In New Zealand's first-ever formal presentation to Nato, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urged the democratic nations to remain firm as China grows "more assertive" and "ready to question international rules and norms."
The signing of a security agreement between China and the Solomon Islands has contributed to New Zealand's recent toughening of its stance on security and Beijing's expanding involvement in the South Pacific.
At a summit where Nato for the first time acknowledged Beijing as a significant threat, Ardern devoted a portion of her speech to warning of China's increasingly imposing international presence and urging for dialogue and diplomacy rather than increased militarization in response, as per reports. She claimed that China had recently grown more adamant and willing to question accepted international conventions.
"Here, we have to react to what we observe happening. The rules-based system must be upheld, diplomatic engagement must be encouraged, and we must always speak out against violations of human rights whenever and wherever we encounter them. But we must also fight the urge to reduce the complexity of the world we live in." "We are not looking to strengthen our military ties with New Zealand. We are here to help create a society where fewer people need to ask for help, "She said.