New Zealand to study the proposal to join the AUKUS alliance
New Zealand Will consider a proposal to partially join the AUKUS defense alliance. (which integrates the United States, United Kingdom and Australia) for information and technology sharing, while avoiding its nuclear aspect, its defense minister, Andrew Little, said Tuesday.
The pact, which includes the development of nuclear submarines for Australia, has a “second pillar” whereby the partners collaborate on the quantum, hypersonic, robotics and artificial intelligence technology development, among others, as well as the exchange of sensitive information to enable them to operate in complex military contexts.
“We have been offered the opportunity to talk about whether we could or would want to participate in the second pillar aspect. I have indicated that we would be willing to explore itand that’s as far as we’ve gone,” Little said.
The New Zealand minister’s remarks come on the heels of the recent visit by U.S. Security Council Indo-Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell, who during his visit to New Zealand said that. the doors are open for Wellington to join the AUKUS “to work on cutting-edge technologies”.
Membership in the AUKUS pact is a thorny issue for New Zealand, which. has maintained a strict anti-nuclear policy since 1987. following the sinking, two years earlier, of a ship belonging to the environmental organization Greenpeace, which was in the port of Auckland to protest France’s nuclear tests in the Pacific.
This policy of denuclearization by New Zealand, which along with Canada, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom is part of the security and intelligence alliance “Five Eyes, involved tensions and the end of security agreements with the United States.
Following the AUKUS, signed in September 2021 in the face of China’s growing influence in the Indo-Pacific region, Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines, something its New Zealand neighbor has publicly criticized.