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Garth George’s China syndrome

Written By: - Date published: 9:28 am, April 16th, 2011 - 66 comments
Categories: International, newspapers - Tags: ,

I don’t read Garth George columns. Life’s too short eh? But I could hardly miss this one, with the money quote plastered on the front page of The Herald. George calls China an “ancient Asian monstrosity”.

Now I’m no fan of China’s human rights record, or aspects of its history. But an “ancient Asian monstrosity”? Seriously? And there’s more such drivel in the article itself.

I would have said that George must have been feeling jealous of all the attention that Paul Henry got with his juvenile racist posturing, and was seeking his own martyr’s exile. But no. This wasn’t live to air. This was written, read, edited, and posted. Someone even chose the money quote to feature on the front page. So presumably The Herald endorses George’s views.

There and I thought we bloggers were supposed to be the crazy ones…

66 comments on “Garth George’s China syndrome ”

  1. Lindsey 1

    Of course The Herald endorses GG’s views. He hasn’t done any real reporting for years. The had him doing the Letters to the Editor but had to pretend to pension him off after he printed a letter from some RWNJ calling for physical harm to be done to an MP and abused people who rang to complain. Obviously, his retirement package included being paid to produce a certain quota of reactionary dribble on a regular basis, so nothing has changed!

    • Bright Red 1.1

      yeah, I heard they sacked him over that but he just kept on writing them articles. They keep on thinking about ditching him but, hey, free or near as copy is gold in the newspaper business.

  2. tc 2

    Ah more quality journalism from granny.

  3. Peter 3

    A very recent must read by Brian Gould on China and implications for NZ.
     
    http://www.newnations.com/specialreports/thechinesechallenge.html

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      China has succeeded where the Soviet Union failed, by finding a way to combine a centrally directed economy and a monolithic political structure with the innovation and enterprise that only a market economy can provide.

      If only a market economy can provide innovation and enterprise then why is NZ, one of the most open, market dominated economies in the world presently going backwards?Perhaps because, like everything else coming from neo-liberal economist, that statement is a load of bollocks.

      • Swampy 3.1.1

        So tell me again why we are fawning and tripping over ourselves to pay homage to a one party totalitarian state?

        When there is so much bile in these columns being directed at temporary powers granted which have a precedence in wartime when the aim was to militarily defeat another one party totalitarian state.

      • Swampy 3.1.2

        Then it must be a good thing that the whole world including us has closed down our manufacturing and exported it to China?

    • Frank Macskasy 3.2

      Fascinating…
       
      *right click, save*

  4. prism 4

    Who is that ancient NZ monstrosity and why do his provocative opinions get into a newspaper column, or even a letter page, the haven of grumpy old men and women with an imperialist complex?
     
    captcha  western – Smart machines I distrust.

    • Peter 4.1

      So what do you believe he has wrong, or have you not read the article?

      • prism 4.1.1

        Peter – There is a lot of rabble rousing stuff around which I let go past me.  I don’t have time to take in everything so like to read thoughtful opinions moderated by a healthy brain operating at optimum temperature not over-heated muck scattered around like what comes out of a hippotamus’ a.se.   We have problems with all the rich countries of the world buying us up.   Cafca has been telling us that for years.  Have you read or listened to their views?

    • Tanz 4.2

      Garth George is one of the best commentaters out there. He says what he thinks, uses a minimum of PC ***, and is a straight shooter. We need more like him, so honest and intelligent. Common sense in spades. And proud of his Christian faith, good on him.

      • Eddie 4.2.1

        All of which tends to be undermined by the fact that he’s a fucken idiot.

        • Vicky32 4.2.1.1

          All of which tends to be undermined by the fact that he’s a f******  idiot.

          (Sorry, I can’t even quote effing and blinding without wincing.) I just want to say, that even Garth George is not always wrong! He’s written some excellent columns over the years. (A stirring defence of women on the DPB for one.)

           

      • How  anyone with the education GG has obviously had can believe in the myth of The Ark , the rainbow fairy story, and all he other Christian /Religion nonsense is beyond comprehension .He is  bigoted nut case and that’s being polite. Why a Newspaper as big as the Herald still employs such a writer makes me realise just why I cancelled my subscription months ago.

        [lprent: adjusted to remove the excessive bold. ]

      • prism 4.2.3

        Tanz – You must like coming to this site as it fills all the bases you consider worthwhile.  Don’t know about parading Christian faith though.  When people make a big deal out of that its more for providing PR for themselves with the easily impressed.  Real Christians try to show their integrity in their actions, being fair and hopefully astute, and in showing respect and love for others.

        • Tanz 4.2.3.1

          For the first time ever, Christians are now getting very bad press in NZ, the faith is being trampled over, especially by the MSM. Just because I may like to parade my faith, this does not mean I am not a ‘real’ Christian. In fact, a true Chrisitian shouid never be ashamed of their faith. And Garth George was being poked at merely for being supposedly old and grumpy. Unkind in itself, and a shoot the messenger type comment.

          Garth George, keep writing those coloums, the Herald needs you, as do the wider public.
           

          • ianmac 4.2.3.1.1

            Tanz. There is no God. It is a fantasy of past distant ages to either explain the unknown or to be used for gaining power over others. Most people do not really believe in a life hereafter in a heaven or a hell. So get over it mate! Do the good stuff for your fellow man and not for some fanciful mystic.

            • Vicky32 4.2.3.1.1.1

              You know that how, Ianmac? Even the atheist bus campaign didn’t go any further than ‘probably’. Oh they whinged that they were being discriminated against by the UK equivalent of the advertising standards authority, who’d had the temerity to point out that advertisers are not allowed to make claims they can’t prove, but that’s exactly the point – atheists can’t prove their assertions any more than we can prove what we say (something you keep demanding we do.)
              Please, don’t be a patronising berk…

          • prism 4.2.3.1.2

            Tanz  Cripes you make yourself a martyr.  And the post wasn’t about you it was about Garth George.   Being old and grumpy often go together in non-Christians as well as the faithful.   Seeing reality, being able to speak it is important.   Everybody could be defended from analysis with your soggy approach to reasoning.

