Speaking Of Asia: US-China cold war spreads the chill

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern on the challenges that come her way as leader of a small Pacific nation

It is easy to overlook New Zealand, tucked away in a corner of the southern Indo-Pacific. South of even remote Fiji and with fewer than five million people, it is dwarfed by Australia's strategic profile and six-times-larger economy.

Yet, there is a Kiwi story to be told. In the past four decades, it has emerged from protectionism to be a liberal, free-trading economy that ranks high in human development indexes. It has steadily built more options into its foreign policy; when once it declared that "where Britain stands, we stand", Wellington has moved to be a part of the Five Power Defence Arrangements that group it with Australia, Britain, Singapore and Malaysia.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 23, 2018, with the headline 'US-China cold war spreads the chill'. Print Edition | Subscribe