The US Seeks to Expand Ties with New Zealand Amid CCP Aggression

On Aug 1, while visiting Wellington, New Zealand, Admiral John Aquilino, head of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, said that the U.S. military will be expanding and strengthening ties with New Zealand. It will play a critical role in maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.

 Aquilino was greeted with a traditional Maori welcome ceremony. He delivered a brief speech to the press ahead of meetings with top officials from New Zealand defense force and government, stating that the U.S. and several Pacific nations expressed deep concern about a security pact between Solomon Islands and Communist China signed in April as well as the CCP’s growing ambitions and consequent potential military buildup in the Pacific.

 Aquilino expected to identify new areas for cooperation between Washington and Wellington and emphasized the leadership of Australia and New Zealand in the Pacific was critically important. Air Marshal Kevin Short, Chief of the New Zealand Defense Force, said the relationship with the U.S. had been strong for decades, and it regularly interacts with U.S. forces so they can both operate better in the region. “Our partnership runs very deep. We are doing many things together to ensure peace and prosperity for both our nations and all the nations in the region,” said Admiral Aquilino.

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