china fta coverage

April 8th, 2008

So I didn’t get time to finish all I wanted to do on this post this morning, and promised I’d get back to it this afternoon. Well, the day’s classes are over, the housework is done, and so here goes….

I found three articles on Xinhuanet this morning, one in English, and two in Chinese.

The first of the Chinese language articles is simply about the meeting between Wen Jiabao and Helen Clark.

[First a note for New Zealand readers: Helen Clark is referred to simply as “Clark”, no title other than Prime Minister, no “Helen”. I assume that’s because the Chinese rendering of “Clark” (Ke La Ke) fits with the usual Chinese pattern of two- or three- syllable names. I am certain no offence was intended.]

温家宝与新西兰总理克拉克举行会谈

Wen Jiabao meets New Zealand Prime Minister Clark

新华网北京4月7日电(记者李诗佳)国务院总理温家宝7日在人民大会堂与新西兰总理克拉克举行会谈。双方一致同意,以两国签署自由贸易协定为契机,推动中新全面友好合作关系达到更高水平。

Xinhuanet Beijing April 7 (reporter Li Shijia) State Council Premier Wen Jiabao held a meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister Clark on the 7th in the Great Hall of the People. Both sides unanimously agreed to take the signing of the free trade agreement as a turning point and to push Sino-New Zealand all-round friendly and cooperative relations to higher levels.

温家宝说,近年来中新关系发展呈现强劲活力,各领域务实合作不断取得新突破,给两国人民带来实实在在的好处。特别是此次 如期签署双边自由贸易协定,在中国同发达国家关系中开创了良好的先例。这不仅对两国和两国人民有利,也体现了合作发展、互利共赢的时代潮流,具有重要而深 远的意义。

Wen Jiabao said that in recent years the development of Sino-New Zealand relations had shown powerful vitality, pragmatic cooperation in every field had continuously achieved new breakthroughs, and had truly benefitted the peoples of both countries. Especially the signing on shedule of the bilateral free trade agreement this time sets a good precedent in China’s relations with developed countries. This not only benefits the two countries and their peoples, it also embodies the development of cooperation and the modern trend of mutual benefit, and has important and deep significance.

互利共赢的时代潮流” What?!?!?!?!

温家宝表示,中新两国在促进亚太地区和平、稳定与繁荣方面拥有广泛的共同利益。自贸协定的签署为深化两国互利合作开辟了 广阔前景,中新关系面临新的重要发展机遇。中方愿同新方一道,落实好两国领导人年度定期会晤机制,加强各层次磋商,夯实两国关系的政治基础;充分利用自贸 协定的有利条件,提升农、林、畜牧业等传统合作的规模和层次。发挥双方在应对气候变化、节能环保、低碳经济等可持续发展领域的互补优势,培育经贸合作新的 增长点;扩大文化、教育、科技、旅游、司法等领域的合作;密切在重大国际和地区问题上的沟通与协调,共同推动构建和谐亚太。

Wen Jiabao said China and New Zealand have a wide-ranging mutual interest in promoting peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region. The FTA will deepen the two countries mutual cooperation and open vast future prospects, and Sino-New Zealand relations face important opportunities for development. China wishes to implement regular annual meetings between the two countries’ leaders, strengthen consultations at every level, solidify the political base of relations between the two countries, and fully exploit the advantageous conditions the FTA provides to raise the range and level of the traditional cooperation in areas such as agriculture, forestry and livestock raising. Bring into play the complimentary advantages of the two sides in such areas as the response to climate change, energy saving and environmental protection, and low-carbon sustainable development, nurture new growth points in trade and economic cooperation; and closely communicate and coordinate on important international and regional affairs and together push for the establishment of an harmonious Asia-Pacific.

克拉克说,中国是新西兰重要的合作伙伴,新方从战略高度重视发展对华关系,明确坚持一个中国政策,主张加强对华接触合作,支持中国在国际上发挥积极作用。

Clark said, China is an important partner for cooperation with New Zealand, New Zealand pays close attention at a  high, strategic level to the development of its relationship with China, clearly supports the One China Policy, advocates strengthening contacts and cooperation with China, and supports China’s positive actions in the international arena.

