Two Hongqi (Red Flag) L5 cars arrived in Auckland, New Zealand ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s arrival, according to a Weibo post from the Australian-based Adelaide SA Radio Stations.
The $800,000 cars are expected to be special carriers for Xi and his entourage during his two-day visit to the country later this week, although the actual use of the cars has not been verified.
Xi arrives in Auckland on Wednesday night and will meet with New Zealand government and business leaders in Wellington, according to local reports.
Zhao Zhenyu, a senior diplomat cited in a Guangcha.cn report, said that there are no known instances of Chinese leaders shipping special carriers to use abroad, according to CCTV. “Guest should suit the convenience of the host” is the typical practice among diplomats, with the exception of American and Russian leaders.
The same model of car was used for world leaders who attended last week’s APEC summit in Beijing. That is, all but one president who opted instead to chomp on his nicotine gum in the back of a US-imported Cadillac.