Added: Rosana Dann - Date: 09.09.2021 09:39 - Views: 20667 - Clicks: 2165
Nanaia Mahuta's comments come after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this week that differences with its top trading partner were getting harder to reconcile, and the country's parliament unanimously declared human rights abuses were taking place against Uyghur people in China's Xinjiang region, angering Beijing. And it's part of our maturing relationship," Mahuta said in an interview with Reuters. New Zealand has major trade ties to China and has long been touted by Beijing as a model of its relations with Western countries.
Mahuta and Ardern have said they are focused on an independent foreign policy that is not loyal to any major bloc, a position that's popular domestically and followed by Labour Party-led governments including the nine-year administration until of Helen Clark. Mahuta said last month that she was uncomfortable expanding the role of the Five Eyes, a post-war intelligence grouping that also includes the United States, Britain, Australia and Canada.
China has accused the Five Eyes of ganging up by issuing statements on Hong Kong and the treatment of Uyghurs. Mahuta's comments were questioned by New Zealand's Western allies who asked if the Pacific nation feared criticising Beijing on its human rights records.
Mahuta said she stood by her comments. Foreign policy commentators, however, say the mixed messaging is confusing. It's about our relationship with our closest ally, which is Australia, and our strategic partnerships," she said. A diplomatic dispute between China and Australia worsened in after Canberra lobbied for an international inquiry into the source of the coronavirus pandemic. This has not affected China's ties with New Zealand, however, as both nations upgraded a free trade agreement in January.
Mahuta, the first indigenous Maori woman to hold the post, was a surprise pick last year as foreign minister.
In her first six months in office, the year-old has talked about a values based approach and bringing New Zealand's bi-culturalism to the centre of foreign policy. Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox. Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani held urgent talks with local leaders and international partners on Saturday as Taliban rebels pushed closer to Kabul, capturing a town south of the capital that is one of the gateways to the city. Welcome to the Reuters.
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