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International relations

Five Eyes glare at New Zealand over independent China stance

Ardern and Mahuta walk fine line amid pressure to speak out on human rights

HONG KONG -- New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta jolted her country's Five Eyes intelligence allies last week when she stressed a preference for a more independent stance on relations with China. And despite an international backlash and assurances from the prime minister that Wellington is committed to the spy network, Mahuta doubled down over the weekend.

"I said exactly what I meant," she said during a TVNZ appearance, in response to questions about her phrasing.

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