New Zealand’s Ardern Looks to Mend Fences During Brief China Trip

New Zealand’s Ardern Looks to Mend Fences During Brief China Trip
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, right, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, April 1, 2019 (AP photo by Andy Wong).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern completed a quick visit to Beijing on Monday, her first trip to China since becoming prime minister in 2017. Ardern was originally expected to tour the country over the course of a week, accompanied by a business delegation, with plans to stop in several Chinese cities. But an emerging rift between the two countries delayed that trip, and the mass shooting last month in Christchurch prompted Ardern to shorten her stay to one day.

During her visit, Ardern met with Premier Li Keqiang for the signing of agreements to increase cooperation in agriculture, finance, tax policy, and science and technology. She also met with President Xi Jinping, who called for “mutual trust” between Beijing and Wellington, and sought New Zealand’s participation in the Belt and Road Initiative.

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