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Dunne: Aussies calling our foreign policy line?

Wednesday, 1 September, 2004

Dunne: Aussies calling our foreign policy line?

A Foreign Affairs official told Taiwanese authorities that Taiwanese Minister Lin Yi-fu would not be allowed into New Zealand because he wasn't being allowed into Australia, casting huge doubt on the autonomy of New Zealand policy, United Future leader Peter Dunne said in Parliament today.

"Since when has New Zealand foreign affairs policy been set in Canberra?" Mr Dunne asked later.

He said the Government had been all over the place on the issue today, only further confirming that the reality is that it will do it anything it can to curry favour with China for the planned free trade deal.

"Nothing else explains the craven approach the Government is taking on this issue," Mr Dunne said.

Justice Minister Phil Goff's putting the decision in the context of not wanting to escalate tensions between China and Taiwan, during a radio interview this morning, was "utterly lame", he said.

"Is he seriously claiming that it would start World War III?" Mr Dunne asked in the House, citing the decisions in recent days by both China and Taiwan to cancel their military exercises in the Taiwan Strait to help defuse tensions.

"Mr Goff apparently feels New Zealand can single-handedly derail such progress with a misplaced visa."

ENDS

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