Sydney, Australia, Aug 1 (EFE).- New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern urged China on Monday to use its position as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
“As a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, and in line with its commitment to the UN Charter, we continue to urge China to be clear that it does not support the Russian invasion,” Ardern said in a speech at the China Business Summit in Auckland, according to the transcript published on the government website.
The prime minister added that her government has “called on China to use its access and influence to help bring an end to the conflict.”
The Labour Party leader – who has remained cautious in her statements regarding China in recent years – last month in Sydney criticized the “failure” of the UNSC due to Russia’s veto power when dealing with the issue of its Ukraine invasion.
Ardern also insisted that her country calls for “adherence to international rules and norms; for diplomacy, de-escalation and dialogue rather than threats, force and coercion” amid “increasing tensions or risks in the region – be they in the Pacific, the South China Sea, or the Taiwan Strait.”
“As history shows us repeatedly, when large countries disregard sovereignty and territorial integrity with a sense of impunity, it does not bode well particularly for small countries like New Zealand,” she added.
In recent months, countries such as New Zealand, Australia and the United States, among others, have expressed concern about Beijing’s military, economic and diplomatic expansion in the Indo-Pacific region, especially after the signing of a security agreement in April between China and Solomon Islands that opens the door to the sending of its security forces at the request of Honiara.
In this context, Ardern stressed that the relationship with Beijing is one of New Zealand’s “most important and complex,” adding that the two countries have important “differences” in terms of human rights, economic coercion, security in the Pacific, as well as over the situations in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
“But even as China becomes more assertive in the pursuit of its interests, there are still shared interests on which we can and should cooperate,” Ardern said.
Ardern’s government angered Beijing for issuing a statement in June with US President Joe Biden, in which they expressed “shared concern” about Beijing’s influence in the Pacific after learning of China’s intention to sign a security agreement with 10 nations in the region. EFE