The comprehensive cooperative relationship between the People's Republic of China and New Zealand enjoyed good development in 2010.
High-level exchanges were frequent. In November, President Hu Jintao had a brief discussion with Prime Minister John Key on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Yokohama. In June, Vice President Xi Jinping visited New Zealand, during which he met and held talks with Governor-General Anand Satyanand, Prime Minister John Key, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and House Speaker Lockwood Smith. In April, CPPCC Vice Chairman and Chairman of the China Foundation for Human Rights Development Huang Mengfu visited New Zealand. In May, Vice Chairman of the Central Military Commission General Guo Boxiong visited New Zealand. In September, Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Xu Jianguo presented his credentials to Governor-General Anand Satyanand. In March, Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully visited China, during which he met Vice Premier Li Keqiang and held talks with Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. In July, Prime Minister John Key visited Beijing, where he held talks with Premier Wen Jiabao and met Vice President Xi Jinping, and Shanghai, where he attended the New Zealand National Pavilion Day events at the World Expo. State Councilor and Minister for Public Security Meng Jianzhu accompanied him during the National Pavilion Day events on behalf of the Chinese government.
In April, Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully sent letters of sympathy to Vice Premier Li Keqiang and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi in the wake of the Yushu earthquake and the New Zealand government made a US$320,000 donation to the Red Cross Society of China through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. In September and November, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi sent messages of sympathy to his New Zealand counterpart after the Canterbury earthquake and the Pike River coal mine accident.
Other important bilateral exchanges included the following: In March, Minister of Agriculture David Carter visited China. In June, Minister of Economic Development Gerry Brownlee and Minister of Education Ann Tolley visited China. In August, Head of the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council Wang Yi visited New Zealand. In September, Minister of Maori Affairs Pita Sharples visited China. In October, Minister of Research, Science and Technology Wayne Mapp visited China.
Economic cooperation and trade steadily expanded. The China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement continued to be implemented smoothly. For the first time, China became New Zealand's second largest trading partner, source of imports and export market. In March, the Closer Economic Partnership Agreement was signed between New Zealand and China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Hong Kong's first free trade agreement with a foreign country. Also in March, the China-New Zealand Dairy Cooperation Arrangement was signed. In November, the China-New Zealand Free Trade Area Joint Commission held its second meeting in Beijing. In December, six diesel locomotives produced by China CNR Corporation arrived in New Zealand, the first time for diesel locomotives made with China's independent innovation to be exported to a developed country and an Oceania country. Also in December, the China Southern Airlines reached agreement with the city of Auckland on opening a Guangzhou-Melbourne-Auckland route, which will be launched in April 2011.
Exchanges and cooperation were deepened in education, tourism, science, technology and culture. In 2010, China was New Zealand's largest source of overseas students, and New Zealand was the fifth largest destination for Chinese students studying abroad. During his visit to New Zealand in June, Vice President Xi Jinping inaugurated the Confucius Institute at the Victoria University of Wellington, the third of its kind in New Zealand jointly set up by universities of the two countries. In the field of tourism, China was New Zealand's fourth largest tourist source and fastest growing overseas tourism market. In 2010, 88,900 Chinese tourists made New Zealand the first stop of their overseas trip, and 116,000 New Zealand tourists traveled to China. In July and October, the two countries signed the Joint Statement on the Establishment of China-New Zealand Strategic Research Alliance and the Joint Announcement on China and New Zealand Research Fund. In the field of culture, the "Cultures of China, Festival of Spring" art troupe visited New Zealand in February, followed by the Art Troupe of Beijing Military Command in April. During Prime Minister John Key's visit to China in July, the two countries signed the Film Co-production Agreement. In November, the China Disabled People's Performing Art Troupe visited New Zealand.
The two militaries maintained close contacts. In June, PLA Deputy Chief of the General Staff General Ma Xiaotian held the Third Round of China-New Zealand Military-to-Military Talks with Vice Chief of New Zealand Defense Force Rear Admiral Jack Steer in Beijing. In August, Secretary of Defense John McKinnon visited China. In September, General Li Jinai, member of the Central Military Commission and Director General of the PLA General Political Department, and a training fleet of the Chinese Navy visited New Zealand.