New Zealand’s “discomfort” expanding five eyes to confront China: NZ Foreign Minister

New Zealand’s foreign minister prefers to show his own policy on relations with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in a potentially soothing move, keeping the country’s foreign policy away from its close democratic allies.

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta was talking — in her Second major address Since taking office, at the New Zealand China Council on Monday, she outlined what a “modern relationship” would look like with China.

Mafta warned local exporters of the need to diversify trade markets and expressed concern about Beijing’s expansion in the South Pacific, but the Ardern government prefers not to work with the Five Eyes on issues other than information sharing. I said that.

“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.”

“New Zealand has certainly been very clear this quarter since it held its portfolio, so don’t call the Five Eyes as the first contact for messages on a variety of issues,” she said.

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)

“Human rights and other issues should be approached in a consistent, country-agnostic way,” she added.

“Sometimes we do this in collaboration with others who share our views, and sometimes we act alone.”

Alexander Gillespie, a professor of international law at the University of Waikato, said the Chinese Communist Party was pleased with the minister’s speech.

“This is a comment that China is pleased with, because it acts as a brake on the expansion of the Five Eyes, a rather informal alliance,” he told The Epoch Times.

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

However, in recent years, we have leveraged our network to discuss and partner with other pressing issues, including: Economy, defense, Cooperation on Big Tech regulation, and external relations.

The Five Eyes Foreign Minister recently partnered to condemn Beijing’s takeover of Hong Kong and the persecution of Uighurs in China.

Muffta’s comments also continue to deviate from the foreign policy position of his predecessor and former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters.

Peters ruled in tandem with Jacinda Ardern during his first term. Consistently candid About Beijing’s breaches, including the acquisition of Hong Kong, expansion into the South Pacific, and foreign interference.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters
Former Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters at the Wellington Parliament in New Zealand on October 16, 2018. (Hagen Hopkins / Getty Images)

However, the government changed its position after Jacinda Ardern’s Labor Party, which had been banished from Peters’ New Zealand First Party, won overwhelmingly in 2020.

In early April, New Zealand opted out of criticizing the World Health Organization’s (WHO) investigation into COVID-19, but WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom admitted that information had been withheld by investigators. I did.

Mahuta, on the other hand, likened the relationship between New Zealand and China to the mythical Maori sea snake, the dragon and Taniwha.

“There are some things New Zealand and China don’t agree with, disagree with, or disagree with,” she said.

“Often New Zealand has personally raised the issue with China. When there is tension between the dragon and Taniwha, we take a consistent and predictable approach through diplomacy and dialogue.”

New Zealand has long been accused of being the “soft lower abdomen” of the Five Eyes network. Avoid offending Beijing maintains trade relations.

China is currently the largest export market in the country, Over $ 20.1 billion The value of the product.

In January, New Zealand’s Trade Minister Damien O’Connor was a close ally after proposing that if he wanted to mimic the “mature” relationship between New Zealand and China, he should show more “respect” to Beijing. Caused diplomatic turmoil with neighboring Australia.

“If they (Australia) follow us and pay homage, I hope they will be in a similar situation (as New Zealand) if they sometimes show a little more diplomacy and pay attention to the wording.”