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Academic freedom and relationships with China

Written By: - Date published: 8:07 am, November 26th, 2018 - 108 comments

A number of prominent academics and researchers have signed an open letter to Jacinda Ardern urging her to take the allegations of Chinese involvement in crimes against Professor Anne Marie Brady seriously and to make a clear statement in defence of academic freedom in New Zealand.

Political interference

Written By: - Date published: 10:35 pm, November 20th, 2018 - 82 comments

China certainly has interfered  in New Zealand politics, most notably by the offer of a free trade deal which delivered huge benefits to our economy.  Party and government officials all stressed to us that they were grateful for New Zealand’s support for their accession to the World Trade Organisation,  the rule-based trade body. The US and Australia in contrast want to build a military base on Manus Island north of Papua.

Quite a day or two then!

Written By: - Date published: 6:17 pm, September 18th, 2018 - 83 comments

A quick smorgasbord of reported news from Syria, to China and Sweden, to antisemitism and (hidden behind the links) an interview with (hopefully) the first woman who will serve as President of the USA.

Updated

Fonterra’s loss

Written By: - Date published: 9:35 am, September 13th, 2018 - 67 comments

Fonterra has just reported an after tax loss of $196 million for the 2018 year. It’s never had an annual loss in its history.

China and Google

Written By: - Date published: 7:52 am, August 6th, 2018 - 2 comments

Google is planning a launch of its eponymous spectacular search engine in which it allows censorship from the Chinese state. Some U.S. politicians aren’t happy about it. Principles are, in the words of the words of my tailor, funny; you loosen a bit here, you loosen a bit there, you find your trousers fall down. […]

What has happened to Simon Bridges?

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, July 19th, 2018 - 42 comments

You would think that while Jacinda Ardern takes time out to properly introduce baby Neve to the world opposition leader Simon Bridges would be striding throughout the country like a colossus and really make a name for himself.  But of late he has been rather invisible.

Trump meets Putin

Written By: - Date published: 9:03 am, July 16th, 2018 - 116 comments

Some things that President Trump won’t do as when meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki.

The trade war

Written By: - Date published: 1:56 pm, July 9th, 2018 - 27 comments

The speed of the growing trade war between the United States and China will hit New Zealand. Our long term diplomatic arc, such that it is, was to follow a modernist impulse set after World War Two: that economic growth and democracy matched deep human impulses for freedom and prosperity together. China has never assented […]

Petrol is going up, and up

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, June 30th, 2018 - 57 comments

Not all the current government’s fault, but the arrival of the fuel tax this weekend heralds a number of very sharp rises in what we have to pay in order to run a car.

Full retreat

Written By: - Date published: 11:22 am, June 27th, 2018 - 13 comments

The United States Supreme Court decision to upheld Trump’s travel ban is but the latest example of bad news for international human rights we have had over recent times.

Trump will be President until 2024

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, June 21st, 2018 - 61 comments

It’s time to see the strong possibility of a second term of Donald Trump as United States President.  What would The World Look Like?

In defence of Eugenie Sage

Written By: - Date published: 7:28 am, June 15th, 2018 - 154 comments

Eugenie Sage has been criticised for granting OIO consent to the foreign buy out of a water bottling company and a piece of sensitive land.  But from the looks of the details that have been released she may have had no choice.

This is a China Play

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, June 13th, 2018 - 36 comments

What was the game plan behind the Trump-Kim Jong Un meeting in Singapore yesterday?

Sonic Attack

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, June 8th, 2018 - 93 comments

What follows isn’t satire or parody. Apparently.

Who needs strategy?

Written By: - Date published: 9:49 am, June 6th, 2018 - 39 comments

Perhaps the idea that it’s necessary to have national objectives and realistic plans to achieve them, is overrated. Seems to be working for Trump.

New Zealand trade negotiations with Europe

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, May 23rd, 2018 - 7 comments

On Thursday 31 May at the University of Auckland, the Fabians are hosting Max Harris on the topic “Is it time for an independent foreign policy?” What would be the costs of a really independent foreign policy, over the benefits of salving our conscience with greater national independence?  And where does Trade fit in?

Trump was right … and then …

Written By: - Date published: 7:53 am, May 17th, 2018 - 17 comments

Donald Trump has had a few months of being lucky with some luck Foreign Affairs wins and good economic news. But his wreckage-trail of his consequences is becoming longer and clearer.

No Iran Israeli War.

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, May 12th, 2018 - 11 comments

In spite of all the sharp intakes of breathe going on across media outlets, there will be no war between Iran and Israel. Here’s why.

Algorithms are threatening our democracy

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, May 9th, 2018 - 36 comments

Algorithms are a form of fascism – yet a fascism from data manipulation rather than from the state. Are they a threat to our democracy?

Is Karl Marx dead?

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, May 8th, 2018 - 60 comments

2018 marks several anniversaries of Karl Marx whose significance for the critique of capitalist society is hard to diminish. But what now for his beliefs?

Is this a new cold war?

Written By: - Date published: 4:10 pm, April 11th, 2018 - 17 comments

It’s really easy to get cranky right now and believe the world is retreating into to a sad Cold War binary in which Russia and its allies are always in high tension with the United States and its allies. A new Cold War.

North Korea redux

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, April 7th, 2018 - 14 comments

Does being incoherent work sometimes? With the President of North Korea visiting China for the first time, meeting with the South Korean President for the first time, and preparing to meet with the Japanese President and with the President of the United States, was Trump’s approach actually right for the circumstances?

US Trade Tariffs against China

Written By: - Date published: 2:14 pm, March 23rd, 2018 - 66 comments

Make no mistake: this is the single biggest anti-trade act the world has seen since the Iranian revolution’s nationalisation program from 1979.

Remember President Obama?

Written By: - Date published: 10:24 am, March 20th, 2018 - 79 comments

The world has changed dramatically since Barak Obama was President of the United States.

Jian Yang wanted to help the SIS with recruitment

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, December 21st, 2017 - 24 comments

Matt Nippert has made further revelations about Jian Yang including that he lobbied on behalf of an unsuccessful applicant for a security sensitive job with the New Zealand Defence Force and that he disclosed to Auckland University but not to Immigration that he had worked for a PLA University.

Why Malcolm Turnbull is nearly right

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, December 12th, 2017 - 27 comments

Malcolm Turnbull is proposing law changes in Australia to try and minimise the effect that China is having on Australia’s democratic system. He may not be wrong in doing so.

Social Democracy is still alive

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, November 24th, 2017 - 49 comments

With socialist governments in rapid decline right across the world, and just a very few social democrat governments re-emerging after many years out of power, it’s useful to remind ourselves of what governmental combinations are working well.

Tampa, Ardern and positioning small countries

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, November 16th, 2017 - 41 comments

There are major similarities between Helen Clark’s decision to accept into New Zealand refugees from the Tampa boat and Jacinda Ardern’s pushing for New Zealand to accept refugees based on Manus Island.

The Yellow Peril?

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 pm, November 15th, 2017 - 338 comments

What’s with the academic panic epidemic about China? Two in our media in the same week, referencing each other with vague warnings about the Chinese bogey. It’s not quite Lionel Terry in Haining Street again; more likely in my view a case of singing to someones else’s geopolitical tune. No prizes for guessing whose.

 

Jian Yang and his residence application

Written By: - Date published: 10:35 am, November 5th, 2017 - 68 comments

Just before the election news broke that National MP Jian Yang had previously taught in a Chinese University training spies.  A recent OIA release of his immigration application raises further issues.

China and New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 12:49 pm, October 17th, 2017 - 70 comments

Is it time for New Zealand to align itself with China rather than the United States?

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