Saturday, April 13, 2024

Heather du Plessis-Allan: AUKUS sounds like a done deal

Well, if there’s one thing we gleaned from Winston Peters’ trip to Washington overnight, it's that it feels awfully like a foregone conclusion that we’re singing up to AUKUS.  

The new military pact between Australia... the UK and US... you know, the one with the nuclear subs.  

Winston Peters put out a joint press statement with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, saying they both “see powerful reasons for New Zealand engaging practically” with AUKUS.


So, it sounds like we’re in. 

Now, this business of us joining AUKUS is going to be controversial. I mean the Labour Party are really not keen on this, saying they don’t want to be wedged into a conflict between China and the US - which is ironic... because that is not what they were saying 6 months ago when they were in power and getting very close to signing us up to it.

Also, there are some prominent people including Helen Clark and Don Brash who really want to stop NZ doing this. Those two in particular are absolutely entitled to their opinions because they are more than qualified to give them. But, they are not always correct. 

Just three days ago, Helen Clark described this as a lurch towards the US - that's not true. This move towards the US that is going on right now was going on when Jacinda Ardern was prime minister because who was her foreign minister? The same one we’ve got now - Winston. 

And in the editorial Don and Helen co-wrote arguing against AUKUS, they framed this up like its driven by US aggression. Completely ignoring the fact, in that editorial, that China is actively establishing military bases all over the South China sea and buying off the Pacific. 

That's relevant - I'm not arguing the US is cool, but I'm also not pretending China is completely innocent.  

Anyway, for what it’s worth, I don't know if arguing about it is going to change it anyway. Based on that statement from Washington... it sounds a bit like a done deal.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show HERE - where this article was sourced.

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