“The future looks grim.”
That’s the standout assessment in a new document released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), which finds a shift in the Pacific’s strategic balance and competition in the region – primarily driven by China’s more assertive foreign policy – poses a risk to New Zealand’s security.
The ministry said the globe is experiencing “heightened strategic tensions and considerable levels of disruption and risk”, with New Zealand just as affected as others due to its interconnectedness, the changing nature of the Pacific and the evolution of new threats.
It said the period to 2035 “will likely be challenging for New Zealand and the Pacific region”.
Conflict in the wider Indo-Pacific region “could occur” and security considerations “already dominate” some countries’ thinking, the report says.
This changing geopolitical landscape could have severe implications for New Zealand, with less opportunity to focus on economic priorities and a requirement to spend more energy and resources on defence and security imperatives.
..as TDB has been arguing for sometime, the geopolitics off the Pacific have mutated quickly and we need to urgently reset ourselves towards a neutral independence.
After we got a great welcome for Chippy in China, and a glimpse of maybe a different kind of relationship with the largest Communist regime on earth, Beijing released the legal blueprint they’ll use to invade South Pacific…
The law also focuses on safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests. It stipulates that China has the right to take, as called for, measures to counter or take restrictive measures against acts that endanger its sovereignty, national security and development interests in violation of international law or fundamental norms governing international relations.
It also stipulates that the state shall take measures as necessary in accordance with the law to protect the safety, security, and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and organizations overseas and safeguard China’s overseas interests against any threat or infringement.
…what they are saying here is that if the rights of their diaspora in foreign countries is threatened, the Chinese will do whatever they like to protect the interests of their diaspora.
Imagine a scenario where domestic populations in the Pacific turn against Chinese business and riot, what this new law allows for is China to do anything they like to protect those interests.
These are significant increases in what China considers its rights to protect the interests of their citizens overseas.
How far will the protection of those interests manifest?
Xi was very happy to see NZ in Beijing.
When the crocodile smiles, be extra careful.
Chippy’s recent speech on NZs foreign affairs was a rare moment of recognition there are other things beyond these shores.
We face geopolitical shockwaves unlike any before them.
Climate change, pandemics, refugees, war – they are all coming here.
Our distance is no longer a tyranny, it’s a blessing.
An Independent Foreign Policy is not enough to protect us from the shocks coming.
If we are serious about an Independent Foreign Policy, we have to accept Neutrality is going to cost us a lot more.
The Māori Party suggestion of neutrality is worth considering.
I believe that the climate crisis means we need a vastly larger military to cope with civil disasters and if we are attempting to distance ourselves from China and America, we need to make a decision to dramatically lift what we spend on the military for purely defensive and civil disaster capacity.
How would we go about defending the realm of NZ and all our economic exclusive zone?
We can’t pull away from America and China and pretend there is no cost to being Independent.
We need to increase Military GDP spending to 5%. Interestingly Labour have quietly ratcheted GDP military spending from just over 1% to just under 2%.
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