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Jacinda Ardern might be in Europe for security and trade talks, but China is a key reason for both, Professor Robert Patman says.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was top of the agenda at the Nato leaders summit, which Prime Minister Ardern spoke at, in Madrid, Spain. How the invasion plays out will have “reverberations” for New Zealand’s relationship with an emboldened or cautioned China, Prof Patman told Global Insight.
“From a New Zealand point of view, we need to see Mr Putin’s troops ejected from Ukraine in order for China to be more cautious in its relationship with Taiwan,” the University of Otago foreign affairs specialist says.
On the trade front, Prof Patman says China’s increasing willingness to challenge international norms is giving impetus to Ardern’s efforts to invigorate protracted free trade agreement negotiations with the European Union.
“There is a perception, in New Zealand, that we have too many eggs in the China trade basket.”
Prof Patman also commented on the reasons for Ardern’s high standing with global leaders, why this is a “momentous” and “challenging” time in world history, and drivers for Nato’s expanded interest in the Indo-Pacific region.