            • Tanz 4.2.3.1.2.1

              Agreed re the post not being about me, it was the comment made that was pointed at me for daring to bring up the word Christian, basically. Whatever happened to tolerance? When it comes to Christianity, some on the left just lose their good manners, it seems to be. Old and grumpy. Do you know George personally? Name calling, and childish.
               
              You just don’t agree with my beliefs. Has nothing to do with my non-soggy reasoning, thanks. Tolerance!

  5. higherstandard 5

    If Winston Peters had said this in a speech a fairly large segment of the public and some well known commenters here would lap it up.

  6. Galeandra 6

    ROB, your post is a bit rich in that it mocks and negates but does not address a single element that supports George’s stance.
     I find a great deal to be concerned about in relation to the new China that we see today. For example, we have already seen the hollowing out of the US economy  because of the off-shoring of key industries & jobs in the nineties and noughties and that has contributed significantly to the pauperisation of the midddle & working classes. I  too think that our relationship with China deserves a great deal more respect & caution than our gung-ho new-age capitalist-politicians allow. Fonterra learned this  to its  dollar cost and NZ’s reputational damage. I, with most NZers, have definite views about civil rights and minumum rights for workers.
    I have no interest in reading posts that simply mock the idiocracy. The minimum I expect is an attempt at a critique. By all means take issue with the inapporpriate or prejudiced discourse within George’s writing but try to do so without exhibiting prejudices of your own.
    Captcha: failings

    • Wayne Lo 6.1

      The fact is almost all of what Garth George wrote was completely unsubstantiated rubbish, and racist fear mongering:

      ”I read nothing of the fact that China is a totalitarian state which clings resolutely to Mao Zedong’s version of Marxism-Leninism”

      Complete and utter rubbish. (as an aside Mao Zedong’s version of Marxism-Leninism was not all bad – after all the Chinese people enjoyed one of the most rapid increases in life expectancy of any developing country under Mao – of course George is referring to Mao to scare the shit out of his readership.

      ”huge and densely populated communist nation is all good.”

      Huge. Yes. Densely populated? Well significantly less densely populated than the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, and even Tonga!

      ”the multimillion-man People’s Liberation Army, with its huge naval and air arms, owns and controls a significant proportion of China’s industry and commerce.”

      China’s military spending is about 1/7th the US, and not that much higher than that of Britain and France. I would guess that NZ has more troops on foreign soil than China. China’s military naval and air arms capabilities are nowhere near as strong as that of the US. China does not even have an aircraft carrier as of yet.

      ”I read nothing of the absence of human rights, as we understand them, in China and of the hierarchy’s brutal suppression of any dissent.”

      There are several hundred so-called dissidents out of a population of 1.3 billion. Which is nothing. The US has more prisoners, in absolute numbers, than China, and proportionally speaking about 6 or 7 times as much.

      And regardless of how the Chinese run China, they do not demand that other countries adopt their own social and cultural model.

      By most measures the US record on human rights is far worse than that of China’s.

      ”I read nothing of the fact that graft, corruption and bribery are endemic to Chinese politics”

      China is actually less corrupt than most Asian, Africa, South American, and East European countries. China is slightly more corrupt than developed countries like Italy, and has the same corruption score as Greece. And is nowhere near as corrupt as Russia.
      Http:/tinyurl.com/2ag2kpq

      The fact is the current economic mess the world faces is largely the fault of massive American corporate corruption. Not Chinese.

      ”that the acquisition of money, property and prestige is the overweening concern of its citizens.”

      In other words the Chinese are no different from everyone else. Garth obviously resents the fact that the Chinese (by and large still very poor compared to whites), aspire to have what whites already have….how ‘uppity’ of them.

      ”I read nothing of the fact that the Chinese currency is rigidly controlled, to the benefit only of China, and that it is still undervalued in spite of being somewhat freed up in the middle of last year.”

      So Western countries going round with policies to benefit others? China is still a poor country in terms of per capita GDP. As much as the value of its currency reflects the underlying wealth of a place, then her currency is likely not undervalued at all. Furthermore Americans went on a spending binge with money loaned to them by poor Chinese over the past decade or so. Obviously China has every right to fight against the devalueing of these loans.

      ”Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga have all accepted multimillion-dollar “soft” loans for “infrastructure” purposes and experts believe that they will never be able to pay the money back. There’s something sinister about that, even in the suggestion that China might “forgive” many of those loans.”

      So what? These countries do not belong to New Zealand. China and the respective Pacific nations have the right to strike up whatever deal they want among themselves –and it is no business of New Zealand’s.

      China has never practised slavery in the Pacific (importation of indians to Fiji), ‘blackbirding’, or had selfish, racist, and murderous policies which resulted in the deaths of 22% of the population of Samoa (one of the greatest demographic disasters of the 20th Century).

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackbirding

      The only thing ‘sinister’ really, is the fact that the Chinese are involved.

      ”How sad that the loss of indigenous industries, some of them iconic, which have been forced out of the market or have moved their production to China or elsewhere in Asia, with the loss of <bhundreds of thousands</b> of Kiwi jobs, can be dismissed so cavalierly.”

      There are 150,000 unemployed people in New Zealand. How many of these people are unemployed as a direct result of loss of jobs in manufacturing to China? Hundreds of thousands? I very much doubt it.

      In fact the very reason why New Zealand’s unemployment rate is 6.8% and not 21% (Spain), or 15% (Greece and Portugal) is because of this country’s economic ties with China.

      ”took a really long-term look at our relationship with this ancient Asian monstrosity.”