克拉克说,新中达成了一个全面、互利、高质量的自由贸易协定,这是两国关系史上特 殊而历史性的时刻。协定为深化双边友好合作奠定了更坚实的基础,成为两国关系的又一重要支柱。新政府和工商界强烈支持并将切实执行好该协定。新方愿同中方 保持高层交往,加强在货物和服务贸易、农牧、节能环保、文化、教育等领域的交流与合作,密切在联合国、亚太经合组织中的磋商与合作。

Clark said China and New Zealand have achieved a comprehensive, mutually-beneficial and hig-quality free trade agreement, and in the history of relations between the two countries, this is an exceptional and historic moment. The agreement to deepen friendly cooperation between the two sides has established a stronger foundation and become a new mainstay in ties between the two countries. The New Zealand government and business community intensely support and will earnestly carry out the agreement. New Zealand wants to maintain a high level of contact with China and strengthen exchange and cooperation in such fields as the goods and services trade, agriculture, energy conservation and environmental protection, culture and education, and closely consult and cooperate in the United Nations and APEC.

会谈后,两国总理共同出席了《中国-新西兰自由贸易协定》等双边合作文件签字仪式并分别致辞。

After the meeting the two prime ministers attended the signing ceremony of the “China-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement” where they delivered speeches.

会谈前,温家宝在人民大会堂北大厅为克拉克访华举行欢迎仪式,农工党中央副主席刘晓峰、外交部部长杨洁篪、财政部部长谢旭人、商务部部长陈德铭、中国驻新西兰大使张援远等出席了欢迎仪式。

Before the meeting, Wen Jiabao held a welcoming ceremony for Clark’s visit to China in the north hall of the Great Hall of the People. Central Vice Chairman of the Chinese Peasants’ and Workers’ Democratic Party Liu Xiaofeng, Minister of Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi, Minister of Finance Xie Xuren, Minister of Commerce Chen Deming, and Chinese ambassador to New Zealand Zhang Yuanyuan attended the welcome ceremony.

Ugh. I strongly dislike political rhetoric. Still, Helen Clark’s was easier to decipher, but I can think of several possible reasons for that.

Anyway, that’s only the run-up. What about the actual signing of the agreement? That brings us to the second of this morning’s Xinhua articles:

中国与新西兰签署自由贸易区协定 四个”第一”引人注目

 China and New Zealand sign free trade agreement. Eyecatching four “Firsts”

 

新华网北京4月7日电(记者 常璐 张毅 李诗佳)中国与新西兰7日在北京正式签署双边自由贸易协定,这是中国与发达国家签署的第一个自由贸易协定。

Xinhuanet Beijing 7 April (reporters Chang Lu, Zhang Yi, Li Shijia) On the 7th in Beijing China and New Zealand formally signed a bilateral free trade agreement, the first free trade agreement China has signed with a developed country.

中国国务院总理温家宝在与来访的新西兰总理克拉克会谈时说:“这一协定的签署不仅实现了中新双方2年前谈判确定的目标,也使新西兰成为第一个与中国达成自贸协定的发达国家,在发展对华经贸方面,实现了第四个‘第一’”。

China’s State Council Premier Wen Jiabao said in a meeting with visiting New Zealand Prime Minister Clark: “The signing of this agreement is not simply the realisation of the goal of negotiations between China and New Zealand two years ago, but is also New Zealand becoming the first developed country to reach a free trade agreement with China, and is the realisation of the fourth of “The Firsts” in the development of trade with China.

This is followed by a quote from Wen Jiabao which was included in the article above, so I won’t repeat it.

新西兰作为第一个完成中国入世双边谈判的国家、第一个承认中国完全市场经济地位的国家、第一个与中国展开自贸区谈判的发达国家、第一个与中国达成自贸协定的发达国家,其经贸史上四个与中国有关的“第一”格外引人注目。

New Zealand was the first country to complete bilateral negotiations for China’s entry into the WTO, the first country to recognise China’s status as a full market economy, the first developed country to open negotiations on a free trade zone with China, and the first developed country to complete a free trade agreement with China. These four “firsts” in the history of economic relations with China are especially eye-catching.

