Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has urged New Zealand to provide a “fair, transparent, convenient” investment environment in a meeting with the country’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, that comes amid a dispute over use of Chinese telecoms equipment.

Relations between the two countries have been strained since New Zealand’s spy agency in November stopped mobile phone company Spark from using Huawei gear in its planned 5G upgrade because of security concerns.

In opening remarks at their meeting Monday in Beijing, Li didn’t mention Huawei directly but said China wanted improved relations that would serve the best interests of businesses on both sides.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang review an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang review an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

Ardern did not address investment issues in her opening remarks, but thanked Li for expressing China’s condolences over March’s deadly shootings at mosques in the city of Christchurch.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday, April 1, 2019. (Naohiko Hatta/Pool Photo via AP)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks during a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday, April 1, 2019. (Naohiko Hatta/Pool Photo via AP)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang review an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang review an honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, left, is shown the way by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on stage during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, left, is shown the way by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on stage during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reviews an honor guard with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reviews an honor guard with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, April 1, 2019. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)