      It was this same ancient ‘Asian monstrosity’ that was invaded & plundered for over a century by rapacious Western powers (1840-1949).
       

      • ChrisH 6.1.1

        You need to reformat this a little bit and submit it to the Herald Wayne. Instant rebuttal, it’s the only way to deal with people like GG and the Herald will be under an obligation to print it. A scandal if they don’t.

        • HC 6.1.1.1

          ‘Wayne Lo’ does not need any extra encouragement to comment in the Herald. He does it all the time – same as he does in some other media.
          Sadly Wayne is often quite one-eyed in his interpretations and views himself, virtually glorifying everything that Mainland China does. Is that what you want to encourage to “balance” the kind of nonsense the other poorly informed extremists against China write?
          Well, we get them all, and sometimes it can be quite amusing.

          • Wayne Lo 6.1.1.1.1

            “Sadly Wayne is often quite one-eyed in his interpretations and views himself, virtually glorifying everything that Mainland China does.”
             
            Mr HC,

            Rather than just indulge in chucking ad-hominems my way, please engage with my facts, and the truths drawn from those same facts.

            What exactly is it in my comment posted above, that you take issue with and wish to contradict?
             
             

            • HC 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Well, Wayne, you asked for it:
              “Complete and utter rubbish. (as an aside Mao Zedong’s version of Marxism-Leninism was not all bad – after all the Chinese people enjoyed one of the most rapid increases in life expectancy of any developing country under Mao – of course George is referring to Mao to scare the shit out of his readership.”

              My comment to this:
              Yeah, of course Garth George lives in the past when it comes to Mao. but your comment re the “most rapid increases in life expectancy of any developing country under Mao” did not really help much for the tens of millions that died of poverty and starvation during his failed “big leap forward” experiments!
              “China’s military spending is about 1/7th the US, and not that much higher than that of Britain and France. I would guess that NZ has more troops on foreign soil than China. China’s military naval and air arms capabilities are nowhere near as strong as that of the US. China does not even have an aircraft carrier as of yet.”
              My comment to this:
              Well Mainland China’s military spending is not as high on a percentage basis AS YET, when compared with the US, nevertheless the Chinese government has over recent years pumped immense amounts of money into its military (up to 16 % increase), clearly planning to become a large strategic military force to be reckoned with in future!
              And re “troops on foreign soil” – do you include military advisors, instructors and similar in that, when comparing this to NZ? What about Sudan, Angola and so forth?

              “There are several hundred so-called dissidents out of a population of 1.3 billion. Which is nothing. The US has more prisoners, in absolute numbers, than China, and proportionally speaking about 6 or 7 times as much.”
              My comment to this is:
              Does anybody wonder after decades of one party rule, censored media, and constant pressure to “conform” to the mainstream thinking? Still now the internet is heavily controlled and censored, there is no “free media” like there are at least still remnants of truly independent and free media outlets in so called “western countries”. Executions, life term or at least longer term imprisonment, harassment and even torture of the few hundred you refer to does naturally ensure that nobody has much encouragement to speak out what they may truly feel and think!
              I do also not know of many persons in the US being imprisoned simply for their “political views” or convictions. There may be some, but they would be rare and likely be jailed for acts they did in breach of the law (not the 1st amendment).
              “So what? These countries do not belong to New Zealand. China and the respective Pacific nations have the right to strike up whatever deal they want among themselves –and it is no business of New Zealand’s.”
              My comment to this:
              You will of course come with your argument of the “One China policy”, but since 1949 Taiwan has been an independent state, which is now a democracy. China claims historic rights to Taiwan, and any country recognising that country, establishing too close ties with it or even daring selling arms for its self defence to it, does immediately get told by Mainland China’s government to “bugger off”!
              Tibet, Sichuan and Inner Mongolia are also claimed as parts of China, but culturally and ethnically distinct separate regions, which of course China does not accept. Instead China encouraces and enforces internal migration to outnumber the local traditional populations, in order to better “control” them.
              China regularly criticises the US for certain military involvement with South Korea, holding exercises near the South China Sea, for having a close alliance with Japan, but NZ and Australia are supposed to shut up if China gets more involved in their “back yard”?
              Well some are blind on one eye, are they not. I do not want to start you off on the opium trade, the wars with the UK colonial power, the trade wars with “western nations” in the 19th century. I am afraid you will not stop firing and take over the whole thread here.
              Good luck anyway, dear Wayne, it is always fun to read your comments.

              • Wayne

                “tens of millions that died of poverty and starvation during his failed “big leap forward” experiments!”

                The GLF was a tragedy of revolutionary China. But the fact is even based on the worst, most outlandish estimates of anti-communist writers, the annual average mortality during the GLF was far less than at any point in time before 1949, less than that of British India just before independence, and practically the same as that of India, Indonesia, Pakistan, and East Pakistan (Bangladesh) in 1960.

                The GLF was a tragedy because it was a regression from the progress the communists had made prior to it – so it stands in stark contrast to their overall achievement in reducing mortality. That is what is meant by ‘excess’ deaths. And the major factor causing most of the deaths was the worst climatic conditions in over a century.

                It is quite indisputable, when even using the statistics provided by the worst anti-communist writers, Mao’s China saved upwards of 100 million lives relative to the performance of the next four big Asian countries in reducing mortality.

                “as over recent years pumped immense amounts of money into its military (up to 16 % increase), clearly planning to become a large strategic military force to be reckoned with in future!”

                China’s main goal, is to ensure national unity, and that Taiwan will never become independent. And even if China’s military spending was about 10 times more than it is now, what right have the US to complain. Is it right that the US can throw its weight around in the Asia Pacific region, and the rest of the world with impunity?

                China has more right to be a major power in the Asia region than the US. Even piss-ant countries like Britain and France spend almost as much as China.

