Peters to Pence on the Pacific – a return to colonialism?

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 pm, January 14th, 2019 - 120 comments
Categories: China, colonialism, defence, Free Trade, jacinda ardern, Japan, military, pasifika, trade, us politics, winston peters - Tags:

Winston Peters went to Washington last December to see VP Mike Pence and invite the US to engage more in the South-West Pacific without informing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Patrick Smellie described this apparent oversight, if that is what it was, as “deeply worrying.” Even more worrying is what Peters said.

Peters’s speech at Georgetown University Center for Australian, New Zealand and Pacific Studies was titled “Pacific Partnerships.” After stating his view that ‘the Asia-Pacific region had reached an ‘inflexion point’ Peters said:

New Zealand and the United States, we believe, have particular responsibilities in the Pacific as two countries which, through their geography, history and people to people connections, are intrinsically part of the region.

He went on to give a history lesson on  US engagement with the Pacific, citing President Tyler’s extension of the Monroe Doctrine to Hawai’i in 1842 and “the signing of the “Treaty of Wanxia” which opened up Canton and four other ports to American merchants.”

Students of history will know that the Monroe Doctrine came to assert US hegemony in the whole of the Americas, a right currently being asserted by calls for the overthrow of the democratically elected President of Venezuela. The Treaty of Wanxia was signed two years after the Opium Wars and stands at the start of China’s “century of shame”, humiliated by unequal treaties driven by superior Western cannonry. Coming from our Foreign Minister, China could only interpret this reference as a provocative insult. Xi Jinping is determined that the same thing will not happen in the 21st century.

Peters went on.

At the same time as the ‘Accidental President’ Tyler was extending American interests in Asia and the Pacific, British immigrants had settled colonial New Zealand and signed the ‘Treaty of Waitangi’ between Queen Victoria and the indigenous Maori people. The Treaty created a new society, one that celebrates today an uninterrupted history of democratic elections since responsible government began in the colony in 1854. The Pacific has seen our country’s histories and interests intertwined since these earlier times.

There are significant elisions here, ones that he could only get away with at Georgetown. Not everyone in New Zealand is celebrating a “new society,” and the memory of the land wars is still alive as we still seek some reconciliation.

Peters then went on to talk about New Zealand’s “Pacific Reset.”

The Pacific Reset also reflects New Zealand’s response to the increasingly contested strategic environment in the Pacific in which more external actors are competing for influence. This calls for close cooperation with Pacific Island countries, Australia, the United States, and other partners with historic links in the region–countries such as Japan, the EU, UK and France–to uphold values that we share and want to promote in the region; values like democracy, good governance, greater women’s participation, and above all the rules based systems on which the region relies.

Japan certainly does have historic links with the Pacific – their pilots shot down my uncle flying the obsolete biplane that was all the UK sought fit to provide for the defence of Singapore. Prime Minister Abe would like to change Japan’s constitution to allow it to conduct foreign wars again.

France still has its colony in Nouvelle-Caledonie, and is also the only foreign state that has committed an act of terror in a New Zealand port. America also has its own Samoa, whose people  are Americans but not able to become US citizens.  So our Pacific history is chequered, and  not susceptible to easy analogy. Colonial values are not the only ones seen as important in the Pacific.

Peters went on to discuss China.

New Zealand also acknowledges new actors in the region, like China, and welcomes all partners in the Pacific on terms that take account of the Pacific’s needs, where quality projects are sustainable and delivered transparently. We work with China in the Pacific and will continue to do so on those terms.

China is a new actor in the region? Well it certainly has not been a colonial power, and if the Treaty of Wanxia began US involvement in the Pacific then the Chinese were by definition there first. And Chinese have been in the Pacific as long as anyone else, apart of course from indigenous Pacific Islanders. I recall years ago when visiting Western Samoa having access to the archives of the German and New Zealand colonial administrations in Apia,and reading of the harsh  treatment of Chinese indentured labourers by the New Zealand police.

Ironically also Peter’s reference to the Monroe Doctrine makes it harder to argue that the Chinese should not exercise any hegemonic power in their eponymous sea.

So what was the point of it all? It was clearly a speech for American consumption, certainly not one that would go down well if repeated back in the Pacific. Besides all the revisionist colonialism, there was a rather plaintive plea for special treatment by way of economic support for New Zealand, given  Trump’s tariff- and sanctions-driven retreat from the rules-based order on which New Zealand depends.

Did Peters want an American base in New Zealand? The US  marines are now well established in Darwin, and there is talk of another base on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. With over 800 known military bases around the world, American assistance tends to be defence-biased.

And of course the China subtext. New Zealand has not quite followed the American declaration of war on China, but it is significant the new Zealand 2018 defence review follows the US in only referring to China, Russia and North Korea as threats.

Not mentioned in the speech but undoubtedly in the private discussions with Pence is the fact that a number of Pacific Island nations, including the Cook Islands, have signed up to China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project, which reaches far beyond the Pacific to Eurasia. In contrast to the US, Chinese assistance tends to be infrastructure-biased.

Finally, Peters said this:

As partners, New Zealand and the United States have a long history of answering each other’s calls for help. In 1942, the United States came to the defence of New Zealand in a very direct sense. Since then, New Zealand has regularly answered the call when the United States has mobilised its friends in defence of its interests and international security more broadly.

Well no Winston – we didn’t join the US “coalition of the willing” in 2003 because the invasion of Iraq was not sanctioned by the UN and so was unlawful.

We should keep our independence and not allow ourselves to be drawn into America’s wars again, particularly not against China with whom we have good personal and trade relations.

Perhaps the Pacific nations who have joined the Belt and Road Initiative and more far-sighted than Winston Peters 19th century colonialist approach.

Winston Peters shows Mike Pence where New Zealand is on the map

120 comments on “Peters to Pence on the Pacific – a return to colonialism?”

  1. Blazer 1

    Diplomacy-realpolitik..what do you want in life?

    • soddenleaf 1.1

      Ardern did not know Winston was her foriegn minister, or his politics, really? How would micro managing Winston work in practice? It’s laughable, Pence is a peon, nothing to see there, so what if Peters is mugging him in egotistical mutterings over the big picture, no way Trump is moving over, more likely out.

  2. Anne 2

    France still has its colony in Nouvelle-Caledonie, and is also the only foreign state that has committed an act of terror in a New Zealand port.

    Interesting this comment should come up tonight. The docudrama “Bombshell” has just finished on TV1. It is the story of the Rainbow Warrior bombing. France’s contribution to the Pacific was to drop nuclear bombs on a Pacific atoll and then sit back and observe how it affected the Pacific Islanders in close proximity. Many died of cancer and children were born with severe defects.

    Has France ever apologised for what they did? ‘Not on your nelly’. Have they ever helped any of those who suffered because of their arrogance and intransigence? Not as far as I know.

    I’m with you on this one Mike Smith.

    • Wayne 2.1

      There has just been a referendum in New Caledonia which voted against independence in fact quite heavily defeated. I imagine the loss of access to all things France was the reason.
      There will be another one in about 2 years. The result will be the same.

      • Anne 2.1.1

        Interesting Wayne, but not the point of my comment.

        The nuclear testing at Muroroa Atoll in the 1970s and 1980s confirms France was a piss-poor Pacific neighbour. To my knowledge, they did nothing by way of recompense for those who suffered the consequences of their actions in the South Pacific.

        They should never be allowed to forget it.

        • Dennis Frank 2.1.1.1

          I agree. However, I also believe it’s more important to recall that the perpetrator of French state terrorism here was a socialist govt, led by Mitterand. The old leftists vs greenies thing. Younger generations seem reluctant to learn the lesson.

      • Tricledrown 2.1.2

        That’s because France is looking after its colonies much better these days

  3. Sacha 3

    Winston Peters went to Washington last December to see VP Mike Pence and invite the US to engage more in the South-West Pacific without informing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Patrick Smellie described this apparent oversight, if that is what it was, as “deeply worrying.”

    You’re reaching. From the Smellie article:

    But when asked whether she had read the speech prior to delivery, let alone whether the Cabinet had discussed it, Ardern gave an almost breezy dismissal. That is deeply worrying.

    Reading the speech is NOT the same as being informed.

  4. patricia bremner 4

    Peters wants balance in the Pacific. The Americans fund their bases and troops, China loans with strings for infrastructure. Failure with loan repayments can be crippling.
    China has not forgotten Japanese cruelty. NZ was pretty shocking in Samoa. China and Britain have history. France with their nuclear tests and the Rainbow Warrior sinking. Who is innocent? It is eggshell territory. Peters has represented us well, and probably had some guidelines but could draw on his previous success. you infer Ardern was out of the loop. On what grounds? She did not treat it as of moment because she saw it as trying to undermine Peters? We are both guessing. ONE THING .. All the powers are jockeying.

  5. Meanwhile back in New Zealand we have a whole political party that is owned and controlled by the PRC, increasing economic dependence on the PRC, and a timid Government who will not dare to say anything even slightly critical about the PRC.

    We have Chinese language newspapers heavily censored by the CCP and today it was revealed that the Chinese edition of the Herald is also being ‘sanitised’.

    America is a shadow of what it should be, but at least it isn’t a one-party state that censors the whole Internet and routinely jails dissidents by the thousand. At least America isn’t running a concentration camp for a million Muslims. At least America isn’t the #1 polluter of the planet. At least America has a democratic tradition and a concept of human rights.

    America is still a friend of New Zealand. China is a corrosive influence. Peters has correct instincts on this.

    • patricia bremner 5.1

      1000% Ropata.

      • Unicus 5.1.1

        Ropata

        Make that 10,000%

        Culturally and militarily we are joined at the hip with America and many of us are extremely proud it is so .

    • RedLogix 5.2

      Exactly. Unfortunately too many left wing intellectuals never saw an authoritarian President for Life they didn’t like.

      Especially ones that run mass reeducation camps.

    • Bingo , ropata !!!

      Absolutely correct.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 5.4

      ….America is a shadow of what it should be, but at least it isn’t a one-party state that censors the whole Internet and routinely jails dissidents by the thousand. At least America isn’t running a concentration camp for a million Muslims. At least America isn’t the #1 polluter of the planet…….

      Ropata.

      Not yet.

      But it certainly looks like it is heading that way.

      And it raises an interesting question;

      If, and when, the US descends into totalitarianism, will neo-colonial wannabe’ satraps like Winston Peters follow the US hegemon down the same dark rabbit hole, or break all ties with them?

    • Meanwhile back in New Zealand we have a whole political party that is owned and controlled by the PRC…

      Only one? Labour keeps getting let off very lightly on this issue, but it also has an MP involved with the Chinese government “United Front” and accepts a lot of donations from United Front members.

      • Anne 5.5.1

        @Pyscho Milt.

        Where is the proof that Raymond Huo is involved in the Chinese “United Front”. Unlike the Nat fellow, he was out front from the start vehemently denying any such link. He was able to demonstrate that a group of Chinese government lackeys living in NZ fabricated the evidence against him. IIrc, he even named them and they never refuted it. I have met Raymond and a more genuine person you could not find.

        Given the experiences of Anne Marie Brady, I imagine Raymond’s situation is not without some risk. He will have family back in China and probably has to tread very carefully. Hence his more recent silence?

        This is the first I’ve heard of United Front donations to the Labour Party. There may well have been one or two since the election of the Lab. led govt, because that is how the Chinese operate. They like to ‘get in good’ with the winners. But compared to the Nats, it will be a drop in the bucket.

    • greywarshark 5.7

      America isn’t a one party state so that makes them pretty good ropata? I watch them all with distrust, and so should every thinking NZr.

      America is still a friend of New Zealand. China is a corrosive influence. Peters has correct instincts on this.

      I think there is no room for positivity. We look to see where we can get best allies at any given time, without deliberately referring to matters that will incite anger in other powers. Peters can act with intransigence when talking to our reporters and put them down, but in diplomacy he needs to talk and walk quietly and surely, not heavy footed. It sounds like he has put his foot in our mouth in his reference to China’s treaty with unpleasant connotations for them.

    • Mark 5.8

      At least America isn’t the #1 polluter of the planet.

      Obviously you have never heard the concept of ‘per capita’?

      In terms of ecological footprint the average Chinese has far less an impact on the planet than the average New Zealander

      That million Muslims in concentration camps is a laughable absurdity believed only by idiots who have been brainwashed by the Western media.

      And of course Western news sources are so completely independent and impartial eh?

      America’s concept of human rights: half a million dead Iraqi children was ‘worth it’ (Madeleine Albright), the destruction of Iraq, Libya, Syria…..

      Many New Zealanders feel America is a friend and China is an enemy, not because of anything those two countries may have done, but because both countries are essentially white Anglo Saxon countries. Its simply an ethno-racial feeling. They should just be honest and say that.

      • CHCOff 5.8.1

        ‘Many New Zealanders feel America is a friend and China is an enemy, not because of anything those two countries may have done, but because both countries are essentially white Anglo Saxon countries. Its simply an ethno-racial feeling. They should just be honest and say that.’

        That does touch on a point, that what is really being talked about, is mechanics of policy, not mechanics of a people.

        • Morrissey 5.8.1.1

          And this country has a long history of virulent, hateful attitudes toward Chinese people that persists to this day. Same thing with the absurd anti-Russian prejudice that bedevils so many, even the so-called “liberals.”

          • RedLogix 5.8.1.1.1

            And some people can tell the difference between an ancient, honourable people and the gang of billionaire thugs who currently run the place as an open air panoptican.

            • Morrissey 5.8.1.1.1.1

              Opposition to Russian oligarchs is entirely reasonable and legitimate. But portraying the Russians as some evil empire bent on running the world is absurd. Unfortunately, it seems to be the only idea that the Dumocrats have in their threadbare playbook.

      • Lettuce 5.8.2

        “That million Muslims in concentration camps is a laughable absurdity believed only by idiots who have been brainwashed by the Western media.”

        A change of tack Mark? Deny it’s happening in the face of overwhelming evidence and call anyone who believes it an idiot. How very ‘Global Times’ of you. Has the Chinese Embassy given you a new set of talking points this week?

        Of course China’s not publicising their Xinjiang nightmare – the Nazis kept very quiet about their concentration camps too:

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/11/if-you-enter-a-camp-you-never-come-out-inside-chinas-war-on-islam

        https://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2019/jan/14/china-muslim-uighur-detention-camps-podcast

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/22/from-denial-to-pride-how-china-changed-its-language-on-xinjiangs-camps

        “Many New Zealanders feel America is a friend and China is an enemy, not because of anything those two countries may have done, but because both countries are essentially white Anglo Saxon countries. Its simply an ethno-racial feeling. They should just be honest and say that.”

        Absolute rubbish. I’ve got plenty of Chinese friends of Hong Kong and Taiwan and they’re far more scared of the dark totalitarian future the Chinese Communist Party has planned for their countries than I am. Judging by China’s ever more authoritarian and punitive actions under Xi, they have good reason to be afraid:

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/13/china-christians-religious-persecution-translation-bible

    • CHCOff 5.9

      The Chinese free trade agreement is a success in terms of metrics relating to volumes and profits.

      Yet it has coincided with, unprecedented rates for NZ, of overseas acquisition of natural resources, pressures on policy positions where there were none before, and most debilitating – the divergence of how success is measured by the governing establishment to the reality of the practical economy & civil life in the New Zealand society.

      NZ1st!

    • Exkiwiforces 5.10

      Fully concur with you comment, if China was more open with its intentions in the South Pacific and work together with the likes of NZ and Australia then we wouldn’t be having this discussion atm.

      China is also thumbing its nose at towards the current norms with Antarctic Treaty members in all areas of policy IRT the Antarctic Treaty.

      One example is all Treaty Nations are restricted to harvest 680,000 tons of krill per yr, but China has decided by itself to harvest 1 million ton of krill per yr and god knows what the long term impact that it will have on the fragile eco system of the Antarctic Region. Also they have refused inspection of their fishing boats by Antarctic Treaty members as well, when they are fishing Antarctic waters during the summer fishing season.

      This political policy stance by China in the Antarctic and its Aid/ cheap loans to South Pacific Nations is only go to fuel more distrust in NZ, Australia and other major players within the region be it Inter- Government or NGO level.

  6. Tony Veitch [not etc.] 6

    New Zealand has always been subject to invasion – right from the time this land mass was first discovered by Maui.

    Since WW2 we’ve been bombarded by American cultural cringe – Macdonalds, sitcoms, cameos of gridiron and basketball which interest at the most 3 people in the entire country, and so on.

    But at least we can not partake, can switch off.

    Chinese influence is much less benign and more corrosive. At least the USA pays lip service to our democratic institutions. Ask the Tibetans and the Uyghurs if they enjoy the same rights under the heels of the Han.

    The Chinese dictatorship (forget the word ‘Communist’) is the biggest threat to our way of life at present (except for climate change, that is.)

    • greywarshark 6.1

      I guess the Chinese situation is similar to the Russian Revolution progress. That started in 1817. Each country has difficulties as it tries to change and take in modern practices. There is a trend of attempts to limit, control, punish and profit from others after conflicts. Then this leads to further disruption in the country subject to these measures, and then further conflict.

