Foreign Minister ANZ discusses five eyes at first face-to-face meeting

Foreign Ministers of Australia and New Zealand (NZ) met in Wellington for the first time on Thursday to meet twice a year to discuss ways to strengthen cross-Tasman relations between the two countries.

A meeting was held a few days after New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Ardern administration was “unpleasant” as the Five Eyes information sharing alliance expanded into the “human rights sector.”

After the meeting, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne did not publicly suggest whether these comments had been discussed directly, but instead chose to praise the “permanent and continuous” relationship between nations.

However, the pair clarified their stance on the Five Eyes to reporters.

Mr Payne said all members of the Five Eyes shared the view that it is an important strategic alliance that is key to national security and intelligence.

“Many of the issues we are dealing with are in the shadows, but not all. Some issues have been openly addressed through the Five Eyes process,” says Payne.

Epoch Times Photo
Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Australian Foreign Minister Marize Payne speak to the media at a press conference in Wellington, New Zealand on April 22, 2021. (Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Mahuta told reporters earlier this week at the New Zealand China Council that the Five Eyes arrangement should be limited to security and intelligence frameworks rather than branching into areas that include human rights. Suggested.

“There is no need to call the Five Eyes as the first port of call in terms of forming a coalition of support on specific issues in the human rights sector,” she said.

Prior to the meeting, Payne told ABC Radio that Australia would continue to emphasize the importance of the group.

“When it comes to Five Eyes, especially last year, and certainly what I found during the last few moments, is a very important level of involvement between counterparts,” she said before meeting Muffta.

The Five Eyes Alliance, consisting of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, was formed in the 1940s as an information sharing network.

However, in recent years, we have leveraged our networks to discuss and coordinate other pressing issues, including: Economy, defense, Big Tech regulations, and external relations.

Five Eyes, most notably, issued a joint statement condemning Beijing for the acquisition of Hong Kong.

Alexander Gillespie, a professor of international law at the University of Waikato in New Zealand, said the group was important as geopolitical tensions continued to grow.

“This is a multi-generational arrangement that is bigger than any other party,” he told The Epoch Times. “Furthermore, it grew to its present form in the first Cold War, but if the current trajectory with China continues, it will be needed more than ever in the second Cold War.”

A bilateral foreign minister-level meeting took place the day after Payne ended four agreements between the Victoria State Government and foreign countries, including Iran, Syria, and China.

Two of these agreements were signed between Victorian Prime Minister Daniel Andrews and Beijing’s National Development and Reform Commission under the auspices of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

In canceling the arrangement, Payne said they were “inconsistent” with Australia’s foreign policy.

Liberal Senator Eric Abets said the decision to sign an agreement with Beijing was “ridiculous” and would be used as a form of economic coercion by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

“Arrangements with Victoria’s CCP to establish a BRI in Australia should never have happened, and Australia must do everything in its power to ensure that such obvious forms of foreign interference are never considered again in this country. “No,” he told the Epoch Times.

“Foreign intervention is a major issue for both Australia and New Zealand, and our country is working together as needed to maintain national and international security.”

Former Labor leader Bill Shorten, who supported the Victorian Prime Minister who had previously signed up for BRI, agreed that the Morrison government had made the right decision.

“If we were in government, we wouldn’t have signed the deal either,” Shorten said. Nine talked about today Display on Thursday.

Meanwhile, Michael Schubridge of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute warned that New Zealand would have a hard time walking the geopolitical tightrope between its democratic ally and Beijing.

“They will find that their policy framework conflicts with their values ​​and interests, even if their purpose is to protect New Zealand’s trade in China,” he told The Epoch Times. Told.

“While quietly assuring Five Eyes partners that everything is going well, guaranteeing Beijing the same is sustainable unless China fundamentally changes direction under Chinese leader Xi. Not. “

Last year, the Chinese Global Television Network (CGTN) reported that the New Zealand government plans to upgrade its free trade agreement with China through the BRI framework.

Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Ministry of Commerce of China, reportedly announced the news at a virtual China-New Zealand Trade and Economy Joint Committee meeting on September 23, 2020.

The upgrade was aimed at deepening infrastructure, agriculture and tourism cooperation, Gao said. CGTN reported that New Zealand and China will also maintain communication on research, medicine and vaccine development.