New Zealand sides with Australia in Beijing barley tariff dispute

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Mr Morrison is due to arrive in New Zealand on Sunday afternoon with the rise of China and its influence in the region expected to be important talking points.

“The mere fact that Prime Minister Ardern and I can meet face to face demonstrates our countries’ success in controlling the spread of the pandemic,” Morrison said in a statement ahead of the trip.

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“Our countries share common values ​​and interests, and we want the same for our family in the region. These talks will be an important opportunity for us to continue our efforts to support an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific, where sovereign states can defend their interests without coercion. “

China has become a problematic subject in the trans-Tasman alliance over how to handle Beijing’s growing assertion, with several recent public statements by New Zealand ministers frustrating the Morrison government.

In December, New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta offered to negotiate a truce between Australia and China and said the two sides must “give in in some areas where they currently disagree. “. Months later, O’Connor suggested Australia should speak with more “respect” and “diplomacy” towards China.

Ms Mahuta’s rhetoric has changed in recent weeks and now warns that Kiwi exporters should look to diversify their trade.

“We obviously cannot ignore what is happening in Australia with their relations with China. And if they are close to a storm eye or in the eye of the storm, we have to legitimately ask – it may only be a matter of time before the storm is approaching us ” , she told the Guardian last week.

New Zealand’s move to back Australia follows comments from the European Union’s top diplomat in Canberra, who urged China to have a “proper discussion” with Australia over its multi-party trade disputes. billions of dollars.

EU Ambassador to Australia Michael Pulch last week left the door open for the EU to join a WTO complaint against Beijing, saying Europe’s message to China was, “We have an international system that guides our trade and China should apply these in the same way that it expects others to apply them.”

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