Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand’s differences with China are becoming ‘harder to reconcile’

Jacinda Ardern has conceded managing her country’s relationship with China isn’t easy, with some issues becoming “harder to reconcile”.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that differences between New Zealand and China are becoming harder to reconcile as Beijing’s role in the world grows and changes.

May 3, 2021: New Zealand’s prime minister took a tougher stance on China’s human rights record by saying it was getting harder to reconcile differences as China’s role in the world grows.

In a speech at the China Business Summit in Auckland, Ms Ardern said there are things on which China and New Zealand “do not, cannot, and will not agree”, but added these differences need not define their relationship.

“It will not have escaped the attention of anyone here that as China’s role in the world grows and changes, the differences between our systems – and the interests and values that shape those systems – are becoming harder to reconcile,” Ms Ardern said.

“This is a challenge that we, and many other countries across the Indo Pacific region, but also in Europe and other regions, are also grappling with,” she added.

The comments come as New Zealand faces pressure from some elements among Western allies over its reluctance to use the Five Eyes intelligence and security alliance, which includes Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States, to criticise Beijing.

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta said last month she was uncomfortable expanding the role of Five Eyes.

China, New Zealand’s largest trading partner, has accused the Five Eyes of ganging up on China by issuing statements on Hong Kong and the treatment of ethnic Muslim Uihgurs in Xinjiang.

Ms Ardern said New Zealand would continue to speak about these issues individually as well as through its partners. Managing the relationship with China is not always going to be easy and “there can be no guarantees”, Ms Ardern added.

China is engaged in a diplomatic row with Australia and has imposed trade restrictions after Canberra lobbied for an international inquiry into the source of the coronavirus. Beijing denies the curbs are reprisals, saying reduced imports of Australian products are the result of buyers’ own decisions.

Ms Ardern said how China treats its partners is important.

“We hope that China too sees it in its own core interests to act in the world in ways that are consistent with its responsibilities as a growing power, including as a permanent member of the UN Security Council,” she added.

https://www.sbs.com.au/news/jacinda-ardern-says-new-zealand-s-differences-with-china-are-becoming-harder-to-reconcile

Published by amongthefray

News with a historical perspective. Fighting against misinformation, hate, and revisionist history.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: