Papua New Guinea
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

We don't need AUKUS, Blinken told

Hours after fronting the media with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who said the door was "very much open" for NZ to engage with AUKUS "as a trusted partner," NZ Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta appeared to slam that door shut.

"I'll be really clear, we're not contemplating joining AUKUS," Mahuta told reporters.

Established in 2021, the AUKUS is intended to be a strategic partnership among Australia, the United Kingdom (UK), and the United States to bolster their allied deterrence and defence capabilities in the Indo-Pacific.

The trilateral partnership, which builds on their decades-long security cooperation, has two pillars. Pillar One revolves around the acquisition and development of conventionally armed nuclear-powered submarines for the Royal Australian Navy; and Pillar Two calls for collaboration on advanced capabilities that will involve technology and information sharing.

On a visit to NZ's capital last week, Blinken said Washington wanted to use Wellington's "complex" relationship with countries in the region, "to defend the Indo-Pacific so nations make their own decisions free from coercion," - an indirect reference to China's perceived encroachment in the region.

Mahuta had appeared cautiously positive about NZ joining Pillar Two of the pact - the non-nuclear aspect that includes the sharing of advanced technologies - during a press conference with Blinken, saying that "at an official level", the government was exploring what participating in AUKUS would look like before it was taken to cabinet.

Hipkins' strongly positive comments the previous day were seen as a move toward AUKUS. Just two months ago Mr Hipkins had dismissed the pillar two issue as "purely hypothetical", Radio New Zealand Pacific reported.