It is worth noting that the issue of China’s control over the South China Sea and its conflict with Taiwan has been known to the world for a long time. However, it can be clearly said that most of the countries have chosen to remain silent on the issue unless and until it directly impacts them in any way. This has been the case with New Zealand as well who sees China as its ally and does not officially recognize Taiwan. However, the country has now raised the concerns about South China Sea and Taiwan with China, as stated by New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister after her 4-day trip from China.
Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister, said that she had a meeting with the Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister where she “noted New Zealand’s deep concerns regarding the human rights situation in Xinjiang and the erosion of rights and freedoms in Hong Kong.” Her ministry’s statement read, “Nanaia Mahuta expressed concerns over developments in the South China Sea and increasing tensions in the Taiwan Strait,”
Apart from that, she mentioned that New Zealand condemned the attacks by Russia on Ukraine and she reiterated this fact to her Chinese counterpart knowing very well that China and Russia are very close allies and have opposed NATO and US. This also comes when the Chinese President visited Russia and met the Russian President and also released a joint statement stating that anyone who tries to interfere in their matter will be dealt with.
The issue of Taiwan and the concerns in South China Sea have been raised by New Zealand only after the security pact was struck between China and the Solomon Islands. Apart from that, New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister also said that both the sides look forward to resuming in-person dialog following a gap of many years.
Apart from that, she mentioned that she invited the Chinese Foreign Affairs Minister to visit New Zealand and also informed about the potential visit by the New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins to China later this year who took the office earlier this year after Jacinda Ardern resigned.