New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that Australia’s nuclear submarine fleet would be barred from entering New Zealand.
On Wednesday, the three countries unveiled Aukus, a trilateral security alliance geared at countering China, which will involve assistance in developing nuclear-powered submarines in Australia. New Zealand and Canada were conspicuously absent from the list.
“This arrangement in no way changes our security and intelligence ties with these three countries, as well as Canada,” Ardern said in a statement.
“New Zealand’s position in relation to the prohibition of nuclear-powered vessels in our waters remains unchanged,” she added.
Even though the new submarines would be unwelcome within Australia’s borders, Ardern said she supported the recent agreement between Australia, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
“We welcome the increased engagement of the UK and US in the region and reiterate our collective objective needs to be the delivery of peace and stability and the preservation of the international rules-based system,” Ardern said.
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