The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern on Monday has implored China to oppose Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and “use its access and influence to help bring an end to the conflict.”
Ardern, while speaking at the China Business Summit in Auckland, said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression posed a threat to her small country, a major trading partner of China.
Ardern said, “As history shows us many times, when large nations disregard sovereignty & territorial integrity with a sense of impunity, it doesn’t bode well specifically for small nations like New Zealand.”
She has released a warning that the war in Ukraine may have effects that ripple across the globe.
Meanwhile, Ardern added, “The implications of the war are global, and are felt far from Europe, including here in the Indo-Pacific. And as a country of the region, we have a fundamental interest in its peace and stability.
The Prime Minister mentioned, “We continue to implore China to be clear that it does not support Russia’s invasion and have called on China to use its access and influence to help bring an end to the conflict.”
Putin has called his invasion of Ukraine on February 24, with Russia’s military in recent months focusing on its attacks on the nations’ east. Thousands of civilians have been killed, millions of people have been forced to flee their houses, and dozens of troops are being killed on both sides every day.
China is one of the several major nations that has not denounced the war. In April, the Vice Foreign Minister of China, Le Yucheng has made an announcement they were instead empowering ties with Russia.
The President of China, Xi Jinping and Putin have met in early February, before the war began, showing their desire to stop the expansion of the NATO security alliance.
Ardern, whose nation just celebrated fully re-opening its borders after the pandemic shut down much of the country, said trade between China and New Zealand goes back 50 years, having blossomed from $38 million annually to $38 billion today.