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Safe from prying 5Eyes

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 pm, December 8th, 2018 - 62 comments
Categories: australian politics, China, Free Trade, infrastructure, interweb, tech industry, telecommunications, us politics, winston peters - Tags:

I like my Huawei phone. Apparently the US National Security Agency can’t break its encryption. That’s presumably the “security” issue why Spark is being blocked from using Huawei here, and why Meng Wanzhou is held hostage in Canada at the behest of  US neocons.

Ironic isn’t it. But also very dangerous. As Chinese technology races ahead, the US is desperate to support its companies like Cisco, whose technology everyone can break. Trade war can easily become hot war, as happened in the Pacific last century.

Winston Peters went to the to the US last week hoping to meet, Bolton, Pompeo and Pence. I doubt if he will be able to charm them the way he charmed Condoleeza Rice. What will be interesting will be if he is still insisting that no decisions have been made and we are following our independent processes to evaluate Huawei’s “risk” to Spark’s networks.

Even more ironic Papua New Guinea is standing out against Australian pressure to block them.  The Five Eyes might block Huawei, but the rest of the world will be rushing to their door. Watch this space.

 

 

62 comments on “Safe from prying 5Eyes ”

  1. xanthe3 1

    Absolutly This is not because huawei gear is a security risk but because it is not. Thats a big problem for the US.

    • joe90 1.1

      This is not because huawei gear is a security risk but because it is not.

      And you know this, how?

  2. joe90 2

    Who wrote the linked article?

  3. McFlock 3

    Pretty big “presumably” there.

    It could be more to do with longstanding issues around transparency, intellectual property, and who else it chooses to do business with and does R&D for.

    It probably doesn’t matter a damn to most private citizens, but if you’re building network infrastructure of any importance you need to be reasonably sure nobody has put in a back door, or even a nice little switch to brick the entire thing at their convenience, without putting it in the EULA.

    • Adrian Thornton 3.1

      Well I guess if that is true, you could call that “chickens coming home to roost”our industries in the West think that they can just exploit the labour of other countries forever and not at some point have to pay the piper, well that’s not how it works, there are no free lunches.

      • McFlock 3.1.1

        Pretty much – that’s one reason the US is big on domestic producers for essential equipment. But they’re big enough to have leaders in every facet of the tech development chain (when it doesn’t just become a rort).

        Countries without tens of millions of people in them need to place trust in overseas organisations for some step of the chain.

  4. Ad 4

    Why does the left always do handsprings to defend China?

    • Doogs 4.1

      I am left Ad, and I have no sympathy for China and the way it operates in the world. China is a self-professed ‘world leader’, in that it intends to be top dog in every aspect of world interaction – politics, sport, commerce, technology and I suspect in other areas such as the arts in all its forms. This is why there is a push through soft power channels to infiltrate into other countries’ political and commercial structures. I also read recently about how all manufacturing entities in China are required, if asked, to do espionage for the communist party. This push for what can only be seen as world domination is something we all need to be aware of and push back against where we can.

      In saying this, I am aware that other powers, the US in particular, have similar aspirations. They go about it differently. However, I see the Chinese process as being quite invidious and all-consuming, and the most dangerous one.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Good to hear sense talking.

      • Adrian Thornton 4.1.2

        Try telling that to the civilian population in Yemen.

      • KJT 4.1.3

        Given the destruction, US inspired corporate Neo-liberalism has done to the lives of the majority of New Zealanders, I don’t think there is much to choose between them.

        Huawei want to sell to the West, so i think they have pretty strong motivations not to be caught spying.

        Back-doors for Government agencies, are already compulsory for US suppliers.

        The creeping advances in repression, surveillance, and privacy breaches from the NZ Government, currently worry me far more than the Chinese.

        • RedLogix 4.1.3.1

          You miss the timescale. The US Empire has been around since the end of WW2, while the Chinese one has yet to really flex it’s muscle.

          If you think there is little to chose between them, I suspect you haven’t travelled much in SE Asia lately where resentment over Chinese soft power is already rife.

          The US hegemony certainly had it’s shady side, but it’s fundamental premise was always quite different to Xi Xinping’s overt totalitarian ambitions.

