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NZ wary of China's emergence - WikiLeaks

NZ wary of China's emergence - WikiLeaks

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Links by China's armed forces to Pacific countries were a growing concern for New Zealand on top of concerns about Beijing's chequebook diplomacy, leaked diplomatic cables from the United States Embassy in Wellington show.

A cable in February 2006 describes how the People's Liberation Army gave substantially more aid to defence forces in Fiji and in Tonga than New Zealand did, according to Ministry of Defence international policy division director Paul Sinclair.

"Equally troublesome are reported PLA links to paramilitary forces in Vanuatu," the cable said.

Senior Defence official Chris Seed "said PLA activities in the Pacific Islands pose real security problems for New Zealand".

"He added that New Zealand forces have no direct dialogue with the PLA on this issue because the PRC [People's Republic of China] tightly controls military visits to New Zealand. These have declined from five or six to three visits a year."

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