China delays NZ tourism event amid concerns of strained ties:The Asahi Shimbun

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is revving up engagement between New Zealand and China- but it may not all be smooth sailing

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is revving up engagement between New Zealand and China- but it may not all be smooth sailing

Bridges has accused Ardern and Peters of mishandling the relationship, exacerbated by a Peters speech in Washington talking up the importance of the United States countering China in the Pacific. New Zealand was the first developed nation to sign a free-trade deal with China in 2008, and China has since become New Zealand's largest trading partner.

Ardern has also been unsuccessful in attempts to schedule a diplomatic visit to China, although she said officials are still working on nailing down dates.

News that the Government's security bureau may block Chinese giant Huawei from participating in the next generation 5G telecommunications network, seemingly under pressure from our Five Eyes partners, has left the political class on edge.

Mr Bridges pushed Ms Ardern on whether there was more to it than she was letting on, asking whether five of her ministers were now seeking visits to China and whether they were now waiting for agreement from China to visit.

"Air NZ wishes to sincerely apologise for the return and subsequent retiming of your flight, NZ289".

A former Trade Minister says China has clearly put New Zealand on notice over the treatment of Huawei.

An Air New Zealand flight heading to Shanghai had to turn back in mid-air because official paperwork referred to "Taiwan" despite Chinese demands, it has been reported.

But on Tuesday it was reported that China was angry about a reference to Taiwan in some paperwork.

The Huawei news followed a number of other moves which appeared to harden the Government's line on China, such as its defence policy statement.

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He again used the Air NZ flight being turned around as an example of how the relationship was under pressure.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a cabinet meeting at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, January 29, 2019.

Visitors view terracotta warriors during the preview of the exhibition "Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality" at the Museum of New Zealand in Wellington, New Zealand, on December 13, 2018.

However a fortnight ago, the Chinese (who were the hosts of the event) unexpectedly cancelled.

"We know customers will be deeply disappointed and frustrated by this situation and we are very sorry for the disruption to their travel plans", the airline said. "Look, there are no questions speaking more broadly... that our relationship with China is a complex relationship".

Air New Zealand did not respond to questions about a Taiwan link but said "as is required, the application includes a list of destinations the airline operates to, including Taipei". The airline and Beijing's foreign ministry have played down the incident. If its objections are not resolved, the Government will have to make the decision.

The rollout of 5G in New Zealand would be done over a process that will make sure the best interests of New Zealander's data and security were at the forefront.

Whether the current low level tension escalates is impossible to know.

On the other, if China wanted to demonstrate its power to cause considerable pain to a country resisting its expansion, while causing relatively little pain to its own economy, New Zealand could be an attractive target.

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