      China has had a long struggle to find a ruling system that has been agreed to by all. I think to learn about their past history would be wise in trying to understand their present practices and direction.

      In Russia: The tsar and his family were held in various locations, eventually being imprisoned in Yekaterinburg in the Ural Mountains. In October 1917, the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government.
      Following a harsh peace treaty with Germany in March 1918, Russia descended into civil war.

      Note the mention of a harsh peace treaty with Germany in March 1918. Russia’s actions were influenced by Germany’s demands.
      WW1 comes next.

      After WW1 Germany’s actions were influenced by a harsh peace treaty also.
      WW2 comes next.

      In China there had been a long time under one rule.
      The Qing dynasty (1644–1911) was the last imperial dynasty in China. Founded by the Manchus…
      A revolutionary military uprising, the Wuchang Uprising, began on 10 October 1911, in Wuhan. The provisional government of the Republic of China was formed in Nanjing on 12 March 1912. The Xinhai Revolution ended 2,000 years of dynastic rule in China. …

      In 1919, the May Fourth Movement began as a response to the terms imposed on China by the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I,
      China’s actions were influenced by terms imposed by the Treaty of Versailles.

      A quote by Patricia Buckley Ebrey: “Nationalism, patriotism, progress, science, democracy, and freedom were the goals; imperialism, feudalism, warlordism, autocracy, patriarchy, and blind adherence to tradition were the enemies.
      Intellectuals struggled with how to be strong and modern and yet Chinese, how to preserve China as a political entity in the world of competing nations.”[5

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_China#Republic_of_China_(since_1912)

      In 1928, the Republic was nominally unified under the Kuomintang (KMT)—Chinese Nationalist Party—after the Northern Expedition, and was in the early stages of industrialization and modernization when it was caught in the conflicts among the Kuomintang government, the Communist Party of China, (founded 1921), which was converted into a nationalist party; local warlords, and the Empire of Japan.

      Most nation-building efforts were stopped during the full-scale Second Sino-Japanese War / War of Resistance against Japan from 1937 to 1945, and later the widening gap between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party made a coalition government impossible, causing the resumption of the Chinese Civil War, in 1946, shortly after the Japanese surrender to the Americans and the Western Allies in September 1945.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Republic_of_China

      Following the defeat of Japan in 1945, the war between the Nationalist government forces and the CPC resumed, after failed attempts at reconciliation and a negotiated settlement. During WW2 there had been many atrocities against the Chinese. Afterwards there was renewed fighting amongst Chinese entities and further atrocities as China convulsed trying to establish its new identity and and system for the future.
      Japanese forces committed numerous war atrocities against the civilian population, including biological warfare (see Unit 731) and the Three Alls Policy (Sankō Sakusen), the three alls being: “Kill All, Burn All and Loot All”….
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_China#Republic_of_China_(since_1912)

      Both urban and rural communities, as well as both agriculture and industry, experienced significant growth between 1949–1959.
      Mao’s government carried out mass executions of landowners, instituted collectivisation and implemented the laogai camp system. Execution and harsh conditions in labor camps resulted in millions of deaths under Mao.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China_(1949%E2%80%931976)

      Mao Zedong’s legacy
      The history of the People’s Republic from 1949 to 1976 is accorded the name “Mao era”-China. A proper evaluation of the period is, in essence, an evaluation of Mao’s legacy. Since Mao’s death there has been generated a great deal of controversy about him amongst both historians and political analysts.

      Supporters of Mao argue that the large number of deaths during the period of consolidation of power after victory in the Chinese Civil War paled in comparison to the number of deaths caused by famine, anarchy, war, and foreign invasion in the years before the Communists took power. Before 1949, for instance, the illiteracy rate in Mainland China was 80%, and life expectancy was a meager 35 years. At his death, illiteracy had declined to less than 7%, and average life expectancy had increased by 30 years. In addition, China’s population which had remained constant at 400,000,000 from the Opium War to the end of the Civil War, mushroomed more than 700,000,000 as of Mao’s death. Under Mao’s regime, supporters argue that China ended its “Century of Humiliation” and resumed its status as a major power on the international stage.

      Mao also industrialised China to a considerable extent and ensured China’s sovereignty during his rule. In addition, Mao wiped China free of restricting Confucianist and feudal norms.[8] Mao’s supporters contend that the amount of morality and empathy, the virtual non-existence of corruption, as well as general happiness with the populace, were at levels unseen in the entirety of Chinese history. In addition, Mao’s assertion of Communism becoming the guiding belief system of the people helped stabilise a China otherwise lacking any national religion, spirituality, or guiding belief.
      There are detractors also.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China_(1949%E2%80%931976)

      Summary at present:
      Many countries hope for China to effectively deal with the challenges within the country, in order to ensure the prosperity of China. Furthermore, many countries have significant trade relations with China, so the 2015 Chinese stock market crash was seen as significant.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_People%27s_Republic_of_China_(2002%E2%80%93present)#Future_prospects

      • Mark 6.1.1

        Supporters of Mao argue that the large number of deaths during the period of consolidation of power after victory in the Chinese Civil War paled in comparison to the number of deaths caused by famine, anarchy, war, and foreign invasion in the years before the Communists took power

        Thank you for posting this. This is absolutely true. It is indisputable that China under Mao achieved the lowest rates of mortality in all of the developing world.
        Surprisingly the most rapid advances in life expectancy and literacy occurred during the Cultural Revolution. The mortality rates presented by even Mao’s worst detractors show that the rates during the GLF did not approach famine level, and were not atypical for developing countries of the time, and lower than China before the communists took power in 1949.

        Relative to the rest of the developing world Mao’s policies saved hundreds of millions of lives —hence the one-child policy after his death.

        Anyone who believes that Mao killed millions bollocks is an innumerate fool

        • RedLogix 6.1.1.1

          Western science and civilisation saw the total human population rise from under 1 billion in 1800 to over 7 billions today, with much of that increase post 1960. China was a bit late to the party but the tide of progress inevitably changed all Chinese lives for the better…the same as most other places in the world.

          Giving Map credit for this is a transparent ploy to cover for his millions of political murders.

          • Mark 6.1.1.1.1

            True. Western science and technology are a huge boon to humanity.

            But Western science and technology was originally used to exploit humanity. It was the 1917 revolution that brought Western science and technology to the non-Western world to benefit the non-Western world.

            The Chinese understand this. Western science and scientists are venerated in China, as are great Western cultural figures such as Beethoven and Brahms. Probably more so in the East than the post-modern West.

            Hating Western imperialism is not the same as hating Western civilization. We admire the latter as much as we abhor the former.

          • Morrissey 6.1.1.1.2

            Giving Map credit for this is a transparent ploy to cover for his millions of political murders.

            Wayne Map was involved in some pretty dodgy and irresponsible stuff when he was Minister of “Defence”, but I wouldn’t pin “millions of political murders” on him.

            https://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2018/10/review-of-he-toki-huna-new-zealand-in.html

        • greywarshark 6.1.1.2

          It appears that Mao and, as the result of his actions, did kill millions. Fussing about how many noughts is getting sidelined from the main points. I set down the facts, good and bad that were presented in the historical summaries. And I noted under the good summary of Mao that there were negative points that detractors state.

          Knowing a bit more about the times the Chinese went through in the old days, then during the invasions and atrocities from other countries, during their own struggles that were bitter and terrible, it follows that they have learned about serious conflicts and are sharp about the prevention of the horror of them.

          The western influence of the UK and USA and what they have done in the Middle East and their willingness along with France, to use nuclear bombs on various countries as it seemed appropriate to them, will have warned China against allowing any country to take them for a soft touch.

          • RedLogix 6.1.1.2.1

            @ gw

            There remain elements of the left in the West who have never fully grasped nor acknowledged the full horror of the 20th century Marxist catastrophies. Although different in detail, they differ in no meaningful way from the Nazi Holocaust.

            We understand how detestable Holocaust denial is, yet when confronted with the exact same revisionism on the left we want to give it a free pass.

            • Mark 6.1.1.2.1.1

              There remain elements of the pseudo-left in the West who have never fully grasped nor acknowledged the full horror of Western imperialism, and suck up all the right wing propaganda put out by the Western corporate media in the service of this same imperialism.

              Funny thing is the purported victims of communism, i.e. mainly the Russians and Chinese, still widely admire Stalin and Mao respectively. Does that not tell you something?

              Gorbachev is hated in Russia as a traitor, while Stalin is widely admired. China has learned this lesson. It will not be suckered by the West and lower its guard.

          • Mark 6.1.1.2.2

            as the result of his actions, did kill millions

            All leaders as a result of their actions, ‘kill’ (it should be ’cause’)

            In the rich West if you make a policy error the impact is not so dramatic. In a developing nation any little thing wrong can have catastrophic consequences.

