- Date published:
9:36 am, January 20th, 2020 - 18 comments
Categories: China, human rights, International, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, uncategorized - Tags: paulo garcia, rodriguo durtete
National has been rightfully criticised for its obsequious approach to its Chinese relationships. I guess having someone in your caucus with strong Communist links and who taught English to Chinese spies but somehow managed to omit saying this in their Immigration Application can have a bit of a chilling effect on the desire to criticise. But having your Trades Spokesperson buying into Chinese descriptions of detention camps as vocational training centres suggests that something is amiss. But hey Chinese are easier to deal with than farmers and two Chinese Parliamentary candidates are worth more than two Indian candidates.
So Bridges is on a trip to the Philippines and he is going to show how tough he is by telling off President Rodrigo Duterte. Duterte is a Trump style local strongman and has overseen the indiscriminate killing by Police Forces of tens of thousands of alleged drug traffickers. Bridges is not actually meeting Duterte but he is still going to show how tough he is.
From Radio New Zealand:
Bridges said he would raise concerns over the extrajudicial killings of drug dealers with the Philippines government where appropriate.
“Clearly there’s some differences in opinion between New Zealanders as a whole and the Philippines administration where it comes to issues of penal policy and drug offenders and death penalty and the like.”
Robert Reid from First Union visited the Philippines last year as part of an International Human Rights Mission and said he heard more than 27,000 Filipinos have been killed since President Duterte came to power four years ago.
He said Bridges needs to get a good grasp of the local situation.
“It’s all very well to go there and to have nice meetings, but I think he does have a responsibility and should take the time to understand what’s happening in the Philippines, there is still an insurrection.”
Reid claims the war on drugs in the Philipines has moved to a war on the people.
Bridges is being accompanied by National list MP Paulo Garcia who is famous for standing for a West Auckland electorate and for publicly saying that recreational fornication is wrong.
It appears that Garcia does not have the same power as Jian Yang even though Garcia has met Duterte in the past and was the Philippine Consul to New Zealand.
Having said this Garcia’s selection as a candidate by National was strategically a smart decision. The Filipino community in New Zealand are well networked and a very cohesive group. And they make a huge contribution to our society. Our hospitals and rest homes would fall apart if it was not for a number of very dedicated and talented Filipino nurses.
I sense a pattern here. A trip to China and it is all sweetness and light. But a trip to the Philippines and Bridges gets out the tough rhetoric.