On May 28 to 31, 2023, Wang Zhigang, Minister of Science and Technology of China, led a delegation on a visit to New Zealand at the invitation of Ayesha Verrall, the New Zealand Minister of Research, Science and Innovation. The two held talks and attended the 6th Meeting of China-New Zealand Joint Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation (JCM). Both delivered remarks and witnessed the signing of meeting minutes. The two also visited the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, and had an in-depth exchange of ideas on cooperation in the field of medicine between China and New Zealand.
Wang Zhigang stated that the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, in November 2022, charts a course for the healthy and stable development of bilateral relationship; science and technology is one important area for cooperation between China and New Zealand, and the 6th JCM is a concrete measure to implement the consensus reached at the leaders’ meeting.
Minister Wang Zhigang acknowledged the fruitful achievements in cooperation mechanisms, joint research projects, platform construction, and personnel exchanges between China and New Zealand since the inter-government science and technology cooperation agreement was signed in 1987. He exchanged ideas with the New Zealand side on mapping out China-Zealand science, technology and innovation cooperation plans, signing a five-year roadmap for sci-tech cooperation, and identifying priority areas and means of cooperation. Minister Wang Zhigang said that both sides have reached consensus in multiple areas, and China is willing to join hands with New Zealand to provide more support for cooperation between universities, research institutions, enterprises, and researchers from both countries. Efforts will be made to create a favorable environment for bilateral sci-tech cooperation and provide more solutions for addressing common challenges facing both countries and beyond.
Minister Verrall spoke highly of the cooperation proposals put forward by Minister Wang Zhigang, and stressed that New Zealand considers China as an important partner for research, science and innovation cooperation. The two countries have carried out pragmatic, efficient, and mutually beneficial cooperation in this field. The 6th JCM will provide guidance for future sci-tech cooperation between the two countries. New Zealand is willing to work with China to implement the consensus reached at this meeting and deepen cooperation.
Under the witness of Minister Wang Zhigang and Minister Verrall, Dai Gang, Director-General of the Department of International Cooperation at the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, and Robyn Henderson, Director of Science, Innovation and International Affairs at the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, signed the minutes of the 6th JCM.
Wang Xiaolong, Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand, Cao Ning, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Policy, Regulation and Innovation System at the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, Tian Yunhui, Deputy Director-General of the Sichuan Provincial Department of Science and Technology, as well as representatives from the Chinese Embassy in New Zealand, the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Sichuan Provincial Department of Science and Technology attended the meeting. On the New Zealand side, participants include Ron Xavier, Science and Innovation Counselor at the New Zealand Embassy in China, and representatives from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Health Research Council.
During the visit, Minister Wang Zhigang met with scientists from China and New Zealand engaged in medicine, food and agriculture, water resources, etc. He also visited the Royal Society Te Apārangi, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, the New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research, and the Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, to deepen his understanding of China-New Zealand sci-tech cooperation, joint research platform construction, and the development of science, technology and innovation in New Zealand.