Australian news, and some related international items

Kiwis firmly remain anti-nuclear as AUKUS submarines draw near

Andrew Tillett, Political correspondent, Financial Review, 7 Feb 23

Canberra | New Zealand’s new prime minister, Chris Hipkins, has indicated no watering down of his country’s anti-nuclear stance just weeks out from Australia unveiling its AUKUS submarine plan and says China remains an “incredibly important partner” following talks with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

But Mr Hipkins promised he would speak out when disagreeing with China as needed in response to questions over whether he would follow the approach of his predecessor Jacinda Ardern, who often took a softer line on Beijing’s behaviour in the region.

Mr Albanese hosted Mr Hipkins, making his first overseas trip since succeeding Ms Ardern last month, at Parliament House on Tuesday, with the two leaders discussing the impact of the deteriorating global economy on their respective countries, climate change, security and Pacific co-operation.

“Many other countries don’t have the same closeness as New Zealand and Australia, and that’s something that we will never take for granted in New Zealand. We’re able to tackle issues together in ways that other countries can’t,” Mr Hipkins said.

Despite the declaration of closeness, Mr Hipkins maintained Australia’s plan to acquire nuclear-powered submarines with American and British help would not change New Zealand’s nuclear-free status.

“Our foreign policy position hasn’t changed just because there’s a change of prime minister, the government’s foreign policy is the same as it was under prime minister Ardern,” Mr Hipkins said.

“Australia, the US and the UK are incredibly important security partners for New Zealand, but our nuclear-free policy hasn’t changed either.”

The AUKUS members are poised to unveil within weeks the so-called optimal pathway to acquire nuclear submarines…………………………..


February 7, 2023 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international

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