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Thursday, November 30, 2023

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New Zealand’s Intelligence Agency Claims China, Russia & Iran Have “Foreign Interference” In the Country

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China’s intelligence is active in the island nation of New Zealand, said the latter. It also said that the Chinese activities act against New Zealand and the Pacific region. In its annual report, the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) said, “This is a complex intelligence concern for New Zealand.”

In response to New Zealand’s claim, the Chinese embassy in Wellington expressed dissatisfaction and stated that it was “strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed” to the report portraying China-related content. It defended itself by saying that its government was keeping “normal” connections with its citizens settled in the island nation abiding by the international law.

According to a statement from the embassy, China wishes that relevant nations can foster an atmosphere that is welcoming, inclusive, and free from discrimination for Chinese nationals living abroad and local Chinese.

The latest in a series of recent statements from the New Zealand government detailing worries about China’s forceful actions and its destabilising consequences are these accusations made against the country.

With regard to China, its biggest trading partner, New Zealand, a member of the Five Eyes intelligence and security alliance with Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United States, has traditionally adopted a more accommodative stance. However, in recent months, China has become more frequently the subject of public criticism for its actions.

The government is taking steps to better inform New Zealand citizens about the risks the nation faces. Two months before a general election where foreign policy is being thrust into the electoral spotlight, the report titled “New Zealand’s Security Threat Environment 2023” is being made public for the first time.

The study also highlighted Iranian and Russian “foreign interference” operations.

The most significant instance of intervention, according to the report, was the ongoing targeting of New Zealand’s varied ethnic Chinese populations by organisations and people connected to China’s intelligence service.

According to the research, the overall international security environment in which New Zealand conducts business is more complicated and unpredictable than in previous years.

“Our links with other Pacific countries and our shared interests in a stable, peaceful, prosperous, and resilient home region will draw the attention of foreign intelligence services,” it said. The study also stated that these intelligence agencies were attempting to find ways to improve their own circumstances while also informing foreign countries on government strategy and policies.

The Russian Embassy slammed New Zealand’s “interference” in Russian internal matters by publicly commenting on Alexei Navalny’s detention.

In a statement released accompanied with the research, Andrew Hampton, director-general of security at NZSIS, claimed that as interstate rivalry worsens, certain nations are driven to seek advantage by “subversive and dishonest” actions.

The intelligence report also observed that technological innovation, global economic instability and declining social trust are acting as big dangers. “Our threat environment is evolving at pace and already appears noticeably different, as well as more complex, to what was seen at the same time last year,” it added.

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