Five Eyes are widened as the US sets sights on curbing Chinese influence

Australian media have been reporting the Five Eyes alliance has broadened intelligence-sharing activities to Germany and Japan to combat China.

The increased cooperation by the alliance – Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States – is said to be  a sign of a broadening international front against Chinese influence operations and investments.

According  to  the  media reports, the enhanced cooperation amounts to an informal expansion of the Five Eyes group on the specific issue of foreign interference.

Perhaps  coincidentally,  the  agency  in  NZ    which  processes   the intelligence  from  its partners,  the  GCSB,  has identified  “a  significant  security risk” associated with Spark  NZ’s  application  for  the deployment of Huawei 5G equipment in the planned 5G Radio Access Network (RAN).

GCSB Director-General Andrew Hampton told Spark  he considers its proposal to use Huawei 5G equipment in the RAN would, if implemented, raise significant national security risks.

As  some  commentators  see it,   NZ has  at   last  woken   up  to  the  risks  associated  with  China’s  push into  the   Pacific.  Foreign  Minister  Winston Peters  has been at  the  forefront  of  pushing for a  harder-nosed  approach  towards  China  (although at  the  same time  he apparently  is determined  not to  give   an inch  to  his  political  opponents—hence his barb   directed at  National’s  MP  Dr Jian  Yang,  who  in an  earlier life admitted to  training  Chinese  spies in  English).

Peters  said in an interview on  RadioLive  it would be “naive” to think general citizens are not being spied upon by foreign powers.

“At the moment the issue is that the problem is from whence it’s happening, but this isn’t limited to just one country,” he said.

To some,  it is  not  surprising that Peters — and an increasing number of ministers – are becoming concerned at the inroads China is making into NZ affairs. NZ officials who follow these issues closely believe there is increasing evidence of offshore intervention – aka penetration – into this country.

Some think NZ may shortly have to confront the challenge head-on as recent activities have only reinforced the absolute value of intelligence NZ derives from its Five-Eyes and allied links.

Strangely,    left-wingers    like  Chris  Trotter and  Mike  Lee   have  been  defending  China.    Trotter  says  angering  China “can be extremely injurious to this nation’s economic health” .  He argues  that those wanting the Government to take strong action are being rather naive and foolish.

The   puzzle   here  is  why China commands such support, despite its growing influence, from champions  who – a generation ago – held trenchant anti-US positions because of their concern about American influence.

It should be noted that the US at APEC was much readier to  expose brutal Chinese tactics.

Perhaps Washington might be a better friend, despite the capricious nature of the current incumbent in the White House.

 

2 thoughts on “Five Eyes are widened as the US sets sights on curbing Chinese influence

  1. Whatever one’s views of Trump the US is a vigorous democracy; China on the other hand is an increasingly oppressive dictatorship. Is there really a choice? Does having an “independent” foreign policy mean ignoring evil when it’s inconvenient to acknowledge its existence? Sad to see so many commentators this week attacking Prof Anne-Marie Brady for her revelations of Chinese Communist Party influence among our political and business elite through her peer-reviewed research paper “Magic Weapons” and follow-up. It almost looked like a coordinated campaign.

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  2. The NZ political elite and MFAT have for to long been to enamoured with trade and China above all else. There is a very strong trade and only trade cabal within MFAT and that has been to the detriment of other aspects of NZ diplomacy which are equally valid. Yes trade is highly important but more so is NZ as an independent and free nation able to withstand unwelcome foreign interference and to freely associate with like minded nations on issues that matter. Hence our national security is very important to us and we have long standing beneficial relationships with our FEYES partners that are cornerstones of our national security and defence. We cannot allow our national security to be undermined and our FEYES relationship to be weakened which is a goal off China, Russia and a few other nations. NZ is seen as the weak link in the FEYES chain by these nations, and our politicians certainly don’t do anything to dissuade that perception, by weakening NZ security and defence forces through the allocation of totally insufficient funding and resourcing.

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