New Zealand wants a diluted membership of Aukus
Aukus has three pillars - nuclear-powered submarines, computer and cybertechnology, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic. New Zealand has been offered chance to join the second and third pillars
Wellington: New Zealand is considering joining Australia, the UK and the US in the Aukus security pact, but only in a non-nuclear capacity.
Defence Minister of New Zealand Andrew Little, on Tuesday, said his country is interested in becoming the fourth member of AUKUS and hoping to participate in the development of military technology including artificial intelligence (AI), quantum computing, and advanced information technology.
‘Willing to explore’
“We have been offered the opportunity to talk about whether we could or wish to participate in that pillar two [non-nuclear] aspect of it,” Andrew said.
“I’ve indicated we will be willing to explore it,” the New Zealand defence minister said.
Aukus has three pillars – nuclear-powered submarines, computer and cybertechnology, hypersonic and counter-hypersonic. New Zealand has been offered chance to join the second and third pillars.
The country has not been offered the chance to join the first pillar – nuclear-powered submarine – and the country would not have accepted it either.
The New Zealand minister said any Aukus membership “could not compromise our legal obligations and our moral commitment to nuclear-free”.
“[Aukus membership] would be about the kind of technology… needed to protect defence personnel. Usually domain awareness, so surveillance technology, and radio technology that allows us to do that, he said.
Need to upgrade military
Andrew stressed upon the need to upgrade New Zealand military to match up to the American and Australian standards if it joins Aukus, especially in the realm of communications. He also highlighted that some of the technology of his country is “increasingly obsolete”.
The minister said New Zealand’s participation in Aukus would involve conventional weapons only as the country has “legal obligations and moral commitment to [being] nuclear-free.”
“We already work very closely with allies and partners who have nuclear-powered vessels and submarines and nuclear-armed missiles and submarines… It doesn’t change anything that we’re currently doing,” he added.
New Zealand’s concerns about Aukus
New Zealand has some concerns about Aukus, including that the pact may jeopardise the treaty of Rarotonga, which designates large areas of the Pacific free of nuclear weapons.
“Our concern is not to see the militarisation of the Pacific, that the treaty of Rarotonga be upheld, and that’s the basis upon which our assurances from Australia have been gained in relation to those arrangements,” New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, said during her visit to China last week. China is strongly opposed Aukus, with foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin outlining China’s “severe concern and firm opposition”.
Read all the Latest News, Trending News, Cricket News, Bollywood News,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
'It is no longer difficult to have a baby': China strives to improve childcare, aims for better-skilled population
The government, concerned with China's rapidly ageing population preceded by its first population drop in six decades, has been working to implement measures to reverse the country's declining birth rate
US Select Committee on CCP recommends India to be part of NATO Plus
NATO Plus currently has five members -- Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Israel, and South Korea. The group works toward boosting global defence cooperation
US 'won't tolerate' China's ban on Micron chips, commerce secretary says
China's cyberspace regulator said on May 21 that Micron, the biggest US memory chip maker, had failed its network security review and that it would block operators of key infrastructure from buying from the company, prompting it to predict a revenue reduction