Five Eyes become four as New Zealand takes different view on China

Five Eyes become four as New Zealand takes different view on China

I woke to this.

New Zealand BETRAYS! Leaves “Five Eyes” to join Mordor (China)

Turns out this has made international headlines, but not in New Zealand.

Here are my comments on Facebook

What a mess! NZ has had to walk back comments critical of the Five Eyes and in support of its sychophantic relationship with China. Did they get a rude phone call!?

Of this in the NZ media not a word although it has made headlines abroad. Perhaps they haven’t got instructions of how to spin this.

This is, in part what you get with 30 years of two-timing. It also reflects what small countries have to do while swimming among piranhas.  In s way, this goes back to the early 70’s when Britain abandoned their colonialist protection of NZ to join the Common Market.

Even Germany is facing choices in its relationship with Russia and America. They do not want to lose an energy lifeline through Nordstream-2.

Five Eyes become four as New Zealand takes different view on China

South Pacific nation puts itself at odds with UK and others in intelligence-sharing network by pursuing closer ties to the Communist state
By Robert Mendick
Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand’s foreign minister, left, with Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister
Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand’s foreign minister, left, with Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister

19 April, 2021
New Zealand has broken with its “Five Eyes” intelligence partners, including the UK, as it pursues a closer alliance with China, its largest trading partner.
New Zealand’s foreign minister said she would not allow the intelligence alliance to dictate the country’s dealings with China, putting it at odds with the other members of the ‘Five Eyes’  alliance: the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
Tensions between Beijing and Washington have been rising in recent years, while in March Britain and China imposed tit-for-tat sanctions stemming from human rights abuses committed against Uyghur Muslims. Australia’s robust criticism of China’s human rights record in recent months has resulted in punitive levies on more than a dozen Australian exports, including wine.
Intelligence sources in the UK insisted they were not concerned by comments made by Nanaia Mahuta, who was appointed New Zealand’s foreign minister following Jacinda Ardern’s re-election last year. Sources suggested there was a difference of opinion on a specific issue over the issuing of joint statements on China but stressed this was not “a fracturing of the relationship” of the Five Eyes alliance.
The Five Eyes network, which was established during the Cold War as a means for the five countries to collect and share intelligence, expanded its role last year to include the promotion of “shared values” on democracy and human rights. That included issuing a statement criticising China’s suppression of protests in Hong Kong.
New Zealand’s attempts to now distance itself from the Five Eyes alliance will inevitably open up Ms Ardern to allegations that her administration is ignoring abuses in Hong Kong and against Uyghur Muslims in order to preserve and grow its trading relationship with China. Recent figures show 29 per cent of New Zealand’s exports are sold to China.
In her speech to the New Zealand China Council, Ms Mahuta said Five Eyes should not stray from its scope of intelligence-sharing between member nations.
“We are uncomfortable with expanding the remit of the Five Eyes relationship,” she said.
“We would much rather prefer to look for multilateral opportunities to express our interests on a number of issues.”

Explainer | The Five Eyes

What is it? An intelligence alliance between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the UK
What is it for? Originally a Cold War arrangement designed to monitor the communications of the Soviet Union and its allies using the “Echelon” system. It has grown to monitor billions of communications across the globe, and now plays a leading role in counter-terror surveillance.
Why these five? The five members were all Cold War allies, but they also share the English language, the use of common law, and four of the five have the Queen as head of state.
Isn’t it controversial? Absolutely. Many critics worry that system has placed itself beyond proper supervision. Some have suggested that it allows member nations to circumvent domestic laws by receiving information on their own citizens from other members of the alliance.
New Zealand had previously been reluctant to sign joint statements from Five Eyes partners criticising China, including on the crackdown on Hong Kong’s democracy movement and the recent arrests of activists in the city.
Officials in New Zealand have not previously addressed the issue but Ms Mahuta said Wellington wanted to chart its own course in dealings with China.
She said: “New Zealand has been very clear … not to invoke the Five Eyes as the first point of contact on messaging out on a range of issues. We’ve not favoured that type of approach and have expressed that to Five Eyes partners.”
Ms Mahuta, 50, described the China-New Zealand relationship as one between a “dragon and taniwha”, in reference to a serpent-like creature from Maori myth.
She said: “I see the taniwha and the dragon as symbols of the strength of our particular customs, traditions and values, that aren’t always the same, but need to be maintained and respected. And on that virtue we have together developed the mature relationship we have today.”
The comments come just months after New Zealand’s trade minister urged Australia to show more “respect” to Beijing.
This is an update from RT

New Zealand throws support behind Five Eyes spy network 24 hours after raising concerns about increasing its remit

20 Apr, 2021
New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has committed to the nation’s “vital” partnership with the Five Eyes spy network a day after stating in a speech on China that she’s “uncomfortable” with expanding its remit.

