China's foreign minister visits New Zealand

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has visited New Zealand on the first leg of his five-day tour of that country and Australia. The trip is his first to both nations in seven years.

China and New Zealand reaffirmed they will strengthen economic ties amid ongoing tensions on the security front.

Wang held talks with New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon on Monday. Luxon talked up their countries' "thriving" and "mutually beneficial" trade links.

Wang thanked Luxon for what he called New Zealand's "rational" and "positive" policy toward China.

He said he hoped the bilateral relationship "will be taken to the next level."

Wang also met with his New Zealand counterpart, Winston Peters. Peters released a statement after the talks.

It says he raised concerns with Wang over increased tensions in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait.

The statement also says Peters told Wang it is "important to acknowledge areas of difference" such as human rights, including the situations in Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet.