New Zealand says 'uncomfortable' with expanding Five Eyes

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying claimed last month that the Five Eyes are ganging up on China

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying claimed last month that the Five Eyes are ganging up on China

With the United States increasingly counting on its allies to help it get the jump on China, the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network would appear to be a ready-made and willing posse to enforce its will.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's tiresomely woke prime minister, often complains that one of the biggest challenges her country faces in promoting its interests overseas is that, owing to its remote geographical location, it sometimes finds itself left off maps of the world.

The comments were made in a keynote speech at the New Zealand China Council meeting in Wellington yesterday.

Defence ministers from Britain, America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand agreed on this expanded remit last May to 'advance their shared values of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights'. Mahuta expressed her discomfort in this expansion.

China has accused Five Eyes of ganging up on it by issuing statements on Hong Kong and the treatment of ethnic Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang.

But Mahuta does not want to make a habit of conducting diplomacy through Five Eyes.

Even laced with subtlety, the speech seemed like a sharp shift from the decision by New Zealand late last month not to sign a multilateral statement expressing concern about a World Health Organisation-China report on the origins of the coronavirus.

There were still things on which New Zealand and China would not agree, Mahuta said. "Once they are provoked to anger, things can get very tough", Hua said, emphasizing that the Five Eyes Alliance cannot represent the worldwide community today.

Its remit was recently expanded previous year when it began issuing statements on behalf of its members to has since been expanded 'advance their shared values of democracy, freedom and respect for human rights'.

"We are uncomfortable with expanding the remit of the Five Eyes", she said at the time.

No Five Eyes partner has raised expulsion or suspension with New Zealand.

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'Not every issue we speak as New Zealand is a security and intelligence issue, ' she said.

"She in a sense created some drama", Ayson said.

The move confirms New Zealand's independent streak on foreign policy.

"I never sought to disengage New Zealand from that intelligence-gathering co-operative". But instead of being seen as courageous, it drew an accusation of "timidity, even appeasement", from University of Canterbury academic Anne-Marie Brady. And former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien had been as equally opposed to the Iraq war as Clark.

Nanaia Mahuta says New Zealand is signalling to China its relationship is "respectful, predictable and consistent".

The Times has reported that New Zealand has reversed an agreement to expand the network's intelligence-sharing network.

New Zealand maintained the operation of its spy satellites to supply the alliance with intelligence during the 30-year rift with the United States and nuclear policy - and despite New Zealand's suspension from the Anzus security alliance.

"We will stand for what we believe is in the long-term interest of New Zealand".

New Zealand was fully let back into the Five Eyes club in Barack Obama's first term.

As a country that is known for distancing itself from global conflicts and being committed to maintaining a healthy and stable relationship with China, New Zealand must have found it hard to keep pace with the alliance's increasing hostility toward China, which has become a destabilizing factor undermining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

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