Chinese Premier tells Jacinda Ardern he'd like to visit NZ soon as they talk free trade

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NZN

China appears to be looking to further build on its relationship with New Zealand after a meeting between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Premier Li Keqiang.

The PM met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to talk an upgrade to the 2008 Free Trade Agreement between the two countries.
Source: 1 NEWS

The leaders battled delays to have their formal bilateral talks in the Philippines where they're both attending the East Asia but were finally able to sit down on Monday evening (local time).

The meeting is a coup for Ms Ardern who has been prime minister for less than a month.

It is understood Mr Li saw it as chance to ensure New Zealand and China's relationship will be broadly the same under her government.

A spokesman for the prime minister described the talks as warm and constructive.

"The prime minister talked about the warm relationship between the two countries and the platform this has provided for ongoing relations," he said.

Ms Ardern was invited to visit China while Mr Li indicted he was keen to travel once again to New Zealand.

He last visited just seven months ago.

The talks covered upgrades to New Zealand's existing free trade agreement with China.

It's not clear whether the pair discussed an extradition treaty between the two nations or China's pursuit of fugitives who have found save haven in New Zealand.

That matter did come up in a meeting between Foreign Minister Winton Peters and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the APEC Summit in Vietnam.

Mr Peters only revealed details of that meeting to New Zealand media after it was reported by Chinese news agency Xinhua.

Talks of an extradition treaty have stalled because of New Zealand's opposition to the death penalty by China, including for commercial crimes.

"We said: 'we will co-operate when your case is proven but we can't send somebody back to be executed'," he said.

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