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New Zealand denies being soft on China

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern denies her government has been soft on China.

She said there was no significant difference between Australia and New Zealand’s stance on the issues of trade and human rights.

“At no point in our discussions today did I detect any difference in our relative positions on the importance of maintaining a very strong and principled perspective on issues around trade, on issues around human rights,” Ms Ardern said.

“You’ll see that Australia and New Zealand have broadly been positioned in exactly the same place on these issues consistently.

“So I really push back on any suggestion that we are not taking a strong stance on these incredibly important issues.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the two leaders “stand together” for the values which Australians and New Zealanders have “stood for and fought for”.

“There will be those far from here who would seek to divide us, and they will not succeed,” he said.

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