New Zealand’s Ardern Touts ‘Maturity’ in Relations With China
(Bloomberg) -- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there is a “maturity” in New Zealand’s relationship with China, its biggest trading partner, which her government believes enables it to raise issues of concern, amid simmering tensions between Beijing and the West.
“New Zealand has always been very consistent in saying regardless of that economic relationship, we do still believe that we have the maturity in our relationship to raise issues that we are concerned about -- be it human rights issues, be it labor issues, be it environmental issues,” Ardern told U.S. news program Meet the Press in an interview set to air Sunday. “It’s very important to us that we continue to be able to do that and do that regardless of those trading ties.”
New Zealand’s leader also said she welcomed signals from the U.S. of greater engagement in the Indo-Pacific, including a “physical presence, being part of important talks in our region.”
Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said in May that New Zealand wanted a more mature relationship with Beijing that went beyond trade ties and allowed space for disagreement, notably on human rights issues, according to Reuters.
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