          • Mark 4.1.3.1.1

            What is this ‘fundamental premise’ of what you rightly label US hegemony – care to explain?

            BTW: The South East Asian nations and China will soon come to an agreed code of conduct concerning the South China Sea. The issue is for Asians to sort out among themselves. The US is just there to make trouble:

            “Everything’s been excellent between China and the rest of Asean, except for the fact that there’s friction between Western nations and China,” President Rodrigo Duterte
            https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/duterte-says-china-already-in-possession-of-south-china-sea-tells-us-to-end-military

            • RedLogix 4.1.3.1.1.1

              I talk with real people on the ground. I’ve discussed here a wide range of ideas and opinions for many years.

              You on the other hand only ever turn up whenever this one topic arises uncritically parroting CCCP lines.

              One of us looks and behaves like a paid shill.

              • Aaron

                Have you talked to some real people on the ground in Yemen? They might have a bit to say about the “shady” side of the US. Or you could ask the people of Iraq, or Palestine, or Vietnam or most countries in South America…

                I think it’s pointless trying to decide who is the worst (although the answer is easy) when we should just be strategising for how to weave a path between these two lumbering giants.

            • SPC 4.1.3.1.1.2

              I’ll raise you … Malathir on the threat posed to ASEAN by China … I will presume you are aware of this but find it too inconvenient to mention.

              ASEAN has two unwelcome options, appease China or be dependent on American protection.

              Believing that ASEAN will succumb is a dangerous presumtion, for it implies any other outcome is unthinkable/unacceptable – not part of China’s plans for dominance of the region.

          • KJT 4.1.3.1.2

            China hasn’t napalmed a few million Asians, to my knowledge!

            “Uppity” Asians with their culture of win-win, long term mutual benefit, in business relationships, rather than the US, “winner takes all” appears a better option for the future, than the USA’s failing imperial descent into totalitarianism, as they struggle to retain the economic power they have given away.

            With a great many Chinese, the hope is that their Government becomes more democratic and peaceful.
            The same as our hopes, for our Government.

      • Mark 4.1.4

        Yes – the Chinese – ‘invidious’ and ‘all-consuming’ and ‘dangerous’ – because they aspire to be the best!

        Uppity coloured folk eh?

        Western record in the Pacific: driving people off their home islands to test nuclear weapons, ‘blackbirding’ , indentured labour (Fiji and Hawaii), happily allowing a third of Samoans to die from influenza, terrorism (Rainbow Warrior)…

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

        Yet the Chinese are the ‘most dangerous one’ because they offer to sell us some excellent high-tech gear?

        • RedLogix 4.1.4.1

          Resorting to the racist card is pathetically weak. You’ve absolutely no idea about who I am, who I associate with, and why I have such clear views about the current Chinese regime.

          Hint, it has hilariously nothing to do with uppity or coloured.

    • xanthe 4.2

      why are shills transparent?

    • RedLogix 4.3

      Because some of us never saw an authoritarian tyrrany we didn’t have a sneaking admiration for?

      Or maybe just the idea of being President for Life appeals?

      • Mark 4.3.1

        Hauling a previously backward nation of a billion out of the muck hole they were put in by Western imperialism, and in an historical blink of an eye, does deserve admiration.

        • RedLogix 4.3.1.1

          Essentially by cheating; by coating tailing on the liberal worlds economic success, without becoming democratic or liberal yourselves.

          Without Western markets to sell to China would remain as poor and brutal as it was under Mai’s Great Leap Backward.

          China is a massive parasite that openly plans to dominate.

          • Mark 4.3.1.1.1

            Ahh….there you go….the old yellow peril, Yeah….the West’s ‘economic success’ came through being ‘democratic and liberal’. What planet are you from?

            Why the heck do you think the US has a 1000 military bases around the world (vs China’s one)? To spread ‘democratic or liberal’ values?

            Coloured people becoming rich are parasites…..its just natural that white people continue to enjoy a wildly inordinate share of the world’s resources, right?

            • greywarshark 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Actually sounds like a symbiotic relationship and that negates the argument talking place here.

          • Adrian Thornton 4.3.1.1.2

            “China is a massive parasite that openly plans to dominate.”

            WTF are you talking about?, we (the west) actively pursued cheap slave labour all the way to China with the sole purpose of driving down wages in the west, and making more money for share holders and CEO’s, why do you think there has been stagnant wage growth in the west since the early nineties? …coat tailing off the back of slave Labour that has made the 1% rich while most others who feels rich are probably living in the fantasy world of a housing bubble.

            ‘Rising employment overshadowed by unprecedented wage stagnation ‘
            “More worryingly, wage stagnation affects low-paid workers much more than those at the top: real labour incomes of the top 1% of earners have increased much faster than those of median full-time workers in recent years, reinforcing a long-standing trend.”
            http://www.oecd.org/employment/rising-employment-overshadowed-by-unprecedented-wage-stagnation.htm

            The underpants you are sitting in right now were probably made by some 14 yo girl factory worker earning some sort of shit wage and working in shit conditions in China..how does that figure into your Red logic?
            Not long ago those same underpants would have been made here in NZ by NZ workers on a pretty good wage and pretty good conditions…better blame the Chinese for that too.
            …..ever wondered why Swanndri’s never got cheaper once they shut down NZ production and manufactured with labour at 1/10th cheaper in China?

            “Manufacturing valued added as a percentage of GDP in New Zealand has fallen significantly in the past 30 years, sitting at 27% in 1982, compared to 11.9% in 2012
            Had New Zealand had maintained manufacturing activity closer to 30% of GDP, much like Germany managed over the same period, average incomes would now be substantially higher. Employment has increased in some sectors with lower earnings, such as tourism.”
            http://www.johnwalley.co.nz/271-thirty_years_of_manufacturing_.aspx

            “cheating; by coating tailing on the liberal worlds economic success”..holy shit! any success the Chinese might have had has been paid in blood,sweat and tears of it’s exploited workers, and for what.. so we could have cheap flat screen TV’s, cell phones to negate those lower wages.
            ‘The grim truth of Chinese factories producing the west’s Christmas toys’
            https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/dec/04/the-grim-truth-of-chinese-factories-producing-the-wests-christmas-toys

            • SPC 4.3.1.1.2.1

              Sure, the Western corporate was looking for both the cheap labour supply and the large consumer market – capitalism searching for profit growth under global market policy settings.

              And the idea that while we take resources from tyrannies, China is a parasite off trade with us, because they are not a democracy, was a silly argument.

            • RedLogix 4.3.1.1.2.2

              Those underpants used to be made in NZ factories, paying local people local wages, and run to NZ labour standards and environmental regulations. Their currency has been consistently undervalued, they’ve actively stolen vast amounts of IP from the West… and you call this success.

              Exactly who do you think controls these things in China?

              • Mark

                “Their currency has been consistently undervalued”

                Oh…ffs ….their currency has been ‘undervalued’ because they are or were a poor developing nation. And recently that argument has lost currency for a number of years now (no pun intended)
                https://www.ft.com/content/11e96e1e-03a7-11e5-b55e-00144feabdc0

                The fact is the West plundered vast amounts of wealth from the East (both India and China) – read up on the Opium wars.

                What motivated the so called ‘Age of Discovery’ ….it was the West wanting trade and trade routes to the East.

                NZ was part of the imperialist West, became rich through being the privileged protected farmers of the Anglo Saxon West, while Chinese, Indian, African peasants bore the brunt of Anglo Saxon imperialism.

                Hopefully that era is drawing to a close, but of course not without a last possible desperate attempt by the West to maintain its privileged position throughout the world.

                RedLogix – you still have not provided an answer:

                What are those 1000 military bases of the US doing round the world – promoting ‘freedom’ and ‘liberal democratic’ values?

                • RedLogix

                  I’ve consistently argued here for years that the age of nation state empires is over.

                  All your paid for lines amount to is for a Chinese imperium to rise and replace the ones that preceded it. It’s an unthinking repitition of a dullards history.

