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China’s foreign ministry released a statement on Wednesday condemning a joint statement between the U.S. and New Zealand, which blamed China for human rights violations.
Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said the joint statement was unfairly critical of the Chinese government and seeks to agitate its own internal affairs, Reuters reported.
U.S. President Joe Biden and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern met at the White House Tuesday and released a joint statement that expressed “grave concerns” on human rights conditions in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang.
The statement came as China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi is traveling around the Pacific island region, worrying the international leaders.
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“The establishment of a persistent military presence in the Pacific by a state that does not share our values or security interests would fundamentally alter the strategic balance of the region and pose national-security concerns to both our countries,” it said, Reuters reported.
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Biden and Ardern also said their two countries wanted a peaceful resolution to rising tensions in the region.
China’s foreign minister was also recently in Tonga and signed a security pact with the Solomon Islands.
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Biden recently visited the region, including stops in South Korea and Japan, for his Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity tour.