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Why New Zealand has no need to worry over China

Newstalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Sunday, 17 February 2019, 4:04p.m.
Jacinda Ardern met with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the ASEAN Summit last year. (Photo / ASEAN)

The biggest story of the last week has been the apparent collapse over New Zealand's relationship with China - but has it all been a lot of fuss over nothing?

Commentators have raised concerns over a series of incidents that came to light over the last week, including flights and imports being turned away and the cancellation of a tourism event. Most noticeably, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's visit to the country has been postponed indefinitely. 

However, former China correspondent Rowan Callick told The Weekend Collective that this conflict is not serious and is simply routine for China.

"China has had bigger public assaults on South Korea, Canada, Japan, and Australia, but China itself is trapped between concrete fences."

Callick says that China dials out this outrage as part of their attempt to increase their influence. He says China needs the rest of the world as they are trying to rebuild their relationships with markets and can't afford to lose these relationships. 

He says that New Zealand should not worry as they have not done anything terrible or shocking, nor anything particularly unique when it comes to concerns over Huawei. 

"Almost every country in the industrialised has registered concerns over Huawei," Callick says, noting that it is something unavoidable for the technology company given their relationship with the Chinese government.

There is only one area of concern Callick noted. 

"The only issue you have as Australia has is we're both rather unbalanced in the proportion of our international trade and goods and servicesd that are China dependent." 

Callick says the onus is on our countries to diversify more with our trade to avoid being put in situations like this. 


ON AIR: Andrew Dickens Afternoons

12p.m. - 4p.m.