Ardern seeks Taiwan 'dialogue, diplomacy'

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Jacinda Ardern has refused to be drawn into debate over US Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to Taiwan, instead calling for "diplomacy and dialogue" to resolve acrimony.

The New Zealand prime minister fell back on her chosen phrase five times while questioned by journalists in Wellington's parliament house on Wednesday.

"We have long been a nation that in the face of tensions like these, that we'll call for dialogue," Ms Ardern said.

"I'm pleased to see that the both presidents from China and the United States have recently had lengthy calls. That is positive. Dialogue and diplomacy is what we need in these tense times."

Ms Pelosi's trip to Taipei has infuriated China, which claims Taiwan as part of its sovereign territory.

It has also generated different responses among political parties in Wellington.

In a contrast to Ms Ardern's caution, opposition foreign minister Gerry Brownlee lashed the American delegation.

"I would have thought that the most pressing issue for US foreign policy at the moment would be ensuring that the Russian invasion of Ukraine doesn't become a contagion," he said.

"Confusing it at this time with this kind of action I think is a little hard to understand."

Opposition leader Chris Luxon sidestepped questions on whether Ms Pelosi's visit was incendiary, saying "we want the US and China be able to resolve its own tensions and we want to be able to work with both countries".

He said he would refuse an opportunity to visit Taiwan, unlike right-wing ACT leader David Seymour, who said he would visit if invited.

"Any person has the right to go to Taipei, if the people of Taipei want them there," he said of Ms Pelosi's visit.

"It's not up to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) to decide who can go to Taipei. The fact that they even think that's an acceptable position shows we've got problems."

New Zealand supports China's "One China" policy, which claims Taiwan as its sovereign territory, but has a trading relationship with Taipei.

Ms Ardern deferred when asked if she would ever visit Taiwan, saying "my engagement has been directly with visits into Beijing ... and we have intentions when we're able to, to do so again".

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