First threatened to go to the World Trade Organisation, then because of a cartoon. Australia’s Morrison government is starting to get a little hysterical in the face of the “bitter fruit” of trade it has crafted. It comes at a time when there are some strong Australian voices in New Zealand, but Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, has said no.
In an interview on the 30th, Ardern made it clear that it was too early to say whether New Zealand supported the Australian government’s move to the WTO. She told reporters that she would not commit to the matter “between seeing more official information.”
Asked if New Zealand would follow Australia’s lead, Ardern, a member of the Five Eyes Alliance, which also signed the Hong Kong-related declaration, “taught” some diplomatic lessons in his speech: New Zealand should maintain “consistency and predictability” in its dealings with China.
In May, China announced a total of 80.5 percent anti-dumping and countervailing duties on Australian barley. Foreign media have previously revealed that Australia has filed a complaint, asking China to review the Australian barley “double anti” tariff, but was refused.
China was once Australia’s “biggest customer” of barley crop exports, with trade between the two countries reaching A$1.5 billion ($7.05 billion) in 2018. In response, Australia’s Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment Birmingham 29, said the Australian government and the food industry is “actively discussing” whether to take China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over the barley trade dispute.
In an interview with reporters on November 30, New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern was asked whether New Zealand supported the Australian government’s recourse to the WTO over the China-Australia trade dispute, the New Zealand Herald reported.
However, Ardern said she needed more official advice and information to make any similar commitments. “I don’t want to make a statement on that until I really see what (the Australian government) is submitting to the WTO,” she said.
Later, Ardern added, New Zealand expects WTO rules and agreements to be upheld “because the WTO is an extremely important institution for us and we want those countries that do business with us to comply with them”.
In his speech, Ardern also referred to as the “wine problem” between China and Australia in recent days. Regarding the dumping of imported wine from Australia, our Ministry of Commerce took action on the 27th and decided to implement temporary anti-dumping measures.
She said the impact of wine tariffs on Australia was greater than on New Zealand. ” (For Australia), China is one of their biggest wine export markets, but New Zealand is different. China is the eighth largest wine export market. “
According to the Australian, Associated Press reported on the 30th, a reporter at the scene asked, New Zealand and Australia have tried to “voice” on China’s Hong Kong-related issues, will be the same as the Australian government in trade relations with China to lift a stone to their feet. On November 18, foreign ministers of New Zealand and other “five-eye alliances” issued a joint statement to interfere with China’s Hong Kong-related issues, and a spokesman for our Embassy in New Zealand expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to it.
Ardern first went on to claim that she did not think New Zealand was at fault over Hong Kong, and then “taught” some diplomatic experience to maintain “consistency and predictability” in dealing with relations with China.
“We have looked at these issues in a very predictable way, including using different platforms, whether it’s ministerial or bilateral,” she said. New Zealand is predictable in these areas, and this is our approach to action against any country we ‘have concerns’. “
It is worth mentioning that Ardern’s remarks were a response to New Zealand’s domestic voice. The New Zealand Herald says some academics and politicians in Australia have called for government support after it claimed to have appealed to the WTO.
Alexander Gillespie, a professor at the University of Wycato in New Zealand, is a typical example. He said that despite the controversy over the Sino-Australian trade dispute, New Zealand “should support the international order and legal rules and Australia’s efforts”.
Uniquely, New Zealand’s new Foreign Minister Mahuta 25 in an interview with The Associated Press, also claimed that New Zealand in the “interference in the Hong Kong issue” is not wrong. She said it was a “very normal process” for New Zealand to follow in the footsteps of other countries. Mahuta said relations between China and New Zealand were “mature enough” to “bear the differences”.
But the Associated Press believes Mahuta’s move may make it harder for her to find the right balance between an increasingly assertive China and a militant America. Mahuta, for her part, says she wants to engage in “zoom diplomacy” and now wants to focus on building good relations with the Pacific island nations around New Zealand.
A large-scale fire broke out in the training ground of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, and the US military was training nearby at the time of the incident
According to Japanese TV Asahi, a large-scale fire broke out in the North Fuji training ground of the Ground Self-Defense Force in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan on the evening of the 4th. The US military was holding shooting training nearby at the time of the incident.
The fire broke out at about 4:30 in the evening on the 4th. The incident occurred at the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force training ground across Fujiyoshida City and Yamanakako Village in Yamanashi County. At that time, thick smoke erupted, and then the fire spread widely in the shape of “one”, causing a large-scale fire.
The Japanese Self-Defense Forces continued to put out the fire, and the fire basically subsided late at night. At the time of the incident, nearby US troops were conducting howitzer shooting training. No one was injured in the fire, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The UN Secretary-General’s special envoy is trying to contact Myanmar leaders
On February 1, Myanmar changed. Following the UN Secretary-General Guterres’s “strong condemnation” of the Myanmar military’s detention of Myanmar’s Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and other officials, the UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at a regular press conference, The United Nations special envoy for Myanmar and Swiss diplomat Christine Burgener is trying to contact government officials in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar, but communication has not been restored.
