China New Zealand Wang Yi Winston Peters

Countries in Asia and Oceania are increasingly concerned about China’s growing influence in the region.
This month, New Zealand released a defense-strategy statement outlining the threats China poses to the international order.
New Zealand, like its neighbors, is also looking for ways to deploy hard power.

China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region has made some of its neighbors uneasy, and many are making political and military efforts to counter what they see as a potential threat.

An unofficial report from the Five Eyes intelligence partnership, made up of the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia, recently warned about what it saw as “a concerted foreign interference campaign” from China against New Zealand.

The current government in Wellington has denied any tension with its Five Eyes partners, and its latest Strategic Defense Policy statement, released earlier this month by Defense Minister Ron Mark, puts the perceived challenges posed by Beijing in clear language.

“New Zealand is navigating an increasingly complex and dynamic international security environment, and will also face compounding challenges of a scope and magnitude not previously seen in our neighbourhood,” the document says.

New Zealand’s leaders have in the past shied away from directly naming China when discussing tensions in the region, but the statement makes explicit criticisms of China, saying that even as Beijing has benefited from the international rules-based order and sought greater economic interconnectedness, “it has not consistently adopted the governance and values championed by the [international] order’s traditional leaders.”

China, it says, “holds views on human rights and freedom of information that stand in contrast to those that prevail in New Zealand.”

Beijing wants to “restore claimed historical levels of influence in its periphery” and take “an enhanced global leadership role,” it adds. In Asia, “China’s more confident assertion of its interests has …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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