Foreign Minister Winston Peters should explain why New Zealand was absent from a joint statement by his ministerial counterparts from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the United States on China’s proposal to impose strict new laws on Hong Kong, National’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says.
“Reading the statement it is hard to disagree with the language or sentiment of New Zealand’s long-standing diplomatic partners.
“In fact, the statement broadly aligns with New Zealand’s brief comments to date on China’s proposals. So why were we absent in sending a unified message to China alongside partners with shared interests and values?
“New Zealand’s relationship with China is certainly unique, and China has always respected our measured frankness when we take a different view on issues.
“Whether this Government believes we can no longer take those measured positions alongside others is something Mr Peters should explain.”
The joint statement on Hong Kong from the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and the United States can be found here.