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The bigotry of lemmings – the China scare

Written By: - Date published: 5:46 pm, November 28th, 2018 - 134 comments
Categories: China, Economy, International, The Standard - Tags: , , ,

I can’t think of the number of countless times that I have seen scare stories about someone wanting to take over this society and/or the world. Sometimes they are even correct about intent, but usually they are not. Usually the difference between what is insinuated and whatever facts are known makes those making such insinuations just look like attention-seeking nuts.

We appear to have another one in the current claims about the government in China which look just as reliable as many previous claims – just simple badly thought through bullshit that resonates with previous similar claims about the Soviets, the Americans, the Japanese, and even the Polynesians or even further back about the Irish.

Personally I just view all such claims with a  healthy degree of skepticism, a demand for verifiable facts about implementation, and warrant me having a look at the relevant laws and regulations that govern this society. In my opinion, in NZ all of these historic scares were all simple crap put out either through simple bigotry or through simple-minded short-term self-interest. The New Zealand civil war was a direct result of one.

Most of the time the story falls apart on the second – verification about implementation. Fran O’Sullivan has highlighted one such in “Academic Anne-Marie Brady draws long bow on China“. Brady has recently released a populist book about Chinese influence in New Zealand. O’Sullivan discusses the book in general and then targets a specific innuendo with a pointed discussion of the facts.

Take, businesswoman Ruth Richardson who is listed in a section of Brady’s paper titled ‘Making the foreign serve China.”

Brady opines that former politicians with access to government are a “valuable commodity”.

Now I’ve never been a particular fan of Ruth Richardson. She has always appeared to me to a be cheer leader for some pretty bloody stupid half-baked policy ideas that have been misappropriated from the business sphere and attempted to be applied to  social sphere. It has taken nearly 30 years to even start to repair the damage from such foolish measures.

But she was just a legal policy wonk who’d been exposed to business thought of the time, but who clearly didn’t fully understand the limits of the implementation on scales larger than a single company (and it is hard enough to do even in that limited scope). However during her political career some of the legal reforms she undertook were worthwhile contributions – mainly the Fiscal Responsibility Act to limit shonky book keeping in budgets.

Subsequent to her political career she has been an interesting and reasonably successful company director with a good eye for innovation. It is that juxtaposition of political and business that Brady targets

Richardson is named in the subsequent list: “Former National MP and Finance Minister Ruth Richardson was a director of Synlait Farms and is now a director of Synlait Milk.

Shanghai Pengxin – noted for its interest in New Zealand’s farms as well as near space – owns 74 per cent of Synlait Farm.

The latter statement may be factually true. But the juxtaposition Brady employs leads to unfortunate inferences.

A contextual response would have noted that Richardson was a former chair of Synlait Group well before any Chinese involvement (since 2003).

And that the originally private dairy company – which was led by the vigorous Canterbury entrepreneur John Penno – had failed to convince New Zealand shareholders to invest their capital with it.

In essence the article details the way that the investment into a local company played out. And then makes the point :-

But Synlait itself has been an innovative success. A strong employer in Canterbury. It has driven exports not just to China but to the Asean markets and moved far swifter than Fonterra for instance to invest in value add.

As Richardson noted in a paper earlier this year when talking about the NZ investment deficit – ” it is no secret that the NZ capital markets refused to fund Synlait at the outset – were it not first for Japanese and then Chinese investment we would have been stopped in our tracks.”

Does this make her a political tool?

Hardly, as would be apparent by the range of commercial roles she also holds including chair of NZ Merino, KiwiNet and Syft Technologies.

Yes she is a Bank of China director. But having political nous as well as business smarts should not be a disqualifier. Notably BOC is governed by the Reserve Bank here of which Richardson is also a former director.

I’d agree. I can’t see the relevance of this example to Brady’s argument. From what I have seen from reports about both her book and academic writing it falls into the same category.

Useful that someone is looking at it from a different angle. Not useful that there appears to be simple-minded scare tactic with implied levels of bigotry involved. I’d hesitate to state that the other reports about a burglary and tires being let down aren’t related. However I am confident that the widespread reporting of them is just a simple marketing ploy for the book that massively diminishes any desire that I have to look at such tainted material.

