Jacinda Ardern admits that New Zealand and Chinese values ​​are “difficult to reconcile”

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted that the interests of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) are “difficult to reconcile” on the world stage, but said these differences did not define the relationship between NZ and China. Stated.

Ardern’s comment is just weeks after the government endured intense criticism from British politicians that Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta was hesitant to extend the Five Eyes arrangements to other areas, including human rights dialogue. It was issued later.

In a speech China Business Summit Ardern said on Monday that her government took a “principle-based approach” to foreign policy and made decisions independently and in line with New Zealand’s interests and values.

“As Minister Mahuta said last month, we need to admit that there are some things that China and New Zealand disagree with, disagree with, and disagree with,” Ardern said. “This doesn’t have to undermine our relationship. It’s just reality.”

Epoch Times Photo
Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta speaks to the media in Wellington, New Zealand, on December 1, 2020, in the presence of Deputy Foreign Minister Aupit Shio (L) and Minister of Trade and Export Damian O’Connor (Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images).

“We have made this very clear in the past year by carefully choosing who to make public statements about our concerns and with whom,” she added.

“For example, last year we chose to raise a personal issue with China, but in addition to this, in multilateral institutions such as the Human Rights Council, many other countries and public statements. We also chose to announce, “she added.

“We have also chosen to partner with Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries that share our views and values,” she said. “And sometimes we talked alone.”

Ardern went on to say that NZ was open to expressing concern about the persecution of Uighurs and the takeover of Hong Kong.

“And as China’s role in the world grows and changes, it’s hard to harmonize the differences between our systems, and the interests and values ​​that shape them, no one here’s attention. Did not escape. “

The Prime Minister said New Zealand would continue to support an order based on international rules and appealed to Beijing to act in a manner “in line with its responsibilities as a growing power.”

China's Xi Jinping Jintao
Before the meeting at the Great Hall of the People, which was held in China in Beijing on April 1, 2019, China’s Xi Jinping Jintao (right) is Jashinda-Adan Prime Minister of New Zealand signed a handshake. (Kenzaburo Oe – Pool / Getty Images)

Ardern also made extensive relations between China and New Zealand, including a recent speech to the Boao Forum, a $ 30 billion two-way trade relationship, the signing of a comprehensive strategic and regional comprehensive economic partnership. I admitted.

In late April, Foreign Minister Mahuta delivered a speech to the New Zealand China Council, outlining what NZ’s “modern relations” with China were.

In her speech, she expressed concern about the push of soft power into Beijing’s South Pacific region, while New Zealand exporters needed to diversify trade from China.

But what frowned upon from the democratic allies was her comment on the Five Eyes.

“We are uncomfortable with expanding the powers of the Five Eyes,” she told reporters. “We rather want to look for multilateral opportunities to express our interests.”

“Human rights and other issues should be approached in a consistent, country-agnostic way,” she added. Her comment was endorsed by Ardern.

Five Eyes has traditionally been an information sharing network between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, but in recent years the network has been used for discussion. Economy, defense, Big Tech regulations, and diplomatic relations.

British Conservative lawmaker Bob Seely has blamed comments in parliament.

Epoch Times Photo
Bob Seely MP will speak at the British Parliament in Westminster, London, on January 20, 2021. (Parliamentlive.tv/Screenshot)

“A quarter of the UK supply chain is dominated by China.” Apparently said.. “The problem is that as we go further on that route, we end up in a hell of ethical turmoil, like New Zealand, where the prime minister roughly sucks into China and signals virtue while withdrawing the Five Eyes agreement. ., this is horribly short-sighted. “

Michael Schubridge, director of defense at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, has shown that the New Zealand government is attempting “quiet diplomacy” with China, but warned that this approach was not suitable for its purpose.

“New Zealand 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. ..

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