fredag 10. desember 2021

New Zealand isn’t naive about China – but it doesn’t accept the Aukus worldview

After the Biden administration’s announcement concerning the “diplomatic ban” of China’s Winter Games, Jacinda Ardern’s government has distanced itself from western allies once again – but it would be wrong to assume that Wellington has any illusions about China. The US government confirmed this week it would diplomatically boycott the Winter Olympic Games to protest against China’s persecution of the Uyghur people in the country’s Xinjiang province. Australia, UK and Canada subsequently indicated they would join the boycott.

Meanwhile, Grant Robertson, New Zealand’s deputy prime minister, said the New Zealand government had informed Chinese officials it would not send any ministers to the 2022 Winter Games, but left open the possibility that some diplomats may attend. Robertson said this decision was due to a “range of factors but mostly to do with Covid” and “human rights issues” in China. However, he believed New Zealand’s position on the games did not amount to a “diplomatic boycott”.