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The consecutive moves of Canberra and Wellington to describe the cartoon as “false” or “unfactual” are actually trying to shift people’s attention away from Australian troops’ brutality against Afghan civilians.
Ironic absurdist cartoons are very common in the West, which claims to protect the freedom of speech with unfettered publishing and creativity. The actual scene represented by the satirical cartoon was much crueler than what people can see from the illustration.
Given the exceptionally close relations between Canberra and Wellington, it is quite normal that New Zealand has expressed concerns over this incident. If Kiwis hadn’t voiced support for Aussies, that would be some news.
New Zealand has emphasized that it is an independent country with independent foreign policies. But based on history and the current relationship between Canberra and Wellington, the latter still needs the former in many affairs in the South Pacific and surrounding regions.
Therefore, if Kiwis don’t do something in time to show their solidarity with Aussies, then New Zealand-Australia relations might be affected – and this is not favorable to Wellington. From this perspective, Ardern’s statement has nothing to do with being wise or unwise; it is something she has to say.
As New Zealand has generally maintained a sound relationship with China, its government didn’t use very harsh words against China but has “registered” concerns with Chinese authorities directly. On the whole, Ardern’s statement was restrained, having taken into account the overall situation of New Zealand-China relations.
Nonetheless, by saying “we will stick to our independent foreign policy, but that doesn’t stop us observing what is happening with others,” Ardern has demonstrated that New Zealand will not stop playing double standard tricks the West uses so often. This is also part of the so-called Western values — the freedom to be hypocrites. As a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance, New Zealand has to stick to such values.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Australian politics live: OECD warns Australia over China exports; GDP figures to be released | Australia news