China, Huawei and us

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, November 27th, 2018 - 50 comments
Categories: China, Deep stuff, democracy under attack, International, Politics, surveillance - Tags:

It’s high time this government woke up to the intelligence gathering capacity and ambition of China in New Zealand. If we have a counter-espionage capacity of the New Zealand state, it’s time it was put to work.

Charles Sturt University academic Clive Hamilton made a submission to an Australian inquiry this year detailed what he said were attempts by groups linked to the Chinese government to exert influence on Australian society.

Last year publisher Allen & Unwin cancelled plans to publish Hamilton’s book about the Chinese government’s methods of asserting influence in Australia because of fears the Chinese government could
sue for defamation.

So yes, it’s not just happening here.

In July this year the Australian National University in Canberra claimed that Chinese cyber actors had held an ongoing presence in the university’s IT systems for at least seven months.

Then next month, informed by a national security review that had been undertaken, then acting home affairs minister — and now prime minister — Scott Morrison banned Huawei.

The United States had already restricted Huawei and another Chinese company ZTE also on security grounds.

An option that New Zealand might conceivably consider is the UK government approach; start a cyber security evaluation centre to assess Huawei products and indeed any other. Nice and soft.

But after seven years of operations that approach hasn’t worked.

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre said in August that it “is less confident” it can provide “long-term technical assurance of sufficient scope and quality around Huawei in the UK” because of the “repeated discovery of critical shortfalls”.

That UK outfit is effective, so hearing them admit to major limitations is important and honestly rules the softly find-the-evidence approach.

There’s a more real approach. The real problem of trust in Chinese technology companies is China’s 2017 national intelligence law which states: “Organisations and citizens shall, in accordance with the law, support, co-operate with, and collaborate in national intelligence work and guard the secrecy of national intelligence work they are aware of.”

There’s some useful analysis of the responsibilities that law puts on Chinese citizens and companies.

That’s a toughie for Huawei.

Huawei reacted to the Australian decision saying the decision was politically-motivated and not the result of a fact-based, transparent, or equitable decision-making process.

Currently there’s no evidence at all that Huawei gear is a security problem. So yes indeed, no evidence for a decision to ban them.

But do Chinese national security policy directives override evidence? Are commercial bans across whole states simply a consequential price the Chinese Communist Party is prepared to pay?

Or are we led down a slippery path of suspicion, holding Chinese companies to a level of security accountability that is absent when I open my American Motorola phone, Apple computer, or Oracle software?

Thankfully that’s a decision way beyond my pay grade.

Many non-Chinese internet and content companies wrestle with the fact that the Chinese government makes the rules, and they are totally anathema to western assumed rights not to be perpetually state-surveilled without charge, and to enjoy unfettered freedoms of expression, and protest, and association. These values would get traded at the expense of the global reputation of such companies. This Chinese government is degrading human rights at every turn, and we will not be New Zealand if we accept that here. Huawei: say it right: Who Are We?

The net outcome is that Chinese tech companies continue to dominate China; this enables domestic security to function as a massive tariff protection to their local technology industries, from which to grow
and export. Australia is a small market. They’ll get a few knock backs, but far more wins across the world, so the equation still works out.

When weighing up the involvement of foreign companies in critical infrastructure projects, how can policymakers put forward credible arguments in support of companies whose international behaviour is
bound by their domestic security laws?

And of course, Chinese companies can hardly complain when they get some of the same security scrutiny applied to them that their own state applies to those companies wishing to enter China’s markets. Actually of course they can. Hypocrisy is a really shit line of attack here.

None of the true debate of the differences between the New Zealand assessment and that of Australia will ever come out into the open. That’s the nature of the beast here. So our government better put something useful out there. Silence in statecraft is assent.

If New Zealand ever needed a lesson on how China chokes those who piss it off on security grounds, check out Taiwan. The number of Chinese tourists plunged as much as 42 per cent following the 2016 election of
President Tsai Ing-wen, as Beijing worked its carefully structured group tourism controls. Run that scenario on the New Zealand tourism industry, and you feel a certain chill.

Currently our highest diplomatic principle appears to be: head down and keep trading.

50 comments on “China, Huawei and us”

  1. gsays 1

    A couple of thoughts occur to me as I type this on my huawei talking bone.