中新自贸区协定是中国在与发达国家对话中 按照市场规则和双方要求达成的“规范化程度较高”的自贸区协定。新西兰作为发达国家,与中国在货物贸易、服务贸易、人员交流、投资等领域实现自由贸易安排具有重要战略意义。

The Sino-New Zealand FTA is China’s “High degree of standardisation” of free trade agreements reached in accordance with market regulations and bilateral requirements in its dialogue with developed countries. New Zealand is a developed country, and free trade with China in such areas as the goods trade, services, exchange of personal and investment has important strategic significance.

对外经济贸易大学中国WTO研究院院长张汉林说:“从双边长远政治关系和经贸关系来看,新西兰充分认识到中国作为发展中大国的重要性,双方也都认识到彼此的经贸互补性和共同利益。”

Head of the WTO Research Institute of the University of International Business and Economics Zhang Hanlin said: “From the point of view of long-term political and economic relations, New Zealand fully recognises China’s importance is a large developing country, and both sides also recognise each others’ economic complementarity and mutual interests.”

“虽然两国在政治上有所谓的意识形态差异,但双方共同战略利益和经贸利益远远大于在某些问题上的认识差异,这一点真正体现了中国互利共赢的开放战略,为中国进一步加强与西方发达国家进行双边自由贸易协定的签署和谈判起到良好的示范作用。”张汉林说。

“Although in politics the two countries have so-called ideological differences, the two sides’ common strategic and commercial interests are extremely large compared with differences in understanding of a few questions, and this point truly embodies China’s mutually-beneficial, win-win opening up strategy, and serves as a good example of the strengthening of the carrying out of negotiation and signing of bilateral free trade agreements with Western developed countries”, said Zhang Hanlin.

中新自贸区谈判是2004年11月胡锦涛主席与新西兰克拉克总理共同宣布启动的,也是中国与发达国家启动的第一个自贸区谈判。经过3年15轮磋商,双方于2007年12月结束谈判。

Negotiation of the Sino-New Zealand FTA began with the joint announcement by Chairman Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Clark in November 2004, and was the first free trade negotiation China began with a developed country. After three years and fifteen rounds of negotiation, the two sides completed negotiations in December 2007.

商务部新闻发言人王新培表示,该协定是中国加入世贸组织6年后推进对外开放的重要举措,也是中国实施自由贸易区战略的重要组成部分,充分体现了中国在新时期、新起点上进一步扩大开放的信心与决心,也为中国同其他国家,包括发达国家谈判自由贸易区积累了经验。

Ministry of Commerce spokesperson Wang Xinpei stated, this agreement was an important measure driving opening to the outside world six years after China entered the WTO, and is an important component in the implementation of China’s free trade strategy, fully embodying China’s confidence and determination in further opening in this new time and from this new starting point, and is also accumulated experience for China’s negotiation of free trade agreements with other countries, including developed countries.

近年来,中新两国经贸关系保持良好发展势头。2007年双边贸易额达37亿美元,同比增长26%。中国已成为新西兰第三大贸易伙伴,第四大出口市场和第二大进口来源地。双方在服务和投资领域的合作也日趋密切。这些都为两国达成自贸区协定奠定了良好的基础。

In recent years, China and New Zealand have maintained good momentum in the development of their trade relationship. The volume of bilateral trade reached 3700 million US dollars in 2007, a comparative growth rate of 26%. China has already become New Zealand’s third largest trading partner, fourth largest export market and second largest source of imports. Cooperation in the service and investment fields is also becoming gradually closer. These have all established a good foundation for the two countries’ free trade agreement.

谈及建立自贸区对两国的积极影响,商务部研究院贸易专家梅新育认为,自贸区建立对中国国内资源性产业、加工业的发展毫无疑问会起到 积极作用,中国将在新西兰获得更公正的市场准入待遇以及更有保障的原料供应。而新西兰消费者可以进一步减轻获取中国消费品的支出负担,新西兰农畜等初级产 品可以在快速增长的广阔中国市场上获得更有保障的份额。

Referring to the positive effect on the two countries of establishing a free trade zone, commerce expert from the Ministry of Commerce research institute Mei Xinyu believes the establishment of a free trade zone will certainly have a positive effect on the development of China’s domestic natural resources and processing industries, China will get fairer access to the New Zealand market as well as a more guaranteed supply of raw materials. And New Zealand consumers can further lighten the burden of paying for Chinese products, and New Zealand’s primary producers can get a more guaranteed slice of the rapidly growing Chinese market.