            And obviously if you have a large population you will get millions of deaths.

            The Irish famine of the 1840s killed far more, proportionately, than even the wildest claims for the Great Leap Forward. But should one equate the British government to Hitler —I don’t think so.

            New Zealand misruled Samoa post-world war 1 and caused quarter of the population to perish through stupid racist policies. Is that that same as Hitler though? Of course not.

            Capitalism in Russia caused millions of ‘excess’ deaths. But still I would not equate that to Hitler

            There is a huge moral difference between actively seeking out innocent people to kill them, and people dying because of errors in policy, even stupid ones, that were not designed to kill anyone.

            RedLogix can’t seem to grasp this basic concept

      • RedLogix 6.1.2

        Yeah and Hitler made the trains run on time too.

    • Mark 6.2

      But at least we can not partake, can switch off.

      Could Iraqis, Vietnamese, Afghans, etc just ‘not partake’ or ‘switch off’

      How many Western countries invaded China in modern history?

      What Western country flooded China with opium causing a century of absolute misery?

  7. Jenny - How to get there? 7

    Bannon: One of Us is Going to be a ‘Hegemon’

    Winston Peters is hedging his bets, hoping that he is kowtowing to the right one.

  8. Gosman 8

    It is hilarious that you are trying to keep up the fiction that the Chavista regime has democratic legitimacy.

  9. cleangreen 9

    Winston is Deputy PM for gods sake!!!

    He knows the world better than any other member in the government!!!!!!!

    Considering that the new PM and mother is still a timid leader who has trouble keeping her own caucus in line with several demotions/resignations under her belt namely Clare Curran, Phil Twyford, Meka Whitiri, and now the very controversial Iain Less Galloway to deal with!!!

    So the very young ‘princess Jacinda’ is not yet showing any leadership in a new Government showing a falling popularity in the recent political polling winds, so Winston needs to act to “stead the ship here” as he is second in command is he not?

    So Jacinda needs to rely on a very experienced senior MP as Winston clearly is, in her leadership to cover her bases in the global scene.

    So we don’t worry here, as Winston has the experience that jacinda lacks on the world stage and we are comfortable that Winston is showing proper global leadership while showing Labour how to become mature as a global player.

    • patricia bremner 9.1

      Twyford demoted?? I missed That!!

    • ropata 9.2

      “Princess Jacinda” and ILG ? — You’ve been exposed to Kiwiblog toxic waste

      “Jacinda lacks on the world stage” — Are you living in a parallel universe? She’s been fantastic on the world stage.

      “a global player” — dream on, NZ is a piddling little archipelago on the arse of the world.

      Winston is signalling that our preferred hegemon, for all its flaws, is still the USA

  10. “Their pilots shot down my uncle flying the obsolete biplane that was all the UK sought fit to provide for the defence of Singapore.”

    Ironically, the old biplanes turned out to be the Bismarck’s archillies heel. They were so slow that the super modern German battleship’s guns couldn’t target them so all the planes survived and one of their torpedos hit the ship’s rudder so it could only go round in circles till the British warships arrived.

    • greywarshark 10.1

      That’s a great story esoteric p. And an example of not being able to make good judgments based on commonsense thinking. It would be obvious that the slow old planes would be useless, except no, they were the opposite. So much for the confidence of the wise and certain.

    • Exkiwiforces 10.2

      The what happened to Mike’s uncle at the Battle of Endau was a massive cockup as the Vildebeest crews of 36 and 100SQN’s were trained as Torpedo Bombers which they were very good at, but they weren’t trained to a bomber A/C unlike the Light to medium bomber crews of the Hudson and Blenheim SQN’s which meant to support the Army at the time. If the Vildebeest crews were use as they were trained for then there was a good chance that the planned missions in and around Endau may have been a successful. But such was the chaos at the time with piss poor command, control, communications (what we now called C3), lack of training and preparedness at all levels both military and civilian administrations. This was bound to happen at Endau and over at Rabaul which was just as shocking.

      The only Army units in Malaya that were in Jungle warfare was the Argyll’s, Bennett’s under strength 8th Division of the AIF, the Gurkha’s and the Malay Rgt. In other words about about quarter of the total strength of the British Army were trained in some formed of Jungle Warfare.

      Further reading
      Bloody Shambles Vol1 and 2 by Christopher Shores and Brian Cull with Yasuho Izawa. These two books cover the Air Operations over SEA from Dec 41 to May 42.
      Australia Army Campaigns Series-5 by Brian Farrell and Garth Pratten
      Singapore at War by Roman Rose

      • Mike Smith 10.2.1

        Thanks for those references ExKiwi – I have Bloody Shambles but not the other two. For EP – there were no enemy fighters in the vicinity when the Swordfish disabled the Bismarck. They were also successful in a night attack on the Italian fleet at Taranto, but were shot out of the sky by the Luftwaffe in the so-called “Channel dash” where Lt Cdr Esmonde was given a posthumous VC and all crew received a gallantry medal. Writers describing the Endau raid in Malaya observe that had it occurred nearer “home” the same courage would have been so rewarded

        • Exkiwiforces 10.2.1.1

          If the Poms didn’t believe in their own Bullshit propaganda at the time IRT the fighting abilities of the Japanese Military at the time and a few things went the way the RN’s Force Z, like the Carrier HMS Formidable having an argument with a rock during workup after its refit and other parts of the British Fleet arriving in time to support HMS PoW and Repusle along with a more pro active Joint Military Command and Civil administration then things may’ve worked out ok for the Brits as it would’ve bugged up the Japanese plans big time.

          But it wasn’t the case.

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    Smellie got it wrong: “NZ First received 7 per cent support, not 5 per cent. The error is regretted.” Can’t get the basics right, so why would anyone take his spin seriously?

    Nor need we see Winston as inviting an extension of traditional US imperialism into the Pacific. My bet is that he framed it in terms of countervailing force. The idea would be to balance and limit Chinese influence. I’d be surprised if the PM was not on board with that approach. Note Smellie fails to substantiate his breezy dismissal line by quoting what she actually said.

    I’m uneasy about Winston referring to Aotearoa as partners with the US, but it depends on the terms of the partnership, eh? If they are flexible and future-oriented, I’m cautiously okay with that. Anything more prescriptive would make me a more likely opponent.

    China has just rushed through a retrial, and condemned a Canadian to death. Add that to the suppression of ethnic minorities, and victimising its own citizens regularly, we end up having to acknowledge that they are still trying to figure out how to be civilised. The idea that anyone ought to choose a regime addicted to governance by savagery and barbarism is a non-starter. Doesn’t mean we ought to align with the American empire. An independent foreign policy for Aotearoa is best.

    • Ad 11.1

      our independence is well known.

      we choose sides quite willingly.

      those who dont choose sides generally get them chosen for them.

    • Mark 11.2

      China has just rushed through a retrial, and condemned a Canadian to death.

      Bullshit. The Canadian was sentenced to 15 years in November for smuggling over 200 kg of meth. That was a ludicrously lenient sentence, and the prosecution appealed it before the Meng arrest.

      He was trying to organise the shipment to Australia. Western governments should thank the Chinese for this sort of sentence. And it is in line with what Trump has been asking Chinese to do in terms of Fentanyl. Trump supports the death penalty for drug traffickers. In Singapore just 250 g of Meth will send you to the gallows. And that is mandatory. China’s only sentences drug dealers to death for massive amounts – and its not mandatory.

      • Dennis Frank 11.2.1

        RNZ news report is bullshit? What part of the report don’t you understand?? Seems clear to me: “his retrial lasted just a day, with his death sentence coming barely an hour after its conclusion, the BBC correspondent said.”
        https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/380122/death-sentence-for-canadian-robert-lloyd-schellenberg-in-china-as-huawei-case-continues

        • joe90 11.2.1.1

          A timeline published by the Chinese press suggests the appeal was launched after Meng’s arrest and a former Canadian ambassador to China reckons the re-trial was organized quickly, even for Chinese standards.

          http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1135745.shtml

          https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/schellenberg-death-sentence-china-1.4976959

          • Dennis Frank 11.2.1.1.1

            Yes, I think Mark is seeking to present himself to readers of this blog as someone who calls facts bullshit. If not, perhaps he will apologise?

            The communist regime seems to think that executing a Canadian citizen is a clever way to respond to the Canadians arresting the Huawei executive. A month ago they arrested a Canadian businessman, after arresting a former Canadian diplomat who now works for a think-tank.

            There’s a bit of a pattern going on here, d’you think? It alerts us to how intelligent Chinese leaders are: geopolitics works best if you get heavy with non-compliant countries, their strategy suggests. So they’re busy proving they have the collective intelligence of school-yard bullies.

