New Zealand’s interest in Aukus draws concern from China

The security pact may undermine New Zealand's interests, says China's ambassador

New Zealand’s interest in Aukus draws concern from China

Insurance News

By Abigail Adriatico

New Zealand’s interest in joining trilateral security partnership Aukus raised concerns from China’s ambassador to the country, according to a Bloomberg report.

New Zealand had previously agreed to look into the possible benefits of joining pillar two of Aukus, which was concerned with cooperation in strategically sensitive areas such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Previously, Wellington was rebuked by China when it considered joining Aukus.

“We hope and trust that New Zealand will eventually make its decision taking fully into account its own long-term fundamental interests as well as the imperative to promote the healthy and stable development of our bilateral relations and to preserve the hard-won peace in the region and the world,” said Chinese ambassador Wang Xiaolong.

Following New Zealand taking a centre-right government, it is currently looking into deepening its ties with western nations as there are growing concerns regarding Beijing’s ambitions in the Pacific. Because of this, the country may risk making an enemy out of China, which is its biggest trading partner.

With a security pact being made between Australia, the US, and UK during pillar one of Aukus, Canberra is fielding a fleet of nuclear-powered submarines. As New Zealand showed no interest in the pact as it has a nuclear-free policy, its interest was limited to pillar two of the pact.

“China does have serious concerns on Aukus, as it has serious implications for the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and efforts to keep the region nuclear-free,” Wang said, pointing out how such concerns may spur the beginning of a regional arms race and would lead to worsening tensions.

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