Australia and New Zealand on Monday expressed serious concerns about the Hong Kong incident and the human rights situation in Xinjiang, China. The two countries seek to adopt a unified position on the issue of their largest trading partner.
At the first physical meeting between the leaders of the two countries in more than 15 months, Australia and New Zealand agreed on China.
Quarantine travel between Australia and New Zealand was established in April, after both states had suppressed the spread of covida-19 and allowed Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to visit New Zealand.
The talks between the prime ministers of the two countries mainly focused on China. Australia is currently in dispute with Beijing, while New Zealand is approaching more flexibly, which is why political commentators and the media have hinted that Wellington has not taken a hard line on China’s human rights issues.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern refuted this, saying that New Zealand and Australia have similar views on issues such as trade and human rights.
“You will see that Australia and New Zealand are in the same position as a whole on these issues, so I really reject any suggestion that we should not take a firm stand on these extremely important issues,” Ardern told a joint press conference. Said. .
Morrison supports Ardern, saying that Australia and New Zealand are trading countries, but will never trade sovereignty. “I think we are like great partners, friends, allies and real families, far away from those who try to divide us and fail,” he said.
In the joint statement, the two prime ministers expressed serious concerns about the incident in Hong Kong and the human rights situation in Xinjiang, China, and called on Beijing to respect the human rights of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities and allow the UN and other independent observers to enter unhindered.
Beijing denies allegations of mass arrests of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang and denies aligning with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy activists.
In recent months, China has been trying to restrict imports of Australian products such as barley, wine and beef. The World Trade Organization said last week that it would set up a dispute settlement committee to resolve the barley dispute.
Before Morrison’s visit, New Zealand announced that it would support Canberra.
New Zealand’s economic ties with China are strengthening, and the two countries expanded their free trade agreement this year.