                “Executions, life term or at least longer term imprisonment, harassment and even torture of the few hundred you refer to does naturally ensure that nobody has much encouragement to speak out what they may truly feel and think!”

                According to Pew Research polls 87% of Chinese are satisfied with their country’s direction. No one really gives a shit about dissidents in China. Most of them are degenerates -like the most recent Western darling, the ‘artist’ Ai Wei Wei – a repulsive sexual deviant.

                “US being imprisoned simply for their “political views” or convictions.”

                Guantanamo Bay? Extraodinary rendition? The fact that minorities are imprisoned at such a massive rate, that discrimination and a fucked up racist society can be the only real explanation. Whereas minorities in China, including Tibetans, are imprisoned at far lower rates than the Han majority.

                “Instead China encouraces and enforces internal migration to outnumber the local traditional populations, in order to better “control” them.”

                This is an absolutel crock of shit, and I would be interested in your sources in respect of this. Chinese are free to move around China, just as Pakeha are free to move to Whangerei or the Urewera’s where large numbers of Maori people live. So provide your source please. I can assure you that there is absolutely no policy whatsoever on the part of the Chinese government to enforce internal migration.

                “China claims historic rights to Taiwan, and any country recognising that country, establishing too close ties with it or even daring selling arms for its self defence to it, does immediately get told by Mainland China’s government to “bugger off”!”

                Well, even the Taiwanese call themselves ‘Republic of China’, so therefore they probably are part of China, I’d say. All Western countries recognise the One China policy. Therefore if they establish separate relations with Taiwan, that is the equivalent of China establishing separate relations with say California, or going behind the NZ government and say recognising the independence of the Ureweras. How would the NZ govt respond then?

                Tibet, Sichuan and Inner Mongolia are also claimed as parts of China, but culturally and ethnically distinct separate regions

                I suppose you mean Xinjiang, not Sichuan.

                So what? The reason they remain culturally and ethnically distinct is because the Chinese government has taken important measures to ensure they remain that way. Local traditions are encouraged and supported, bilingualism compulsory, and state supported TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers all ensure the survival of local languages and culture to a far greater extent  than any place under Anglo Saxon colonisation.

                Compare the situation in Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia in respect to the indigenous languages, with New Zealand. Tibetan, Uighur, Mongolian, are alive and well and used in everyday discourse and conversation.

                Compare the situation regarding the use of Maori in NZ:

                “David Rankin, a Maori academic and a leader of the Ngapuhi tribe, himself a fluent speaker, said it was a lost cause and Maori would not survive as a living language beyond a few more generations.”

                http://tinyurl.com/3sugvrb

                • HC

                  Wayne – your comments about Mao Dse Dong having saved upwards of 100 mio lives due to increasing the mortality is purely hypothetical. I suppose you mean increasing the life expectancy of people rather than “increasing the mortality”.
                  Statistical data from Mainland China is highly unreliable still today, so how reliable can statistics from the years of Mao’s rule be???
                   
                  “China’s main goal, is to ensure national unity, and that Taiwan will never become independent.”

                  So China needs to have double digit annual increases in military spending just to ensure “national unity”???
                   
                  I would have thought the best way to achieve national unity is by ensuring healthy economic growth (exists), creating fairer wealth distribution (does hardly exist), controlling inflation (creeping up steadily and deteriorating income gains), ensuring food supply security (desertification, erosion and other natural deterioration is increasing due to climate change, pollution and intensive over-use of soils) and by creating a fair, free and socially balanced society (huge income gaps between urban centres and the hinterland exist, no freedom of speech and social tensions due to various reasons remain).


                  So does the government mistrust it’s own people so much that it must build up a huge and well armed military?
                   
                  And why this issue about little Taiwan? Does China as member of the UN not respect the right to self-determination??
                   
                  Your answers do not convince re this!
                   
                  According to Pew Research polls 87% of Chinese are satisfied with their country’s direction. No one really gives a shit about dissidents in China. Most of them are degenerates -like the most recent Western darling, the ‘artist’ Ai Wei Wei – a repulsive sexual deviant.

                  OOOhh?! So dissidents are “deviants”? Possibly even “sexual deviants”? That is an easy and really convincing answer.


                  And re the supposed polls – obviously conducted by a Chinese government monitored polling service – I can not be convinced at all. Yes, I am sure that under the Nazis about the same number of Germans would have said the same of their government then, because they would not dare to say otherwise. And even the ones being honest about their view would have been so, because they were brainwashed to death!
                   
                  This though is different in China, I presume, because there you have “freedom of expression”, free press and democratic rights?


                  Local traditions are encouraged and supported, bilingualism compulsory, and state supported TV stations, radio stations, and newspapers all ensure the survival of local languages and culture to a far greater extent  than any place under Anglo Saxon colonisation.

                  I am sure that the Chinese government encourages Tibetans to cultivate their culture and religion, does it not?
                   
                  So why do demonstrations like a couple of years ago get crushed down with violence and many injured and dead as a result then? Are these demonstrators (also the Uigur) all “terrorists”? I suppose that will be your argument.
                   
                  Bilingualism is enforced, because the Chinese government forces minorities to learn Mandarin. This is very different to NZ, where Maori is taught to Maori in order to keep the language alive. In Mainland China the minorities have not lost their language and ofthen do only speak their native tongue. So it is not so much by choice that the minorities can learn Mandarin, they are taught this at school and have to learn it.
                   
                  In NZ almost all Maori have lost their language, so the motivation is a totally different one to that in Mainland China!
                   
                  And migration of Han Chinese and other ethnicities from other parts of China is encouraged into Xinjiang and Tibet, because the migrants get attracted with well paid jobs on infrastructure and other jobs, with special assistance to establish businesses and so forth there. The goal is clear! Of course this is not publicly admitted by the Mainland Chinese government.
                   