      • Lettuce 11.2.2

        I don’t support the death penalty for drug smugglers Mark. I do agree they should punished when found guilty in countries that actually adhere to the rule of law (which obviously China doesn’t).

        There is one instance I would be be supportive of the death penalty however. I’d be quite happy if China started executing its own barbaric citizens who have been rapaciously destroying the planet’s critically endangered wildlife in support of their medieval beliefs.

        Caught smuggling rhino horn or tiger penis? Death. Found with illegal ivory or revolting elephant blood beads? Firing squad.

        No unconsented organ transplants from the executed prisoners though.

        https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/skin-poaching-asian-elephants-myanmar-blood-beads

        • Mark 11.2.2.1

          Oh get off your moral high horse. Who was it that nearly collapsed the whale populations all over the world. Westerners.

          Who have caused by far the greatest cumulative damage to the atmosphere and contributed the most to global warming? Westerners

          The average New Zealander has about 3 or 4 times the ecological footprint of the average Chinese.

          Who are the biggest, greediest resource sucking group in history. And still are. That’s right. Westerners. They will bomb the shit out of any country and or flood them with narcotics to benefit their own lifestyles.

          • RedLogix 11.2.2.1.1

            More misleading bullshit. The per capita ecological footprint of the now tens of millions of Chinese middle class and very wealthy elites is as every bit as intense as any Westerners.

            Of course the West has created the greatest cumulative CO2 damage simply because we started industrialisation sooner, but on current figures there is no question that China, USA and India contribute the greatest rate of damage per annum.

            With China running at twice the rate of the USA.

            https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/biggest-contributors-to-global-warming-in-the-world.html

            It’s only the hundreds of millions of still relatively poor Chinese that drag the total per capita figures down. Unless you have some very marxist plan to keep them poor forever, China’s ecological footprint will inevitably become even larger.

    • Mark 11.3

      By the way the Canadian is as guilty as hell. He has served time in Canada for peddling drugs.

      https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/schellenberg-china-drugs-sentence-death-1.4977808

    • Exkiwiforces 11.4

      Until the Liberal Left understands that to have an Independent Foreign Policy, that Trade, Defence, Foreign Affairs and Aid all have to be interlinked and without all four not being interlinked then a truly Independent Foreign Policy will never happen in NZ because NZ is an export led economy. If our Sea Lanes of Communication are cut or degraded in some way then the whole she-bang of NZ’s economy will sink faster than the Titanic with NZ’s Independent Foreign Policy in tatters and as Ad said

      “we choose sides quite willingly.

      those who dont choose sides generally get them chosen for them.”

      Which the latter would happen in NZ’s case given the current state of the NZDF when the rot started back in 91 and to the present. Here’s looking at you National, Labour and your Neo-Con/ Neo Lib muppet mates.

      • Dennis Frank 11.4.1

        Ad’s dictum struck me as too simplistic a generalisation. I thought it was widely known that Switzerland has successfully operated a policy of non-alignment for more than two hundred years, despite being in the heart of Europe.

        Some writers have argued that success derived from their remoteness due to the mountains. One would think the same logic applies to our remoteness due to the ocean. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swiss_neutrality

        • Exkiwiforces 11.4.1.1

          I think using Swiss Neutrality as bases for NZ adopting some form of Neutrality is a little misleading.
          1) They have National Service for the Military and Civil Defence aka twice the citizen approach
          2) Arms manufacturing
          3) An offensive style Airforce and
          4) The terrain around Switzerland does allow them to adopt a good defensive posture, which for an attacking nation would give them nightmares, wet dreams thinking about attacking in such a complex terrain and let alone trying to hold or secure any land they get hold of.

          The only Neutral Country that is remotely similar to NZ is Ireland, but they can afford to have a small Airforce and Navy is because they have NATO and the EU around them.

          Yes their Army is big and that’s because they have at least two Battalion Battlegroups on Peacekeeping deployment doing Chap1 to Chap 7 Missions
          Their Air Arm supports the Army in all manner of things including light Air Strike/ Close Air Support for Chap4 to Chap 7 Missions as required, which is something the RNZAF doesn’t do anymore no thanks Labour and the Greens (here’s looking at you Keith).
          And supporting the Navy as required.
          Their Navy patrols the Irish EEZ which roughly the same size as our EEZ (until NZ gets permission to extend the NZ EEZ to its continental self. From 3.2m sq kms to over 6.5m sq kms) which is already causing problems for the Irish and they have a new mandate to support the Army’s Peacekeeping Ops and EU Ops.
          The Ireland’s closest major trading is just a hop over border or 3-4 hrs by ferry to UK mainland. Where as NZ closest major trading partners is 3-4 days by boat to Australia.

          So for NZ to adopt an Independent Foreign Policy it would need a whooping big Airforce and Navy IOT secure its EEZ, it’s current mandate taskings as ordered the NZG and be able to secure its SLOC in peacetime and in the likely hood of possible warlike ops IOT maintain NZ’s economic outputs and inputs. Which is then backed with a powerful MFAT and International Aid programme/ policy’s.

          This isn’t going to come cheap either way. Especially with Asian nations seeing us as the gateway to the Antarctic Region and the Key stakeholder in the Sth Pacific as will. Just is much as a free and open South China Sea is to NZ’s economic wealth to exporting to SEA nations and our larger exporting Asian nations to the Nth like Japan, Sth Korea Taiwan and China. If China does force the closure or degrades free and open access to the SCS or to the Nth? The ripple affect on the NZ economy will be huge. My rough guess would be something like when the UK joined the Common Market and we all remember the pain etc when that happened.

          • Dennis Frank 11.4.1.1.1

            So it boils down to being too poor to have an operational defense, tagging along with the aussies in their alignment with the USA. Leverage via expertise in diplomacy. A rationale for this country to have a diplomacy school to train diplomats (if it doesn’t already).

            I’m pragmatic enough to accept the status quo on this basis. Not old Keith. But him & Sue Bradford were refugees from the NLP (not real Greens).

            • Exkiwiforces 11.4.1.1.1.1

              It can be properly funded along with the Welfare State, but real issues is that everyone makes the assumption we are at the ass end of the world. So why do we need to fund NZDF at all? To me this question is so in 1950’s or Inter War when Military Technology till rely on some guts with a bit brains and valve technology. Where today’s average sub can carry at least 50- 60 Torpedoes, a single computer can do untold damage to one economic well-being, and any Tom, dick and Harry quite easily plant a any biological hazard or chemical agent and no one would any wiser till after the fact in most cases.
              The Second issue, is that we don’t have a sense of identity, history or what’s best for the country or environment (CC and HADR related emergencies) when it’s come to National Service like in Singapore, Finland, Sweden or like the Swiss do.

              The Third issue is we have opposition parties that believe in a “low tax regime is good for the nation” and their track record towards the NZDF isn’t shit hot or worth the paper it’s written on. So how are going to get cross party support for a truly Independent Foreign Policy? When they can’t even properly fund the 2018 Defence White Paper, MFAT, NZDA and let alone Health, Education, the rebuilding of CHCH, Environment and DOC just to name a few.

              I think your comment pretty well sums up my view as well. But I just wish China was more open and up front IRT it’s intentions in the region both in SP and the Antarctic just like the other majors players as we all know what they are up in some way or another.

              • Dennis Frank

                I’ve got no problem with a higher tax policy that funds increased defence spending. My problem is lack of trust that the spending would be on the right stuff. I’d go for the most sophisticated high-tech designs available.

                As regards Chinese foreign policy, the regional countries are the interface. Imperial policy was always using patronage. Lack of kowtow currently is what they are organising to overcome. The time for concern is if/when the leaders of Japan, Phillipines, Vietnam, conform as required. After them, the regime would target Malaysia & Indonesia. Since all those nations are currently opposing Chinese imperialism, the regime is making minimal progress to achieving its grandiose ambition.

                Security analysts have probably calculated the time-frame likely in which they will build enough aircraft carriers to match the USA total. The resulting parity would be when regional countries would change their foreign policy to accommodation, eh?

                • Mark

                  The time for concern is if/when the leaders of Japan, Phillipines, Vietnam, conform as required.

                  Get real. Time Uncle Sam got out of the region that is not their own and let Asians sort out Asian affairs.

                  Unlike many here, I am confident that people with non-white faces can sort out their own affairs and not require Mr ‘Sensible’ White Man in the room to achieve anything of worth.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    You get real. You’re just trying to get away with denying their freedom to choose how to exercise their sovereignty while pretending to support them.

