An independent foreign policy means detaching from global superpowers

Gerald Hensley’s opinion piece (“How will a self-absorbed New Zealand deal with a rising China” Press 3 June) is a glance again to what Mr Hensley sees as the nice previous days when New Zealand was extra intently tied to the US and Australia. At that point New Zealand was a part of the ANZUS defence alliance till we have been successfully expelled after adopting our anti-nuclear policy within the 1980s.

Our stance was in direct battle with the US “neither confirm nor deny” policy relating to whether or not its warships or submarines have been carrying nuclear weapons.

Through the break with ANZUS, New Zealand started to develop a extra self-confident, independent foreign policy. We have been ready to discuss the specter of nuclear weapons from a principled place. As Defence Minister Andrew Little told the Shangri-la Dialogue summit held in Singapore final week:

“On this issue my country ‘walks the talk’. For 35 years we have had legislation absolutely prohibiting the acquisition, stationing and testing of nuclear weapons in New Zealand”

It’s necessary to do not forget that our anti-nuclear policy was developed “from the ground up” by means of mass protest motion towards US nuclear-armed and/or nuclear-powered warships getting into our harbours. It was boats on the water and toes on the streets that pressured the Labour authorities on the time to show our again on nuclear weapons.

However, the nice ethical promise of our anti-nuclear policy as the premise for a world-leading independent foreign policy has been regularly eroded, most significantly so over the previous 18 months. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and US strain on China have resulted in what Andrew Little describes as “…heightened tensions – and increased nuclear threats”.

The authorities’s response has seen New Zealand shifting again right into a a lot nearer orbit with the US. It’s a lazy response which significantly misreads the explanations these tensions have developed within the first place.

The authorities fairly rightly condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine. There have been no excuses for this aggression however there have been the explanation why Russia took this step which have by no means been acknowledged by our legislators. Prior to the invasion Russia sought quite a few instances for a safety assurance from NATO as a result of Russia didn’t wish to see US nuclear missiles stationed on its border with Ukraine which might happen if Ukraine have been accepted as a NATO member. It was the identical concern the US had within the 1960s when Russian missiles have been to be stationed in Cuba near US borders.

TDB Recommends NewzEngine.com

Russian President Putin met with US President Biden on-line to discover a manner by means of however the US remained stubborn and two months later Russia sought a army resolution.

An independent New Zealand ought to have referred to as for the US-dominated NATO to offer among the assurances Russia was searching for. We didn’t. Instead we’ve got offered army assist – pouring petrol on the blaze moderately than telling Russia and the US to place their matches away.

Even now New Zealand may and must be on the forefront calling for an instantaneous ceasefire and peace talks to finish the killing and bloodshed. That’s what an independent, principled, ethical foreign policy would appear like.

Instead former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended a NATO assembly to affix the condemnation of Russia and present Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has achieved the identical. There is nothing in Andrew Little’s presentation to the Shangri-La Dialogue which provides hope of any independent thought right here. New Zealand has put its stake within the floor with the US.

The different subject Andrew Little highlighted on the Shangri-La Dialogue was heightened political tensions within the Pacific, and though he didn’t point out China by identify he talked about “intensification of military exercising and challenges to freedoms of navigation, destabilising actions in the South China and East China Seas and rhetoric and actions that might disrupt the peaceable status quo across the Taiwan Strait”.

But if anybody was in any doubt about the place New Zealand stood in relation to China, at a sideline assembly in Singapore New Zealand signed a defence co-operation agreement with Japan with the reported goal “to bolster co-operation in the Pacific, as the Asian power (Japan) doubles its defence budget to deter threats from China and North Korea”.

It follows New Zealand’s foreign minister expressing deep concern in regards to the army co-operation settlement reached between the Solomon Islands and China final yr whereas shrugging off any concern on the a lot nearer army settlement between Papua New Guinea and the US earlier this yr.

There are loads of causes for us to be essential of China; the annexation of Tibet; the assaults on democracy protestors in Hong Kong and the incarceration, for political causes, of multiple million Uyghurs in China’s north-western area of Xinjiang imply we should converse out critically.

However, we should additionally ask why is it that the US sends warships and plane to patrol China’s borders and has sought to encompass China with US army bases and intensive army alliances with nations of the area together with stepping up its anti-China rhetoric in recent times. How would the US react if China despatched warships for naval workouts off the coast of California?

For its half many in China keep in mind its “century of humiliation” from the 1840s to the 1940s when it was attacked, invaded, bullied and abused by increasing imperial powers (Britain, Germany, Russia, France and Japan) which, in typical imperial trend, have been eager to divide it up amongst themselves.

What our authorities won’t acknowledge is that on the coronary heart of the “problems” with China and Russia is the official US policy of “full-spectrum dominance” whereby the US is set to achieve unchallenged army management of the world and sees Russia and China as threats to their grand plan. The US tries to painting the problem as democracies Vs autocracies however anybody who has been paying consideration is aware of the US has a protracted, sordid historical past of destabilising and overthrowing democratically elected governments all around the globe in the event that they undertake insurance policies the US doesn’t like.

A report out final week named the US because the “most murderous killing machine in history” whereas another study out last week has proven that

“Wars the US waged in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, and Pakistan following September 11, 2001 caused 4.5 million deaths and displaced 38 to 60 million people, with 7.6 million children starving today”

The US a lot prefers working with despots and dictators who’re ready to go together with its plans moderately than respectfully take care of democratic governments whose folks have chosen an independent path.

Many New Zealanders imagine we “share the same values” because the US resembling cherishing “freedom” and “democracy”. Andrew Little used comparable phrases when he instructed the summit we have to “protect our free and democratic way of life now and in the future”.

These are critically necessary values however they don’t seem to be values shared with the US. Like a Marvel-comic nation the US is on a quest for global domination. The US values New Zealand just for what we will present to assist it obtain this objective.

Navigating the extra harmful state of affairs of rising tensions between the US and China in our a part of the world is troublesome for a small nation like New Zealand however tying ourselves to the US apron strings is an unprincipled – even cowardly – place to take.

New Zealand politicians often discuss our perception in a “rules-based international order”. It’s a manner for a small nation to outlive round global superpowers. The downside is that the US dominates the setting of the principles in its favour whereas reserving the appropriate to behave unilaterally if its pursuits are challenged.

Underpinning our relationship with the US is our membership of the “five eyes” alliance involving the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand which was arrange secretly on the finish of World War II to spy on different nations. The US dominates the alliance and New Zealand is spying on our Pacific neighbours/associates for the US by means of our spy stations at Waihopai and Tangimoana.

Through this alliance we’re helping the US with its plans to be the one global superpower. It’s time we grew up a bit and left the alliance. It doesn’t replicate our pursuits and can at all times be a handbrake on us creating an independent foreign policy.

A small nation like New Zealand, with an independent, principled foreign policy, dealing respectfully with, however indifferent from, the global superpowers can have a big affect for the global good effectively past our measurement.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button