After 30 years, New Zealand to welcome US warship

China's military expansion is having a ripple affect across Asia as some nations like the Philippines and Vietnam seek to draw closer to the U.S.

Now comes news that New Zealand, which banned ships from entering its waters with nuclear weapons or powered by a nuclear reactor back in 1986, has agreed to allow a U.S. warship to participate in the New Zealand navy's 75th anniversary in November.

Reuters:

Vice President Joe Biden confirmed in our discussions today that the U.S. has accepted the invitation and intends to have a ship represent the U.S. Navy at this event," Key said during Biden's one-day visit to New Zealand.

Biden said it was "another expression of our close and cooperative relationship".

Under New Zealand law the prime minister can only grant approval if he is satisfied "that the warships will not be carrying any nuclear explosive device upon their entry into the internal waters of New Zealand".

Biden did not offer any detail about which ship would be attending.

It will be the first visit by a U.S. warship in more than three decades. In the mid-1980s, the Labour government of the time announced its decision to ban ships that were either nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed.

The United States would not confirm or deny whether its ships had nuclear capacity leading to a stalemate between the two nations.

The United States and Australia viewed the move as a breach of the three-way ANZUS treaty, which dates back to 1951. In 1986 it suspended treaty obligations to New Zealand.

Despite the rift, the nations have remained close allies.  New Zealand supported the U.S.-led war on terror in Afghanistan and has sent soldiers to help train Iraq's armed forces.

Key told local press that the ship must meet the legal requirements.

"There is a long-standing process for considering ship visits under our nuclear-free legislation," Key said. "I will receive advice in due course to assist me in making a decision."

Looks like both sides gave a little to make the deal happen – another sign that China's aggressive attitude has spooked most of the Pacific nations. 

There will be no "grand coalition" to face down China.  Outside Japan and Australia, most Pacific nations don't have navies capable of assisting the U.S.  Most Asian countries have navies that patrol only territorial waters.  There are few blue-water vessels that could help the U.S. stand up to China.

China has been throwing its weight around, intimidating neighbors and pushing back against U.S. dominance in the Pacific.  Their goal is to supplant the U.S. as the dominant naval power in the region, and they are building a navy to help them realize that goal.

While the U.S. navy is having its budget cut, China is increasing its spending.  The next president is going to have to decide if it is worth maintaining our position in the Pacific by rebuilding our forces to counter China.

China's military expansion is having a ripple affect across Asia as some nations like the Philippines and Vietnam seek to draw closer to the U.S.

Now comes news that New Zealand, which banned ships from entering its waters with nuclear weapons or powered by a nuclear reactor back in 1986, has agreed to allow a U.S. warship to participate in the New Zealand navy's 75th anniversary in November.

Reuters:

Vice President Joe Biden confirmed in our discussions today that the U.S. has accepted the invitation and intends to have a ship represent the U.S. Navy at this event," Key said during Biden's one-day visit to New Zealand.

Biden said it was "another expression of our close and cooperative relationship".

Under New Zealand law the prime minister can only grant approval if he is satisfied "that the warships will not be carrying any nuclear explosive device upon their entry into the internal waters of New Zealand".

Biden did not offer any detail about which ship would be attending.

It will be the first visit by a U.S. warship in more than three decades. In the mid-1980s, the Labour government of the time announced its decision to ban ships that were either nuclear-powered or nuclear-armed.

The United States would not confirm or deny whether its ships had nuclear capacity leading to a stalemate between the two nations.

The United States and Australia viewed the move as a breach of the three-way ANZUS treaty, which dates back to 1951. In 1986 it suspended treaty obligations to New Zealand.

Despite the rift, the nations have remained close allies.  New Zealand supported the U.S.-led war on terror in Afghanistan and has sent soldiers to help train Iraq's armed forces.

Key told local press that the ship must meet the legal requirements.

"There is a long-standing process for considering ship visits under our nuclear-free legislation," Key said. "I will receive advice in due course to assist me in making a decision."

Looks like both sides gave a little to make the deal happen – another sign that China's aggressive attitude has spooked most of the Pacific nations. 

There will be no "grand coalition" to face down China.  Outside Japan and Australia, most Pacific nations don't have navies capable of assisting the U.S.  Most Asian countries have navies that patrol only territorial waters.  There are few blue-water vessels that could help the U.S. stand up to China.

China has been throwing its weight around, intimidating neighbors and pushing back against U.S. dominance in the Pacific.  Their goal is to supplant the U.S. as the dominant naval power in the region, and they are building a navy to help them realize that goal.

While the U.S. navy is having its budget cut, China is increasing its spending.  The next president is going to have to decide if it is worth maintaining our position in the Pacific by rebuilding our forces to counter China.