Track II dialogue: New Zealand China Council (the Council) and Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA)
Growing connections between New Zealand and China by developing relations with Track II partners is one of the pillars of the Council’s Strategic Plan. On 1 December, we welcomed our first dialogue with CPIFA, held online. This is one of a number of dialogues that exist between New Zealand and China at Track II level.
The dialogue was launched to mark the 50th anniversary of New Zealand-China diplomatic relations. Chaired by John McKinnon, Chair of the Council and Wang Chao, President of CPIFA, it covered a range of issues from the bilateral relationship to macro trends, the outlook for the the Asia-Pacific region after COVID, implications of the Russia and Ukraine war for New Zealand and China, and New Zealand and China engagement and cooperation in the South Pacific.
“The world is more complex, so the more dialogue and engagement the better,” said John McKinnon. “The nature of Track II engagement allows for a candid and open exchange of views. I am pleased that the Council is actively playing a role in this space.”
“New Zealand and Chinese participants naturally had different views on some of the issues discussed. But this is one purpose of such exchanges, to allow each side better to understand the other’s perspectives.”
New Zealand participants included Professor Robert Ayson from the Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), Marion Crawshaw, Senior Fellow at the Centre for Strategic Studies VUW, Dr Jason Young, New Zealand Contemporary China Research Centre VUW, Professor Alex Tan from the University of Canterbury, and our Council member and CEO of NZ INC Fran O’Sullivan.
Our thanks to those from both sides who contributed to a very constructive and open discussion.