Chinese Foreign Minister to visit New Zealand, Australia, kicking off high-level exchanges

March 15, 2024

Chinese Foreign Minister to visit New Zealand, Australia, kicking off high-level exchanges

After seven years, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is scheduled to make another visit to Australia, the Chinese Foreign Ministry confirmed on Thursday, which is widely seen as the latest upswing in China-Australia ties at a time when Beijing is reviewing whether to scrap its wine tariffs.

At the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand Winston Peters and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Australia Penny Wong, Wang, also member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, will pay an official visit to New Zealand and Australia from March 17 to 21.

During his visit to Australia, Wang will hold the seventh China-Australia Foreign and Strategic Dialogue with Penny Wong, which according to expert is a longstanding format for exchanging views on bilateral, regional and international issues of interest.

Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday that China has comprehensive strategic partnerships with both New Zealand and Australia.


China Launches Major Equipment Upgrade and Consumer Goods Exchange Initiative

On March 15, the Chinese State Council of China issued a comprehensive action plan aimed at encouraging large-scale equipment upgrades and facilitating the exchange of old consumer goods for new. The initiative outlines specific requirements for the recycling of scrapped vehicles, in addition to promoting the exchange of old cars for new ones.

In response to the government’s call for an old-for-new policy, Dongfeng Motor Corporation’s subsidiary, Lantu Motors, has announced the launch of a 1 billion yuan exchange subsidy program. The initiative covers three of Lantu’s car models, including Lantu FREE, the new Lantu Dreamer, and Lantu Chaser. Customers who participate in the exchange can enjoy a cash discount of up to 50,000 yuan on their purchase.

On the local government level, the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce has unveiled a new round of subsidies for the exchange of fuel vehicles and policies for the replacement of new energy vehicles. Concurrently, Shanghai’s latest green and smart home appliance consumption subsidy policy has also been released.

This ambitious program is part of a broader effort to modernize China’s consumer economy, reduce environmental impact, and stimulate domestic consumption by incentivizing the replacement of outdated and less efficient vehicles and appliances with newer, more eco-friendly options.


China, Iran, Russia wrap up sea phase of joint naval exercise

The five-day China-Iran-Russia joint naval exercise Security Belt-2024 on Wednesday wrapped up its sea phase. The core part of the drill saw warships from the three countries conducting training to rescue civilian ships, which reflected the peaceful nature of the trilateral cooperation, experts said on Thursday.

Held near the Gulf of Oman from Tuesday to Wednesday, the sea phase of the joint exercise featured training courses including live-fire shooting at maritime targets and armed rescue on hijacked commercial ships, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy said in a press release on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the three countries’ warships took turns and fired at mock targets at sea during both day and night, and practiced light signal communications, the PLA Navy said, attaching a photo showing a Chinese special force member firing a machine gun on board of a warship.

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