mandag 3. mai 2021

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

New Zealand’s differences with China are becoming “harder to reconcile,” the prime minister Jacinda Ardern has said, as she called on China “to act in the world in ways that are consistent with its responsibilities as a growing power”. Ardern’s comments were made as New Zealand’s government comes under increasing pressure, both internally and from international allies, to take a firmer stance on concerns over human rights abuses of Uyghur people in China’s Xinjiang province. Last week, the Act party presented a motion for New Zealand’s parliament to debate whether the treatment of Uyghurs in Xinjiang constitutes genocide – a motion that Labour will discuss this week.

“Managing the relationship is not always going to be easy and there can be no guarantees,” Ardern said in her speech to the China Business Summit on Monday. “We need to acknowledge that there are some things on which China and New Zealand do not, cannot, and will not agree.”

Ardern specifically cited the situation in Xinjiang, noting that “We have commented publicly about our grave concerns regarding the human rights situation of Uyghurs”. She also mentioned the “continued negative developments with regard to the rights, freedoms and autonomy of the people of Hong Kong”.