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New Zealand’s principled stance on China is being muddied by Winston Peters’ connection with the Bad Boys of Brexit, Professor Robert Patman says.
This week, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced that New Zealand is suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong over China’s new national security law - which Peters has described as a breach of its obligations to a ‘‘one country, two systems’’ approach to Hong Kong.
International affairs commentator Prof Patman says New Zealand is justified in suspending the treaty but the Chinese government will view Mr Peters' position as hypocritical, given that he has contracted Brexit Leave EU campaigners Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore to help with NZ First’s election campaign.
‘‘I think it is unfortunate... that that decision has been slightly blurred,’’ Prof Patman says.
‘‘The official rationale has been given that China has breached the rule of law - when, in fact, the Foreign Minister has sought the assistance of those who have undermined the rule of law in the UK.’’
Watch the full interview here: