Ardern’s Hot-and-Cold Approach to China Is Getting Harder to Follow

Ardern’s Hot-and-Cold Approach to China Is Getting Harder to Follow
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before their meeting in Beijing, April 1, 2019 (pool photo by Kenzaburo Fukuhara via AP).

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has maintained a bipartisan consensus on New Zealand’s relationship with China, which was nurtured over decades by successive governments. In return for a lucrative trading relationship, criticism of China has remained muted. Yet Ardern has likely sensed that the public mood on China is hardening.

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