    It is right to be concerned about intelligence gathering ambitions of China.

    What about the current ‘intelligence gathering’ by the state?
    By the state on behalf of the USA?
    Every text and cell phone call being diverted away.

    I understand minister Little agrees with the spooks that the spooks powers need to be increased.

    On Chinese tourism, I have heard time and time again that lots of Chinese tourists land get on a Chinese owned tour bus, go to Chinese owned tourism ventures and food places and leave.
    The money not percolating into the local economies.

    • RedLogix 1.1

      Just yesterday I was talking with an Australian sparkie onsite about his previous role. He’d been there five years but when the company was taken over by Chinese owners they rapidly squeezed out local workers with low paid Chinese staff (totally illegal abuse of the visa system).

      Meetings would be held in Mandarin and not translated, tasks and roles reduced with no discussion. English speaking staff treated with contempt, etc.

      I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have worked in numerous countries and locations since we left NZ six years ago. Many of the conversations I have with fellow workers are insightful and interesting. Much of what goes on in the world from an ordinary person’s perspective is not reflected in our media.

    • Michelle 1.2

      I heard from people that work in these motels that many Chinese have brought motel businesses and are trying to get rid of their kiwi staff and bring in their own Chinese workers.

      • gsays 1.2.1

        we overnighted at a hotel in auckland that had a korean buffet dinner.
        3 mini buses came through during the dinner service.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    “Last year publisher Allen & Unwin cancelled plans to publish Hamilton’s book about the Chinese government’s methods of asserting influence in Australia because of fears the Chinese government could sue for defamation.”

    So it’s already happening. Their infiltration is working because it is subtle and coercive. Note the common factor: both Prof Brady & Hamilton have been warning us about the methods being used by the communist regime… “the book’s delay is the latest in a series of incidents that have raised concerns about what many here see as the threat from China to freedom of expression.”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/20/world/australia/china-australia-book-influence.html

    “Mr. Hamilton has disclosed an email that he said was sent to him on Nov. 8 by Allen & Unwin’s chief executive, Robert Gorman. The email explained the decision to delay the book’s release: “April 2018 was too soon to publish the book and allow us to adequately guard against potential threats to the book and the company from possible action by Beijing.”

    “Our lawyer pointed to recent legal attacks by Beijing’s agents of influence against mainstream Australian media organizations,” the email said. The contents of the email have been widely reported by the local news media. When asked for comment, Allen & Unwin declined to confirm or deny its authenticity. Mr. Gorman has not gone public to deny the email’s authenticity.”

    • Dennis Frank 2.1

      I found this review of Hamilton’s book, which was eventually published early this year:
      https://www.australianbookreview.com.au/abr-online/current-issue/4663-david-brophy-reviews-silent-invasion-china-s-influence-in-australia-by-clive-hamilton

      The reviewer is very critical, but makes some valid points – particularly in regard to any double standard re the USA and Oz govt policies. “China’s lone naval outpost on the coast of Africa cannot compare to the almost eight hundred bases that the US military maintains around the world. If America’s meddling looks like ‘child’s play’ from Hamilton’s Australian standpoint, it’s only because the United States allows us to play the role of bully’s sidekick. Things look a little less rosy to the Chinese, who have seen American bombs rain down on five out of the PRC’s fourteen neighbours since its founding in 1949. In a rivalry between Beijing’s empire of debt, and Washington’s empire of drones, we should be doing all we can to avoid taking sides.”

      • Doogs 2.1.1

        I really do think that it is quite irresponsible to say “Don’t bother doing anything about this, because LOOK AT THIS!!”

        How about doing something about both? I do think that American influence is something to be aware of and push back against, but there is something nasty, covert, underhand and subversively threatening about how China sets about trying to unnerve and destabilise countries’ attitudes to itself.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Australia has been well ahead of NZ in this respect. Regular media articles have been appearing for at least the past two years. Sometimes it nudges toward the paranoid, but for the most part I’m seeing the political establishment here taking the issue seriously, even if they’re as unsure of exactly what to do about it.

    I’m on record here as saying that I believed the FTA with China was the one thing HC did that will bite us in the arse eventually. Short-term the trade has been welcome, but instead of China becoming a more democratic and open society like the West, the opposite has been happening. The CCCP has doubled down on it’s tyrannical, repressive regime.