                  Your comparison of Taiwan with California is absurd. Taiwan does by the wishes of the majority of it’s populations prefer and choose to be self dependent and not part of Mainland China, while California does freely choose to be part of the USA.
                   
                  So there is not even an issue of any country wanting to establish diplomatic ties with California.
                   
                  The difference between Mainland China and most ‘western’ countries is: In the ‘western’ countries people have a degree of democratic choice between different parties, politicians, can influence or nominate the government through this, have the choice between public and private media to inform themselves, can speak their mind without being labelled a “deviant”, can disagree with the direction of government and/or mainstream society and not fear the consequence of being picked up from home and locked away without a proper trial, can travel to other countries without needing special permission by their governments, and many things more.
                   
                  So I fear that your arguments do not convince many of us that grew up in a society with maybe not “ideal” conditions, but with a preferred social, political and economic system, that can be changed if we really would want so (in sufficient numbers).

                • HC

                  Wayne – When reading a new article in the ‘Economist’ today, I had to think of your first comment above again. You wrote amongst other things: “China is actually less corrupt than most Asian, Africa, South American, and East European countries.”
                   
                  I also remember you once making comments in the NZ Herald that China is doing such great things while investing in Africa.
                   
                  Perhaps have a read of the article under the following link:
                  http://www.economist.com/node/18586448

                  Well it seems that it is not all that great after all,  and disillusionment about China’s activities in Africa is growing fast now.

                  • Wayne

                    Yeah. An article by the economist. There’s literally millions of articles on the web like that anyway.

                    I read your link so check out this book by Deborah Brautigam:
                    The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa

                    You can always find negative examples in everything if you look hard enough. The question is this – is the story representative of the overall situation?

                    Well ordinary African people have been asked this in numerous polls.

                    A BBC poll was just carried out:

                    “Asked how they view the possibility of an economically far stronger China, around four in five Nigerians and Kenyans said they looked forward to such an outcome, according to the survey of more than 28,000 people in 27 countries commissioned by the BBC World Service. “All African countries view China’s increasing economic power positively,” the survey report said”

                    http://en.m4.cn/archives/6679.html

                    Pew research polls align with the BBC results:

                    http://pewglobal.org/2010/06/17/obama-more-popular-abroad-than-at-home/6/
                     

                    If the situation in the article you posted really was representative of the overall situation you would not be getting poll numbers like those.

                    Obviously the Chinese are a vast improvement over European interlopers. The Chinese at least pay for their stuff, and get permission from African governments to do their stuff.

                    The Europeans use to just walk in and take the land and resources (including humans) for nuthin.

                  • Wayne

                    from the same report bbc report….

                    The consensus prevails among African countries as well with regard to how they consider China’s fairness in the way it trades with its partners…….On average, in the continent, China is considered the fairest partner, with an average fairness score of 7.02 on a 0–10 scale, ahead of the US (6.61) and the EU (6.52).

                    The original full report is here:

                    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/mar11/BBCChina_Mar11_rpt.pdf
                     

                    • HC

                      Yes Wayne, I have read articles by “Deborah Brautigam” and find her reports and views a fair bit blue-eyed, naive and one sided.
                       
                      I note with interest that you have inserted a link to ‘The 4th Media’, which claims to be “an independent media organisation based in Beijing”.
                       
                      May I ask what influences they are “independent” from. Certainly they will be “independent” from any significant US influences. But how “independent” are they otherwise by being based in a country with one of the most censored and controlled countries on the globe?
                       
                      The ‘Message to NATO from a Free Lybian Girl’ is clearly showing what kind of “independent” media we are talking about. A girl who supposedly proclaims that “we love our leader”, and implying she speaks for the Lybian people, that does really raise some people’s eybrows now.
                       
                      Taking sides for a dictator that was admittedly being courted by “western” business people and “leaders” before, but who now lets his own people get slaughtered by mercenaries from countries like Mali, Chad and the likes, that really convinces me of it’s “independence” now!?
                       
                      Re the BBC polls that you refer to I may say that the overall result is worse than previous polls, and that more countries, particularly directly in neighbourhood to Mainland China, do increasingly find Chinese economic and strategic policies becoming more of a concern.
                       
                      The fact that China does still have a fair bit of credit in some African countries can be attributed to such countries having been avoided by “western” companies to invest in, because of problems with corruption, crime, low social and legal standards.
                       
                      Mainland China follows a different approach when compared with European, US and Japanese investors. It offers investment indiscriminately – i.e. not being bothered about whether a government is democratically elected, whether it is corrupt, breaches human rights and so forth.
                       
                      Hence many African governments are happy to get any kind of such investment, because it does not demand much of them to deliver certain standards.
                       
                      The fact that infrastructure projects have been completed in poor quality, that Chinese companies often bring in their own work force rather than employ locals, that Chinese migrants undercut local manufacturers and other matters of concern, does increasingly lead to China losing the credit many Africans are still prepared to give it.
                       
                      Increasingly the awareness is that Chinese companies do ultimately look after their interest and do not deliver much of real longer term benefit to the local economies.
                       
                      Re the situation in China itself another article by one of the leading economists in the world may be of interest too:
                      http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/04/2011415133455105416.html#
                      I do not simply rely on “western” or “pro western” media at all when informing myself. So this one from Al Jazeera is certainly not to be considered as too biased – from my point of view.’

                      Anyway, I do get a cleared picture by the times I read your comments, where you get your information and views from. It does hardly ever convince me.

                    • HC

                      Apologies for the spelling mistakes in my last post above:
                      “But how “independent” are they otherwise by being based in a country with one of the most censored and controlled media on the globe?”

                      That is how it should read!

                      Also re my last sentences:
                      Anyway, I do get a clearer picture every time I read more of your comments, to see, where you get your information and views from. It does hardly ever convince me.

                      That is what I was meant to say, and how it should read.

