Connect with us

Global Politics

TICKER VIEWS – Is New Zealand really cosying up to China?

Jackson Williams

Published

on

The diplomatic rift between Australia and China continues to worsen, exacerbated by Scott Morrison’s government tearing up controversial infrastructure agreements.

Canberra is bracing for retaliation from Beijing, after it torpedoed Belt and Road Initiative agreements China signed with the Australian state of Victoria.

Australia hasn’t hesitated to stand up to an increasingly assertive and powerful China. It led calls for an independent investigation into the origins of COVID-19, much to China’s fury.

Beijing has even shared a 14-point list of grievances that it has against Australia.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shake hands before their meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, April 1, 2019. (Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool Photo via AP)


TREADING CAREFULLY

New Zealand’s relationship with China has also been under the spotlight, but for completely different reasons.

New Zealand has been accused of turning its back on its “Five Eyes” allies, amid claims Jacinda Ardern’s government is soft on China.

There’s no question that Australia and New Zealand have fundamentally different approaches to handling the increasing assertiveness of China.

But is New Zealand moving closer to China?

Robert Ayson is a Professor of Strategic Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He says that while New Zealand doesn’t have a “hardline, zero sum approach to [its] relationship” with Beijing, it “… has taken a strong view on China compared to where it was 7-8 years ago.”

“New Zealand wants to maintain good relations with traditional partners, particularly in the Five Eyes context,” he told Ticker News.

“New Zealand also wants to keep room for a productive relationship with Beijing. New Zealand is unlikely to go down the path that Australia has…”

Australia’s actions have seen it become a victim of China’s economic coercion. New Zealand is seeking to tread carefully, mindful of its economic reliance on China.

FUTURE OF FIVE-EYES

New Zealand has on multiple occasions spoken out against China, including over human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

But the island nation has also been conspicuously absent from some joint statements from its Five-Eyes allies, as it is wanting to chart its own course when it comes to its dealings with China.

The 70-year-old intelligence grouping is made up of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, and United Kingdom.

New Zealand’s Foreign Minister this week revealed that New Zealand was “uncomfortable” with expanding the remit of the alliance.

Nanaia Mahuta believes the focus of the group needs to remain on intelligence, not on pressuring or criticising China.

Robert Ayson says the “comments did catch out a few people”, given they were made “in a public forum”.

UNSOLICITED ADVICE

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marine Payne travelled across the Tasman this week, taking advantage of the new travel bubble, for a face-to-face meeting with her Kiwi counterpart.Marise Payne was asked by a journalist if she would like to see the Ardern government take a tougher line on Beijing.

“One thing I have learnt in my role in this job as Australia’s Foreign Minister is not to give advice to other countries,” she responded.

It’s advice that New Zealand’s Trade Minister would have done well to heed in an interview earlier this year.

Appearing on CNBC, Damien O’Connor urged Australia to follow New Zealand and “show respect” and “a little more diplomacy” to China.

The comments went down like a lead balloon in Canberra, as the Minister was left to mop up a diplomatic mess of his own making.

Global Politics

Fiji enters lockdown as new COVID cluster spreads

Anthony Lucas

Published

on

Fiji has announced the island country will enter a 56-hour lockdown as it rushes to trace contacts of a garment factory worker diagnosed with COVID-19, The case is the nation’s first case detected in in 2021.

While the capital, Suva was put into lockdown last week for 14 days after a handful of cases spread in the community after emerging from a quarantine hotel, officials have announced a curfew over the weekend, with none of the 100,000 residents allowed to leave their homes.

The are currently 49 people in the nation with the virus, 28 of those locally transmitted, according to Fiji Times.

One of the new cases is a woman who worked in a garment factory, with her positive COVID detection sparking the crack-down.

Authorities say she worked with almost 900 people. In a statement, officials say they have only managed to test 300 people, and need to find hundreds more.

“We cannot waste another minute locating the rest of them,”

Permanent Secretary for Health and Medical Services, Dr James Fong said.

Continue Reading

Global Politics

Can U.S President Joe Biden be Israel’s answer to avoiding ‘a full-scale war’

Anthony Lucas

Published

on

“President @JoeBiden can pick up the phone, make a couple of calls & this could be over almost immediately ” As violence between Israel and Gaza continues, @andraydomise calls on the President of the United States to take urgent action to avoid ‘a full-scale war’

“This is potentially going to be a third intifada”

Andray Domise says.

Contributing editor of Maclean’s Magazine, Andray Domise, says tensions between Gaza and Israel have been slowly escalating over the course of 20 years, ‘at least’.

The situation in Gaza is at breaking point, following the UN yesterday making a stark warning that the violence may turn into a “full-scale war”.

