New Zealand has begun drafting its own ocean security program with the Solomon Islands, the defense minister said.
It was after fearing that a Chinese military base would be established at the gateway to New Zealand and Australia after Beijing’s own security agreement with the country caused tensions in the Pacific grab.
At the Shangri-La Dialogue, Asian Defense Summit in Singapore in 2022, New Zealand Defense Minister Toa Henare met with National Security Minister Anthony Veke of the Solomon Islands.
“”[We] Discussed New Zealand’s commitment to a partnership with the Solomon Islands, including maritime security. We look forward to continuing this important relationship, “Henare wrote in a Twitter post.
New Zealand and the Solomon Islands have agreed to begin developing a maritime security plan, but the island nation has not disclosed why it has agreed to sign a security agreement with Beijing.
“I don’t go into the details of the work plan, but it’s a positive sign and they have work to do now to follow up on that particular work,” Hennale said on June 14. I told the news room.
The Minister said the Solomon delegation emphasized that ocean security is a top priority for their conversation and that it shows that it is their top priority.
“So I said,’Well, how do we help?’ That was the creation of the work plan I just described,” Henare said.
He also believed in the strong cooperation of New Zealand’s partners and the willingness to face problems in the region despite the underlying tensions throughout the event.
At the Defense Summit, the New Zealand Minister also met with China’s Defense Minister Wei Fenghe to discuss New Zealand’s views on Pacific security.
Henare reiterated that New Zealand’s attitude towards the Pacific has helped make the region safer and more secure and support the independence and sovereignty of the Pacific nations.
He also said Wei expressed concern about New Zealand, which is “approaching” the US and Australian positions, reflecting the same rhetoric as when Beijing condemned the US-New Zealand joint statement.
Compared to the United States and Australia, New Zealand’s position on China has become more familiar.
In April, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern supported his “mature” relationship with Beijing, suggesting the need for cooperation despite growing aggressiveness in the region.