从国际政治角度出发,专家指出,新西兰作为东亚首脑会议成员,与“亚洲地区发展最快、最有影响、正在改变地区面貌的经济体”进行双边自由贸易安排,对其融入东亚地区发展起到积极作用。

Looking from the international politics angle, experts point out that New Zealand is a member of the East Asia Leadership Conference, and undertook bilateral free trade arrangements with “The fastest developing, most influential, economic body changing the face of its region in East Asia”, having a positive impact on the development of its inclusion in the East Asian region.

社科院亚太所副所长韩锋表示,随着经济连续稳步增长,中国因素的影响力在东亚发展过程中不断增大,正在改变东亚原来以日本为发展动力的旧经济结构。在新西兰融入亚洲过程中,中国是非常重要的一环。

CASS Asia-Pacific Institute Vice Director Han Feng said, after continual economic growth, China’s elemental influence in the development of East Asia is continuously increasing, and is changing East Asia’s original economic model  of relying on Japan as the driving force of development. China is an important link in New Zealand’s inclusion into East Asia.

加入世界贸易组织之后,自贸区已成为中国对外开放的新形式、新起点,以及与其他国家实现互利共赢的新平台。中共十七大报告明确提出 要“实施自由贸易区战略”。目前,中国正在跟亚洲、大洋洲、拉美、欧洲、非洲的29个国家和地区建设12个自贸区,涵盖中国外贸总额的1/4。

After entering the World Trade Organisation, the free trade zone has become a new form and new starting point for China’s opening to the world, as well as a new platform for realising mutual benefit with other countries. The report of the 17th Party Congress clearly proposed the “The Strategy of Implementing Free Trade Zones.” At present, China is establishing 13 free trade zones with 29 countries and regions of Asia, the Pacific, Latin America, Europe and Africa, covering 1/4 of China’s foreign trade.

梅新育认为,中新签署自贸区协定,对于其他西方国家具有示范作用,激励其在经贸问题上与中国更多地采取合作互利态度。“由于澳新西兰此前已签订自由贸易协定,这种示范和激励将会促使澳大利亚加快与中国的区域自由贸易协定谈判。”

Mei Xinyu believes the signing of the Sino-New Zealand FTA will set a good example for other Western countries, encouraging more cooperative and mutually-beneficial attitudes in trade issues with China. “From the previously signed free trade agreement between Australia and New Zealand [CER, I assume], this kind of example and encouragement will spur Australia on to faster negotiations for a free trade agreement.”

此次签署的自贸协定是新西兰于1983年与澳大利亚签署《进一步密切经济关系协定》以来最大的双边贸易协定。克拉克表示,中国市场是全球增长速度最快的市场,参与中国市场符合新西兰的国家利益。新中自贸协定将为新西兰出口商提供更多进入中国市场的机会。

The signing of this FTA is New Zealand’s biggest bilateral FTA since the signing with Australia in 1983 of the “Closer Economic Relations Agreement.” Clark said the Chinese market was the fastest growing market in the world, and participating in the Chinese market was in New Zealand’s national interest. The Sino-New Zealand FTA will give New Zealand’s exporters more opportunities to enter the Chinese market.

And the article ends with a quote from Clark that was included in the first article, so I won’t bother repeating it.

It’s interesting to see the difference between Xinhua’s English- and Chinese-language coverage. The English article was pretty much what you’d expect of any newspaper article anywhere, and avoided all the analysis and talk of China’s strategic plans for economic opening that we got in Chinese.

But, geez, Wayne, it’s not easy to find New Zealand in all of that. It’s almost as if, while the New Zealand government is talking about how great the FTA will be for New Zealand, China sees this as only one small step in a far grander plan for China’s economic opening to the world and continued development. Can’t blame them, though, I mean, the two countries are very, very mismatched in so many ways, the most obvious being size. I mean, NZ’s population is what? a quarter of Beijing’s? Even if you add the up-to-one-million expat Kiwis (allowing for a bit of overlap due to us expat Kiwis in Beijing), New Zealand still struggles to become anything more than a mere fraction of Beijing’s population. And that is comparing my entire country only with the city I live in. As far as the economics go, the two are again wildly different, but in those differences I, like apparently the two governments, can see a lot of complementarity and many areas we can cooperate.