                  • Mark

                    The world’s real parasite:

                    “A child born in the United States will create thirteen times as much ecological damage over the course of his or her lifetime than a child born in Brazil,”

                    https://www.thestreet.com/personal-finance/the-countries-that-use-the-most-resources-per-person-14699472

                    What do you want RedLogix – coloured people to carry on living on rubbish tips while the rich world lives it up indefefinitely?

                    The most important thing for countries like China is DEVELOPMENT, at almost any cost. Without DEVELOPMENT you have absolutely nothing.

                    You need DEVELOPMENT so you can have a powerful military, a powerful economy and people to enjoy the things that people in the West take for granted and think is their birthright.

                    For the short term at least, so-called Western notions of ‘human rights’ should take a back seat.

                    • RedLogix

                      What do you want RedLogix – coloured people to carry on living on rubbish tips while the rich world lives it up indefefinitely?

                      That’s a resentful and bigotted view of history Mark. The West was not always wealthy; it was our scientific revolution, our industrialisation and crucially our legal and democratic reforms that entrenched principles such as equality before the law, innocence until proven guilty, freedom of religions, open speech, the value of private property rights, workers right to unionise, and crucially the right to hold our leaders accountable via elections … were all reforms that were hard won.

                      But even as late as 1890 most people in the West were still very poor; most lived on the equivalent a few dollars a day. It was not until after WW2 that the average person in the West rose out of absolute poverty. Hell my own father lived the first five years of his life in a miserable tent in the middle of what is now a very plush Auckland suburb.

                      You seem to have an exceedingly narrow view of Western history; while it’s absolutely true that in the past 500 years or so you can count some 15-20 ’empires’ or dominant hegemonies, you can point to many dark episodes in our history (as you can the East’s as well) … at the same time there is a positive story, one where legal, political and economic rights have been established and over time their scope expanded to include wider and wider populations.

                      An informed view shows that in just the past several decades much of the world is quite rapidly moving out of absolute poverty, out of utter deprivation and towards something resembling a middle class. And yes China has been part of this story too, having wealthy Western markets to sell it’s goods to has been enormously advantageous to you.

                      But the expectation was that in becoming part of this liberal world order China would reform it’s own political systems and take a legitimate, substantial part of this system. Instead it has taken an increasingly totalitarian, authoritarian anti-liberal path.

                      Instead of the internet being a pathway to the world, you built a wall. Instead of building on the rule of law and adopting global norms you’ve turned opacity and commercial untrustworthiness to an art form. Instead of elections you’ve appointed a “President for Life”. Instead of respecting religious rights you’ve created mass labour camps in Uighuyr regions. Instead of protecting wildlife, your medieval superstitions are wiping out rhinoceros, elephant and other species. Instead of dealing with an insane tyranny in North Korea you’re doing your best to imitate it with mass surveillance systems and a deeply intrusive ‘social credit’ system designed to overtly manipulate and control your populations according to the CCCP’s whims and fancies. Need I mention the repugnant trade in body parts; the persecution of minorities and the endless stories of corrupt trade practises. And openly dreams of dominating the world as it once imagined it did.

                      All these are mistakes the West too has done in it’s past; we too know failure, humiliation and catastrophe. But to varying degrees we’ve learnt the lessons and stepped back. While China’s CCCP, convinced of it’s historic superiority and global destiny charges headlong into all of these errors simultaneously.

          • Mark 4.3.1.1.3

            Mao?

            He saved more lives than perhaps any other political figure in human history:

            China’s growth in life expectancy at birth from 35–40 years in 1949 to 65.5 years in 1980 is among the most rapid sustained increases in documented global history

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4331212/

            Suck it up. And you can see from the chart that even during the Great Leap Forward, infant mortality was still lower than it was in 1950, just a year after the communist victory. The Great Leap Forward was a relative setback, but your small mind probably finds it difficult to grasp that basic concept.

            “Without Western markets to sell to China would remain as poor and brutal “

            The Wanhsien Incident: British gunboats shelled innocent Chinese civilians killing about 3000 in 1926. The British Consul thus described this incident: “Its a wonderful show on the part of the navy, but we can never forgive these bloody Chinks…’ Also the Shanghai English language press hailed the killing of innocent Chinese claiming they had been “put in their place.” Of course this is just one minor incident in the overall catalogue of imperialist crimes committed against China during the Century of Humiliation.

