Key to dine with China's President

HAMISH RUTHERFORD IN BEIJING
Last updated 17:16 18/03/2014
John Key
HAMISH RUTHERFORD/ Fairfax NZ

WELCOMED: Prime Minister John Key is greeted in Beijing on arrival by the city's mayor, Guo Jinlong.

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Prime Minister John Key has arrived in Beijing ahead of a dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

He arrived in the Chinese capital today where he was met by the mayor, Guo Jinlong.

Key'is in China this week to reassure New Zealand's largest trading partner over food safety standards following the Fonterra milk powder botulism scare last year.

Now his office has confirmed President Xi has added a new meeting to the schedule.

"Prime Minister John Key has accepted an invitation from President Xi to join him for a formal dinner while in Beijing,'' a spokeswoman said this afternoon by email.

"This additional meeting with China's president is clearly a huge honour and a measure of the deepening relationship with New Zealand.

"New Zealand exporters and their Chinese customers will be acutely aware of the potential benefits of such a meeting."

The dinner was understood to be tomorrow evening before Key and a business delegation goes to Shanghai.

The statement had no further details of who else would attend.

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