- Title: New Zealand says it is willing to be arbitrator in Australia-China spat
- Date: 15th December 2020
- Summary: WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND (DECEMBER 15, 2020) (REUTERS) NEW ZEALAND FOREIGN MINISTER NANAIA MAHUTA (RIGHT) AND REUTERS BUREAU CHIEF FOR NEW ZEALAND, PRAVEEN MENON (LEFT) TAKING SEATS (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND FOREIGN MINISTER, NANAIA MAHUTA, SAYING: "Look there are opportunities that APEC, that hosting APEC, can provide us. I would like to think that New Zealand is an honest broker of open dialogue, could be able to pull together different conversations with countries that perhaps have tension. If we take an issues-based approach on the climate change front, there is ample opportunity to engage China with many other like-minded countries who want to make progress on climate change, to find another bridge of communication in order to, I guess, find a way through some of the challenges that they are facing in their bilateral relationship." MAHUTA SEATED AND NODDING (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND FOREIGN MINISTER, NANAIA MAHUTA, SAYING: "We do provide an opportunity for different types of conversations because we are able to take a values-based approach. We are wanting to broker diversity in our own relationship across the Pacific, Indo Pacific region and that does afford us the opportunity to create other links and bridges to dialogue. And sure, if asked no doubt we'll rise to the call. But it's creating the right environment for the right conversation." MAHUTA SEATED AND LOOKING ON (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND FOREIGN MINISTER, NANAIA MAHUTA, SAYING: "I don't think Twitter diplomacy can be achieved when disinformation is promoted through social media. I think actually we we need to go back to tried and tested diplomacy which is dialogue and ensuring that doors are open so that people can work through some challenging issues." MAHUTA SEATED (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND FOREIGN MINISTER, NANAIA MAHUTA, SAYING: "We share some common values with the UK, with Canada and the U.S. but we do maintain our own independent stance on a number of issues in particular with China as I say because we have a respectful relationship." MAHUTA SEATED AND LOOKING ON (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND FOREIGN MINISTER, NANAIA MAHUTA, SAYING: "Their bilateral relationship is a matter for them to resolve and work through. Do I believe that there might be an opportunity for New Zealand to create a different environment to have a conversation? Yes I do. And I think hosting APEC might well be an opportunity. But both parties would have to be willing to come together and concede in some areas where they are currently not seeing eye to eye." MAHUTA SEATED (SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND FOREIGN MINISTER, NANAIA MAHUTA, SAYING: "I did reflect on being the first Maori woman to hold the foreign affairs portfolio and what I might be able to contribute to the foreign policy conversation, so to speak. So I have a perspective that is intergenerational, that is born out of culture, that is firmly, I guess, drawing on the context of New Zealand which hasn't been altogether, you know, smooth if you think about the way in which indigenous issues have been, you know, addressed here and our history of colonisation." MAHUTA SMILING AND SHAKING HANDS WITH MENON
- Embargoed: 29th December 2020 08:41
- Keywords: Nanaia Mahuta New Zealand foreign minister government politics
- Location: WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND
- City: WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND
- Country: New Zealand
- Topics: Asia / Pacific,Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001D948H1J
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: New Zealand's new foreign minister said on Tuesday (December 15) the country would be willing to help negotiate a truce between neighbouring Australia and regional heavyweight China, who are caught in an escalating trade and diplomatic spat.
Nanaia Mahuta, 50, said hosting the high profile Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit next year presented an opportunity for New Zealand to bring both parties to the table. Relations have deteriorated over new foreign interference and investment laws in Australia, calls for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus and Chinese blocks on Australian exports.
"I would like to think that New Zealand is an honest broker of open dialogue, could be able to pull together different conversations with countries that perhaps have tension." said Mahuta in an interview with Reuters.
Tensions worsened last month after a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman posted a digitally manipulated image of an Australian soldier holding a bloodied knife to the throat of an Afghan child. New Zealand had also raised concerns with China about using the image.
(Production: Jonathon Molloy, Jill Gralow)
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