Wellington/Beijing: – China has become highly restless due to the formation of the ‘United Front’ by Australia and New Zealand on the Uyghurs issues and the South China Sea. On Monday, China reacted aggressively to the joint statement issued by both these countries. Moreover, it warned that baseless accusations and irresponsible statements would not be tolerated.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin lashed out at both the countries that the leaders from Australia and New Zealand have made irresponsible statements on the internal Chinese issues like Hongkong, Xinjiang and South China Sea. The baseless accusations levelled by the leaders of both these countries against China will not be tolerated. Along with the interference in the internal Chinese issues, Australia and New Zealand have even violated international laws.
The concerned countries cannot justify interference in internal matters under the pretext of human rights. The foreign ministry spokesman also warned that China would never compromise on Chinese sovereignty and interests in the South China Sea issue. New Zealand has reacted to the statements of the Chinese foreign ministry spokesman. New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta retorted that China has predictably presented itself on the issues raised by Australia and New Zealand. Before that, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held detailed discussions with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, bilateral issues, and China. After that, both the leaders addressed a press conference jointly and issued a joint statement. While expressing strong concerns over the developments in the South China Sea, displeasure has been expressed over the increasing military deployment in the region. The statement criticises that the atrocities in Hongkong and against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang are human rights violations.
Most importantly, demand for a thorough investigation into the origin of the Coronavirus pandemic has been made in the statement. Before issuing the joint statement, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern dismissed the reports that there is a difference of opinion between Australia and New Zealand over China. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also endorsed the statement of the New Zealand Prime Minister. Prime Minister Morrison lashed out at China ‘People sitting far away are trying to create a divide between us, but they will not succeed.’
China is the main trading partner for Australia and New Zealand. Taking advantage of this fact, China is trying to increase its influence in these countries. Although Australia has adopted an aggressive stand against China, New Zealand is still flexible, to an extent, in this respect. New Zealand had taken advantage of the trade restrictions imposed by China on Australia. This increased New Zealand’s exports to China. Indications were being received that this had started reflecting in the policies regarding China. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had clarified that New Zealand would oppose adopting a stand against China. But after that, New Zealand reassured the allies, indicating that it will not go against Australia for China. This assurance given by the New Zealand Prime Minister during the visit of the Australian Prime Minister becomes significant.