COMMENT:

One of the great side effects of spending a week in Hong Kong, immersed in trade policy, is the perspective it brings to New Zealand's global political dilemmas.

They seem relatively benign when you throw them against the sheer scale of the challenge facing a place like Hong Kong.

In New Zealand we worry about the prospect of having to make a strategic choice between our largest economic trading partner, China, and our traditional political and cultural friend, the United States.

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But, while trade officials and diplomats are using increasingly careful language, the prospect of a "big choice" still

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