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New Zealand prime minister to visit China next week

March 25, 2019

BEIJING (AP) — China says New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will visit next week, in a possible easing of recent tensions.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang announced Monday that Ardern will be in China on Sunday and Monday, but gave no details about her itinerary.

Relations between China and New Zealand have been strained in recent months after New Zealand’s spy agency in November halted mobile phone company Spark from using Huawei equipment in its planned 5G upgrade.

Since taking office in 2017, Ardern has promised to make an official visit to China to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

New Zealand was shaken earlier this month by a deadly shooting spree on two mosques in Christchurch.