COMMENT:

In this game of Chinese whispers the original messages seem to have been forgotten, but that's hardly surprising when it's being played by politicians.

Forgotten is the postponement of today's launch of the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism which has been put down to scheduling problems on the Chinese side (even though it was organised two years ago and the Chinese certainly aren't known for their tardiness).

Also forgotten is the co-ordination of diaries between our leaders in the Beehive and Beijing, even though at the end of last year Jacinda Ardern appeared to have had an empty diary, waiting for a slot to be filled by the Chinese.

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This standoff between our two countries has come as a result of a number of things that have irritated the People's Republic - and they're making their irritation known.

Even though the Beehive unconvincingly tells us nothing has changed, if that's really the case it seems they're deaf to the Chinese fireworks going off around them.

Their ambassador to New Zealand, Madam Wu Xi, was pretty direct telling a cocktail function hosted by the NZ-China Council in the capital the other night that the countries need to build a more resilient relationship and handle differences properly to avoid the rocks.

Ardern, just a few hours earlier, had made a more diplomatic statement to journalists, talking about the complexity of the relationship but quoting statistics to prove everything was the same as it's ever been - which of course it isn't.

It never has been since our super spy agency the GCSB told Spark last November it couldn't use the world's leading telecommunications company Huawei to roll out its 5G broadband network because the company posed a security risk.

The Beehive vehemently insists it had nothing to do with the Trump administration's message to the Five Eyes spy network not to use the privately-owned Chinese company, insisting it has an independent foreign policy. Of course it has everything to do with it.

Huawei's technology's already embedded in the United Kingdom and it seems they've now given it the green light for its broadband rollout after assessing the risk.

The company's suspect following a law passed in China two years ago allowing the intelligence agencies there to use companies on security issues if they feel so inclined.

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But the question is: Would any country run the risk of allowing its world-leading enterprise to be used for espionage? And intelligence messages these days are so encrypted they'd be useless to those they weren't intended for.

It doesn't take a whisper to see what the real concern here is. That's the fear Washington has in their trade war with China of falling behind in the technological race.

And that's more of a risk than Huawei is to this country.