It is like the post by Advantage here the other day – “China, Huawei and us“. I didn’t bother to deal with that in the post. It just got filed as being a post I’d need to respond to in a full-length piece.

For instance where it says :-

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

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

Oh FFS: Advantage – try reading the laws on defamation here and in Australia.  If someone makes a claim of fact about someone or something else that could not cannot substantiated in court, then that is defamatory.  Yes – you can claim public interest in making a defamatory claim if you don’t have the facts. It often helps on the awards.  However you have to be able to use more than the submission that is roughly equivalent to “some joker told me in a pub”. My guess is that is all that Hamilton was able to provide Allen & Urwin’s lawyers with. So they turned down the text that Hamilton was unwilling to change to a lawful form.

Similarly as a tech geek, I could take everything that Advantage discussed about Huawei’s network systems and apply it exactly to Cisco or any other major American supplier of the same equipment.

US tech providers too are subject to their countries security laws about what they should do with equipment and software sold offshore, have backdoors added,  and that equipment is regularly used to spy. The relevant legislation looks very similar to Chinese laws and isn’t even loosely covered by constitutional protections that should (but don’t) prohibit such intrusions on US citizens.

Citizens from other countries have no such protection. Such vendor enabled spying is something that has been widely suspected in the tech communities for decades about the US. It is such a obvious move.

It was stunningly confirmed by Edward Snowden’s revelations in 2013 and 2014. See BBC summary

After fleeing to Hong Kong, Edward Snowden told the South China Morning Post that the NSA had led more than 61,000 hacking operations worldwide, including many in Hong Kong and mainland China.

He said targets in Hong Kong included the Chinese University, public officials and businesses.

“We hack network backbones – like huge internet routers, basically – that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,” Mr Snowden was quoted as saying.

That has been confirmed in the materials that were subsequently provided via several sources. It directly resulted in changes the laws of many countries, including China, to enhance their internal network security.

As for :-

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

Advantage is simply being stupidly naive or just hypocritical. Any tech will tell you to always assume that any networked system is insecure. Even the most secure networks known are regarded as being way less secure than almost any other type of storage and transmission system.

In this case I’d regard all of the above as being probably easy enough to be accessed because of  the legal requirement for the vendors to help the US security agencies. They probably would be able to argue a case against intrusions on US citizens inside the US, and I know Apple does. But none would have much hope of arguing it legally about accessing it to spy on NZ.

Any system that is supplied from countries that have laws that demand that tech exporters are required to help their spy agencies spy offshore is by definition insecure. China, the US, England, France, Russia and Israel just to name some that I know have such legal provisions. Probably Australia and New Zealand as well.

Perhaps telling us why there is a focus on a single country rather than on the multiplicity of countries who require exactly the same obedience by their tech companies would be revealing. It was certainly the question that was raised in my mind after reading Advantage’s post.

Similarly on most of the economic arguments about China apply just as equally to the US.

The effective freeze in US investments here is measurable between 1984, the nuclear free legislation in 1987, and even later. The effective veto of the French on NZ exports to the EU after their agents bombed the Rainbow Warrior was the same. I’m sure that I could point to others if it was worth doing. But it is a risk with ANY trading partner.

We are always subject to the economic displeasure or even disinterest of other states. We need to structure our economy to suit by maintaining a multiplicity of markets and suppliers. This became pretty damn obvious after Britain started talks to enter the EU in the 1960s.

In fact I can’t really see the point of such simple minded scare tactic idiocy about China. At this point the only real alarm point I could see with China (which they shared with the US) was and probably still is our lax policies on purchases of property by overseas buyers. That caused significiant speculation in properties here that was effectively ignored by the government of the day.

Subsequent changes in regulations for taxation and migration  plus the Chinese government taking its own efforts to limit the hemorrhaging of safe haven money to NZ have certainly quietened the speculation.

I’m going to file this current mania about the Chinese government interference along with the stupid scare tactics of yesterday – it resembles that about the Japanese in the 1980s.


But as usual I’ll keep a watching brief just as I do for other countries – just in case I need to actually get interested.

134 comments on “The bigotry of lemmings – the China scare”

  1. toad 1

    I am much more worried about the Trump scare

    Under Trump, the US is much more than China the enemy of freedom of speech, freedom of association & freedom of movement

    • Ed 1.1

      The US is a very dangerous nation.