                    As long as those leaders want the Americans involved, the Americans will continue to be involved. That’s the current reality. As long as the other nations in the region feel Chinese imperialism is the greater threat, they’ll keep calling on the yanks to provide the countervailing force.

                    Geopolitics isn’t a game partisans can play. It is driven by the principles of holism. The world, and any region within it, self-organises as a system. The autonomy of the parts is relative to the constraints imposed by the whole. The integrity and stability of the system requires parts to coordinate with each other. The result is that geopolitics works on the basis of treaties and countervailing forces maintaining peace via the balance achieved by diplomacy.

                    • Mark

                      As long as those leaders want the Americans involved, the Americans will continue to be involved.

                      hahahah,,,,Asians of all stripes are starting to get sick of the US presence in Asia. Duterte for one, and others, are starting to get on with the Chinese, and he has called out the US trouble making, sailing through so called ‘international’ waters.

                      It is not just China. The winds of the pan-Asian spirt are blowing stronger and stronger and many non-Chinese Asians (and Africans) are welcoming the rise of a great non-white power. Asians have suffered many times historically at Anglo Saxon divide and rule nonsense and see through all that shit.

                      When Asia unites under Chinese suzerainty, the US will be dribbling diahreea

                • Exkiwiforces

                  Well Japan has already starting to change its Foreign, Defence, Aid and it’s Trade Policy, with Taiwan and Sth Korea not far behind. As for SEA Nations, the new PM has started a major policy shift with China, Vietnam which has been invaded by China over the centuries is in talks with a number of other nations within the region including Oz and NZ. But Phillipines is flip flopping around like a fish out water atm.

                  China is expecting to have at least 3 Carrier Battlegroups by at least 2030, with a Gator Navy on par with the USMC in the Asia Region and it will have a very effective Attack Submarine Force in Conventional and Nuclear Power Subs. The Conventional Power Submarines would be very effective in Shallow SCS, the Staits of Taiwan and around coastal island groups of Nations that rely on shipping of its exports and imports.

                  The trick for NZDF is by nature of its distance from anywhere in the world and the huge number of mandated tasks/ outputs due the NZG of the day and public expectations has to find that balance of maintaining the “The Utility of Force”. Which means having no more one trick pony’s like the current 2 OPV’s and the badly comprise Landing Support Ship have to be avoided which happened under the last Labour/ Alliance Government before the lessons learnt from the East Timor deployment were put forward to NZG at the time (don’t worry there are some clingers that happened under the “No Mates Party” since 1991.

                  The book called “The Utility of Force” by General Sir Rupert Smith is worth reading. As covers everything from High End Warfighting to Chap 1 Peacekeeping Missions, HADR Missions and everything in between. Some have said its a Modern version of Clausewitz’s book “On War” which is and still is rather heavy reading for some. But this book is a bit more gentle on the poor brain.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Leftists are driven by the ideal of peaceful co-existence, and I’m likewise inclined. Unlike them, however, I haven’t forgotten the lesson of Munich. Chamberlain gambled on peace, and lost.

                    Hitler’s peace advocacy was as much of a ruse as the Chinese communist regime’s sham autonomy in Tibet. The Chinese can pretend to be good global citizens as much as they like, it won’t stop any impartial observer from judging them on their behaviour.

                    So the danger for us is that idealism prevails over realism. Allowing that to disseminate delusional thinking will threaten leftist politicians with the same fate as destroyed Chamberlain’s career. A bipartisan consensus on defence policy is a vastly better way to go for the left. Applied holism.

                    • CHCOff

                      Sports club population that is able to be mobilised and armed, to stymie any land incursions to strategic points along with invulnerably housed high tech long reach striking capacity to void the practicality of any unwanted force providing marine base within the NZ vicinity for any significant period of time.

                      Or neo-liberal blind panic, chaos and capitulation for head in the sand unconstrained ‘real politik break down’ worst case scenarios.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      The Americans use the militia similarly, eh? National Guard too. I’m non-violent, but I can see that any looming invasion threat would be as likely to produce such responses as the quisling effect.

                      Too hypothetical, currently. But a community-based resilience design would need to consider a future that included a prospect of invasion – whether by refugees or military…

                    • Exkiwiforces

                      Unfortunately history has treated poor Neville quite poorly, has he was of old school gentlemen’s values where your word was treated the same as a handshake or a signature on paper. Yes Herr Hitler played and made him to look like a fool, but old Neville was playing to games against Heer Hitler. A short one, in which he was hoping that Herr Hitler kept his word and the other, a long term/ stalling for time IOT ramp production of Aircraft for the RAF, increased the size of the Army and ships for the RN while readying the UK civilian population for war again.

                      Yes realism will always win of idealism

                    • Mark

                      The Chinese can pretend to be good global citizens as much as they like, it won’t stop any impartial observer from judging them on their behaviour.

                      Oh ffs, stop this peculiar anglo saxon self righteous bleating. Most Asians, Russians, and Africans have a very positive view of China.
                      http://www.pewglobal.org/2018/10/01/international-publics-divided-on-china/

                      That some bitter Anglo Saxon twerps bitter that they rule the world not nearly to the same extent as before go on about ‘good global citizens’ simply invokes a belly splitting laugh, particularly considering evil Western filth such as Hillary ‘we came we saw he died’ Clinton, and Madeleing ‘it was worth killing 500000 Iraqi children’ Albright.

                      At least with Trump we now have someone with a bit of honesty and authenticity, a loose card in the imperialist deck – but no doubt the deep state will drag him down sooner or later.

            • CHCOff 11.4.1.1.1.2

              Localised franchises that connect globally by a Commonwealth societal culture block, produced and reflective of New Zealand demand and supply, via regulation via relevant NZ Trade bodies of the franchises, in association with elected NZ Parliaments that are dynamic to the population’s proportional general intentions to stewardship…

              That would be the best diplomacy in the world.

              NZ1st!

              • Exkiwiforces

                I believe that was “Big Norm’s” and the then India PM idea of forming a Commonwealth of Nations Trading, Culture and Political framework base on the principles after the https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Declaration and later the 2003 Declaration. I think the Commonwealth of Nations would’ve acted as third pillar between NATO and the Warsaw Pact Nations. It could’ve also hasten the collapse of the Apartheid in South Africa and no doubt the UK wouldn’t be the basket case atm.

                A miss opportunity in my books and a WHIFF.

  12. “With over 800 known military bases around the world, American assistance tends to be defence-biased.”

    Or offensive-biased

  13. Caption: “And over here is New Zealand”

  14. Mark 15

    fascinating bit of historical trivia. President Tyler who served 1841 to 1845 has two grandsons still alive – today.

    Did not know Peters brought up the Treaty of Wanxia. What an asshole.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Wanghia

    An unequal treaty that was part of China’s Century of Humiliation.

      • greywarshark 15.1.1

        Why not do him a service, also NZ as a whole, and offer to work for him in his office as an assistant, or be a research assistant drawing on your sources and your own vast knowledge Morrissey?

        • Morrissey 15.1.1.1

          ??????

          Peters isn’t interested in expertise or knowledge. If he were remotely serious, he wouldn’t say things like this:

          “Well look this is a tinder-dry area and it’s extraordinarily, errr, ancestral in nature. Uh, there ARE people working on a long-term solution, errr, that wi- would be acceptable to both sides, but in the middle of it has come this event, for which none of us is seriously briefed, and, ahh, I’m not going to jump into an argument without knowing the details on both sides, but this will not be, would not resolve THIS matter. Ahh, there ARE people trying to get past the present impasse that’s gone on now for decades, and trying to bring it to a resolution, and that’s what we in New Zealand First and I believe, indeed, the Government supports.”

          http://morrisseybreen.blogspot.com/2019/01/winston-peters-fatuous-comments-about.html

          • Dennis Frank 15.1.1.1.1

            Your critique back then seems valid. The Palestinians seem to have a right to a sovereign homeland, even if there’s far less historical basis than for the Tibetans. I wouldn’t have a problem with granting that to the Kurds either.

            So your point of principle is the hinge. Do we expect politicians to be principled? Of course not! We know that realpolitik always determines the outcome. We’ve learnt that from long experience all over the world.

            Furthermore we know that reps are selected on the basis of their appeal to more like-minded voters than competitors’ appeal. Consequently, via that lowest-common-denominator design, average reps will be selected by average voters. The biggest like-minded groups select members that most accurately represent their average intelligence.

            So you are expecting Winston to leap over a credibility bar that is way too high for NZF voters to achieve. Small wonder he chooses not to leap.

            • Mark 15.1.1.1.1.1

              The Palestinians seem to have a right to a sovereign homeland, even if there’s far less historical basis than for the Tibetans.

              Huh? The Palestinians were evicted from their lands. Were the Tibetans evicted from their lands?????