                      Good luck Wayne!

                    • Wayne

                      HC:
                      I have also linked to the original report. Again, you can read it in its entirety here:
                      http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/pdf/mar11/BBCChina_Mar11_rpt.pdf
                       
                      The news report I originally linked to did not misrepresent the contents of the report.
                       
                      So the FACTS are these. Africans prefer Chinese investment over European or American investment.
                       
                      Because unlike the whites, Chinese actually PAY for the stuff they get. Unlike whites who just went in, and took stuff for free.
                      After all those white farmers in Zimbabwe – what do you think of the cause of all the shit that has been going on there recently?
                      Because just after WWII, the land that later became their farms was just taken off Africans, and the Africans driven off the land.
                       
                       
                       
                       
                       

                    • Wayne

                      China’s popularity in Africa over the past five years is attested to by the Pew research centre which is the most well-known, well-recognised organisation gauging international opinion on a whole lot of things. China is obviously overwhelmingly popular in Africa:

                      http://pewglobal.org/database/?indicator=24&survey=12&response=Favorable&mode=chart

                      Unlike the West Chinese pay for their stuff. Westerners go into other peoples countries and steal things. That is why they are not liked. And if they are prevented from stealing they go and bomb the shit out of a country and change its government so they can continue stealing.

                      Perhaps the West should learn off China in this respect.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Come on Wayne, China has done an excellent job of securing hard assets from the African continent – and UN votes too.
                       
                      We all know this.
                       
                      We also all know that it is happening in the South Pacific.
                       
                      But you have to be naive to think that money buys you real friends.  Of course, Chinese culture knows this very well too.

                    • HC

                      “And yes. Ai weiwei is a degenerate. Even if in a Western cultural context he is not a degenerate, that is completely irrelevant. He operates in China, has transgressed China’s rules and should be duly punished under China’s rules.”

                      What makes this man a “degenerate”? What did he do to be a sexual deviant? You seem to make outrageous claims, Wayne, but state clearly what you mean by such derogatory remarks!


                      “The simple fact is you rarely get say Iranians, Nigerians, Indians, Russians, Cubans, Moldovans, or Botswanans, making strident demands of the Chinese, trying to humiliate the Chinese.”

                      Really? I remember well how years ago many black African students in China were complaining of racism. There are similar problems underneath the propagandistic surface that the government of Mainland China portrays that are just the same as in some other countries (“western” or not).
                       
                      Tell me, Wayne, how many “mixed marriages” are there in Mainland China between say Indians and Chinese, black Africans and Chinese, even Europeans and Chinese. Since you are so good with supposed stats, perhaps you have a figure representing how “open” and liberal Chinese society really is.

                      The Indians do largely mistrust China, because of past political and boarder disputes. The Russians are very ambivalent about dealing with China. They are pragmatic when it comes to trade, but they are aware that China can pose a military challenge (see also other parts of the BBC survey you referred to).


                      “To me say, if Iran wants to stone a woman, for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason at all then that is their business.”

                      Yeah – come further out of your shell, Wayne! I like this bit of honesty. You and maybe most Mainland Chinese (certainly the Mainland Chinese government) would not give a turf about women being stoned to death according to pre medieval traditions. That is also why the mullahs and various dictators around Africa and some other countries love making deals with your government and it’s companies.
                       
                      Tell me also, please, how much do you get paid to do all this propaganda spreading for the CCP?

                    • HC

                      Wayne – I think of that dinosaur minded old ex journo Garth George was an old Mainland Chinese with a similar bias as yours, then you would get on just fine, would you not?
                       
                      How entertaining to read all the stuff you let loose. So the readers here do now know what you and your views are all about!
                       
                      Thank you so much!
                       
                      It has been delightful to debate with you!

                  • HC

                    Further quotes from teh ‘Economist’:


                    “The mainland economy is riddled with corruption, even by African standards. International rankings of bribe-payers list Chinese managers near the top.”


                    “In Zimbabwe in 2008 Robert Mugabe’s sabotage of elections set off civil upheaval. Chinese investors fled, yet the ascendant opposition still linked them to the dictator.”

                    “Zimbabwe’s environment minister said Chinese multinationals were “operating like makorokoza miners”, a scornful term for illegal gold-panners.
                     
                    These quotes and facts speak for themselves.
                     
                    In your recent post you refer to:
                    “Because unlike the whites, Chinese actually PAY for the stuff they get. Unlike whites who just went in, and took stuff for free.

                    After all those white farmers in Zimbabwe – what do you think of the cause of all the shit that has been going on there recently?”

                    “Unlike the West Chinese pay for their stuff. Westerners go into other peoples countries and steal things. That is why they are not liked. And if they are prevented from stealing they go and bomb the shit out of a country and change its government so they can continue stealing.”

                    Well, do we live decades ago or in 2011?


                    Your rantings are wearing off, Wayne. Obviously you hate “the west” and “westerners”, that is why you also refer to Chinese dissidents as being degenerates. Maybe you also hate “white” people?
                     
                    Might is right, that seems to be what you dream off. The US got “high” on that for some time, but see where it is now. The same will happen to China one day, but given the propaganda and increasing nationalistic tendencies the Mainland Chinese governments promotes, we will have a future China blame every other country for its wrong policies.
                     
                    I am sure that we should all be very mindful and weary of sentiments like yours.

                     

                    • Wayne

                      I don’t hate any group of people.

                      But I’m sure New Zealanders would not like it if China incessantly demanded from the NZ government an update on the welfare of say, Tame Iti.

                      Similarly white people (and they are almost exclusively white people) should stop playing holy over a degenerate like Ai weiwei.
                       
                      And yes. Ai weiwei is a degenerate. Even if in a Western cultural context he is not a degenerate, that is completely irrelevant. He operates in China, has transgressed China’s rules and should be duly punished under China’s rules.