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        The American empire has been around since the around the end of WW2, now over 70 years ago and has had plenty of time to make mistakes; many of which it can be rightly held to task over. Dangerous even.

        By contrast the emerging Chinese empire is the upstart. Given it’s evident totalitarian nature why should we expect that in another 70 years time that it will turn out to be any less ‘dangerous’ than any empire that proceeded it?

        • D'Esterre

          RedLogix: “The American empire has been around since the around the end of WW2…”

          That’ll come as a surprise to the Cubans and the Pinoys, not to mention the unfortunate indigenes of the Americas north and south, and various parts of the Pacific.

          ” By contrast the emerging Chinese empire is the upstart.”

          Somehow, I suspect that even Fang Zhou would take issue with that. China’s history goes back millennia: it is very far from being an upstart. When the Portuguese first arrived in the south-east Asia region in the 15c, they found that the Chinese were already there (as was Islam, but that’s another story). The Ming Dynasty then, I think. In any event, the Chinese came to trade: they brought goods, took other goods back to China. No colonisation as we understand it, though some Chinese settled in various countries, such as Thailand. But Thailand was never colonised, despite the efforts of western powers to bring it about, of course.

          “Given it’s evident totalitarian nature…”

          How is this relevant? It was, after all, those great bastions of democracy, France, the US and the UK, which colonised so many countries, to the detriment of the colonised.

          The current tensions with China have their origins in that snake Obama’s “pivot to Asia” around 2012. And that arose because the Yankees had finally noticed the totally predictable results of an arrangement where China made US goods cheaply and sold them back to the US. Slow learners: they’d already been down this road with the Japanese.

          In any event, Obama’s strategy seemed to consist of the relentless needling of China, while quietly rearming Japan. Small wonder that China has reacted by reasserting control of its seaways, including the south China sea. What did anyone expect would happen?

    • Dennis Frank 1.2

      Bullshit. Everyone knows that “freedom of speech, freedom of association & freedom of movement” are illegal in China, and have been since the communists took over almost 70 years ago. Everyone knows they aren’t illegal in the USA. Everyone who reads your comment knows you’re lying. Why bother?

      • Tricledrown 1.2.1

        Dennis Frank freedom of Speech in the US is under fire from Trump who likes the power dictators have.
        Mississipi Republican making comment’s intimidating about hangings white supremacist’s putting nooses and intimidating non white voters voter suppression their the same tactic’s totalitarian China uses. L prent how come Judith Collins husband gets a his Dairy into China when Fonterra can’t.
        Soft power China has massive corruption issues. China’s business model is to copy steal intellectual property dump product on to markets wipe out competition. Then profiteer.
        The steel industry look at the reinforcing dumped in NZ substandard structural steel reinforcing Mafia style corruption building cladding companies caught selling inferior poor quality cladding.
        The National Party Judith Collins Slimy Siomon having $100, 000 cut up into small parcels.
        Then on our backdoor China is corrupting in the Pacific massive loans with strings attached don’t enforce your fishing zones, no doubt Fiji’s recent elections. Africa Chinese govt is giving massive loans for infrastructure but don’t train locals or employ locals same in the Pacific then the South China Sea and the Philippines the Philippines have been bullied out of their fishing grounds by the Chinese Navy South China seas the same thing is happening. Xiaping take over of the CCP.
        Chinese communist govt is corrupt to the Core who was that British MP who had a piece of paper and declared we have peace in our time. The Chinese govt is running its expantionist agenda on many levels.

      • lprent 1.2.2

        Everyone knows they aren’t illegal in the USA. Everyone who reads your comment knows you’re lying. Why bother?

        Those US constitutional provisions apply to US citizens in US*.

        I suspect that you’d have found rather a lot of people who’ve found that freedom of speech, expression, and movement is somewhat limited if they are regarded as an enemy of the US even inside their own country. They often tend to find a hellfire missile unlawfully launched from a drone has terminated all three.

        The US lost half of their battle upholding those ‘rights’ when they started to act like barbarian arseholes intent on summary vigilante justice.

        In short – you are incorrect. You are both lying and trying to do it with an irrelevant diversion. Would you like my equivalent of a hellfire to help you decide what arbitrary actions without due process feel like?

