Has Government Shifted Foreign Policy ?- ACT
Has Government Shifted Foreign Policy Through Opposition Back Bench?
Wednesday 10th May 2000 Stephen Franks Media Release -- Foreign Affairs & Defence
“Did New Zealand today take an overdue move away from its servile policy towards Communist China?,” said ACT MP Stephen Franks.
“Or have we seen instead another botch up because the Prime Minister and the Minister of Foreign Affairs were away, and the rest of the Cabinet is geo-politically naïve or not allowed to exercise initiative.
“Today, Parliament accepted a motion congratulating the recently elected President of the Republic of China on Taiwan in terms that clearly recognised Taiwan’s separate reality.
“The motion, moved by the Hon Peter Dunne, was in a form which the Government could have blocked by a single member’s objection, but the congratulations were accepted without dissent. I am sure most New Zealanders will be pleased that the Government is now not following the internationally common obsequious line.
“ACT believes all New Zealand Parliamentarians should be able to express their opinions forthrightly.
“But it is odd to see this move at a time when the Government is dismantling our traditional defence relationships. Is this a sign that our leaders are less anti-Western than they appear? Could we yet see more pride in our history and our liberties, in line with mainstream New Zealand values.
“Let us hope that the Government has canvassed with the United this move toward normalisation of relations with Taiwan. US support for Taiwan in the face of Communist threats, has been vital to that country for so many years,” said Stephen Franks.