The Kiwis, as New Zealanders are often referred to, are proud of their independent approach towards relations with Beijing that has been defined by six “firsts”. New Zealand was the first country in the “West” to support China’s accession to the World Trade Organization in December 2001. The South Pacific nation was also the first developed country to recognise China as a market economy under the WTO; the first developed country to start negotiating a free-trade agreement (FTA) with China; the first developed country to sign and ratify an FTA with China; the first Western country to join China’s
Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank; and the first Western country to sign an MoU with China on the
Belt and Road Initiative.