        The diversion is that none of the ‘rights’ apply to New Zealand citizens in New Zealand. That means that spying in us and interfering with our local rights to those things is not subject to US constitutional safeguards

        * How these are handled for US citizens outside US is in an interesting state of legal flux at present

        • Dennis Frank

          Hey, don’t get me wrong. I’ve long been aware of the skullduggery the US state has gotten up to in respect of US citizens on a selective targeting basis. Most of us dissidents got hip to that stuff during Nixon’s presidency. I was describing the general situation for Americans, not such exceptions to the rule.

    • Brutus Iscariot 1.3

      I think you should elaborate on all three of those assertions, because i can’t see any real evidence.

    • Hamish Gerard Stevenson 1.4

      Are you kidding? Have you seen BBC footage of what is happening in Xinjiang (East Turkestan)? Verified by satellite flyovers? The subjugtation of the Uighurs is Totalitarian. Read Orwell’s 1984.

  2. RedLogix 2

    My position has been consistent all along; the age of nation state empires is over. I don’t care if it’s English, American, or Chinese … the era in which political, economic or social colonisation that exploits less dominant or powerful nations must end.

    Consider how many thousands of comments that have been made here excoriating Trump, so why is it that we must give Xi Jinping’s creepy dystopian tyranny a free pass? Is the CCCP immune to criticism here?

    There have been any number of perfectly acceptable comments and pieces here that have taken the USA to task for it actions; eg the invasion of Iraq being one obvious example. While the USA is now clearly a declining power, there is absolutely no argument that China is the new rising one that will become dominant within a decade or less. Being in different phases of empire direct comparisons will naturally yield contrasts, but overall the pattern is clear.

    And while American colonisation (at whatever level we want to consider it) is not necessarily desirable, at least culturally it’s a devil we know and have some sense of how to deal with it. By contrast the political and philosophical gulf between NZ and the current Chinese regime is stark.

    Over the past 500 years or so conflict between a declining and rising power has happened many times; in most instances the result has been war. Yet in the nuclear age the consequences of another major power war is unthinkable and morally unsupportable, therefore we must contemplate alternative means.

    • Fang Zhou 2.1

      The author of this post is sadly ignorant of the country I was born in and lived most of my life in.

      China is an EMPIRE. Try asking those in Nei Mongolia, Xizang and especially the uighurs in Xinjiang or indeed in most of the autonomous regions what they think of the great Mr Xi and whether the intentions of the Community Party are benign or evil. How did the China Empire grow from the dire poverty that I grew up in to a place where now the standard of living for most urban dwellers exceeds that of NZ? By theft of the technology of the west. By crushing even the smallest of dissent or contrary opinions.

      Look today at the huge loans given to the poorest of the poor countries around the world, loans they accept from corruption but which they have no possible hope of ever repaying. And if they do not pay? Their assets are seized by China. For example the strategically important port of Trincomale in Sri Lanka.

      Try ever getting the mildest of mild criticism in SkyKiwi or Chinese language newspaper in NZ. You will receive a barrage of threats and abuse.

      You think China is benign? If you do, then it is from your blissful ignorance alone.
      I get very angry when I read articles like this. Most Kiwis are very ignorant of my country’s political system and how things are done.

      • lprent 2.1.2

        You mean just like I get when I leave a comment on Kiwiblog?

        Having people disagree with you does not mean that there is a mysterious plot against you or NZ or the world. It simply means that someone doesn’t like your opinions.

        Welcome to the net… I’ve been on it in one frame or another since 1978.

        The answer is to just keep arguing. In fact the answer is often in the advice at the bottom of our about.


        No – you must….

        Get out a few likeminded people and start your own site. This site costs about $150 per month to run and a lot of volunteer work (from people who often disagree with each other).

        • Brutus Iscariot

          “I’ve been on it in one frame or another since 1978”

          You just had to put that in there, didn’t you? Congratulations though.

      • D'Esterre 2.1.3

        Fang Zhou: I wish to congratulate you on your command of written English.

        In this household, given that we have family members who aren’t native English speakers, we’re familiar with how second-language speakers use English. Moreover, many years ago, I studied with many second-language speakers, including Chinese students.

        Our assessment: you write like a native English speaker. No mean feat, given that, as you say, you were born – and lived most of your life – in China.

