Hillary Clinton and Jenny Shipley – spot the difference

Hillary  Clinton and Jenny Shipley – spot the difference

The contrast between Hillary Clinton’s and Jenny Shipley’s attitude towards Communist China is interesting. The United States Secretary of State calls it deplorable, China’s disgraceful human rights record.

Not only do New Zealand Prime Ministers never, ever make strong public protests against the bullying, even murderous treatment handed out by the Communist Chinese Government to its own people, in its longstanding abuse of human rights, but former National Party Prime Minister Jenny Shipley is by no means regarded with affection by those who remember how very anxious the government and police were, under her watch in September 1999 and December 2000, to ensure that New Zealanders wishing to protest against the Chinese invasion of Tibet and its  treatment of dissidents got almost no chance to.

It was regarded by many as scandalous that at the Christchurch state banquet in September the police themselves removed banners, jumped over barricades behind which the protesters had been waiting in a reportedly orderly fashion and forcibly pushed them back down the street. Apparently, after senior Chinese officials objected to the presence of the protesters, two large buses were parked across the street to protect the visiting Chinese delegation, there to attend a state banquet for President Jiang Zemin, from a view of the protesters.

New Zealanders believe in free speech. The Communist Chinese Government certainly doesn’t. Many found deeply perturbing the high-handed behaviour attributed at the time both to Mrs Shipley and to the police whose involvement was later the subject of enquiry, as they moved the protesters out of sight before Mr Jiang’s motorcade arrived. The Christchurch state banquet itself was delayed for an hour and a half, with guests kept waiting before Mr Jiang finally arrived at almost 9 p.m. having refused to appear while protesters were present.

Many would regard this as not only basically insulting to his New Zealand hosts, but would consider it a disgrace that our government members (there were other senior National Party officials involved) should move against New Zealanders themselves to deny them access to the democratic right to protest. There have been several similar incidents where legitimate protest has been interfered with while Chinese delegations have been visiting – with high-handed behaviour even by Chinese security officials. This is simply not good enough.

Mrs Shipley, however, is now naturally regarded with some enthusiasm in China. Apparently the Chinese like Big Names, and being a former Prime Minister warrants special treatment for this former, if short-lived National Party Prime Minister. It could fairly be said that Mrs Shipley is no doubt regarded as a friend of China, and represents Chinese interests in New Zealand.

However, whether they are New Zealand’s interests, too, is a legitimate question. New Zealanders are very rightly concerned at China’s now widely spread presence in our area of the world; at its loans to Pacific Island nations which have no possibility  whatsoever of being able to repay them; at its attempt, through its Hong Kong-fronted, supposedly private interest investment companies (no ostensibly private  Chinese company ever operates without the tacit permission of, or even with actual  Communist Chinese government financial involvement) to aggressively push to acquire controlling shares in New Zealand companies.

Some may well regard it as sheer arrogance, apart from apparent naivety on Mrs Shipley’s part, for her to be unwarrantedly “warning” New Zealanders to get over their “ fear” of doing business with Chinese companies – or “get used to wearing jandals” – a comment many would have found offensive. New Zealanders don’t take kindly to being condescended to. Moreover Shipley’s blithe endorsement of the push from Asian business giants to spend their multi-millions here is an extraordinarily simplistic overview of China’s activities in this part of the world. Allowing Chinese companies to actually buy New Zealand land, in a grab for our farms, and to basically own New Zealand companies deserves a far closer scrutiny of the downsides to New Zealanders than Mrs Shipley has provided.

It is all very well for Mrs Shipley to maintain that without investment from China New Zealand will have to struggle further financially. It is quite possible that, as we have seen in relation to China’s aggressive behaviour in its takeover bids for Australian resources, and given its greatly accelerated militarization, we will be facing more than a financial struggle ahead. Western analysts have long warned that the imbalance of males in the Chinese population, producing today a conservatively estimated 37 million more young men than women, will necessitate a system of control best imposed by a standing army. This is particularly so given Chinese paranoia over the growing movements worldwide of over-controlled nations’ peoples demanding more democratic rights. And China is looking towards the Pacific.

Questions have already been raised about the bid to sell the Crafar farms to the Shanghai Pengxin Group, and there is no doubt that most New Zealanders are deeply uneasy about our agricultural and horticultural industries and land being gradually removed from New Zealand ownership.

There is also no doubt that Communist China’s intentions in this part of the world should give us concern, unless we are utterly ignorant of China’s usual modus operandi.

