitation measures.
Ambassador Wang asked Minister Woodhouse for more information regarding New Zealand's recently announced immigration policy adjustment. Ambassador Wang noted that New Zealand is a pluralistic society, and Chinese immigrants have made important contributions to New Zealand's economic and social development. Minister Woodhouse noted that New Zealand fully affirmed the role of Chinese immigrants in New Zealand's development. He hoped that Chinese immigrants will continue to bring more vitality to New Zealand. New Zealand also welcomes more Chinese students and tourists. The immigration policy adjustment is a routine procedure, not focusing on immigration from any particular country of origin.