New Zealand, one of the Five Eyes Alliance countries, has distanced itself from Australia, another partner of the group, to blacken China on its human-rights record, according to a recent report.
"It's not necessary, all the time on every issue, to invoke Five Eyes as your first port of call in terms of creating a coalition of support around particular issues in the human-rights space," New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta said at a news conference with her Australian counterpart Marise Payne in Wellington, according to the report released on April 22, the Xinhua news agency reported.
While Payne said that "We also have to acknowledge that China's outlook -- the nature of China's external engagement both in our region and globally -- has changed in recent years."
"New Zealand is adopting an extremely Beijing-friendly stance on these questions and breaking away from a much stronger position adopted by" the other Five Eyes partners, Clive Hamilton, a professor at the Charles Sturt University, said.
Australia had barred Chinese enterprises from participating in its 5G network construction on trumped-up charges, frequently denied investment of Chinese companies in the country under the pretext of "national security," and arbitrarily raided Chinese journalists based in the country.
Australia had also blatantly torn up cooperation agreements with China and wantonly damaged normal exchanges and cooperation.