“Birgner is actively interacting with this issue,” Dujarik said at a press conference. “She has consulted with dialogue parties outside Myanmar and is trying to get in touch with the Myanmar government. However, currently, Communication in the capital is very difficult.”
Bilgna has served as the UN Special Envoy for Myanmar since 2018. In addition to her, the UN Myanmar team in Yangon was also unable to obtain information about the situation, and other UN agencies in New York also failed to obtain the opportunity to communicate with the Myanmar government in Naypyidaw.
Dujarik added that the personnel sent by the United Nations to Myanmar are paying close attention to the development of the situation to ensure that vulnerable groups in Myanmar will not suffer too much from the incident as the epidemic spreads. He said that the most important thing for Myanmar at present is that the international community can “speak with one voice.”
“What we know is that the will of the people of Myanmar has been overthrown in an undemocratic way,” Dujarik said. “This situation must be changed and the will of the people must be respected.”
Faced with the uncertain status of Myanmar, the United Kingdom, the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council, will hold a meeting to discuss the current situation in Myanmar on the morning of February 2nd Eastern Time. Barbara Woodward, the British ambassador to the United Nations, expressed the hope that the members of the Security Council can conduct “constructive discussions” on the form of Myanmar at the meeting.
According to news from Agence France-Presse on the 1st, the meeting will be conducted via video and will not be made public. The Special Envoy for Myanmar, Birgner, will brief the Security Council on the latest development of the incident.
On February 1, Burmese State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Burmese President Win Myint were detained by the military. A Burmese woman accidentally recorded a military vehicle driving towards the parliament. At around 8 am on the same day, the Myanmar military declared a state of emergency in Myanmar. According to the United Nations News Network, many newly-elected parliamentarians are currently under house arrest, the streets of the city are heavily guarded, and wireless network devices such as mobile phones are almost completely interrupted.
In response to this matter, in an interview on February 1, the United Nations Special Envoy for Myanmar and Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, called on the international community to take “decisive action”, including “strong and targeted sanctions and Arms embargo”. In addition, he stated that he should “unconditionally release all detained persons and resume communications” and end this “horrifying illegal act”.
The U.S. finally identified the ‘Myanmar coup’ and mentioned China
In the face of the sudden change in the political situation in Myanmar on the 1st, the US’s statement changed from “shock” to “call for release” to “threat of sanctions.” Although the wording has become stronger and stronger, the United States has never used the term “coup”.
On the afternoon of the 2nd, the wording of the Biden administration finally changed. U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at his first press conference after taking office that the United States, after examining all the facts, determined that the military action of the Myanmar military on February 1 constituted a military coup. He specifically mentioned that this military coup is not in the interests of the United States and “nor is it in the interests of China.”
According to the US “Foreign Aid Act”, if a country has a “military coup” or any act that “deposes a democratically elected head of government” through a government order, the United States must limit its aid to that country.
However, a reporter mentioned at the press conference that when the Egyptian political turmoil occurred in 2013, the Obama administration took three weeks to decide whether to define the Egyptian incident as a coup. In this Myanmar incident, the Biden administration basically made a decision in less than a day. The reporter asked about this, why is this government able to make a decision so quickly that the Myanmar incident meets the criteria for a coup?
In this regard, Price said that this case is “very clear”, “We are based on the judgment that (Myanmar) deposed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Min in the military coup on February 1.”
“The’State Council, Foreign Operations and Related Projects’ appropriation bill contain a recurring clause that restricts certain aid to the military. Let’s take a look at three criteria… the officially elected head of government (first), Was deposed by a military coup or decree (second), in which the army played a decisive role (third),” Price added. These are the three standards that the State Council has been paying attention to. What happened in Myanmar on February 1 A coup, so we acted quickly.
He said: “This military coup is obviously not in our (U.S.) interests, and certainly not in the interests of our like-minded partners (countries). I think you will also find that this is not in China’s interests.”
But when asked if the US side had any communication with China, Price did not answer directly. He said: “I don’t have a specific dialogue to talk about. Once again, our focus is on our allies who share our interests.”
In addition, Price also mentioned the specific amount of bilateral aid provided by the United States to Myanmar in the fiscal year 2020-$135 million. “I must say that only a small part of this aid is for the Myanmar government.”
CNN quoted a U.S. State Department official as saying that the U.S. direct foreign aid to the Myanmar government was “very little.” “The Myanmar government, including the Myanmar military, has been subject to some foreign aid restrictions, including due to its Legal restrictions on military assistance caused by human rights records”.
The official said that the U.S. government will start the review “immediately”, “The review includes projects that indirectly benefit the military or low-level officers.” “At the same time, we will continue to implement projects that directly benefit the people of Myanmar, including humanitarian assistance. And democratic support projects that benefit civil society.”