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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a welcome ceremony, Beijing New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a welcome ceremony in Beijing, April 1, 2019 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

Will a Big Election Win for Ardern Reshape New Zealand’s China Policy?

Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020

Political scientist Ian Bremmer remarked in a Twitter post in July that the relationship between the United States and China has “way too much (mostly economic) interdependence” for there to be a new Cold War. Instead, he posited, “It’s a failed marriage with the family still living together. How the kids turn out is an open question.”

The “kids” in this analogy are the small and mid-sized open economies of the Asia-Pacific—countries that depend as much on the U.S. for technology and national security as they do on China to buy their exports. A prime example is New Zealand, which is as close diplomatically to the West as it is economically to China. With Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expected to win reelection by a landslide in elections scheduled for later this month, her administration will have some important decisions to make about its policy toward China. ...

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