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Geopolitics is forcing the transformation of New Zealand’s foreign policy

Summarised by Centrist

Geopolitical dynamics in the South Pacific are prompting big shifts in New Zealand’s foreign policy. Wellington faces delicate trade-offs, aiming to appease some allies while risking fallout with others.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters’ visit to Washington DC coincides with a summit involving the US, Japan, and the Philippines. This suggests broader geopolitical realignments, according to analyst Geoffrey Miller.

New Zealand’s role in AUKUS remains uncertain, but diplomatic signals hint at its possible expansion to new members. 

Simultaneously, negotiations for the NATO backed Individually Tailored Partnership Programme (ITPP) reflect strategic engagements beyond the Indo-Pacific. The Chinese ambassador has previously warned NZ over links to NATO in a statement saying “refrain from opening the door to the devil”. 

Efforts within the Five Eyes alliance also aim to diversify trade away from China.

Balancing security needs against economic ties poses a significant challenge. China accounts for 28% of NZ’s exports – more than double what the US covers. 

“The more hawkish Wellington becomes, the greater the risk of reprisals from Beijing,” says Miller. 

Read more over at Democracy Project

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