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New Zealand is done with speaking softly to China

Wellington's shift to a firmer stance on Chinese abuses unlikely to go further

| New Zealand
Jacinda Ardern and Xi Jinping shake hands in Beijing in April 2019: New Zealand is finally waking up to the reality of the potential geostrategic threat posed by China.   © Reuters

Derek Grossman is a senior defense analyst at the think tank RAND Corp. in Santa Monica, California and adjunct professor in the practice of political science and international relations at the University of Southern California. He formerly served as an intelligence adviser at the Pentagon.

During her meeting with Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' summit last month in Bangkok, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern expressed interest in continued cooperation, but also pressed the Chinese president on controversial issues, including Xinjiang, Hong Kong, the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait.

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