            Of course under the principle of extraterritoriality the British and other Westerners could kill Chinese with impunity in China — shoot them down like dogs, with absolute legal impunity.

            Winston Churchill had particular racist contempt for the Chinese urging at one point in the 1920 the “systematic bombing of the Chinese army as well as the use of poison gas.”

            In fact it could be argued that British imperialism was far worse than Japanese imperialism – the British created about 50 million opium addicts, in order to reverse an unfavourable balance of trade.

            So you should read up on a bit of history before characterising the China as a massive parasite. That’s an obviously racist statement, deny it all you want.

            • RedLogix 4.3.1.1.3.1

              Possibly from where you are the internet is censored so you cannot access the real history of Mao Zedong. He was history’s greatest Mass Murderer, and he boasted about it. Conservatively he set about murdering an estimated 65 million people in his repeated efforts to forcibly turn China into a socialist utopia.

              That’s worse than Hitler or even Stalin. Maybe these links will be accessible to you; or maybe you’re just too scared to read them. There are literally hundreds of similar sources, these are just a handful of random ones:

              https://fee.org/articles/who-was-the-biggest-mass-murderer-in-history/

              https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/maos-great-leap-forward-killed-45-million-in-four-years-2081630.html

              https://www.nytimes.com/2004/01/09/opinion/a-bleak-anniversary-mao-the-mass-murderer.html

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

              Assuming you haven’t read any of these though, your claim Mao ‘saved more lives than anyone in history’ is again blinkered by resentment and ignorance. The increases in life expectancy you mention were simply following exactly the same trends that had already happened elsewhere in the Western world after we invented public sanitation, clean water supplies and understood how to control disease and prevent mass epidemics. Mao can take zero credit for any of this; all he did was impose one massive setback after another on China for decades.

              It was only after he died, and China decided to copy aspects of the Western economic model that the country became prosperous and modern. And that was achieved ONLY because you were given access to massively wealthy Western markets to export to. China’s own domestic markets, even today are still too weak to have ever supported such growth. In that strict economic sense yes China has become an enormous parasite, bloated on it’s exports to the West, but remaining a politically anti-ethical to us.

              All history is an endless catalog of atrocities; including several thousand years of Chinese imperial warfare:

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_history_of_China_before_1911

              Of course British Imperialism in China was nothing anyone would defend; but typical of the era; and in the broader scale of history it’s relatively small beer. This doesn’t excuse it, but it places into a context quite unremarkable for the period. It’s what Empires do, they expand at the expense of any other group they can dominate, militarily, economically or by uncontrolled migration. It’s precisely the same ambition your glorious President for Life Xi Xinping has openly outlined … albeit with softened edges to avoid overt alarm at this early stage.

              Still I’m sure none of this will detract from your uncritical loyalty to China; although not quite the same could be said for the millions of wealthy Chinese (the ones who have options) who’ve left the country as soon as they could, and purchased homes, businesses and properties just as fast as they could get their capital out of China and into nasty, racist, thieving imperial places like Sydney, Melbourne, Vancouver and Auckland.

    • xanthe 5.1

      Thanks for the link Pat !
      The US has for some time been engaged in a war on encryption.The 5 eyes and our GCSB are just one arm of this (pointless) struggle.

      The only way to build a system that cannot be remotely “bricked” (by whoever, take your pick) is to go open source . If the GCSB had any intention of actually protecting our security it would be mandating open source systems

      • KJT 5.1.1

        Open Source is “brick” proof?

        • xanthe3 5.1.1.1

          No open source is not “brick proof” only orders of magnitude less so than propriatory gear. But the point is that there cannot be hidden backdoors in open source gear because its open and contuniously peer reviewed. Every human artiface will propably have some exploit somewhere in this case our interests are best served by avoiding gear with deliberate clandistine exploits inbuilt and having a transparant process to identify and mitigate the unintentional ones…. in tech terms open source best meets these interests

          • KJT 5.1.1.1.1

            Which makes it even more vulnerable to “hacking”, as anyone can obtain the source code.