    As it happens we are living with a Chinese family the past year (don’t ask, homeless gypsies we are). Seriously accomplished and inspirational family. The father is a high end academic with post grad students in three countries, I honestly don’t know how he manages the demands on his time. Still we’ve had some great conversations; and while he remains politically cautious in what he says (a natural instinct I think) …. it’s clear he firmly understands President Xi is setting himself up as another Mao.

    At present it’s a softish tyranny, but has the clear potential to ramp up within a few years to become the dominant global super-power. How Australian and NZ fare under this scenario is not at all clear, but we only have to look at their rapid economic expansion into SE Asia and Africa to see the trend.

    In numerous conversations with people from these places it’s a trend that is deeply resented.

    • Dennis Frank 3.1

      Your point re Labour policy is worth recycling: “instead of China becoming a more democratic and open society like the West, the opposite has been happening. The CCCP has doubled down on it’s tyrannical, repressive regime.”

      The Clark govt doing that free trade deal with China seemed like sensible diversification at the time, and seems to have worked out okay, but now downstream consequences are emerging. We need to diversify out of dependency on that trade.

      Probably the key point is that the regime doesn’t tolerate multiculturalism. Han supremacy is the rule. Monoculture. In nature, it’s fatal to any ecosystem.

      “China officially recognises 55 ethnic minority groups within China in addition to the Han majority. As of 2010, the combined population of officially recognised minority groups comprised 8.49% of the population of mainland China. “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_minorities_in_China

      “The ethnic minority groups officially recognized by the PRC reside within mainland China and Taiwan, whose minorities are called the Taiwanese aborigines. The Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan officially recognises 14 Taiwanese aborigine groups, while the PRC classifies them all under a single ethnic minority group, the Gaoshan.”

      Denial of 14 indigenous tribes in Taiwan, disposing of the differences via dumping them in a single category, is clear evidence of monoculture thinking. The regime is toxic. It will contaminate everything it touches.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Gordon Campbell explains how the Malaysian PM deftly revealed Ardern’s weak leadership: http://werewolf.co.nz/2018/11/gordon-campbell-on-how-malaysia-has-exposed-our-dodgy-policies-towards-china/

    “Mahathir usefully exposed how New Zealand is trying to make a virtue out of sitting on the fence over the South China Sea dispute.” “In August, he denounced China’s Belt and Road initiatives as a diplomatic strategy by which China was saddling some of the host countries with unsustainable levels of debt to Beijing.”

    Debt slavery as foreign policy is just a copycat thing from China, since the US has long used to to control other countries. Just another form of left/right collusion, since governments get re-elected when they use foreign money to subsidise voters. Traditionally, they a masking device – labels like `public investment’, talking-head economists in the media to rationalise it. Has always worked well, on the basis that voters think being enslaved by debt is the good life.

    Gordon also reports that “on coming to power in Malaysia, Mahathir immediately cancelled two China-financed mega-projects in the country (the US$20 billion East Coast Rail Link and two gas pipeline projects worth US$2.3 billion) on the grounds that his country couldn’t afford those projects, and that they were not needed for the foreseeable, anyway.”

    So our PM trotted out the neutrality line: “all claimants should uphold international law, and the law of the sea. Ardern said those involved should de-escalate tension and rely on dialogue to resolve the issue.”

    Gordon: “Problem being though, international law ruled against China’s claims in the South China Sea over two years ago, and China has subsequently ignored that ruling by the UN arbitral tribunal, and proceeded to militarise the islands and shoals in dispute. So that horse bolted, quite some time ago. In late 2018, issuing calls for everyone to observe international law in the South China Sea just isn’t a meaningful policy anymore.”

    So who’s to blame for Ardern’s banality? Her advisors? Is she just not paying attention? “Basically, we are making an empty gesture that’s likely (and is perhaps intended by MFAT) to be read by Beijing as a greenlight to proceed.” Exactly. If Winston thinks that’s okay, he deserves a hammering. We can let Ardern off on the basis that she’s still got training wheels on? Hmm…

    • Exkiwiforces 4.1

      I have a feeling it’s Jandals advisors within her PM’s office and the free trade zealots within MFAT, as she comes across as not having a clue on SCS issues or she is trying to avoid the issue without upsetting everyone including those within her party or the Greens who don’t want to increase Defence spending anymore than necessary atm if we take sides.

