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The People's Liberation Army engages with New Zealand

On 21 January 2022, a report appeared on the website of the Chinese embassy in New Zealand noting that, on 19 January, General Li Zuocheng, chief of the Joint Staff Department under China’s Central Military Commission, had held talks via video link with Andrew Bridgman, New Zealand’s Secretary of Defence. Li Zuocheng is an influential PLA officer and is the official to whom US General Milley spoke just before the 2020 US presidential election and, again, after the 6 January 2021 Capitol riot. Li was also a participant in the 2019 China-Japan talks to de-escalate the Senkaku/Diaoyutai dispute, and the officer with whom outgoing UK Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, ... Read more...

Taiwan’s bid to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP)

On 22 September 2021, Taiwan applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) following years of preparation. The case for Taiwan’s accession is being explored in the inquiry into expanding membership of the CPTPP by the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade. On 12 October 2021, Elliott Charng of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia appeared at the inquiry to explain Taiwan’s interest in acceding to the CPTPP, asserting that Taiwan’s membership would be beneficial to Australia. Read more...

Solomon Islands and China

Following an outbreak of violence in Solomon islands, Australia and Papua New Guinea have provided police to assist in maintaining peace in the country, while Fiji and New Zealand have also despatched peacekeeping personnel. The violence seen in the country in recent weeks has attracted global attention, and a diverse range of explanations, almost all invoking the role of foreign policy and, specifically, the Solomons’ relations with China. As such, in trying to understand how the situation emerged and may evolve, it is worth exploring recent developments in the country’s relations with the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Read more...

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