        In any event. You say: “China is an EMPIRE. Try asking those in Nei Mongolia, Xizang and especially the uighurs in Xinjiang or indeed in most of the autonomous regions what they think of the great Mr Xi…”

        Now, I assume that you’ll have studied Chinese history. You’ll be aware of how the boundaries of modern-day China have come to be established. China is not, and has never been, a hegemon. If you want to see what hegemony looks like, take note of the past activities of the various western European polities. And, of course, what the US has been doing in the Caribbean and south America – and most notoriously – in the Pacific. If you aren’t au fait with US history, I recommend that you go look at how that polity acquired many of its states, including California, southwestern states such as New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, along with many others.

        I’m a bit surprised that you use the term “Xizang”. As I understand things, the indigenous inhabitants prefer to call it “Bö”. Activists in the west refer to it as “Tibet”, of course.

        With regard to Xinjiang, you’ll no doubt be aware of the rise of Muslim extremism there. It hasn’t been well-reported in the western msm, but it appears that fighters have gone from Xinjiang to fight with ISIS in Syria. I’d be surprised if the Chinese government were not taking action to protect the country from such people. Western countries are doing that, after all, including NZ.

        “You think China is benign?”

        As has already been pointed out,the author of this post did not say that. But really: what has this to do with anything? China is a trading partner. It would be very far from being the only polity among our trading partners which – according to the US – has a dodgy human rights record, or isn’t a democracy. But so what? We trade with them: their political arrangements aren’t our business. Cutting off trade links because some people are all bent out of shape over such issues risks cutting off the economic nose to spite the face.

        What are you suggesting this country ought to do? March across the Chinese border to effect regime change? Good luck with that… As Bill Bryson said in one of his books: you first, professor. Let us know how it goes.

        Meanwhile – speaking of dodgy human rights in our trading partners – I suggest that you turn your attention to how NZ citizens are being treated in that great bastion of democracy and protection of human rights: Australia.

    • lprent 2.2

      I’m particularly orientated when it comes to this kind of stuff. I simply don’t have an ideological bias.

      Russia, China, and the US don’t impress me as being particularly good style guides for how a society should run or how the morals of their leadership stand up to scrutiny. They all look pretty deeply and fundamentally corrupt.

      I strongly prefer how my own society does it, subject to a few minor changes…

      • Fang Zhou 2.2.1

        Yes but you profess to believe that the efforts of China in NZ and around the world are benign. They are not. A little learning is a very dangerous thing.

        And what does ‘particularly orientated’ to this mean? I was born there. I lived most of my life there. I return there for 8 weeks every year. I can actually read the NZ Chinese language media, and the media in China. Can you? So your knowledge is at best second hand. Mine is from the source.

        • Bill

          I re-read the post to see where I’d missed the claim about China being benign. Couldn’t find it. Would you mind pointing out for me the bit I keep missing?

          • Draco T Bastard

            It’s throughout the entire article. It may not use those precise words but I’d say that it was the entire basis of it.

            • Bill

              Maybe that’s your bias at work Draco.

              I don’t think it’s unreasonable to suggest that, going from previous and rather lamentable comments you’ve made around this topic, anything short of full throttled, screaming condemnation of anything “China” is probably going to be viewed as deeply suspicious Sinophilia

        • lprent

          I didn’t say that I thought China was ‘benign’.

          What I was pointing out was that New Zealand citizens is that outside of sentimental reasons they aren’t that much different in many ways to the US or Britain to most of us.

          They are an country and probably easily defined as an empire with their own interests at heart. They have very limited interest in our interests.

          This also applies to the US.

          But basically if you discount the refugees from China and the US (I have worked with both types), I’d argue that not that many NZ citizens care that much outside of the requirements of our agreements and relationships.

          China is a trading partner in our top 4 – in order by export value – Australia, China, EU, and US. We have trade agreements with Australia (CER and CPATPP after 30 December 2018) , and China (NZCFTA)

          Click to access Goods-and-Services-Trade-YE-March-2017.pdf

          We have quite loose defense agreements with the US (ANZUS) and Australia (ANZUS and the Five Power Agreement). As the US got upset with some of our internal policies and unilaterally suspended the active parts of ANZUS between our countries for more than 20 years (they resumed in secret a decade ago and in public in 2010), I’d say that there is some work to do to establish it as anything more than a piece of paper.