      • Dennis Frank 4.1.1

        That muddle through the middle thing is typical Labour, as is hiding behind public service advice. Abdication of leadership, while pretending to be a leader.

        Some judicious defence spending would be okay by me. Preferably via intelligent design, to fit our strategic circumstances, regardless of any traditional military thinking. I’m okay with it being done in concert with Oz (despite their tendency to choose braindead left/right govts, which MMP has partially enabled us to escape).

        So I’m untypical of the Greens as usual. I’m with the non-violent conflict resolution principled path, of course, which is where your reference to taking sides comes in. Our non-alignment ought to avoid any side-taking whenever possible. I’m okay with opposing Islam because it’s toxic, I’m okay with opposing Chinese state policy for the same reason, but we can do so without opposing China. Specifically, our policy ought to define the terms of a mutual-benefit relationship with China. Likewise we can oppose US foreign policy similarly, by specifying how we believe they ought to be operating.

        It seems elementary, but so many in politics just don’t get it. Always speak to foreigners in lingo they understand. Paternalism is the traditional subtext used by powers that be, so the best way to communicate with them is to use it.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1

          I’m okay with opposing Chinese state policy for the same reason, but we can do so without opposing China.

          Wrong. If we’re going to oppose Chinese state policy then we’re obviously going to be opposing China.

          Specifically, our policy ought to define the terms of a mutual-benefit relationship with China.

          That’s what the FTA with China was all about but we’re now seeing that it’s benefiting China while costing us.

          Likewise we can oppose US foreign policy similarly, by specifying how we believe they ought to be operating.

          Yeah, that’s not going to work either as they’ll just keep doing what they’re doing and ignoring anything and everything we say.

          The only way to get them to pay attention is to stop dealing with them. And get the Rest of the World to do so as well.

          One the Rest of the World stops dealing with them they lose their power over us.

          • Dennis Frank 4.1.1.1.1

            Think how your stance plays out within a family. Disengagement can be a useful way to reduce tension but the family has to resolve any stand-off eventually. Similarly, regional relations can’t produce mutual benefits via disengagement.

            So I was advocating a negotiating stance. If you reframe an unsatisfactory situation by opening up a mutual-benefit pathway to the future, it gives the other country a positive option rather than a cold shoulder. You reckon great powers simply reject positive alternatives. Not always. They may have to think about it awhile, but as long as the alternative remains an option for them they can take it. It’s how the ANZUS stand-off got resolved, so we know it works.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1.1

              If you reframe an unsatisfactory situation by opening up a mutual-benefit pathway to the future, it gives the other country a positive option rather than a cold shoulder.

              Wouldn’t that be dependent upon both countries wanting a ‘mutual-benefit pathway to the future’?

              Because from where I’m standing it doesn’t look like China does.

              Disengage now and, maybe, open relations again later depending upon them actually becoming a good world citizen rather than the rogue state they are now.

              • Dennis Frank

                Yes, we could do that, in principle. In practice, none of our establishment parties would agree, tacitly conceding that addiction psychology is too prevalent in voterland.

                So I think remaining engaged while being firm about the appropriate basis to proceed is currently our optimal stance. Realpolitik. China will keep trying `my way or the highway’ until they get the picture that it isn’t working, and then ask themselves `um, who’s really on our side?’

                So the best way to kowtow is to vote L/N/NZF. Unless Winston gets real about how to ride the resurgent nationalist wave, in which case we will have to subtract NZF from that equation.

          • Unicus 4.1.1.1.2

            ” The only way to get their attention is to stop dealing with them”

            Not that the Malasians are paragons to be imitated but in tearing up those contracts they spoke to China in the only language it understands .

            Our government should proceed toward withdrawing with from the FTA while openly declaring a policy of disengagement with China and diversification of replacement trading partners

            Citizens can do their bit by not buying Chinese goods where possible and boycotting Chinese owned Businesses in their own neighbourhoods – while they still can .

