New Zealand: Our relationship with China is mature … and we welcome America’s presence in our region

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomed US “directions” to strengthen its presence in the Indo-Pacific region, calling her government’s relations with China “mature”.

Ardern hosts a summit this week online from leaders of the Asia-Pacific region, with the United States, China and Japan, to discuss how the region will recover from the Corona pandemic and subsequent economic crisis.

In an interview with “NBC” on Sunday, Ardern said the United States, led by President Joe Biden, plays a “very important role” in strategic defense, economy and trade relations in the region.

New Zealand: Our relationship with China is mature … and we welcome America’s presence in our region
Military exercises between the United States, Australia, India and Japan in the Indian Ocean in 2020

He added during the interview on the “Meet the Press” program, saying he welcomes “this effective presence and that the United States is part of the important talks in our region … we have seen that increased participation in recent times.”

He reiterated his government’s position that New Zealand, which has excellent trade relations with China and has long been described by Beijing as a model for its relations with Western countries, will continue its “integration” policy with China. the China.

A meeting between the Chinese president and Ardern in Beijing in 2019
A meeting between the Chinese president and Ardern in Beijing in 2019

“We still believe our relationship with her is so mature that we can raise our concerns, be it human rights, labor or environmental issues,” he added.

Relations between Australia and China have clearly been strained since 2018, when Canberra banned Hawaii from participating in its fledgling 5G network.

Relations cooled further last year when Australia called for an independent investigation into the origin of the coronavirus, which was first detected in central China in 2019.

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