          We have intelligence agreements with Australia and the US (Five eyes).

    • Bill 2.3

      The foot of this comment is a cut and paste of a comment submitted by Francesca under Micky’s post “Academic Freedom and relations with China”.

      There was no response given, but I believe that the answer would be “no” – because of institutional bias and our general level of conditioning as individuals that would tend to make the mere suggestion for such academic study unthinkable.

      There have been investigative pieces done on Israeli interference in the UK and the US. And “of course” they’ve been suppressed.

      So it’s veering towards rhetorical to ask why it might be that lightweight descriptive academic work on an “official enemy” would be puffed up by our media, while the absence of any academic study into “official friends” is a thing that passes without thought or question?

      Do we have any academics looking into covert Israeli influence on our government and political life?
      Or is anyone studying the deep reach in to our cultural, political and military policies by the Americans?
      Genuine question

      And if an academic study had been done and then picked up by media (not going to happen), do you think there would have been anything like the number and nature of comments targeting ordinary people associated with those countries as has been occasioned by this recent China pile on?

      • RedLogix 2.3.1

        I’m not entirely sure how to respond substantively to this; but it does strike me that in this entirely globalised world it is inevitable that the interests of nations will overlap, conflict and their actions readily framed as ‘interference’.

        Put another way; of course nations states run interference with each other, there’s no way they can’t in this interconnected world. For instance NZ’s very modest offer to take Nauru refugees was readily perceived as ‘political interference’ over the ditch.

  3. Bill 3

    Thank you for this post Lynn.

    A broad point of agreement to add to that vanishingly small list of things we agree on.

  4. JohnSelway 4

    It’s funny how all your posts, LPrent, seem to center around talking about how great you are, how smart you are and how your experience supersedes the real concerns of others.

    You remind me of a more eloquent Trump at times.

    • Fang Zhou 4.1

      I know one thing. In this he has an ignorance that not only makes me very angry, but reveals that he is certainly not smart in the slightest.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        Try explaining why.. Talking about ignorant – read our policy

        Otherwise I am perfectly happy to boot you off the site for a year for not following it.

        The first thing that any dimwit should do when entering g a site is to read the local rules. In this case it means you have to learn to argue as well as you do solo play with your dick.

        • Fang Zhou

          Kick me off if that is how you deal with criticism. I called you ignorant in this matter because, in this matter, you are. That is not abuse but factual,.

        • JohnSelway

          You never miss a chance to tell everyone how you are tech guy, your background, how much you know about everything. How you are bored of how everyone doesn’t think how you do, frequently call people “dickheads” or some variant thereof (epitaphs you seem somewhat enamored with), complain about how stupid people are.

          Most of your posts are not about the issue at hand but about how YOU relate, or the issue itself, relates to you but not with the understanding that people disagree and have other opinions but they are dumb or stupid and you are not and never have been.

          Sure – level a ban against if you must but I’m not lying nor trying to offend you. It’s just how you come across. If you don’t like – well, there’s not much I can do about it.

          [lprent: I think that you were responding to my reply to Fang (his comment was a different level to yours – and got a different response). My reply to you was at

          The bigotry of lemmings – the China scare

          Which in essence says exactly what you point out here. I post my opinions from my own perspective based on my own experience and knowledge. They provide my viewpoint on a topic. My partner says that I mainly have a two P focus. Programming and Politics. So you will often find my responses from referring those two areas.

          The way that I present my posts is hardly surprising. The About states

          We write here in our personal capacities and the opinions that are expressed on the blog are individual unless expressly stated otherwise (see the policy). We do not write on behalf of any organization.

          The policy states that the site is here for “robust debate”. If it’d meant polite or balanced debate or that authors or commenters has to provide balanced perspective, then it would have said so. Provide your own opinions about the authors topic – try to avoid having too much of ago at the author. They merely start the robust debate.

