The decline of the US + the rise of China is giving smaller countries problems in planning their futures + the positions of Australia and New Zealand highlight the changing situation.
Australia is locked in a trade/political war with China whilst New Zealand has signed a significant trade deal with China. Australian policy is driven by anti-China security interests in Canberra and has seen trade take a big fall.
Which way to go? US is on the decline, though Biden will try to reverse the process, but which country is the more reliable long term bet?
The NZ Trade Minister ruffled feathers in Canberra by suggesting Australia take a step back from confrontation. And decisions will have to be made by the Australians whether to continue with Trump like confrontation or to seek an ongoing working relationship with China
If China is viewed as a predator foreign diplomats will take the hard line. NZ doesn’t and views China as a good long term bet. Looking ahead more countries will follow NZ and seek long-term co-operation with China.