New Zealand says ‘seriously concerned’ by China’s increased security actions in Pacific

SpaceWar.com reports: “New Zealand’s foreign minister on Friday hit out at China’s bid for an increased security presence in the Pacific Islands, warning against actions that could ‘destabilise’ or undermine regional security.

‘China has a long-standing presence in the Pacific, but we are seriously concerned by increased engagement in Pacific security sectors,’ Winston Peters said in a speech on relations with China that offered rare criticism of New Zealand’s key trading partner.

China has enticed a string of Pacific Island states to switch diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to Beijing and has inked a secretive security pact with the Solomon Islands.

Chinese police, research and military ships have become an increasingly common sight in the region, sparking a battle for influence with the United States and concerns that the region — racked by violence during World War II — will again become the scene of a battle between great powers.

‘We do not want to see developments that destabilise the institutions and arrangements that have long underpinned our region’s security’ Peters told the New Zealand China Council in Auckland.

China is New Zealand’s largest export market, and a key customer for its dairy, meat and other products…”

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