          My opinions also usually include my opinions on who I am writing about and why, and those I find deficient in engaging in robust debate. To be precise, I usually tailor the level of my response to critical comments to about the same level as those criticising. If they provide argument, then I provide it back. If I just see simple insults without arguments, then I insult back – just somewhat harder and more offensively to see if there is any argument behind the self-evident stupidity. ]

          • ianmac

            What a petty attempt to denigrate a person expressing a well considered opinion. Nothing Fang or Selway has written is of any worth. Sounds like drunken inadequates picking a fight over trivial in order to not having the nous to debate.

            Somewhere Lynne wrote that techies should always assume that a network has probably been breeched by someone. Therefore who does the invasion, be it Russia or China or USA doesn’t really matter. They are all bastards.

            • JohnSelway

              I didn’t think it was petty.
              I gave my reasoning in a straightforward manner and was polite in doing so while making sure I was I accepting a ban if it was so required but I was just speaking my mind in an honest but direct fashion. I thought I was constructive rather than rude.

              Comments like:

              “So contain your anger and explain rather than acting like a dickhead.”


              “Perhaps you should start to use it yourself whilst explaining why you disagree rather than descending into a anal retentive pout. ”

              are a little more offensive, petty and less constructive I would have thought…

              • lprent

                See my note above.

                The bigotry of lemmings – the China scare

                You need to look at the indenting.

                • JohnSelway

                  I’m no further enlightened than I was before. I was giving you criticism rather than pointless abuse. You often come from a place of smarter than everyone and take any criticism as a personal attack which you dish out (dickhead being a favourite of yours) but don’t take well.

                  This is my read on it. Take it how you will

                  • lprent

                    What I was pointing out in response to your point is that I was doing exactly what the site intended. Authors of posts write their opinions based on their knowledge and experience. Those opinions are then subject to robust debate.

                    Criticising the author of a post for what they choose to write rather than the content of the post isn’t something that is permissible. In the policy it is described as a self-martyrdom offense

                    Abusing the sysop or post writers on their own site – including telling us how to run our site or what we should write. This is viewed as self-evident stupidity, and should be added as a category to the Darwin Awards.

                    The reason for the rule is I suspect completely obvious. But hey, I have time. I’ll explain it to you. Please let me know if the explanation gets too complex for you. I can probably make a stick figure visual image if I still have time.

                    It takes time and effort to think about and raise a post giving an opinion on a topic. That is why there are far fewer authors on the site (and even fewer active ones). In this case for instance it took approximately two hours of discussion with others, about 2.5 hours to write, and nearly caused a ruction on my relationship with my partner as it meant that I was late to a friends function that I’d promised to go to with her (a rare event at the best of times). Oh and I was doing it on my few days of holiday after spending 53 days out in the heat in Singapore. Such things are all part of an authors life.

                    To do that kind of effort and then have a stream of shit aimed at them personally – without any comment actually being directed at the content of the post is just lazy and downright dangerous. Because it doesn’t reference any part of the content of the post, it probably means that the commenter hadn’t read a scrap of that hard work. Instead the fool thought that they could offer a reactive ill-considered opinion, not on the work – but on the hard working author

                    It is generally viewed by authors and especially by me as a deliberate intent to try to prevent authors from writing future posts. Since the site needs authors who can write robust debate generating posts far more than it needs comment bile the general response by moderators will always be to treat such comments as those of a dimwitted troll who doesn’t respect the site.

                    Your criticism had absolutely nothing to do with the substantive content of the post. It was only aimed at how it was presented and at the author of it.

                    Does this make it clear?

                    If it doesn’t then you’re clean out of luck because I’m short of time and I’d like to refer you to the last section of our about where is explains how to get to feel the same sensations about as we get.

      • Hanswurst 4.1.2

        You might want to provide a bit more material if you want to be taken seriously. “I can read Chinese” is not an argument.

        • Dennis Frank

          Are you kidding? You really don’t get that he is putting his life on the line? Are you unaware that the regime makes people who criticise it disappear?

          • Bill

            Who’s kidding who?

            Fang Zhou has made precisely one (very oblique) reference to the post across however many comments. That reference is to a supposed claim in the post about China being benign. I can’t see where the post says any such thing and have asked Fang Zhou to point to where that claim is made.

            But you’re not kidding when you suggest that Fang Zhou should get a free pass to just throw down a shopping list of assertions about China into comments; not back them up; not refer to the substance of the post, and attack an author because….“the regime makes people who criticise it disappear”?