Anyway, save the analysis for people who actually know what they’re talking about. 新京报/The Beijing News has its own article:

中新两国签自由贸易协定

China and New Zealand sign free trade agreement

我国与发达国家达成首个自由贸易协定

China’s first free trade agreement with a developed country

TBN’s Bao Ying and Li Meiling report:

昨天,中国商务部长陈德铭和新西兰贸易部长菲尔·戈夫在北京人民大会堂,正式签署《中华人民共和国政府和新西兰政 府自由贸易协定》,这是我国与发达国家签署的第一个自由贸易协定。这份协定预计2008年10月1日起生效。温家宝总理与新西兰总理克拉克出席了签字仪式 并分别致辞。

Yesterday, Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming and New Zealand Minister of Trade Phil Goff formally signed the “Government of the People’s Republic of China and Government of New Zealand Free Trade Agreement” in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the first free trade agreement to be signed between China and a developed country. This agreement is expected to take effect on 1 October 2008. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and New Zealand Prime Minister Clark attended the signing ceremony and gave speeches.

1,货物贸易 新西兰将在2016年1月1日前取消全部自华进口产品关税,其中63.6%的产品从《协定》生效时起即实现零关税;中方承诺将在2019年1月1日前取消97.2%自新进口产品关税,其中24.3%的产品从《协定》生效时起即实现零关税。

1, Goods trade: New Zealand will abolish all tariffs on products imported from China by 1 January 2016, 63.6% of the products being zero-tariff from the time the “Agreement” comes into effect; China promises to abolish tariffs on 97.2% of products imported from New Zealand by 1 January 2019, with 24.3% of the products being zero-tariff from the time the “Agreement” is implemented.

2,服务贸易 新西兰在商务、建筑、教育、环境等4大部门的16个分部门做出了高于WTO的承诺;我国在商务、环境、体育娱乐、运输等4大部门的15个分部门做出了高于WTO的承诺。

2, The service sector: New Zealand will exceed its WTO commitments in 16 areas of the four sectors of commerce, construction, education and the environment; China will exceed its WTO commitments in 15 areas of the four sectors of commerce, the environment, sport and entertainment and transport.

3,人员流动 双方承诺将进一步便利两国人员往来,新西兰将为中医、中餐厨师、中文教师、武术教练、中文导游等5类职业提供800个工作许可,并允许车工、焊工、计算机应用工程师、审计师等20类职业至少1000名中方人员赴新工作。

 3, Movement of personnel The two sides promise to improve the convenience of travel between the two countries, New Zealand will provide 800 work permits for staff in the five occupations of Traditional Chinese Medicine, chefs of Chinese cuisine, Chinese language teachers, martial arts coaches, and Chinese language tour guides, and will allow 1000 Chinese workers in 20 occupations and turner, welder, practical computer engineer, auditor to move to New Zealand for work.

双方还制定了一份工作假期计划。该计划将允许每年最多1000名年轻中国人通过工作假期计划前往新西兰。

The two sides also drew up a plan for working holidays. This plan will permit up to 1000 young Chinese to take working holidays in New Zealand each year.

And that’s that: Short, sweet and straight to the point. I like the concise, business-like and politico-speak-free style. Kinda short on details, but the details that are there are interesting: I like the 800 NZ work visas being given out to Chinese chefs, language teachers, martial arts coaches, TCM doctors and tour guides- although I think the tour guides would be better swapped for more language teachers to train Kiwis to guide Chinese tourists (I mean, how good a job could a tour guide whose experience and knowledge of New Zealand is no longer or deeper than the the tourists in her charge do?). But those 1000 other visas have me wondering: What use could such people be? Will there be any language requirements attached to said visas? And if so, how good a chance does a Chinese turner or welder have of getting a decent job in New Zealand, given Kiwi employers’ well-known reluctance to hire anybody from a country that perhaps might not be quite so English-speaking (or even hire Kiwis whose experience is all overseas)?

But working holidays is a great idea- I wonder if young Kiwis will be eligible for working holiday visas for China, too? That would only be fair.

Still, it does seem to be a little lop-sided, with New Zealand making more and bigger concessions. Not surprising, though, considering Kiwis’ legendary inability to do business in China.

Well, that’s all I can find in the Chinese media for now. I’m off to see how it’s being covered in New Zealand.

 

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