    • tc 4.2

      Malaysia’s in no position to lecture NZ. We’re not a global police force so fence sitting is fine by me.

      • Dennis Frank 4.2.1

        Don’t have to be. And why assume spinelessness is a suitable posture? The Malaysian leader was just letting Ardern & Peters know that the regional power structure was more likely to favour the communists if we use non-alignment to make us impotent. The three-legged stool model requires consensus of the non-aligned nations to create the third leg. His subtle signal was that NZ needs to get up to speed fast. GC spotted that too. Always best to use a position of strength.

    • Sabine 4.3

      so what is NZ to do?

      fart in the general direction of China and say take that?

      seriously what is NZ to do?

      • Dennis Frank 4.3.1

        Proactive diplomacy. Change the basis of the relationship into one that is not dependency and subservience. We’ve been doing that with the USA, no reason not to treat China equally.

        • Sabine 4.3.1.1

          We have been doing what with the US? We are not a cheap spy station for the US anymore?

          And as i have said it before i say it again, US vs China. China wins. I put my dimes on the US in blowing up this world for shits n giggles, but i put my money on China wins in any economic war.

          We produce very little for china, considering that China has pretty much bought all the land and cows and NZ to not need us for milk powder.

          We hover would cry hot tears if we would actually have to pay the cost of the crab that we by cheaply cause made in China.

          So unless we go ‘inwards’ close the border and all start growing our veggies our selves China is the bigger market with the bigger stick.

          so please explain what NZ could do in real terms that would have China treat us as equals.

          • Dennis Frank 4.3.1.1.1

            Think of it as analogous to a relationship between a man and a woman. You can choose to see it as between equals. You can also choose to see it in terms of power imbalance. You can also choose to see it in terms of what each gets out of it: mutual-benefit relations.

            So it depends if you frame it a particular way or not and none of the options exclude the others either. Trade negotiations do not necessarily imply equality or subservience: they proceed on the basis of agreement to the terms of exchange, then the goods & services exchanged. We are free to choose how we frame the deal, and the terms, and they are free to choose likewise.

    • Michelle 4.4

      Dennis the gnats let the chinese run amok so what do you expect now you want Jacinda to take a stand when john couldn’t even to that or bill

  5. One Two 5

    How did China become the modern day ‘force’ that it is…

    It was ‘created’ by The West!

    This article is imbalanced and illogical to say the least…

    Ad, your ‘fear’ of China and Russia’ is well documented…is it rational or are you an overly dramatic person?

    Take a wild guess and list which state(s) have the most insidious espionage and cyber centric ‘industry’…

    [Warning One Two. Ad’s article is sourced and argued logically and I would say he understands the situation far better than you. Do not cast aspersions about authors – MS]

    • Ad 5.1

      The reason that you know of the extent and powers of the US and EU state intelligence capacities more than any other countries is because they are open societies with a degree of democratic oversight and media scrutiny of the funding and accountability of such services – whereas tyrannical states don’t disclose that because they simply don’t have to.

      If Australia’s loud and sustained security alerts aren’t enough for you, you’ll find your on your own pretty quickly.

      • One Two 5.1.1

        Ok. So you don’t know anything about the subject you’ve written on other than absorbing and repeating the mainstream talking points like a parrot…

        Good on you for trying, but it’s up there with Michael Valleys articles about Syria for sheer ignorance

        Open v Tyrannical

        For crying out loud, Ad…

        The so called west created China…and the ‘leader’ in cyber space is that small apartheid state in the M.E.

        [Warning One Two. Ad’s article is sourced and argued logically and I would say he understands the situation far better than you. Do not cast aspersions about authors – MS]

      • boggis the cat 5.1.2

        No, we don’t know about the capacities of ‘our’ intelligence agencies due to our “open societies” or other such pablum. An example of what really happens would be with Edward Snowden, who divulged part of the US NSA capability to media and is now a refugee from his not-at-all-tyrannical government.

        Your argument seems to be equal parts stoking fear of ‘Johnny Foreigner’ (the inscrutable Chinese, here) and asserting that only our elites should be spying on and lying to us. Why is that? If we have such “open societies” with strong institutions to protect our democracy (such as that is), then why is China a threat?

  6. mpledger 6

    If you were sitting in China and wanted to get at a Five-eyes nation then who would you choose?

