US-China tensions: Ardern urges 'dialogue and diplomacy'

Source: 1News

Stuck on a diplomatic tightrope between the US and China, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern isn't revealing her position on the US Speaker's trip to Taiwan.

It comes after Nancy Pelosi touched down in Taiwan on Wednesday, becoming the highest-ranking American official in 25 years to visit the self-ruled island claimed by China.

Beijing saw her visit as recognition of the island's sovereignty and announced it would conduct military manoeuvres in retaliation for her presence.

Ardern said it wasn't her place to comment on Pelosi's choice.

"None of these actions change the position we have," she said.

All parties needed to engage in dialogue and diplomacy, Ardern added.

"Dialogue and diplomacy are what we need in these tense times."

She said it was "positive" that China's President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden recently spoke at length over the phone.

In contrast, the National Party's foreign affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee was more direct.

Brownlee said Pelosi's actions could be seen as "messy", especially as the war in Ukraine continued.

He said New Zealand maintained its one-China policy, and that it was up to Beijing and Taiwan to sort its situation out.

ACT leader David Seymour said any person had a right to go to Taiwan if they wanted. He said decisions about who could visit the island weren't up to the Chinese Communist Party.

"The fact that they [the Chinese Communist Party] even think that's an acceptable position shows we've got problems."

In a statement last week, the White House said the call between Xi and Biden "was a part of the Biden Administration’s efforts to maintain and deepen lines of communication between the United States and the PRC and responsibly manage our differences and work together where our interests align".

"On Taiwan, President Biden underscored that the United States policy has not changed and that the United States strongly opposes unilateral efforts to change the status quo or undermine peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait," the statement read.