Australia has approached New Zealand to become the third party in the talks with China as Canberra seeks to mend its fractured relationship with Beijing.
As the Australia-China dispute expected to dominate talks with NZ Prime Minister; Jacinda Ardern on Monday, Mr Morrison arrived at New Zealand on Sunday to attempt to discuss how they could tackle the approach to Monday’s meet. NZ Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said the country would act as a third party mediator in Australia’s trade stoush with China that has been taken to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
“New Zealand upholds international rules and norms, so ensuring international trade rules are fairly applied by others is important to us and our exporters,” he told NewsHub.
As the Canberra and Beijing’s relationship keeps on getting worst as the time past by which was cause by China did a range of trade sanctions on Australia which seems to be prompted by the federal government to push for an independent inquiry into the origins of COVID-19.
With the accusation against China regarding it’s violations to its obligation in WTO by the Australian government. Mr O’Connor’s intervention was positive news as it sought to reignite dialogue with Beijing.
“We welcome New Zealand’s support for the rules-based trading system,” Trade Minister Dan Tehan said in a statement.
The Biden administration in May pledged not to leave Australia “alone on the pitch” as it faced economic coercion from Beijing.
“We have each other’s backs so we can face threats and challenges from a position of collective strength,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.
Mr O’Connor’s comments were a slight shift in rhetoric, after urging Australia to “show respect, (and) a little more diplomacy” towards Beijing in February.
With the New Zealand’s updates regarding its free trade agreement with China, Mr O’Connor saying Australia, “too could hopefully be in a similar situation” if it changed its stance on Beijing.
The NZ Trade Minister later called Mr Tehan to clarify, “we do not speak for Australia on this or any other matter”.
Mr Morrison on Sunday said the “very successful” trans-Tasman relationship was centred on an ability to “work through” complex issues, denying New Zealand’s approach to China had damaged relations with Canberra
“We work closely on all of those issues, and this is another opportunity to reinforce our commitment to the security interests of the region, the security interests of our bilateral partnership and to advance our economic co-operation for our mutual prosperity and for jobs,” he said.