    And it’s all very well to say China screwed over Taiwan via tourism but China screws us over milk prices. We piss them off (i.e. not let them buy land) and they stay out of the dairy market forcing prices to dip.

    • Antoine 6.1

      > If you were sitting in China and wanted to get at a Five-eyes nation then who would you choose?

      Ouch but true

      A.

  7. Dennis Frank 7

    Trotter is making the case for foreign control: https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/11/27/the-case-of-the-problematic-professor/

    “All of our brief life as a colonial society we have been the plaything of an imperial power. First Britain, then the USA, and now we are being fought over by a USA desperate to halt its imperial decline (with the Aussies playing the role of Uncle Sam’s enforcers) and the rising global power, China.”

    His thesis is that we have been well and truly bought and sold, so we may as well accept subservience. Labour and National have institutionalised it. Pragmatism rules, ok? So we are held hostage by our trade policy, like a bunch of drug addicts dependent on the local dealer.

    • Gabby 7.1

      Trotsker for one welcomes our new overlords.

    • Pat 7.2

      “And, a few years ago I would have been uttering them myself. Much reading and research into our nation’s history has, however, convinced me that we have never been an independent nation.

      All of our brief life as a colonial society we have been the plaything of an imperial power. First Britain, then the USA, and now we are being fought over by a USA desperate to halt its imperial decline (with the Aussies playing the role of Uncle Sam’s enforcers) and the rising global power, China.

      The only tangible difference between the Chinese state and our own is that ours encourages the fiction that its citizens are free, and the Chinese does all within its power to reassure its citizens that their lives are getting better. Frankly, the Chinese assertions are easier to defend.”

      Is he wrong?

      • Ad 7.2.1

        Trotter’s default is to write as if the world is a recycled tragedy in which the the righteous were always denied their utopia by the trickery of the powerful.

        It’s the framework of the perpetual loser.

        Trotter should actually spend a bit of time within China, maybe try and publish one of his tawdry breathless musings on a site there, then come back and tell us again which is the more free society.

        If he tried publishing on line or even telling someone on Tianenmen Suare all about his definitions of freedom, I doubt he would find his way out of a Chinese re-education camp in his lifetime.

        Failing that, pop down to the nearest RSA and tell everyone they fought for nothing and no one is free to so much as pull a pint. That would be a fun Friday night to watch.

        • Pat 7.2.1.1

          so thats a pompous long winded yes then is it?

          • Ad 7.2.1.1.1

            You’re too lazy to think for yourself.
            Any reply longer than a stop sign leaves you all a-flutter.

            • Pat 7.2.1.1.1.1

              a stop sign no less…be still my beating heart.

              I may be too lazy to think for myself but i never made the mistake of speaking for returned servicemen, but I did listen and oddly enough what they expressed didnt tally with your version….curiously it did resemble the thoughts of Mr Trotter.

              Carry on self important man

      • Dennis Frank 7.2.2

        Enough truth in it to give me good reason not to disagree in my comment! Freedom & sovereignty appear absolute, but in reality are bounded by current constraints that are residue of history. The bleak view is one side of the coin.

        I agree with Ad re Trotter’s default: “the framework of the perpetual loser”. Having shared that frame much of my life, having the market turn me into a winner rather late in the game still surprises me! But again, I’ve often won from the position of a minority of one at different earlier times also. So the oscillation from up to down to up has made me keenly aware that victim psychology is a handicap to transcend.

        Some psychologist made much of the `will to power’ in the mid-20th century. Rightly so! Attitude is the key to applying it whenever/wherever. In politics, as in personal life. Having grown up with the old cultural cringe, I sometimes wonder at the kiwi mainstream genuflection. Colonialism need not be permanent. Just makes me irritable, wish they’d get over it…

        • Pat 7.2.2.1

          theres ‘winners and losers’ according to current narrative…..and then there’s society.

          I know where I ( and those i care about) live

    • Unicus 7.3

      Of course we are an Independant country and have been since England declared our Dominion status .