              The Chinese claim to Tibet is a long standing one and is recognised by every single country in the world, including all Western countries. Indeed the US recognised China’s sovereignty over Tibet explicitly in 1943, well before the so called ‘invasion’ by the Peoples Liberation Army in 1950 (the Battle of Chamdo where less than 200 died on both sides).

              And what about the Anglo Saxon claims over the north American continent and all of Australasia? What category do you put those under?

  15. Mark 16

    There was a time when China dared not execute Westerners.

    No more.
    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/14/asia/china-canadian-drugs-death-sentence-intl/index.html

    This evil piece of trash tried to export 220 kg of meth to Australia (1000 times the amount that will send you to the gallows in Singapore). He is no poor peasant drug mule, but a spoiled brat who has previous convictions for drug offences in Canada.

    Trump himself wants the Chinese to impose the death sentence for Fentanyl.

    The West should actually be thankful to China, instead of getting on their moral high horse like that lady boy Trudeau is.

    The facts are:

    *He was arrested in 2014. There was a long thorough investigation
    *The court fucked up in November when giving him only 15 years – an absurdly lenient sentence even by Western standards
    *He was stupid and arrogant enough to appeal.
    *Now his goose is cooked —-the Chinese government would look completely pathetic if they let this guy off the hook, particularly when Chinese citizens themselves are routinely sentenced to death for far smaller amounts.

    Not so long ago, and well within my parents lifetime, under the principle of extraterritoriality, Westerners could kill Chinese in China with complete and utter legal impunity. No more. Westerners will be treated no better, no worse, than ordinary Chinese citizens. And that is the way it should be.

  16. Win 17

    China’s Ambassador to Canada Exposes the White Supremacist Five Eyes Surveillance State

    https://theduran.com/chinas-ambassador-to-canada-exposes-the-white-supremacist-five-eyes-surveillance-state/

    what they think bout us

    [Win, please stick to one handle. Your comments get held up when you switch back and forth. Guidance to readers: The link is to a right wing pro Putin site where the deep state is apparently regarded as real and they have a section dedicated to the ‘Red Pill’. So, ya know, treat with caution. TRP]

    • Mark 17.1

      Yeah —-let’s not look at the actual merits of the article and engage in an honest and open minded way with the points contained within, but simply dismiss it because it is some ‘right wing pro Putin site’. Love your spirit of free intellectual inquiry TRP.

      • Actually, Mark, providing useful context is well within the spirit of free intellectual inquiry. It’s positively helpful in a world full of fake news, much of it generated by sites like, um, this one. The merits of the article? It appears to be well laid out and grammatically correct.

        • Mark 17.1.1.1

          Don’t see you doing the same over Western news sources in general, which are full of fake news up their lying necks, and promote imperialism under the cover of identity politics. You just seem to suck it up and believe anything that a white man says.

          • te reo putake 17.1.1.1.1

            Yeah, nah. There’s a world of difference between fake news sites and the western msm. And cut the racism, please.

            • Mark 17.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes there is. The latter is smarter at covering its tracks.

            • RedLogix 17.1.1.1.1.2

              @TRP

              Maybe you can see why I’ve long held that people who throw labels around are usually playing a distraction game from what they’re doing.

    • Rangimarie 17.2

      Dear moderator,

      Kua tini tōku ingoa Ki te ignoa o TE Reo rangatira. Ae? kao? pai Ki a koe? Not sure how that happened re the moniker but I will do better next time.

      Holy! Since when does this site carry a pro Putin warning to their readers? ( I am pro Putin by the way). Visited Russia last year and had a great time. Very friendly, polite and helpful people. Obviously worn down by the dictator Putin. Not! And the deep state is a thing. You obviously haven’t done much reading on the matter. And trying to censor what appears on your site? By the way I also think the anti Chinese gossiping on this site is disgusting. if you read through the comments it’s like a lot of tittle tattles trying to tell the headmaster on someone.

      Anyhow. Here is a more acceptable report of what the Chinese think of us as appeared in the Guardian. The Guardian is acceptable to you is it?
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/09/china-ambassador-canada-white-supremacy- huawei.

      I do hope this is acceptable. Tell me are people on this site allowed to voice a different opinion to the general tenor of the commenting?

      • RedLogix 17.2.1

        The deep irony here is that the one authentic Chinese voice who was here for years, someone who was open about who he was in real life, was booted off permanently by a moderator who didn’t like his opinions.

        Which incidentally didn’t align with anything you are saying.

        • te reo putake 17.2.1.1

          I think you mean Kiwi with Chinese heritage, Red. And the ban isn’t permanent. It expires in a couple of months as I recall.

        • Mark 17.2.1.2

          What’s an ‘authentic’ Chinese voice, RL? Someone who agrees with your take on things?

          • RedLogix 17.2.1.2.1

            Authentic in the sense we knew exactly who he was in real life, and that he spoke for himself.

        • mauī 17.2.1.3

          “was booted off permanently by a moderator who didn’t like his opinions…”

          Ah history never repeats eh…?

      • Kia ora, Rangimarie.

        You’re being a tad passive aggressive, which does you no favours. However, I’ll try and answer your questions in good faith.

        This is a left wing blog. However, we do have commenters from the right here who add good value. Differing opinions are definitely welcome. However, the site has a fully functioning bullshit detector and trolls tend not to last long.

        Links to fake news sites, references to the deep state, comments about what a fine chap Putin is, whataboutism, faux concern, claims of oppression because commenters or moderators think a contribution is less than genuine are all warning signs. This blog has suffered in the past from being too tolerant of people who let the Kremlin or Alex Jones do their thinking for them.

        So, yep, if a commenter puts up a link to a fake news site, as you did, then a note of caution might well be added. If it’s clear trolling, then other steps will be taken. Without being too sniffy about it, The Standard tries to maintain a reasonably high level of debate, which does require a certain amount of intellectual rigour. In other words, any old bullshit doesn’t cut it here.

        My suggestion is that you advance your arguments using citations that are more credible. It might take a bit more time to find good sources, but the rewards flow both ways; you get taken seriously and readers gain from your contributions.

        If this is asking too much, then they are other blogs where the bar is set lower. They’re just not as good as the Standard.

        I hope this helps to clarify things for you, Rangimarie, and I look forward to reading your contributions in the future.

        Ma te wa, TRP

        • Rangimarie 17.2.2.1

          Ah so now you’re a psychologist as well TRP.

          Who said The Duran is a fake news site. What they report on there, the articles they carry, plus the people who are or were experts in their field (I could give you a long list) reiterate the same narrative. Just because the narrative is different ie not mainstream, doesn’t mean it is fake. And sending out a warning to commentors about an article which is also carried in the MSM, really means you are trying to shut down dissenting voices. Free speech anyone? New ideas and opinions? No? There is no left and right any more. Just mainstream and non mainstream views. So where do progressives here stand? Naku Noa.

          • te reo putake 17.2.2.1.1

            Google the site. You’ll find the facts about the Duran pretty quickly. I made no comment about the article at all. I just pointed out it came from a bullshit source. That doesn’t stop people reading it if they want.

            Ironically, here you are expressing a dissenting opinion, while at the same time claiming dissenting opinions are not being allowed. Mind blown, maaan.

            Sharpen up and move on, please.

            • Rangimare 17.2.2.1.1.1

              You use Google to find your info on the Duran? I rest my case. Perhaps you should sharpen up and realise there’s a whole world that you know nothing about because you have bought into the mainstream media narrative. I wonder who actually owns these ‘voices’.And thank you for allowing me to Express my views on here. AND so that people are able to respond to them. Kia tau te rangimarie.

              • Sorry, didn’t realise you were an Ask Jeeves user. Or is Alta Vista still your go to search engine?

                There are any number of websites that do assessments of the credibility of ‘new media’ sites.

                Here, for example, is a reasonably generous overview of the Duran:

                https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/the-duran/

                And here’s an ‘old media’ article about the Putin puppet who runs the joint:

                https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/21/past-comes-back-to-haunt-struck-off-barrister-turned-russia-comm/

                In short, do some research before you post here. And if you don’t, expect to be pulled up on it.

                And, as previously mentioned, there are left wing blogs where any old bollocks is accepted at face value, so there is always that option.

                • Mike Smith

                  Just so everybody is clear, Te Reo Putake does not speak for the Standard on any of the above. His views are his own and can be treated with the respect they deserve. I get the Duran in my news feed, and find it useful as a pointer to issues I might like to follow up.

              • mauī

                He is a moderator and a figure of authority, only he decides what is left wing and what is right wing. There are no grey areas and there will be no debate.

                • Exactly, maui, good to see you’re getting with the program. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated. We will achieve perfection.

