“ACT welcomes the Prime Minister’s comments to the NATO Summit that indicate our Government is taking the threat of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to democracy more seriously,” says ACT's Foreign Affairs spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“In her speech, the Prime Minister acknowledged China has become more assertive and willing to challenge international rules, and said that we must speak out against human rights abuses when and where we can see them. ACT agrees with this stance.

“It’s important these are not just empty words. For example, the Prime Minister also condemned the influence of Russian mis & dis information, but is one of her Government’s objectives still “Work towards a Free Trade Agreement with the Russia-Belarus-Kazakhstan Customs Union and initiate Closer Commonwealth Economic Relations” as stated in the coalition agreement from their first term?

“The Parliaments of Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands have all passed motions condemning the CCP for genocide. The United States Federal Government has done so twice. Once under President Trump and again under President Biden. Not many things can unite those two.

“Last year ACT put forward a motion for Parliament to consider the crimes against humanity and genocide occurring to the Uighur people in China's Xinjiang province. At the time Labour refused to support it until the motion didn’t refer to “genocide”.

“We have also condemned the CCP’s actions in Hong Kong, where it has stripped the rights to freedom of speech, expression, and association by giving itself the power to imprison anyone who it deems is critical of the government, regardless of whether they are residents or non-residents of Hong Kong.

“While some would say we must consider the geopolitical and trade implications of this situation before condemning the CCP’s actions, we argue that it is irresponsible to not address them and an important part of playing our role in the global community.

“We may face the threat of losses for speaking our mind, but we face much greater dangers if we don’t. A small country has more to lose than most in a world where democratic nations are bullied, played off against each other and cowed by trade sanctions and worse.

“Our best hope of security and prosperity is collective defence, so we must make sure the standards of the world are set as high as possible.”