      What we are not is an Independant and unique culture

      Throughout our settler history by instinct – and neccesity – we have functioned within the norms and social patterns of our European inheritance Unconciously we function as Europeans our language physical and intellectual lives are a continuum of ancient European tradition as old as Greco/Roman culture itself .We share that with people of other settler societies notably the US and the other culturally ( not neccessarly ethnically ) European states the same patterns and tools for orderly existence

      If the Americans have been our masters then they have been a very benign one -the only time their military boots marched on our streets were when our parents welcomed them as saviours from annihilation by the Japanese. We have lived willingly in the arms of Pax Americana ever since

      The Chinese proposal is one of aggressive imposition – it cannot and will not succeed .

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    When weighing up the involvement of foreign companies in critical infrastructure projects, how can policymakers put forward credible arguments in support of companies whose international behaviour is bound by their domestic security laws??

    When it comes right down to it how can policy makers ever justify allowing critical infrastructure into the control of foreign corporations?

    This isn’t a free-market question – its one of national security. And the only option is state production and control of that infrastructure.

    If New Zealand ever needed a lesson on how China chokes those who piss it off on security grounds, check out Taiwan.

    Don’t need to do that. Just look at what China did to NZ in regards to the importation of Chinese steel. Actions which prove that our FTA with China isn’t worth the paper its written on. If we take action upon their corruption they retaliate and it will hurt.

    We actually do have to remove ourselves from such a poisonous relationship. It will hurt for a while but not as much as trying to maintain it.

  9. SPC 9

    Negotiating wise, we could say to China

    As you know, we are under pressure from others to ban Huawei, so could they please explain why they give a better trade deal to Oz, an American security partner that has banned Huawei, than to us? To help us in making our decision …

  10. Ad 10

    Great to see Amnesty International take on Google for their “Dragonfly” proposal which is a version of Google that accedes to Chinese state censorship:

    https://theintercept.com/2018/11/26/google-dragonfly-project-china-amnesty-international/

    I will certainly be supporting it.

  11. RedLogix 11

    As The Intercept first reported in August, Google secretly developed the censored search engine as part of a project code-named Dragonfly. It was designed to blacklist words and phrases such as “human rights,” “Nobel Prize,” and “student protest.” The search platform would link Chinese users’ search records to their cellphone numbers and share people’s search histories with a Chinese partner company. The search records would in turn be accessible to China’s authoritarian government, which has broad surveillance and data-seizing powers that it routinely uses to identify and arrest activists and critics.

    Wow. If you ever wondered what living in Europe during the 1930’s must have been like, this is your answer. Things looked normal, but they were not.

  12. patricia bremner 12

    It behoves NZers to remember the Chinese have always been considered ‘inscrutable’

    Perhaps because they play their games with clear goals in view, meticulous planning
    and a definite ‘hive minded’ attitude.

    Any society which imposed a ‘one child policy’ in such a methodical manner should be both feared and admired.

    That social contract changed their societies progress in one generation.
    They have always been long game players.

    They have worked out how to gain resources which will become scarce and positions of power in a variety of differing countries and you can include the Pacific in that.. given their current stated goals.

    They have long long memories. Read up on the opium wars for an understanding of East West interactions which started an historical chain of events which are still playing out today.

    The question is ‘what long term goals do they have regarding the Pacific?’

    • Dennis Frank 12.1

      The interesting bit is the extent to which traditional culture survived Mao’s clean-out phase. We’ve been led to believe that the Cultural Revolution eliminated it totally. I’ve been wondering in recent years if that is really true. The methods used were ruthless and targeted all institutions of learning, not just the exponents, so it’s hard to see how anything from the past could have survived.

  13. greywarshark 13

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/376979/google-employees-push-to-stop-censored-chinese-search-engine-plan

    Eleven employees including engineers and managers at Alphabet Inc’s Google published an open letter, demanding that the company end development of a censored search engine for Chinese users, escalating earlier protests against the secretive project.

  14. Peter Bradley 14

    How easy it is to divert attention from the real enemy. How revolting to read an article from the NZ left taking tips and instructions from the NZ intelligence service and it’s sycophantic obedience to the US war agenda. Ordinary NZ has more to fear from it’s wealthy compatriots than China or Russia. These countries are a convenient scapegoat nothing more. To top it off the hypocrisy in highlighting China’s human rights record with no counter point on our own complicity in similar acts of suppression and brutal violence as part of the west’s global goon squad.

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