                  • veutoviper

                    In addition, as a moderator “He” gets to say who can and cannot comment here … LOL

                    “And I will be coming to this site more often to call out you people …” from Rangimare aka Win’s comment to me linked below

                    Chinese Herald changed Herald articles to be more China friendly

                    [I am just doing a ‘join the dots’ response which I will probably post on this post/thread rather than on the Chinese Herald post as a bit more relevant to this thread.]

                • Rangimarie

                  And what is true or not based on mainstream media sources.

                  TRP don’t try and belittle me with your spurious comment about search engine use. Childish. If you’re not careful I’ll give you the full list of alternative commentators I read, their qualifications to comment and why I agree with Trump that MSM is fake news . But you’re still at the Russia is evil CIA is good stage so probably be wasted on you. Didn’t your reliable news sources, the purveyors of truth, bring us a little story about weapons of mass destruction that turned out to be totally false. But hey our troops are still in Iraq – doing something.

                  500,000 children killed in Iraq due to US sanctions. And Madeline Albright thought it was worth it. That’s the type of thing your purveyors of ‘truth’ support happening all over the world. Go and google that. While you’re at it google what role Google plays in censoring what we can and can’t read. Ah I see the connection now. Kua mutu.

                  • veutoviper

                    Rangimarie, at 6.38am this morning you replied again to me on the Chinese Herald post in this link https://thestandard.org.nz/chinese-herald-changed-herald-articles-to-be-more-china-friendly/#comment-1572210

                    As that thread is nearing its technical end in terms of replying, I have decided to respond here. Also some of what I am going to say relates to comments that have been made earlier on this thread.

                    First, I don’t really care whether you are a “Chinese troll’” or not. My comment to that effect was intended exactly as your first comment to Anne was – to provoke.

                    I now think that you may well be tangata whenua as you say from other things I have read, but, as I said, my antenna started pinging when I read your comments here as they had the feeling of déjà vu – back to a similar situation last year where we had a visitor called Wei, who had a supporter pop up called “Win” or “Win Win”.

                    Here are a couple of links back to just a couple of those earlier comments:
                    1. This on the very lengthy debate with Wei on Open Mike on 19 April 2018 – https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-19-04-2018/#comment-1476541

                    Simply says “well said” to this one of Wei’s many comments that day – https://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-19-04-2018/#comment-1476482

                    2. This was a short comment which appeared to be intended to provoke but IMO was dealt to quite deftly by Gabby in Gabby’s unique style – https://thestandard.org.nz/daily-review-19-04-2018/#comment-1476549

                    3. And this on Bill’s post on North Korea on 22 April 2018. No replies were made and it ended up the last comment on the post:

                    North Korea

                    So, I laughed when – sure enough – you turned out to be the same “Win” as confirmed by Te Reo Putake in his moderator note to your first comment in this thread at 17 above. Surprise, surprise – not.

                    And not only the same Win as here, but presumably also the same Win who comments from time to time on The Daily Blog, including recent comments on 16 January on the TDB’s post entitled “NZ Herald is exposed unwittingly peddling Chinese propaganda” which unsurprising almost mirror your comment here at 17 and links to the same article on the Duran.com site. Here is a link to one of those comments.

                    (NOTE: For those who check it out, please understand why I have not posted links to both in terms of the rules here on TS re privacy which prohibit speculation and disclosure of people’s real identities. Please respect those rules or be it on your head …)

                    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/01/15/nz-herald-is-exposed-unwittingly-peddling-chinese-propaganda/#comment-450157

                    As an aside, interestingly another separate commenter there also links to the same Duran.com site and article –
                    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2019/01/15/nz-herald-is-exposed-unwittingly-peddling-chinese-propaganda/#comment-450154

                    Now, one final interesting detail is that having started here as “Win” (or “Win Win”) then changing to “Rangimarie’ (with one “Rangimare’) with the same identicon as the original Win – the pink one, I note above that you also now have a different blue one.

                    Again this has also caused my ‘déjà vu antenna’ to ping. Shades of the departed Ed who had at least four different identicons (and therefore presumably four different email addresses). LOL.

                    But lets try to be positive.

                    Te Reo Putake, as a moderator here, in good faith has given you some very good advice as to how to comment here on TS and how to present yourself as a credible commenter – for example in his comment at 17.2.2. I am not a moderator, but fully support what he has said to you.

                    In fact, IF you are who I now think you are (I am being careful here) I actually think you could find commonality with quite a number of contributors here – not necessarily on the political front, but on other subjects – for example, how we (as both NZers and global citizens) use our natural resources, etc. I don’t know whether you have read the new weekly “How to Get There” posts here, but invite you to do so as you may see (and relate to) what I am trying to say.

                    That ‘IF’ is a rhetorical question – don’t answer it unless you wish to, and I also suggest that you read the About and Policy sections of this website to understand how the site is operated and moderated.

                    OTOH, if it is a case of stolen identity, that is a whole different ball game ….

  17. Rangimare 18

    TRP Is that better re the sign in info? So you don’t get confused.

    RedLogix, I’m sure there are many different authentic Chinese voices. You can’t paint 1.5 billion with the one voice approach. I’m not saying China is perfect. Far from it. But the manic anxiety about China going on on this site fits very nicely with the demonizing of China by Trump et al. 5 Eyes buddies must stick together.

    TRP
    1. I had written a reply to someone on this site but it disappeared before I submitted it. Accident or not?

    2.The reason I changed my name was that you were doing the Twitter thing – ie I could see what I had written but no one else could.

    3. It’s difficult for me to write comments because I have to use my phone or an old iPad. We went out one night, came back and some keys on the laptop wouldn’t work. Ooooo deep state. Haha.

    4. BTW I am a Labour voter. Not always a supporter of their actions though.

    • Comments get held up for a variety of reasons.

      First time commenters are always held up until released by a mod. However, this rule can also mean that regular contributers can be mistaken for first time commenters if they misspell their handle or email address, or if they use a new IP address.

      However, I’ve checked the comments logs and there is no unpublished comment from you that I can find.

    • Dennis Frank 18.2

      I’d just like to point out that my criticisms of Chinese state policy and behaviour usually target the communist regime in control there. I have no intent to be anti-Chinese. So I agree with your point about diversity of opinion withing the populace of China.

      The problem with that is their official policy of not allowing any expression of that diversity of opinion in public life. Communist creation of monoculture, from the point of view of an ecologist, is anti-life. Nature proliferates biodiversity, and we act in accord with that diversity-encouraging process because it enriches our culture.

      We hope the regime will abandon it’s habit of repressing indigenous peoples. If you truly are Maori, you would share this hope.

      • Mark 18.2.1

        The problem with that is their official policy of not allowing any expression of that diversity of opinion in public life.

        Yeah,,,,,so you would know eh?

        There are any number of huge debates going on in China over all sorts of things. Only someone who sucks up the Western narrative which is a ‘monoculture’ when it comes to discussions of countries which don’t toe the Western line, would be able to write what you write.

        You know less about China than a Chinese sitting in Qinghai province behind his computer reading about Rotorua and the Bay of Islands knows about New Zealand.

        Regardless the faults of the Chinese government, they are broadly popular, and since 1949, have enacted polices that have saved more lives, and created more wealth in a shorter period of time than any other developing country on earth (on a proportionate, as well as absolute basis). And if you cut through the propaganda and go to the primary evidence and facts (available from Western researchers —since you only trust Western sources obviously), this is a conclusion that is simply inescapable.

        In my parents own lifetime, Westerners in China were immune from Chinese laws. They could kill Chinese with complete and utter legal impunity. They arrogantly floated their warships up and down the Chinese coastline and along the Yangtze river. So spare your patronizing crap about Chinese ‘imperialism’ and so-called being a good ‘global citizen’. The facts are Americans are far more hated throughout the world than the Chinese – indeed, as I have previously posted, most Africans, Russians, Asians, have a positive view of CHina.

        • Dennis Frank 18.2.1.1

          As soon as the regime starts allowing opinions critical of the regime to be published in Chinese media, we may be able to see the evidence of that – if it becomes accessible here.

          Until then, no amount of huffing & puffing from you will blow the house of reality down. Take your bullshit elsewhere.

        • RedLogix 18.2.1.2

          The facts are Americans are far more hated

          The only hating I see going on here is coming from you.

          indeed, as I have previously posted, most Africans, Russians, Asians, have a positive view of CHina.

          Yet when I work in these countries I hear spontaneous conversations about how hated their new Chinese colonial overlords are.

          Of course the modern form of colonialism looks nothing like what it did 200 years ago; everything has changed. But the underlying motives behind imperialism remain the same, exploitation supported by the willing complicity of quisling locals.

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