Twenty schools across New Zealand will strengthen links with sister schools in China with grants from a fund announced during Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit in November last year, the New Zealand government announced Friday.
The schools had received 50,000 NZ dollars (37,864 U.S. dollars) in total from the New Zealand-China Sister Schools Fund, which was administered by the government's Education New Zealand agency, said Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce.
Most schools were using their grants to support students and staff to travel to China, said Joyce, who is in Shanghai to build ties between the two countries' marine, education and technology sectors, in a statement from his office.
"It is important that New Zealand builds strong people-to- people links with China, which is now one of our largest trading partners," Joyce said.
"Having more New Zealand school students building a personal understanding of China and its people is an investment in the future of New Zealand in this Asia-Pacific century," he said.
"Sister school partnerships are designed to benefit participating schools from both New Zealand and China, and will help ensure that we have the cross-cultural understanding and language skills to see our good relationship thrive."