Domise’s analysis comes after Internal miscommunication early on Friday morning that led to Israeli Defense Forces announcing that its air and ground troops were “attacking in the Gaza Strip.”

However, the IDF later clarified this statement, saying that ground operations against Palestinian militants had started but that they had not entered Gaza.

More than 16,000 reservist military personnel were called up earlier and additional ground troops were deployed to the border.

The UN has warned that the violence in Gaza could escalate into a “full-scale war”

U.S. President Joe Biden has spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and says “Israel has a right to defend itself” amid a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza, according to AFP.

“One of the things that I have seen thus far is that there has not been a significant overreaction,” Biden said during a press briefing.

“Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory,” Biden said during his address.

The United States dispatched a senior diplomat on Wednesday to urge Israelis and Palestinians to calm the worst flare-up in violence between them in years, says Reuters.

As the situation worsens in Gaza, tensions are also spreading throughout several Israeli cities, with Arab and Jewish citizens clashing and rioting on the streets.

Israel’s Defense Minister said “I say explicitly: we will continue to defend and continue to attack until the fire is stopped and we will ensure long-term silence.”

This comes as Palestinians plead with the United Nations to live up to its responsibility and maintain international peace and security.

Continue Reading

Global Politics

Sky lit up in red flames: Have Israeli troops crossed the border in Gaza?

Brittany Coles

Published

on

The Israel military says air and ground troops “are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip”.

However, the IDF later clarified this statement, saying that ground operations against Palestinian militants had started but that they had not entered Gaza.

More than 16,000 reservist military personnel were called up earlier and additional ground troops were deployed to the border.

Israeli forces have not entered Gaza following a barrage of artillery and air strikes in the north of Gaza, according to Al Jazeera.

Have troops actually entered the Gaza strip?

Al Jazeera and other news outlets with reporters on ground are questioning whether Israel’s military has actually entered Gaza.

Internal miscommunication early on Friday morning led to Israeli Defense Forces announcing that its air and ground troops were “attacking in the Gaza Strip.”

However, that was clarified later by the IDF that ground operations against Palestinian militants had started but that they had not entered Gaza.

On Friday local time, Israeli Defense Forces announced that its air and ground troops are “attacking in the Gaza Strip.”

Palestinians marked the first day of the Eid al-Fitr religious holiday under heated bombardment.

Gaza’s health ministry saying that 109 people, including 28 children, have been killed since the Israeli offensive began late on Monday.

Militants in Gaza have fired more than one thousand rockets into Israel, with airlines either suspending or diverting flights over fears of planes being shot down.

At least 580 others were injured. Israel has stationed more troops and tanks near Gaza and has approved mobilizing 9,000 more reservist troops, according to AJ+

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the operations were targeted at Hamas and would continue “as long as necessary.”

ISRAEL Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“We give one hundred per cent backing to the police, to the soldiers of the border police and the other security forces,” he said.

It comes as Israel’s Defense Minister says the country has “many, many more targets” and no time limit when it comes to military operations.

“The army will continue to attack to bring a total, long-term quiet.”

Israel’s Defense Minister

The violence in Gaza erupted on Monday after Israeli air strikes killed several senior Hamas commanders and destroyed three multi-story buildings.

As the situation worsens in Gaza, tensions are also spreading throughout several Israeli cities, with Arab and Jewish citizens clashing and rioting on the streets.

“I say explicitly: we will continue to defend and continue to attack until the fire is stopped and we will ensure long-term silence,”

Israel’s Defense Minister says.

Why now?

It comes as Palestinians plead with the United Nations to live up to its responsibility and maintain international peace and security.

Hamas controls Gaza, while Fatah controls the West Bank.

Then there’s the Abraham accords signed in the final months of President Trump’s administration, where relations were normalised between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain.

The situation in Gaza is at breaking point, following the UN yesterday making a stark warning that the violence may turn into a “full-scale war”.

The UN Security Council will meet to discuss the situation

The UN has warned that the violence in Gaza could escalate into a “full-scale war” after Israel carried out heavy airstrikes on Gaza and Palestinian militants fired hundreds of rockets into Israel.

U.S. President Joe Biden has spoken with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and says “Israel has a right to defend itself” amid a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza, according to AFP.

Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory.”

u.s president biden

The United States dispatched a senior diplomat on Wednesday to urge Israelis and Palestinians to calm the worst flare-up in violence between them in years, says Reuters.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke about the matter.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Meanwhile in Australia,  Foreign Minister Marise Payne has followed the U.S lead in calling for an end to escalating violence between Israel and Gaza.

Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne 

Continue Reading

Trending on Ticker

Copyright © 2021 Ticker Media Group Pty Ltd