New Zealand First or America First?

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 pm, December 19th, 2018 - 37 comments
Categories: Africa, China, nz first, us politics, winston peters - Tags:

In Washington last week Winston Peters urged America to involve itself more in the Pacific, in a speech the Prime Minister was apparently unaware of. Referring to Africa, John Bolton outlined what that involvement would mean – American interests first and only. Dangerous with the neocons in charge of the playpen.

Bolton’s speech on Trump’s foreign policy was made at the right wing Heritage Foundation. He said among other things:

Our new foreign assistance strategy will ensure that all U.S. foreign aid, in every corner of the globe, advances U.S. interests. Our goal is to move recipient states toward self-reliance, and prevent long-term dependency.

Structural reforms will likely be critical, including practicing fiscal responsibility, promoting fair and reciprocal trade, deregulating economies, and supporting the private sector.

In addition, we should target resources toward areas where we have the most impact to ensure efficient use of taxpayer dollars. Countries that repeatedly vote against the United States in international forums, or take action counter to U.S. interests, should not receive generous American foreign aid.

He makes no bones about the fact that advancing American interests means countering Russia and China.

Great power competitors, namely China and Russia, are rapidly expanding their financial and political influence across Africa. They are deliberately and aggressively targeting their investments in the region to gain a competitive advantage over the United States.

Pepe Escobar summarises the options for Africa in his piece It’s Africa’s choice: AFRICOM or the New Silk Roads” – US military bases or Chinese infrastructure investment. He quotes a speech from Xi Jinping:

Apart from letting the numbers speak for themselves, Xi deftly counter-punched the current, massive BRI demonization campaign: “Only the people of China and Africa have the right to comment on whether China-Africa cooperation is doing well … No one should deny the significant achievement of China-Africa cooperation based on their assumptions and speculation.”

And once again Xi felt the need to stress the factor that does seduce, Africa-wide – Chinese non-politicization of investments, and Chinese non-interference in the internal affairs of African nations.

So far America’s involvement in the Pacific has been a major military base in northern Australia and an unwelcome  proposal to build another in one of Papua New Guinea’s offshore islands.

Militarisation of the Pacific is the last thing we need. In my opinion Winston Peters should not be pushing his own agenda on our behalf.



37 comments on “New Zealand First or America First?”

  1. SPC 1

    Leveraging opposition to China’s tactic of hegemony through debt bondage to realise greater American/Australian/New Zealand foreign aid in the Pacific is a good thing for those in the Pacific.

    • garibaldi 1.1

      You miss the point SPC. I suspect it is because you automatically think “USA good – China bad”. I hope you might reconsider this in light of what American hegemony has detrimentally done to so many countries.
      America is not a force for good, it is quite the opposite. Rapacious greed and subservience.

      • SPC 1.1.1

        No you missed the point.

        Peters want more foreign aid to the Pacific. The increase in foreign aid to the Pacific in our budget was his doing. He wants the US, EU Oz and Japan to be doing more as well.

        Placing this in the America is bad, so more foreign aid from them in the Pacific is bad is simply stupid. And from that inferring those who do not agree, are simply pro American, is well deranged.

      • soddenleaf 1.1.2

        Rapacious greed… …sorry.. …but so is Nz, it’s called capitalism. Subservience, really, you kissing up at the moment. Any diplomat can walk around the US easy, the commonwealth nations for a start, the eu, the west isn’t a U.S. lapdog. Sure they are monolithic, but its not like they do Nuance well.

      • Unicus 1.1.3

        More PRC crap

        America built NZ into its sphere of economic influence in the 1800’s with its sealers and whalers.

        Kiwis understand very clearly who are our friends and who are our enemy’s

        The Americans are our freinds always have been always will be

        Have a nice Xmas then p… off back to China

    • Mark 1.2

      Are the terms of Chinese loans any more onerous than those made by the US and other Western countries?

      Would be good to clarify exactly what you mean, or are you just getting your information from Mike Pence?

      In the experience of most people around the world, the US has traditionally been far more forceful and into “twisting the arms” of states which “don’t do what we need them to do,” (Barack Obama), than China ever has been.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Did Winston call for militarisation of the Pacific by the US? I doubt it. You seem to assume that will be an inevitable consequence. I’d rather assume he wants targeted economic assistance by the US to counter China’s strategy.

    Bribery as foreign policy is as traditional as empire. The trick for small nations is to be not bought and sold. Safety in numbers suggests all small Pacific countries will prosper via a united front: their aid policy ought to solicit aid from interested great powers, while making it subject to annual review on a cost-benefit basis.

    If Russia offers too, the choice between the three providers could be rotated regularly so that none of them gets preferential leverage. That’s a suitably non-traditional design. Necessity is the mother of invention. Innovative foreign policy is the way to go. Winston, take note!

  3. greywarshark 3

    I find the image of Winston interesting. I remember him saying that he was very possibly related to Taiwanese. He looks in the image, possibly Asian; it is a an apt choice for the post.

    • alwyn 3.1

      There are, apparently, matches in the genes of Maori and the indigenous tribes of Taiwan. They separated about 10,000 years ago.
      Most of the Taiwanese population (around 98%) are of course Han Chinese today.

    • SPC 3.2

      The Polynesians have common female ancestry, linked to some (pre Han) Taiwanese tribes that migrated southward through Micronesia and into Polynesia – they were joined by male lines migrating in from the west.

    • Winston ratcheted the aid up in the South Pacific because he wanted a stronger New Zealand flavour there. It was not to appease anyone – Beijing, Washington or anyone else.

      We do not necessarily need to support either super power. Whilst not being one, we could simply say to both that we will take the lead in the South Pacific, which I think is a good idea. We do not want and for all we know, nor do the island nations, a foreign military build up in our area.

    • Gabby 3.4

      Obsession with race is a bit of a yanker trait greysy. Are you very possibly related to yankers?

  4. Jenny - How to get there? 4

    US ‘has duty to protect South Pacific interests”
    Fiji Times – February 5, 1987

    Even if that means fomenting coups and military takeovers.

  5. Jenny - How to get there? 5

    Loyal poodle thrown into confusion, not knowing what to do, when owner takes off without letting it know..

    • Exkiwiforces 5.1

      Because the Yanks are replacing it’s troops with Mec’s from Blackwater and including its own organic Air Support (Close Air Support) etc . Hence why everyone who is an Allie of US has gone WFT atm and including me as this only to end bad in one way or another when one looks at the Congo and Biafra in the 60’s- 70’s.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      I think it was a surprise to the whole world, including the American military. Trump probably got a surprise when he heard himself say it.

      This is probably true.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 5.3

      Don’t want to be an American idiot

  6. Jenny - How to get there? 6

    Winston Peters to rename his party in the new year.

    America First

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