President Ardern expresses human rights concerns, Taiwan joins China’s Xi Jinping

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 18 to discuss regional issues and cooperation at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Bangkok on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum.

Ardern said the talks, in which New Zealand expressed concern over human rights and tensions with Taiwan, while expressing interest in a trade visit to China, were “constructive” and a visit to Beijing could follow. .

The bilateral meeting between the two leaders lasted nearly 50 minutes, longer than the scheduled 20 minutes. The meeting was the first summit meeting since 2019.

The majority of the meeting was about the strength of ties between the two countries and key areas of cooperation such as trade, agriculture, climate change and the environment, according to a New Zealand government statement, according to media sources. report.

The statement also said, “Noting New Zealand’s interest in peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region, the Prime Minister acknowledged China’s long-standing relationship in the Pacific, but if issues or cooperation affect the broader Pacific region, the encouraged the involvement of Buildings such as the Pacific Islands Forum were important. ”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and China. according to For China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the anniversary provides an opportunity for the two countries to “strengthen high-level exchanges and deepen cooperation in areas such as economy and trade, education and climate change response.”

Ardern raised Xi’s concerns about human rights issues in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, military build-up in the South China Sea, Beijing’s response to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and tensions in the Taiwan Strait.

The United Nations Office for Human Rights recently concluded that (pdf) Members of Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region face “arbitrary and discriminatory detention” that “could constitute international crimes, particularly crimes against humanity.” It faces “more general deprivation of fundamental rights enjoyed individually and collectively”.

Meanwhile, China’s military flew 36 fighters and bombers across the Taiwan Strait’s central line this month. Taiwan’s defense ministry said the provocations were part of a long-running campaign aimed at intimidating the democracy of the autonomous islands that Beijing claims are part of its territory.

New Zealand is part of the Five Eyes Intelligence Sharing Alliance between Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, but is often seen as a moderate member when it comes to protesting issues involving China.

But New Zealand’s stance on security and China’s growing presence in the South Pacific has strengthened after China signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands earlier this year.

North Korean missile

North Korea launched a suspected intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on November 18 and landed about 200 kilometers (130 miles) off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan.

US Vice President Kamala Harris called an emergency meeting at APEC with the leaders of South Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to condemn North Korea after the alleged launch.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters on the sidelines of the APEC Forum that the missile was suspected to be an ICBM class weapon and landed inside Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). A Japanese official said the missile could reach the US mainland.

Kishida said, “North Korea has repeatedly carried out provocative acts with an unprecedented frequency, and I would like to strongly appeal that such acts are unacceptable.”

The launch came a day after North Korea launched a short-range missile into eastern waters as a warning to the United States, which has a growing security presence in the region with its allies. Korea and Japan.

Japan’s Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada said the missile was likely launched on a “lofted trajectory” to test and add to the missile program after North Korea resumed testing ICBMs. was reported as The Japan Times.

A lofted trajectory is when the projectile is fired at a much higher angle. Based on calculations, a North Korean missile launched on a standard non-lofted trajectory could have traveled more than 15,000 kilometers (9,320 miles), depending on the weight of the warhead it carries. Mr. Hamada said yes. This could put the continental United States within attack range.

After Ardern’s meeting with President Xi, Ardern told reporters: Japan is clearly another step in the escalation in the region. ”

A statement by the New Zealand government said President Ardern urged China to use its influence and access to North Korea to address the international security challenges posed by the missile tests and to prevent war in Ukraine. but did not ask China to intervene. Neither country.

Ardern, however, declined to comment on Xi’s views or what he said at a meeting about ballistic missiles launched by North Korea.

“It is in no one’s interest that peace and stability in the region is lost. That is the common view, where there is consensus,” Ardern added.

Xi is speech Attempts to start a new Cold War by stating at the APEC forum that “the Asia-Pacific is no one’s backyard and should not be a power struggle” will never be tolerated.

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