John Key in China

Prime Minister, John Key, is visiting China this week, along with 4 other ministers and many business leaders from New Zealand. The main purpose of the visit is to increase trade. Business leaders want to set up joint-venture companies in China and increase exports from New Zealand to China. China is our number one country for imports but second for exports. We have had a free trade agreement with China for the last 5 years.

John Key wants to increase the number of Chinese tourists to New Zealand and the number of Chinese international students studying in New Zealand. Last year, 200,000 Chinese tourists visited New Zealand and 24,000 students studied here. 66,000 New Zealanders visited China last year. Our second-largest group of migrants are Chinese. There are now daily flights between Auckland and China.

John Key said he wants to strengthen the good relationship between the two countries which began in 1972. He met President Xi Jinping at the weekend and yesterday he met the new Premier Li. There is a photo of John Key shaking hands with Premier Li, on the front page of today’s Chinese Daily English-language newspaper. Now millions of Chinese people will know about New Zealand and our Prime Minister.

Listen to April 7th 2008 to hear more about the free trade agreement between New Zealand and China.


• set up – start a company
• joint-venture – Both China and New Zealand own a company or work together for that company
• purpose – reason for the visit
• strengthen (v) – to make strong (compare: long (adj), lengthen (v))


You can introduce a sentence with ‘There is’, or ‘There are’ e.g. There are now daily flights … There is a photo . . .

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