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Jackie Ardenne in China: New Zealand and China meet at a critical point



A free trade agreement was signed just a few months earlier, and with a joyous mood, then Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao told Key that relations between China and New Zealand are the best in history.

A decade later, she accepted New Zealand Prime Minister Jackie Arden to nearly 18 months to visit China.

When preparing to finally get down to Beijing on Sunday to meet with Chinese President Chen Dingpin, relations between the two nations appear to be much more complicated. "New Zealand has committed itself to maintaining constructive and comprehensive relations with China," Ardern said on Monday when he announced the trip.

But Jason Young, director of the New Earth Research Center for Contemporary China, said in the past several years more and more questions have come between the two countries.

"Some of these questions are due to how China itself has changed," he said.

  New Zealand Prime Minister John Kee (L) shakes hands with US President Hu Jintao during their meeting in the People's Hall in Beijing on April 1[ads1]4, 2009

The Growing Voltage

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Relations between China and New Zealand are such that Arden's predecessors have taken care to promote, the Key visited the country eight times as a leader. Under Prime Minister Helen Clark, New Zealand became the first developed country to sign a free trade agreement with China in 2008.

Today, China is New Zealand's largest trading partner. Two-way trade between countries is estimated at more than $ 19 billion ($ 20 billion) in 2018, according to New Zealand's foreign trade and trade. China is also the second largest tourist market in New Zealand and the largest source of foreign students.
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However, Wellington's relations with Beijing have triggered anxiety for the United States, the long-standing ally of New Zealand.

Together with Washington, New Zealand is a member of the common information exchange community known as "Five Eyes," which also consists of the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia

In an extraordinary statement to the Economic Review Commission and the security of the United States and China in April 2018, former US government analyst Peter Matisse said New Zealand membership should be reconsidered considering relations with Beijing

"Australia and New Zealand face significant problems with whale intervention the Communist Party. In either case, the CCP has become very close to or inside. the political core of the two countries, "Matisse told the committee.

Juggling relations with the US and China is getting harder for New Zealand, with relations between the two giants worsening in escalating US President Donald Trump. The Commerce War.

Tensions with Beijing reached a new level in 2018 when the New Zealand Government Security Bureau blocked Huawei's Chinese technology company from providing 5G technology to one of Spark's major telecoms companies. pressure on allies and diplomatic partners to reject Huawei for security reasons, a move regularly condemned by Beijing. .. due to the GCSB decision on Huawei. "

Asking whether Huawei will be on the agenda this weekend, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Jen Shwan avoids the issue.

Ardern on the back of his leg

under pressure from opposition politicians and critics to defend the strength of New Zealand's relations with China, Ardren was forced to deny that China deliberately withdrew the visa process for New Zealand's diplomats and postponed Beijing officials' travel

That same month local media reported that New Zealand's flight to Shanghai was mysteriously forced to return to Auckland, finding that his documentation related to the disputed Taiwan.

At that time Ardren denied that this was a matter of "relations" with China, instead it was an administrative

But the postponement of a major Sino-New Zealand tourist event in the same month – which Ardner placed

Arndurn's journey comes also in a sensible time to New Zealand, just two weeks after the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch 50 people were killed. She even said she would cut off her trip to China because it does not seem "appropriate" to be abroad at this time.

After the global praise of her dealings with the tragedy, the leader of New Zealand is under pressure from the human rights group to raise the issue of China's repression against Uighur Muslims with Xi. According to reports by the US government, up to two million Uighurs have been detained in detention centers in the western area of ​​Xinjiang

"Given that I have raised it before, this should give you an indication," she said when she Reporters asked this week.

Before her trip, a prime minister spokesman once again denied she was concerned about relations with China that are getting worse under her leadership. "China is one of the most important and comprehensive relationships, and our relations are mature and sustainable," the spokesman said.

Chinese researcher Young agreed with the official line. "I think if relations really get worse this way, then it will be much clearer. I think China would be much more stupid in the message if it wanted to send a message," he said.

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New Zealand also increases costs. Last year, the government announced it would increase aid in the region by $ 714 million in New Zealand ($ 484 million). As part of its Pacific Recovery strategy, according to observers, at least partly by China's growing influence in this area.
"Our eyes are wide open to the dwindling influence of New Zealand in the Pacific and we are committed to restoring our approach to working with the Pacific region," said Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters in June last year.

Despite the many friction points, Steven Jakobi, the New Zealand Council Executive Director in China, is not panicking. Instead, Jacobi said the biggest fear was that little New Zealand was becoming unnecessary. "The truth is we are a small country and the Chinese do not get to think every day how they can do nice things for New Zealand," he said. "This means we have to be careful in the way we do things – but we will never reach agreement on everything with China."


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