Australia, New Zealand propose a joint front in China | News
The leaders of New Zealand and Australia issued a united front on China, expressing deep concern about Beijing’s actions in Hong Kong and Xinjiang, and urged continued investigation of the origin of the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who hosted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday, strongly refuted the suggestion that the two countries have different attitudes towards China.
She said at a joint press conference in Queenstown: “You will see that Australia and New Zealand have always been in exactly the same position on these issues,” she said. “Therefore, I really oppose any suggestion and believe that we will not take a strong stand on these incredibly important issues.”
As tensions between Australia and China escalated, they showed solidarity. After Canberra excluded Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei from its 5G telephone network and called for an independent investigation into the origin of the novel coronavirus, Beijing blocked some exports from Australia.
Thereafter, Australia handed over China to the World Trade Organization due to its decision to restrict Australian barley.
On the other hand, New Zealand has chosen a more diplomatic approach by strengthening economic ties with Beijing, including upgrading this year’s free trade agreement. This aroused hints from the Australian media that Wellington had understated Beijing too much.
But Morrison defended New Zealand, saying that he and Arden have similar philosophies.
The Australian leader said: “Australia and New Zealand are trading nations.” “But neither of us will trade our sovereignty or our values. We stand shoulder to shoulder to defend, protect and promote these values.”
He warned: “There will be people who are far from us trying to divide us,” but he said, “They will not succeed.”
Before Morrison’s visit, New Zealand said it would support Australia in the WTO dispute.
Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Coronavirus
Two leaders Joint Statement After the talks, they expressed “deep concern about the development of events that restrict the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.” Beijing adopted a new security law to suppress dissidents and regarded them as subversion, separatism, and terror. Doctrine or collude with it. Foreign troops.
Arden and Morrison also criticized China’s treatment of Uighurs in Xinjiang, calling on Beijing to respect their human rights and give the United Nations and other independent observers free access to the region. Activists and UN human rights experts say that at least 1 million Muslims have been detained in refugee camps in Xinjiang. Human rights activists and some Western politicians accuse China of using torture, forced labor and sterilization measures. Beijing denies this accusation.
In the World Health Organization’s investigation into the origin of the pandemic, the two leaders told reporters that they hope that the investigation by global health agencies will continue.
Morrison said: “This has nothing to do with global politics.” “This has nothing to do with ensuring that a global pandemic is all-encompassing. The pandemic has caused severe damage worldwide, taking lives and livelihoods, and we understand this. How it happened, so we will do our best to make sure it does not happen again.”
He also said that both Australia and New Zealand hope to establish a free and peaceful Indo-Pacific region and will work hard to ensure that this goal is not threatened by the growing tensions between China and the United States.
He said: “The world is characterized by intensified strategic competition between China and the United States. This is a self-evident fact.” “I would say that our common point of view is that such strategic competition does not require the possibility of conflict increase.”
Arden also said that New Zealand is still a staunch member of the Five Eyes Intelligence Sharing Alliance led by the United States, which also includes Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
She said: “There is no problem, no doubt.”
New Zealand and Australia opened a quarantine-free travel bubble last month, allowing Morrison’s visit. The leaders of both countries stated that the next logical step to gradually reopen the border would be to expand the bubble to include other island nations in the South Pacific.
The two leaders also stated that Brenton Tarrant, an Australian citizen who killed 51 worshippers at two Christchurch mosques two years ago, will continue to serve life imprisonment in New Zealand.
Ardern stated that guidance on where to imprison Tarrant must be obtained from survivors and relatives, and the informal feedback she received from them also helped him stay in New Zealand.
“I understand this,” Ardern said. “In the process of ensuring that the sentences passed down are delivered, there are some problems with proximity.”
Morrison said he also wanted to respect the wishes of those affected.