The Wellington Declaration
The grinning blank face that politicians put on in these photo ops doesn't give away anything. He could be with a Burmese regime flunky - like he was in Vietnam earlier in the week - or she could have been with an invading Martian, they would have had the same expression on their faces and the same pose. So vacant. As was the "declaration" which is so important I can't find the actual text anywhere on the beehive website - or any mention of it at the White House:
Blah, blah, blah...
Mr McCully says the launching of the Declaration is "highly symbolic."
... as opposed to highly substantive. Does that not sum up Wellington - form and procedure over substance?
We'll have some more meetings - that's what it means. Another leg on another trip for the woman who will run for President again and another photo op for John Key. It doesn't seem to be anything more than that. The US has had to lump our anti-nuke policy for a few decades and nothing in the declaration undermines that. And NZ gets to train with the Americans again.
The fact is that Chinese military vessels get to visit our ports and the US continues its stance not to send any here. It makes the Americans look rather silly and petulant - and increasingly irrelevant.