Anne-Marie Schleich

Former German Ambassador to New Zealand

Dr Anne-Marie Schleich started her career with the German Foreign Service in 1979. Most recently, she was the German ambassador to New Zealand with concurrent accreditation to seven Pacific Island states from 2012 to 2016. She was the German consul-general in Melbourne, Australia from 2008 to 2012. Dr Schleich has also served in Singapore, Bangkok, Islamabad and London. From 1998 to 2001 she was the deputy head of the Asia and Pacific Section of the Foreign Affairs Directorate in the Federal Chancery, Berlin. Since her retirement in 2016, she has lived in Singapore. She has been a speaker at international security conferences and a guest lecturer at the National University of Singapore. Dr Schleich has also written a number of articles on geopolitical trends in Asia published in Switzerland, Germany, Singapore and Australia.

A boy stands with a wheelbarrow at the demolished former compound of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan, 10 September 2021. (Akhtar Soomro/Reuters)

Pakistan stands to gain from Afghanistan turmoil?

The recent takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban has strong implications for Pakistan which faces various new challenges such as the influx of Afghan refugees, terror threats from Afghan-based militants and an increased insurgency by Balochistan rebels. China is also getting impatient with the Pakistan security situation as China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects have come under threat. But Pakistan also has the opportunity to use its leverage with the Taliban to play a more significant role in regional diplomacy and decision-making, thereby advancing its regional standing.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern arrives for the presentation of the budget at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand on 20 May 2021. (Mark Graham/Bloomberg)

Uniquely New Zealand: How NZ maintains integrity amid great power rivalry

With the US-China strategic competition intensifying, New Zealand navigates these tricky geopolitical waters and pursues its "independent" foreign policy even at the risk of offending its Five Eyes partners. Interestingly, it has been able to uphold its principles when negotiating major power politics.
This file picture taken on 5 September 2018 shows flags from the Pacific Islands countries being displayed in Yaren on the last day of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). (Mike Leyral/AFP)

Power struggles and Chinese influence in the Pacific Island region

The Pacific Island Forum (PIF) has undergone some intense internal power struggle recently, and the region is also subjected to rising global geopolitical competition and tension. In fact, the "Taiwan-China conflict is virulent in this region", says former German diplomat Dr Anne-Marie Schleich.