                      The fact is white people have to get use to the idea that they no longer rule the world. Other peoples have the right to determine their own standards and what is acceptable and unacceptable in their own countries.

                      The simple fact is you rarely get say Iranians, Nigerians, Indians, Russians, Cubans, Moldovans, or Botswanans, making strident demands of the Chinese, trying to humiliate the Chinese.

                      What is it about Westerners who think that they have the right to demand the rest of the world conform to their ways?

                      To me say, if Iran wants to stone a woman, for good reasons, bad reasons, or no reason at all then that is their business. I do not consider myself so all-knowing, so superior that I think that I have the right to decide for an entirely different people what is good for them.

                      Unlike the arrogant hypocritical West (whose actual human rights record now and before, by any universal measure is the most disgraceful in world history).

                      The West seems to think that they still have the right to ignore the rules of other countries —just like in the days of extraterritoriality, when Westerners were completely immune from Chinese laws (up to 1946), and could kill and did kill Chinese people with utter impunity (as one of my aunty’s in guangzhou clearly remembers british troops there shooting Chinese in the back like dogs).

                      Those days are well and truly over, and you people just have to get use to the fact. Whites just have to suck on the fact that they cannot shoot non-white people in the back like before and not expect a reaction. Tough.

                    • HC

                      @ Wayne – Wow!!!:
                      Whites just have to suck on the fact that they cannot shoot non-white people in the back like before and not expect a reaction.”

                      Are you sure you don’t HATE white people???


                      I thought we had moved on from the kind of “black“, “white” and “yellow” kind of thinking.
                       
                      Some do though prefer to live in the past – aye?


                      How do you feel about living in a country like NZ then? So much diversity here, does it not create feelings of uncertainty. Is that why you cling so much to your background and glorify Mainland China more than your adopted country?
                       
                      Where is your true loyalty?

        • Wayne Lo 6.1.1.2

          Thanks for your suggestion Chris – I already have (about 3 posts I think) 🙂

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.2

        There are 150,000 unemployed people in New Zealand. How many of these people are unemployed as a direct result of loss of jobs in manufacturing to China? Hundreds of thousands? I very much doubt it.
         

        Hey mate China is getting tens of millions of dollars worth of NZ train orders and that has put hundreds of NZ workers’ jobs on the line.
         
        That’s just one example for you mate, there are many others.

        • Wayne 6.1.2.1

          Show me the link which proves factually that hundreds of thousands of jobs have been lost in New Zealand due to China. If you cannot then my statement stands as a matter of fact.
          New Zealand’s unemployment is rate is about 6.3%. Irelands, Greeces is about 15%, Spain’s 20%.
          Do you think if New Zealand severed its China links what would happen. Would unemployment go up or down?

          • HC 6.1.2.1.1

            Sorry Wayne, but CV did not claim “hundreds of thousands”! You suggested that in a hypothetical question in your earlier comment. CV just referred to one example, where hundreds of jobs in NZ have been put on the line!
             
            There have been many companies that used to manyfacture in NZ, whether it was garments, electronics or else. Many, yes most have shifted their production off-shore, and very many set up operations in Mainland China.
             
            This is due to the comparatively lower labour costs, lower environmental and other standards, which also offers a “cost incentive” to business operators to invest in Mainland China. Add to that the currency exchange advantage (due to China’s government keeping their currency controlled and artificially low), and the advantages are numerous to shift production and jobs there.
             
            Hence Mainland China is engaging in the same kind of “cut throat” and ruthless business practices as the multinationals that go around the globe shopping for the cheapest deals.
             
            By having gone down that road you are following the path of the traditional capitalists. The only difference is that up to now you have your government maintain certain “controls” that favour the Mainland Chinese economy.
             
            The day will come that the macroeconomics will catch up with the Mainland Chinese economic policies, and then China will be in for either a big “crash” or a very long, painful “soft landing”, from which it will take very, very long to recover.

        • Wayne 6.1.2.2

          Colonial Viper: Are you utterly innumerate or what?
           
          When did hundreds of thousands = hundreds?

  7. ianmac 7

    nineties and noughtiesAn expression I heard for the first time this morning by that economist this morning on Kim Hill. (Easier to say the “Golden Years of the Noughties” than the “Dark Anti Democracy Years of the 2009-11”)
    I think that Rob’s post is spot on. After all you are welcome to discuss the detail of the post as others are welcome to question the credibility of any writer including GG. The only thing in his favour is that he represents a group of people who are like-minded and it helps to know where they stand, just as it helps to know where Act stands, or NZF, or Green, or Labour, or you Galeandra. etc.

    • Galeandra 7.1

      @ ianmac,I didn’t listen to Kim Hill today, in point of fact, so nice for you, but so what?

      Knowing ‘where people stand’ has nothing to do with the sort of reflex prejudice that so often greets George on The Standard , or for that matter, Trotter on the DimPost site. (There, BTW, The Standard is usually the butt of scorn because of the predictable nastiness or shallowness of some of the posts here.) It may not matter much to posters, but if non-Labour readers are simply antagonised by the level & style of criticism then there is little point apart from allowing regulars here to enjoy telling each other what they already think. The silly beat-up yesterday about the extravagence of $90 meals for World Bank dignitarieswas a case in point, and the really important subtext about poverty simply went begging.
      As for knowing where I stand, well, do you really? You do know that I think we are better served when language and thinking are pitched somewhere above the level of the merely visceral.

