Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, China's Xi Jinping leaders' meeting confirmed

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will meet with China President Xi Jinping while both leaders are in Thailand this week.

Newshub understands the sit-down has been confirmed during the APEC summit but details are still being ironed out.

It'll be the first time the leaders have spoken face to face since 2019 - they had a phone conversation last year.

Ardern said she would not say anything privately to Xi she hasn't already said publicly, including China's increasing assertiveness in the Pacific and its human rights abuses against the Muslim Uygur people in the Xinjiang province.

"Some of these issues are things that we've been raising consistently for years. I think that's really one of the incredibly important things about New Zealand and its relationship with the likes of China," Ardern said. 

"We say nothing publicly that we don't say privately. We're very transparent and we're very consistent, so we have been raising those issues consistently. And we would continue to do so."

Ardern said she would also be raising Russia's invasion of Ukraine. China has stayed quiet on aspects of Russia's invasion and this week objected to the word "war" being used in a joint statement by the G20 leaders.

"You will have seen from some of the public reporting that consistently leaders are raising the issue of the relationship that China has with Russia and what might be possible there to try and again, see an end to the war," the Prime Minister said. "And that's why I think it's worth raising."

Xi has been having multiple meetings while he is out of China - including his first with US President Joe Biden since he took office in the White House.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern China's President Xi Jinping
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern China's President Xi Jinping Photo credit: Getty Images

Ardern said she believed world leaders' ability to reconnect in person after the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic would impact rising global tensions.

"I think we can underestimate the impact and difference that makes just to see people face to face," she said.  "I think everyone coped incredibly well with the remote way of doing business and countries around the world leaders adopted those practices, but... many leaders now are for the first time seeing each other face to face. I believe it's making a difference.

"And it might seem trivial but there's nothing quite like confronting different issues with different leaders physically in the room."

Newshub also understands a meeting has been confirmed with US Vice President Kamala Harris who is going to the APEC summit in Thailand in Biden's place because he will be at his granddaughter's wedding.

Ardern will also meet with Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the leaders of the Philippines, Thailand, South Korea and Indonesia.