Indo-Pacific, New Zealand PM approves US presence

In an interview with France Press agencyAnd NBC And other media, Prime Minister new ZelandAnd Jacinda Ardern, he said he welcomes signs of increased attendance United States of America in the areaIndian and Pacific Oceans. Signals are mainly embodied in Okos Charter On nuclear submarines withAustralia, which aims at the naval containment of China, which is the most tangible manifestation of this Axis towards Asia Washington is repeating what it wanted to achieve for more than ten years.

“We welcome this physical presence,” Ho ha announce Ardern, “which is part of important conversations in our region. We have seen that greater commitment recently from the American side. The New Zealand Prime Minister also believes that under the Joe Biden administration, the United States has a “very important role” to play in order to strategic defense, NSEconomie that they Regional trade exchanges.

Indeed, for now at least, Washington is focusing more on the first point than on the remaining two: it has given up on Leadership Economic and trade in the Pacific region when the former president Donald Trump, in 2017, retired from Tpp; It is unlikely that Biden will be able to re-enter the treaty, given that he does not have much support even within the Democratic Party. Therefore, it is not America, but China, which has the largest share of trade in this part of Asia.

This also applies to New Zealand: Beijing is its first trading partner, but Wellington is finding it increasingly difficult to reconcile the (fundamental) economic relationship and political differences. In the interview, Ardern reiterated that his government has a “mature” relationship with China and will pursue a policy of “integrity” toward the latter: when necessary, it will criticize Beijing for violating human rights, labor practices and environmental issues. , “regardless of commercial links”.

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It is a complex balance that must be maintained. But New Zealand is not the only one trying in the Indo-Pacific. until the Japan It seeks to establish a stable relationship with China, in an effort to combine political tensions, systemic differences, and strategic competition while maintaining trade. Even Australia, which has signed a clearly anti-China military agreement, says it will stay Open For investments from Beijing.

In January, however, New Zealand and China signed an agreement to update for them Free Trade TreatyArrived in its initial form in 2008, it was the first ever between a people’s republic and a developed country. Next week Ardern will lead an online summit with Leader Asia-Pacific politicians – the US and China, too – will attend to discuss the region’s recovery from the pandemic and economic crisis.

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