For example, in a fine New Zealand Herald article of April 16, 2011, New Zealander Brian Johnson, married to a Chinese national, writes of the very great problems with China, a culture centred around individual self-interest, based on a foundation of making money and preserving face – rather than on moral principle. His reminders are important that preserving face and loyalty, “even ethnic, racial loyalty are much more important principles of Chinese culture than are truth, honesty or equality which are the important moral principles and our Western tradition.”  Corruption is rife to such an extent that if you have the money, qualifications can be readily purchased and whole universities… are devoted to providing degrees to students who have little to do more than pay the fees and turn up to some of the lectures. I personally know of failing students who have miraculously been awarded Fulbright scholarships, and of others whose families have paid up to one million yuan to networks of certain people who are in the business of providing the necessary documents which allow their son or daughter to get admittance to some of the world’s most prestigious universities.”

Brian Johnson has also noted that when he and his Chinese wife spent 18 months in New Zealand recently, the only problems encountered were with some Chinese landlords who wouldn’t rent to them because they “didn’t like Kiwis”, and “none of the numerous Chinese employers in Dunedin or Christchurch would offer my wife any more than one third of the legal minimum wage.” In many ordinary day-to-day situations, his wife “is expected to show loyalty to her fellow Chinese rather than to her foreign husband”, and he is continually reminded by the Chinese themselves that he is a foreigner.

Johnson regards it as perhaps the most significant argument against New Zealand open its doors to China and Chinese…that “although the Chinese are a population of 1.3 billion people, they still take very careful measures to protect their own culture and position from foreigners – and in my opinion that is how it should be. We just need to have the sense to do the same in New Zealand. Honestly speaking, if we want to preserve our fledgling Kiwi identity of a multiracial group holding to, amongst other things, the same moral principles and rule of law, then we need to be better informed about the potential effects on our culture from other very disparate cultural groups, and design policies appropriately.”

Brian Johnson’s authoritative sober analysis contrasts considerably with Jenny Shipley’s suggestion that we had better get used to wearing sandals if we don’t fall into line to welcome Chinese investment in this country. Johnson’s is supported by another comment from a New Zealander who spent a number of years living in China. Since he returned, he says, his experiences have been disturbing; that from the local Chinese community and from the Chinese international student community he has seen enough racism and corruption to shock him. “The ‘hard-working’ Chinese students I teach are some of the laziest imaginable, and much more interested in getting something for nothing than in steadily working towards their goals. These students are encouraged in this by agents and marketers who thumb their noses at the ‘stupid’ Kiwis (and yes, they do say we are stupid.)

Indeed, we certainly seem to be. And no, this is not a question of racism. New Zealanders are fair-minded and tolerant with a great sense of fair play and of respect for the rights of the individual, regardless of colour, gender or creed.  Very many New Zealanders will have Chinese, including Taiwanese, friends they like and respect. This is a separate issue entirely – that of a very real threat not only to our farmland and major businesses, but to our very  independence.

Moreover, given the testimony of those well familiar with how Communist China operates, it should considerably alarm us that our own strategic assets are under threat, with the Chinese bid to actually own a New Zealand port. The naivety of those who, from their short term economics-only perspective would welcome foreign investment from whatever source is arguably one of the major threats to this country. It is not surprising that some argue that we are now facing a first step only – that of China’s commercial invasion of this country.

The accompanying article –  Say No to another race-based party – this time “Made in China!”  has been written by a highly knowledgeable Chinese New Zealander, well experienced both in interpreting the signals given by Communist Chinese spokesmen, and of the very tough reality underpinning Chinese gestures of friendship. Utimately programmed to serve the interests of China itself, no matter how attractively presented – skills  the Chinese pride themselves on – they are based on  keeping one’s friends close, but keeping one’s enemies even closer.

We should be extremely concerned that there is now a well-funded move to establish a Chinese political party which owes its allegiance not to New Zealand nor to New Zealanders, but, to Beijing where, ominously enough, this New Citizens Party held its first meeting  – although it intends to obtain party votes in New Zealand in the next election. Its backing apparently comes from a problematic source.

The danger behind this move should be obvious even to Mrs Shipley.

Given what the writer of this accompanying article points out, it is high time that we required all new immigrants to this country to take an oath of allegiance to New Zealand, and to this country’s interests.  Those who refuse to do so not only cannot possibly be regarded as genuine New Zealand citizens but should have their very presence here questioned. It would be more than legitimate: it should actually be mandatory to refuse entrance to those who are unwilling to identify as New Zealanders.

It is late in the day for New Zealanders themselves to call upon the government to safeguard our own assets, our resources, to insist on New Zealanders’ rights to make their own decisions concerning the way forward – rather than to be overly pressured into yielding to short term, sugarcoated financial gains, which will essentially see a sell-out of this country.

It is also time – well past time – to make far more adequate provision for the defence of this country. It may indeed be almost too late.

Don’t miss this essential reading newly posted in the Articles section of www.100days.co.nz   Frank Wong’s hugely important:

“Say No to another race-based party – this time “Made in China”.

© Amy Brooke