China will not tell New Zealand what to do


So, Beijing is getting grumpy with New Zealand for taking a stand on Hong Kong. What a surprise.

There are very good reasons to be thoroughly alarmed by Beijing’s actions with regards to Hong Kong’s sovereignty. And as of Tuesday New Zealand time the Chinese government rubber stamped the law that would enabled the crack down on the rights of Hong Kongers. Within a day, following defiant protests, 300 people had been arrested on grounds of violating the security bill, which criminalizes the right to anti-Police, pro-independence slogans, the possession and/or display of any Tibetan, Hong Kong or Taiwanese flags.

This is in direct contravention of the One State Two Systems rule that China’s Deng Xiaoping and Prince Charles on behalf of Britain had agreed to when they worked out the return of Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1984.

I envisage a major flight of western capital and western country nationals from Hong Kong in the coming weeks and months, particularly if Beijing’s crack down on the protests continues with the intensity of yesterday’s events. And indeed I am already aware of New Zealanders based in Hong Kong looking at properties around New Zealand with the intention of leaving as soon as they have something secured.

Along with the brutal repression of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang Province, one starts to see a picture of a grotesquely totalitarian regime bent on staying in power at any cost. If one then adds the desire to take Taiwan back and its clashes with Indian forces along the line of control, we see an expansionist power as well.

New Zealand needs to take a number of steps fairly immediately to reduce the influence of the Peoples Republic on our affairs. Some of the steps are domestic and some are on the foreign stage. Domestically we need to ban foreign political donations so that New Zealand politicians cannot be bought out by foreign interests, politicians and businesses. We need to get the National Party to remove Jian Yang from its candidate list for 2020 until the Electoral Commission is satisfied that he is not a Chinese Government plant. Internationally, we need to do more to assist our Pasifika neighbours in terms of infrastructure projects, building up their legal institutions and education systems.

Beijing wonders why so many countries get annoyed with it. We are annoyed because in all these years since it began to open up following the death of Mao Tse Tung, China has steadfastly refused to understand that human rights are not just a western construct. They are a universal construct applicable to every man, woman and child across the planet. Its brutal subjugation of hundreds of millions of people, puts it on par with the United States and Moscow for destructive negative influence on the global well being of humanity. Unless and until this changes, Beijing, like Moscow, Washington D.C. and the capitals of other human rights abusers will continue to be subject to the criticisms levelled at it by N.G.O.’s fellow Governments and individuals.

1 thought on “China will not tell New Zealand what to do

  1. Jian Yang has announced that he will retire from Parliament at the end of this term. After 12 years as a Senior lecturer at Auckland Uni in Political Science and then 9 years (3 terms) as a list MP (33) for the National party. I do not believe that his youthful job as an English teacher for the PLA deserved the significance that many NZ people gave to it. I do think that he was useful to the National Party when they were in Government as he had degrees in International relations from ANU (Australian National Uni). His knowledge of the way China works was as invaluable to our government of the time as it was to the University.
    China is now our 2nd largest trading partner after Australia. We really need that bi-lateral trade to continue. When the UK joined the EU we had to find other trading partners for our goods and services and we have found them – we need to keep them.
    It would be unwise of us to criticize China right now. Morrison in Australia declared that Taiwan should be able to be represented in the WHO (World health organization) because of their handling of the Covid virus pandemic, and the result was that China imposed tariffs on some of their exports. NZ does not need any tariffs on our trade with China. Our foreign minister unwisely followed Australia in their remarks about Taiwan and the WHO but lucky-for-us there were no repercussion’s.
    The same applies to comments about the new security law in Hong Kong (HK). Other powerful states have made statements offering their countries as havens for HK citizens wanting to leave, but we must not do this as we don’t have, and have never have had the resilience needed to do this. Our foreign minister must be circumspect in his comments for the good of our little country. The protests against the government in Hong Kong is one of the ‘5 poisons’ in ‘Document Number 9’ and in the bigger scheme of things is a policy that is unlikely to change. We would be unwise to have an opinion.
    And about our Pacific Islands nations (PI’s) – some say that China is geo-strategically positioning itself here with its aid projects, and why wouldn’t it as a hegemon challenging the failing US. But not all of the aid projects have been about wharves and airfields as there is no other reason that China would give aid to PI’s because there are no resources there that they want or need. Going out into the Pacific is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) which is a diplomatic exercise to show that china can be a good world citizen, and have aid projects that unlike other countries do not interfere in the politics and laws of those countries – the aid is given without moral judgement which in my opinion is a respectful thing to do. China in return are saying do not interfere with our ways.
    I know you are a member of amnesty International and so you are interested in the Human rights issues in China. I think that as a still developing country that China is doing quite well. China in embracing liberal economics has brought many millions out of poverty and has a burgeoning ‘middle class’, but unfortunately it still has the greatest inequality gap between the richest and the poorest. As for the Uyghurs, china considers them to be part of China and their resistance to sinocization is also one of the ‘five poisons’. The Mongol’s were gathered together under the Kuomintang and Shang Kai Scheck. When the KMT was defeated by the CCP all that western territory was ceded to them. One can understand the desire to draw them into the fold.

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