In a statement released on Tuesday, Mahuta walked back her remarks, recommitting to the “security and intelligence partnership” with the other members of the Five Eyes intelligence network, describing it as vital to the nation’s defense.

New Zealand is a real beneficiary of the arrangement and will continue to actively engage with the Five Eyes alliance as we always have.

On Monday, the foreign minister told the New Zealand China Council that “we are uncomfortable with expanding the remit of the Five Eyes relationship,” seen as a condemnation of the group’s recent statements critical of China’s alleged human rights violations against Uighurs in Xinjiang and the crackdown in Hong Kong.

Beijing has responded to the criticism thrown at it by claiming that “the Five Eyes have taken coordinated steps to gang up on China,” opposing its intervention into the Asian nation’s domestic affairs.

In nod to China, New Zealand’s foreign minister says it is ‘uncomfortable’ with ‘expanding’ role of US-led ‘Five Eyes’ spy networkNew Zealand has, in the past, sought to distance itself from the Five Eyes network’s comments on activities in China, viewing it as being “out of the remit” of the group and risking the relationship between Wellington and Beijing. 

On Wednesday, Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne will arrive in New Zealand to meet with Mahuta, the first time the pair will have engaged in a face-to-face meeting since their borders reopened after getting Covid under control.

Australia’s relationship with China has worsened since the pandemic began, after Canberra called for an inquiry into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic in Wuhan, which Beijing took insult at.

This is an Australian view

And al-Jazeera

Is New Zealand putting economic interests above human rights?

But this is the sum total of the coverage in New Zealand media

Instead, amongst everything that COULD have been covered we had this.

The old Kremlin Watchers could have made their own conclusions about what this is signalling.

China’s Xi calls for fairer world order as rivalry with US deepens

Radio NZ,
20 April 2021 

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday called for a rejection of hegemonic power structures in global governance, amid growing tensions between Washington and Beijing over a widening range of issues including alleged human rights abuses.

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech via video at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2021

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech via video at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) Annual Conference 2021 Photo: AFP

Speaking at the annual Boao Forum for Asia, Xi criticised efforts by some countries to “build barriers” and “decouple”, which he said would harm others and benefit no one.

China has long called for reforms of the global governance system to better reflect a more diverse range of perspectives and values from the international community, including its own, instead of those of a few major nations.

It has also repeatedly clashed with the biggest stakeholders in world governance, particularly the United States, over a range of issues from human rights to China’s economic influence over other countries.

“The world wants justice, not hegemony,” Xi said in remarks broadcast to the forum.

“A big country should look like a big country by showing that it is shouldering more responsibility,” he said.

While Xi did not identify any country in his remarks, Chinese officials have in recent times referred to US “hegemony” in public criticisms of Washington’s global projection of power in trade and geopolitics.

On Friday, US President Joe Biden held his first face-to-face White House summit since taking office, in a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga in which China topped the agenda.

Both leaders said they “share serious concerns” about the human rights situation in Hong Kong and China’s Xinjiang region, where Washington has said Beijing is perpetrating a genocide against Muslim Uighurs. China has denied abuses.

In a display of economic cooperation to the exclusion of China, Biden said Japan and the United States would jointly invest in areas such as 5G technology, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, genomics and semiconductor supply chains.

As the Biden administration rallies other democratic allies to harden their stance on China, Beijing is seeking to strengthen ties with its autocratic partners and economically dependent neighbours in Southeast Asia.

Chinese speakers at the Boao forum, Asia’s answer to Davos, also affirmed Beijing’s commitment to global free trade.

China’s trade practices were a focus of an intense tariff war between Beijing and Washington under the Trump administration, with the United States accusing Beijing of unfair subsidiaries that give Chinese companies unfair advantage abroad and forced transfers of technology and intellectual property.

“The biggest experience that China’s accession to the World Trade Organisation 20 years ago is that we Chinese are not afraid of competition,” Long Yongtu, former chief negotiator for the Chinese World Trade Organisation entry in 2001, told the forum on Monday.

Shared interests

However, despite the persistent confrontation between the US administration and China, both sides have rediscovered a common interest in battling climate change, after bilateral talks on fighting greenhouse emissions fizzled out during the Trump era.

Last week, US climate envoy John Kerry flew to Shanghai to meet with his Chinese counterpart in the first high-level visit to China by a Biden administration official.

Both agreed on concrete actions “in the 2020s” to reduce emissions.

– Reuters

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