            • xanthe3 5.1.1.1.1.1

              What you are promoting here is the idea of security through obfustication. It simply does not work. Why do you think the web mostly runs on some flavour of linux?

              • RedLogix

                Xanthe is 100% correct in terms of software vulnerability; unfortunately open source software does little to address attack vectors at the firmware or even silicon level.

  5. SPC 6

    The Huawei exec is being held for using a controlled company to get around sanctions on Iran.

    And yes 5 Eyes is as much spying on communications of the citizens of our nations (thus the encryption issue) as it is spying on the rest of the world (as we are part of the imperial US security order), but the fact remains 5G is linked into intelligent devices and involves a higher level of intrusion into system security than anything before it – so having a Chinese government obedient organisation’s tech involved in the roll out is a whole new level of risk.

    It’s borderline farcical for anyone with concerns about America’s operations to have little concern for those of China. The corporations of each are in bed with their governments and obey their imperial masters.

    PS You can still use a Huawei phone on 5G after this begins.

    • Pat 6.1

      It would be interesting to see the results of a poll/referendum with the question…who would you prefer having exclusive access to your personal communications/browsing history ?

      a) the NSA or
      b) the CCP

      Sorry no option c) neither of the above.

  6. barry 7

    Given that Australia has just legislated against encryption, they will only be using gear that has a NSA-sanctioned back door.

  7. One Two 8

    Risk to human health, animals, insects and the environment…

    Where is the discussion in NZ going to come from about the damaging multiplier effects…

    The infrastructure heavy requirements and pollution generated from yet another layer of unecessary technology and the effects of it…

    Note: In the UK Gateshead council recently lost a gag attempt in local court…

    Huawei is a distraction…

  8. Mark 9

    “It took a thousand years for the world’s economic centre of gravity to shift from Asia to Europe.”

    It will take only a few decades for it to shift back, says a report from the McKinsey Global Institute.

    A thousand years ago, the economic centre of the world was in central Asia, just north of India and west of China, reflecting the high levels of wealth enjoyed in the Middle and Far East at that time, says the report, Urban world: Cities and the rise of the consuming class. At that time, Asia accounted for two-thirds of the world’s wealth.”

    https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/07/05/world-economic-center-of-gravity_n_1651730.html

    Why do you think all those Europeans went round the world in those creaky old boats – the so-called ‘Age of Discovery’ was all about the West wanting to get its hands on the wealth of the East.

    And unfortunately, because of the military weakness of the East and superior technology of the West (in the past couple of centuries), the East was pauperized by the West (opium wars and all that).

    New Zealand was England’s farm, and directly benefitted from this plunder of the East (and Africa). That is why in the late 1960’s we were the 6th wealthiest per capita nation on earth. It was ill-gotten gains.

    Now the developing world is rising. With the waning power of the Western imperialists, Westerners cannot automatically assume a good standard of living simply because they are Westerners. They have to compete with the yellow, brown, and black masses of the world on an increasingly equal footing.

    And RedLogix can cry in his beer all he wants, but that ain’t gonna change things – I’m sure he feels absolutely sick about it. Boo.Hoo.Hoo.

    • SPC 9.1

      We had the high level of wealth per capita because

      1. we had a lower population.
      2. agriculture was a higher proportion of the GDP of economies back then and we were and are very competitive in pastoral farming.

      This had little to do with the past of our then major market the UK.

      Our ill gotten gains, was Maori land.

  9. Mark 10

    New Zealand became rich through being the privileged farmers of the white Anglo-Saxon imperialist West – we were not treated like Indian or Kenyan or indeed Chinese peasants (China only freed itself from Western domination in 1949)

    New Zealand was a fully signed up member of Western imperialism and benefitted from that enormously.New Zealand’s wealth entirely due to what was effectively subsidies and protectionism, through favours granted by mother England. However in 1973 the UK joined the EEC. We lost privileged access to the UK market, and hence had to look for markets elsewhere.

