NZ’s Defence relationship with China has been reset to “cosy” – but it mightn’t fit cosily with the Pacific Reset

Defence Minister Ron Mark is back in New Zealand after his  four-day  visit to  China,  clearly excited to be carrying in his bag a “Memorandum of  Arrangement”  concerning  Defence  Co-operation  with  China.

He signed  the  memorandum  with China’s Minister of National Defence, General Wei Fenghe in Beijing.

Mark  says  he  signed the arrangement  after  they reviewed the state of the defence relationship.

It  may  be  news to  many  New  Zealanders that there  is  such a   relationship.  And  given  President  Xi  Jinping  has done more  than  any of  his predecessors to make  China’s armed  forces   world-class, enabling China to  deploy precision  missiles and anti-satellite weapons  that challenge  American  supremacy  in the western  Pacific,  it  could make  defence  ministers  in the rest of the  region nervous. Continue reading “NZ’s Defence relationship with China has been reset to “cosy” – but it mightn’t fit cosily with the Pacific Reset”

When Ron Mark is speaking in China, the best form of Defence (it seems) is to refrain from attack

NZ’s  Defence Minister  Ron Mark is  visiting  China for talks  with  Chinese Defence Minister General Wei Fenghe and the vice chairman of the Chinese Central Military Commission, Air Chief Marshal Xu Qiliang.

Before  he   left   on his  four-day mission  he described China as  a  “key strategic  partner”,  saying he aimed to improve the relationship “and help build our understanding of the country”. He said he would discuss the security implications of climate change, and also discuss peacekeeping and disaster relief efforts.

But even though he is   renowned   for   being politically  feisty on  his home patch, it is unlikely he  would raise  with his Chinese   counterparts such  issues as  the   round of  protests   in  Hong Kong  or  the  fate  of  the   Uighurs. Continue reading “When Ron Mark is speaking in China, the best form of Defence (it seems) is to refrain from attack”