      • ianmac 7.1.1

        Galeandra. Must be something wrong with the way I write. “noughtie…..so nice for you, but so what?” Er nothing. Just liked “noughties for 2000- 2008.” No offence.
        Knowing ‘where people stand’ has nothing to do with the sort of reflex prejudice….” Well knowing where people stand is very important so that you can make judgements on how much notice/suspicion to take. If John Key makes a statement I would be sceptical because on previous experience he has shown where he stands. You call it reflex prejudice but I would call it reflex scepticism. The same goes for my “reflex scepticism” on reading Garth George’s commentary because of his history of making constant “reflex prejudice and bigoted statements.”
        There are many on most blogs who react with sometimes violent pro and anti comments according to their leanings. So? Why not? Underneath most statements on the Standard there are many honest heartfelt beliefs and sometimes great anger over such things as abuse of democracy.
        Perhaps you could have a go at purifying Kiwiblog comments? Good luck.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    I read nothing of the country’s one-child edict, by which millions of girl children are aborted each year because everyone wants a son and which has already led to a vast and widening male-female disparity.

    Um, GG, the one-child policy has nothing to do with girl children being aborted. That’s solely a stupid cultural phenomenon that values men higher than women. It’s called sexism and misogyny. You’re probably familiar with them as you do seem to practice both yourself.

    I read nothing of the fact that graft, corruption and bribery are endemic to Chinese politics, its military, business and commerce and that the acquisition of money, property and prestige is the overweening concern of its citizens.

    Sounds remarkably like the motives of capitalists. I mean, why else would anybody want multi-million dollar a year incomes? They can’t possibly spend it.

    It’s all very well to say that this is just a businessman talking but the real problem is that New Zealand is now being run almost entirely as a business, with the emphasis always on “wealth creation” although we all know that wealth will end up in the hands of a few and the gap between rich and poor will continue to increase.

    You did get that bit right though and yet I seem to recall you saying just how great National was before and after the election…

    The headline on one of Saturday’s articles was “The kiwi and the dragon”. It might pay to remember that a kiwi would make a very small, but very tasty, meal for a hungry dragon.

    Considering our population and the food we produce I think that China is looking towards us purely as a food supplier and the more businesses and land that they own the more control they’ll have over our country. It is something we need to look at and reverse but not just China – we also need to look at all other countries that are buying us up.

    • Swampy 8.1

      Can you see the melamine scandal happening in NZ?

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Can you see the manufacturer of Ribena lying about its Vitamin C content to kids and parents for years?
         
        well Ok not really a lethal transgression, but pretty bad lying about the quality of food.

    • Vicky32 8.2

       

      Um, GG, the one-child policy has nothing to do with girl children being aborted. That’s solely a stupid cultural phenomenon that values men higher than women. It’s called sexism and misogyny. You’re probably familiar with them as you do seem to practice both yourself.
      Except that if you actually knew him and read his columns regularly, you’d know he doesn’t practice sexism and misogyny as much as you seem to want to believe. Not even a 10th as much as some men here do!

       

       

      It’s all very well to say that this is just a businessman talking but the real problem is that New Zealand is now being run almost entirely as a business, with the emphasis always on “wealth creation” although we all know that wealth will end up in the hands of a few and the gap between rich and poor will continue to increase.

      You did get that bit right though
      Ah DtB, this shows how little you know! GG has always supported the poor against neo-liberal policies.

       

       
       

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        Except that if you actually knew him and read his columns regularly, you’d know he doesn’t practice sexism and misogyny as much as you seem to want to believe.

        The “amount” doesn’t matter – the fact is that he practices them and that they’re a result of a stupid cultural phenomenon that values men higher than women.

        Ah DtB, this shows how little you know! GG has always supported the poor against neo-liberal policies.

        I’ve seen him do that in the same column that he was praising National and their policies. Garth George is the typical RWNJ who can believe 6 impossible things before breakfast – and all of them contradictory.

  9. Bill 9

    What’s wrong with a ‘huge or outrageous thing’ – the definition given in the Oxford English Dictionary for ‘monstrosity’? And if it’s ‘ancient and Asian’ then, hey.

    E.g. Isn’t a dragon a very cool ‘ancient Asian monstrosity’?
     

  10. If I didn’t know Garth George was for real I’d swear he was a satirical characiture along the lines of The Onion’s Herman T Zweibel. I read one of his columns a while ago entitled “We Should All Salute Our Glorious Prime Minister”, in which he claimed to have met every National PM since Holland. He must be 200 years old. Anyways, it was such sycophantic drivel I spat my coffee out. From laughing.
    Does anyone else reckon he looks like Josef Fritzl?

  11. gnomic 11

    ‘the acquisition of money, property and prestige is the overweening concern of its citizens.’

    Gosh. Well totally unlike the average middle class Pakeha citizen of New Zealand then. How could I possibly have thought that your everidge Kiwi was obsessed with making a million or two for retirement from inflating property prices while using the shack as an ATM for those essential holidays abroad en route? Where on earth could the expression ‘boat, bach, and BMW’ have come from? Shame on me for not realising that NZers have taken the words of Jesus to heart, eg ‘If thou wilt be perfect, go sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.’

    Nice use of overweening though.

    It is an unsightly spectacle, ‘our’ country on sale to the highest bidder. I for one do not particularly welcome our new overlords. Lenin may have viewed it as a case of the comprador bourgeoisie yet again prostrating themselves before filthy lucre. NZ as a capitalist society and tiny nation state deriving its income from primary produce has always been subject to the whims of financiers and corporations overseas despite popular delusions of independence; perhaps it makes little difference whether the strings are pulled from London or Beijing.

  12. uroskin 12

    Fisking Garth “Vader” George used to be fun but not so much lately.
    http://uroskin.blogspot.com/search/label/Fisking%20Garth%20George

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    Hmmmm, bad mistake looking at China as if it is a single monolithic entity (or “monstrosity”).
     
    We will win a lot of respect back from China if we, as a country, started to show a little backbone and initiative again, like we did half a century ago.
     
    Less so if we continue to follow the US etc down the route of free market neo-liberalism and pandering to the few against the interests of the many. A route the Chinese can very clearly see has been a total failure for the West, even as it has helped create wins for itself from it.

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