Stop reading tea leaves on NZ-China relations - expert

An expert on international relations says he isn't concerned about New Zealand's relationship with China despite recent concerns about cooling diplomatic ties.

"The panic doesn't help anybody," Auckland University Politics Lecturer Dr Stephen Noakes told Newshub Nation.

"There is an inherent danger in the power of suggestion - and in reading the tea leaves on the China relationship in the way that national media has done."

In February this year, an Air New Zealand flight was denied permission to land in Shanghai and in January the Chinese consulate issued warnings that travelling to New Zealand was unsafe.

Official state visits between New Zealand and China have been also been postponed due to "scheduling issues", including a delayed launch for the NZ-China Year of Tourism.

These incidents combined have raised concerns that a rift may be forming between us and our largest trading partner.

However, Dr Noakes advises against over-analyzing the situation.

"Sometimes paperwork improperly filed by an airline employee is just paperwork improperly filed by an airline employee. Sometimes travel advisories are issued among even friendly nations."

Dr Noakes says there would be cause for alarm if China threatened our Free trade Agreement or issued a blanket warning to Chinese nationals advising against visiting New Zealand.

"Those things haven't happened yet. And I don't think anyone's even seriously talking about those things happening."

Until that time, he suggests a pragmatic approach when it comes to diplomatic relations with Asian superpower.

"China is going to be China and we should let them. We're not going to talk it out of anything that we wish we could probably talk it out of. It's going to be what it is whether we sell milk to China or not. So we might as well sell milk to China."

Newshub Nation.

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