Jacinda Ardern prepares for meeting with Xi Jinping as Chinese President sends warning to world

The Prime Minister is about to sit down across the table from President Xi Jinping.

China's leader has just made an official statement to the APEC forum, saying the Pacific should not become the arena of a Cold War.

Jacinda Ardern is in Thailand for the APEC meeting, heading straight to a CEO Summit. There, she was given an embarrassment of compliments in an introduction to her speech.

Ardern was described as: "The most effective leader on the planet... the greatest thinker of the COVID era."

"I almost felt slightly embarrassed by the generosity of it," she said afterwards. 

Ardern will meet with Canada's Justin Trudeau after he got a dressing down from one of the most powerful men in the world - China's Xi.

"Everything we've discussed has been leaked to the papers," a translator for Xi said. "That's not appropriate."

Trudeau responded on Thursday by saying there are things the two countries will disagree on, to which Xi said: "Let's agree on the conditions first." 

A later translation showed the dust-up was even more brutal than first thought. As Trudeau stormed out, Xi said: "Very naive."

Ardern reacted by saying: "Any engagement between leaders, [it's] always for them to respond to or to give commentary on."

But Ardern backhandedly gave Trudeau some advice.

"I am cautious about not of course transacting everything that leaders talk about simply because it's just the practice that we have of making sure that there are things we can talk about behind closed doors."

At APEC there are a lot of closed doors. Ardern is to sit down with six in less than 36 hours and she's already bumping into more casually, like French President Emmanuel Macron.

Later on Friday, finally, she will meet with Xi.  

"What's important to me is that New Zealand is always consistent, and we are. I think New Zealanders can be proud of that," Ardern said. 

President Xi delivered a written speech to leaders, telling them the Pacific is no one's backyard and shouldn't be the arena for a power contest. He said no attempt to wage a new Cold War will ever be allowed by the people or by the times.

"But being consistent in a changing environment, it's tough out there," Ardern said. "But we're gonna, we're gonna stand strong."

Just probably not strong enough for a public rebuke.