There have been recent press reports on a new Biden Administration strategy for the Indo Pacific, which emphasises not going alone in dealing with China's growing influence and ambitions in the Pacific. Good to note a decision by the US to reopen its embassy in the Solomon Islands. Is is welcome as will be any further action by the US to increase its lost influence in the region. One lone New Zealand commentator recently reported in the Sydney Morning Herald about the mess that wrong headed policies over many years has landed us.
The conclusion in the article is " The US, Australia and and New Zealand are on the back foot in trying to deal with China's grey zone activities in the Pacific. They also have to deal with the bitter knowledge that their own Government's wrong headed policies accelerated the PLA's expansion into the Pacific giving it legitimacy".
How did NZ fall into this troubling situation? We think that this is NZ's most pressing foreign policy issue (NOT Ukraine).
Time to start a conversation about how we got into this mess and how we might get out of it.
The recent opinion piece by the editor of the Dom Post "When did our public service become quite so arrogant?" points to the problems that successive NZ Governments have accepted through blindly following the advice of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in dealing with China both in NZ and externally.
Time for us to wake up and change course we think.