SOS Hillary Clinton in New Zealand *updated with GREAT Video*
Updated with her daily travel schedule and fantastic video:
2:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton participates in a traditional Maori Welcoming Ceremony, in Wellington, New Zealand.
2:15 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully, in Wellington, New Zealand.
3:15 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a bilateral meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, in Wellington, New Zealand.
4:15 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton holds a joint press availability with New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, in Wellington, New Zealand.
4:45 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton meets with New Zealand Opposition Leader Philip Goff, in Wellington, New Zealand.
5:20 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton attends a reception hosted by New Zealand Foreign Minister MCully, in Wellington, New Zealand.
6:05 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Clinton attends a dinner hosted by New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, in Wellington, New Zealand.
From the WSJ:
New Zealand may not seem like the first country the U.S. needs to bring into its camp, but China’s growing role in the region has it doing just that.
The U.S. government moved Thursday to formalize its progressively warm relationship with New Zealand, with a strategic agreement that promises high-level ministerial meetings and joint initiatives as it continues a strategy that analysts say is about containing China’s growing influence in the region.
The Wellington Declaration goes some way toward repairing the relationship between the two countries, which soured following New Zealand’s decision in 1985 to refuse entry to a U.S. warship due to the possibility it was carrying nuclear weapons. The subsequent year, in retaliation, the U.S. suspended the Anzus treaty, a military alliance between Australia, U.S. and New Zealand.
The new declaration doesn’t make New Zealand an ally and military training continues to be limited, but it does promise joint co-operation on issues in the Pacific, such as climate change and disaster response, and provides for regular high-level ministerial meetings including discussions involving the foreign ministers.
Analysts see this not only as a move by the U.S. to get New Zealand into its camp but also an indication that New Zealand may weaken its anti-nuclear stance in the longer term.
Stephen Jacobi, chief executive of the N.Z.-U.S. Council said it was not surprising that the U.S. is increasing its relationship with New Zealand because it was no secret that the U.S. had concerns about China’s growing influence in the region.
“They need friends they can rely on and they know they can rely on New Zealand — look at our contribution in Afghanistan and in the South Pacific,” Mr. Jacobi added.
Michael McKinley, a senior lecturer in international relations at Australian National University, added that the U.S. is looking to contain China, which is challenging its leadership in the region, particularly now as China has moved to provide aid in the Pacific region…