    And that is when our current accounts deficit plunged. Rogernomics came more than a decade after that.
    https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research-and-publications/speeches/2002/speech2002-01-25

    The free trade deals are part of New Zealand’s need to forge new markets, to make its way in the world by itself, and not as parasite on the rest of the world through being attached to a former imperialist power.

    New Zealand was part of Western imperialism and fought Western imperialism’s wars. In that way NZ became rich.

    • SPC 10.1

      Utter tosh.

      • One Two 10.1.1

        Why is it, tosh?

        What Mark has been saying is far more ‘informed’ than those who are replying to him…

        Like your one word ‘rebuttle’…and bewildereds two word ‘sentence’..

        • SPC 10.1.1.1

          Why – the only reason we were rich in the 1950’s/1960’s per capita was because

          1. small population
          2. most efficient pastoral farm in the world (temperate/grass)
          3. agriculture was larger share of the economy back then

          (while our major market was then the UK, we would have been as wealthy with access to the global market at the time under WTO rules).

          Mark ignored my earlier comment and it is once again not informed it is devoid of relevant argument.

          It deserved the repost on grounds of the lack of substance to his point and then simply restating it rather than respond to the criticism is intellectual cowardice.

    • Bewildred 10.2

      Loon alert

    • Bewildred 10.3

      Loon alert

  10. gsays 11

    What am I missing?

    What Mark has outlined seems reasonable.

    Is this one of these ideological things that I missed the memo for.

    As an aside/confession/observation, a lot of the impetus for the lack of concern over the rise of China, comes from a distancing from the actions of the USA over the last century, especially since Hiroshima and Ngasaki.

  11. Richard 12

    “New Zealand was part of Western imperialism and fought Western imperialism’s wars. In that way NZ became rich.”

    Which doesn’t quite explain how we’ve stayed rich since we lost preferential access to the UK and never really had it to the US.

    As for Huawei being more secure than Cisco (love to hear a credible voice in the tech community back that up), tell that to the African Union.

  12. boggis the cat 13

    Huawei is the leader in 5G technology. This is just about keeping the Chinese tech sector from overtaking the Western corporations — and that has already happened in any case.

    The spooks can always tunnel in to systems at other vulnerable points, and any ‘suspicious activity’ flagged by metadata analysis can get a court warrant and legal surveillance. US technology is known to be open to the NSA and partners, so it would be surprising if China didn’t want similar access built in to domestic technology — however, that is only suspected at present.

    Trying to prevent the rise of China is a fool’s errand. Western governments have plenty of fools to spare.

  13. Mark 14

    With Xi Jinping China is going down exactly the right path. He does not want to betray his people down by ‘reforming’ in the way the West wants him to reform.

    The Chinese have learned the lesson of the Soviet Union. In Russia, Gorbachev, who was feted by the West, is now widely reviled as the traitor that he was, whereas Stalin, who is demonized in the West, is consistently rated as the greatest person in history:
    https://www.voanews.com/a/russians-josef-stalin-greatest-figure-history-poll/3916559.html

    All this abuse about ‘totalitarianism’, etc is just a load of bollocks. The Chinese leadership is responsive to the needs of the vast majority of Chinese people, and that’s all they should care about. The bleating of Westerners who want to bring the country to its knees should be treated with the utter contempt it deserves.

    Liberalization means death, literally:
    Millions of excess deaths in immediate post-Soviet Russia:
    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2009/1/18/685673/-

    Indian ‘democracy’ vs Chinese ‘authoritarianism’, life expectancy:

    From the article “Today, China’s life expectancy for both sexes is remarkably close to the average life expectancy of Europe – just some 2 years lower. …. Compared to China, India’s life expectancy for both sexes has increased much slower. Today, it is more than 8 years below the level of China and more than 14 years below the level of the United States of America….These numbers demonstrate the remarkable development success of China, whose government has focused on bringing basic health care to most (rural) regions and social groups. “
    http://www.china-profile.com/data/fig_WPP2008_L0_1.htm

  14. Mike23 15

    Doesn’t anybody worry about the ‘security’ of US conglomerates like Microsoft, Google etc etc spying for THEM??

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