lørdag 23. april 2022

Working with assertive China a must - New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern

New Zealand has been aware for some time now of a "growing assertiveness" and a "growing interest" in its region - explicitly from China, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. But Ms Ardern also spoke of the need to work together with China, on areas of "natural mutual interest". Speaking to the BBC in an exclusive broadcast interview, she stood by what she called her country's "mature relationship" with Beijing, but still expressed her "disappointment" that the Solomon Islands had cemented a security deal with China, fuelling fears Beijing could set up a military base on the island.

There is already an agreement signed by Pacific Island forum members called the "Biketawa" declaration, she said - which sets an expectation these countries provide for their own security needs together as a region. "One of the reasons we've expressed this disappointment [is]... Australia and New Zealand both have heeded the call of the Solomons for support during recent disruption," she said.