The message from China to our PM (roughly translated) is ‘suck it up, Kiwis’

So what  has happened to   New Zealand’s “independent”    foreign    policy and how “independent”  is  it  when  NZ’s    leader   has to  sit    and take a  lecture    on  “trust”    from the world’s  most  powerful   dictator?

Our question is prompted by the  editorial  writer in  the  NZ   Herald who wrote: 

If  appearances  count,  the  Prime  Minister  has  made a  successful trip to  China.  Jacinda Ardern could hardly have  put  her recent  global  acclaim to better  use  than to   give China a signal of how  much  this country  values  the trading relationship”. 

Hello! Did  she  have to   travel  to  Beijing to  do that?

Again, according to  the  NZ Herald  editorial  writer, President Xi  delivered a message in making  the   statement

Our  two sides must trust each other.”

According to the editorial, “we  must  take to  heart” this message.

In  other  words,  suck  it up,  Kiwis.

President Xi  told Ardern in their face-to-face dialogue China sees in NZ a sincere friend and cooperation partner.

Well, thanks.

During the past 47 years of diplomatic ties, China-NZ relations have made historic strides and have become one of the closest between China and Western developed countries. Now the bilateral relationship faces new opportunities of development. Our two sides must trust each other, pursue mutual benefit and strive to open up new grounds in our bilateral relations.

What  are  those  opportunities?  Where is  the  upgrade  to  the free   trade agreement  which  has  been under  “negotiation”  for  several  years?  Where are  the measures  to   give  NZ  the  same    treatment  as  Australia  got  in  its revised   FTA?

If   Xi  and  Ardern    were   speaking   on  a  one-to-one basis,   wouldn’t it have been  reasonable for her to  say:  “We need what  Australia  got, and we need  it now.  Let’s do it”.

Or   is  that a  phrase we  use  only  at  home?

New  Zealanders would  like to  know  more about the  “new opportunities  of  development” which   President   Xi   spoke  about, so  long as   they don’t have to  bend  the  knee to   find out.

But, according  to  the   NZ  Herald,  if there’s a  problem  in  the  relationship,  it’s  NZ  fault.  Ardern  had  to  go to   China  on a  “political  repair  mission”.

Apparently  that was  due to the  coalition  government’s  “mishandling”  of the  relationship in its  first year  of office.

Too  much  of the country’s  foreign policy was  left in the hands of NZ  First. Speeches by   Foreign Minister  Winston Peters and  Defence Minister  Ron  Mark sided  too  much   with the US  at a  time of  tension between  the Trump  Administration  and China”.

Hello,  again.

The   NZ  Herald seems to    think   the  Trump  Administration  is  something other than the democratically  elected  government    of the   US.   The corollary   is  we should be  more chummy   with  the  despotic mob in  Beijing.

Really?

Bilateral  trade  between   China  and   NZ   is worth  $30bn a  year, sure,  but that   does not  mean to   say   we have to sacrifice  our  independent   foreign policy  and    become  sycophants of  China’s authoritarian  rulers.

If   push  comes to  shove  in  the  South Pacific,  who  would  Australia and  NZ  turn to  for protection?

Oh, well at least   New Zealanders   can be  pleased   that  Ardern’s debut  visit to  Beijing  has  resulted  in a “welcome reset” in the  relationship   with NZ’s major  trading  partner.

That’s  the view of  the Herald’s Fran O’Sullivan  (who   flew to  Beijing  to report on the  exchanges between  Ardern  and  her Chinese hosts,  courtesy of  Air NZ).

The talks  did not  produce  any   immediate  gains  for  NZ  business.  But there  has  been a  re-commitment to  the  Comprehensive Strategic  Partnership  between  China and  NZ.

And that’s  important,  apparently.

2 thoughts on “The message from China to our PM (roughly translated) is ‘suck it up, Kiwis’

  1. Our media regularly disgrace themselves through their venal adulation of China. And our main political parties are happy to take money from the Chinese Communist Party through its United Front operatives here. New Zealanders should be very angry at being sold out to a vile dictatorship but appear too easily distracted or ignorant to care. Not a brighter future.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know why I should be surprised but I was genuinely shocked by that Herald editorial, I thought it may have been some sort of bizzare attempt at satire, or a guest editorial from the People’s Daily but sadly that appears not to be the case.

    As Odysseus says it appeared to be yet another example of the New Zealand media disgracing itself when it comes to China commentary.

    Like

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