CHINA: AUSTRALIA TRADE DEAL WON’T HURT NEW ZEALAND

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Chinese President Xi Jinping says his country’s trade deal with Australia won’t hurt neighboring New Zealand because demand from the world’s No. 2 economy remains strong.

Xi spoke Wednesday as he swung through New Zealand at the end of a month of courting international leaders. He went so far as to write an open letter to New Zealanders, describing their country as a “shining pearl” on the Pacific Ocean.

China and Australia signed a preliminary free-trade deal earlier this week. Xi said people have been asking him if that will have a negative impact on New Zealand, which signed a free trade agreement with China in 2008.

Xi said there’s so much demand among China’s 1.3 billion people that New Zealand should be more concerned about not having enough supply.