          • Hanswurst

            You mean like Anne-Marie Brady has been been made to “disappear”? Fear-mongering isn’t an argument, either, in fact “believe us ir bad things will happen” has been a handy trick throughout history for those who know that what evidence they have doesn’t bear much scrutiny.

            • Dennis Frank

              You’re just evading the point. Chinese critics of their govt living here are vulnerable – and even more so when they return there for a visit. Demanding that they provide more evidence of what they have experienced is asking them to insert their heads further into the noose. How can you justify such disgusting behaviour?

              • Hanswurst

                I’m not demanding anything. I’m just saying that, in the absence of evidence, there is no reason to give much credit to Fang Zhou’s claims. Suggesting that I’m responsible for any (rather far-fetched) consequences of whatever Fang Zhou may or may not choose to say in support of their points on this thread is frankly bizarre.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Okay, fair enough. I presume you do get that asking a commenter to endanger themselves by providing dangerous information is inappropriate. Requesting evidence on that basis is a discourtesy at the very least, and an insult to the intelligence of other readers.

                  • Hanswurst

                    Readers’ intelligence is indeed being heavily insulted here, but it’s not by those asking for more evidence.

    • lprent 4.2

      My posts usually center around how I feel or understand a particular topic. They usually explain what experience or background formed that opinion.

      So what are you upset about? The word ‘I’?

      Perhaps you should start to use it yourself whilst explaining why you disagree rather than descending into a anal retentive pout.

      It would be significantly more useful to a robust debate than whining about the author without providing any reason.

      Opps: I appear to have dropped my Trump disguise. He isn’t interested in debate.

      • Fang Zhou 4.2.1

        I made clear in my posts above the reasons why I labelled you ignorant. I also clearly detailed that my opinions are certainly ‘I’ statements, but based on REAL experience first hand, not some superficial scanning of the newspapers or a holiday in Xian.

        Why am I angry? Because you are using this forum to advance ignorant information about an extremely important thing that will influence the lives of everyone in NZ in the future, as, for good or bad, China will increasingly dominate NZ.

        Calling you ignorant in this matter is a fact, not ‘anal retention’. Your attitude is, in my opinion and in this matter racist.

        • lprent

          So contain your anger and explain rather than acting like a dickhead.

        • Mark

          Fang Zhou, why don’t you simply address the points made, instead of telling everyone that because you were born and grew up in China (supposedly) that we should all simply believe what you say. There are plenty of Chinese that I know who have a view that is completely contrary to your one.

          But the point is you should bring your supposedly greater understanding of China to illuminate the readers of this blog. However, so far you have not added anything of substance to the conversation, except for ad hominems, and boasting of your superior knowledge.

          Simply saying that only you have a legitimate point of view because you come from a particular place or speak a particular language, means that no one can have a point of view on almost anything. Most of us would not have been able to oppose sporting relations with South Africa, most of us would not have the right to an opinion on the Iraq war, and I could simply say to you that your opinions on New Zealand and the West carry less weight than those who were born here, including myself. But would not be the right way to approach things.

  5. Ad 5

    Gcsb has banned Huawei from the Vodafone contract. As of today..

    So the state tech analyst security view is that the threat is real.

    • lprent 5.1

      Yeah right. Or it could be pressure from their close partners inbtebintelligence community.

      I suspect that it has fuckall to do with the technical aspects.

      • Ad 5.1.1

        Then you would have to explain that using actual facts LPrent.

        Because at the moment you haven’t used any. Just piled on emotion.

        Because of that all you can do to the rational response from the actual experts in the field – GCSB – is to presume yet another conspiracy.

        You can do better than that.

        The current facts now are that Spark New Zealand recently notified the Director-General of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), in accordance with the requirements of the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act 2013 (TICSA), of its proposed approach to implementing 5G technology on the Spark mobile network.

        Specifically, this proposal involved the deployment of Huawei 5G equipment in Spark’s planned 5G Radio Access Network (RAN), which involves the technology associated with cell tower infrastructure.

        The Director-General has informed Spark today that he considers Spark’s proposal to use Huawei 5G equipment in Spark’s planned 5G RAN would, if implemented, raise significant national security risks.

        Spark are confident that the decision will not affect our plans to launch Spark’s 5G network by 1 July 2020, subject to the necessary spectrum being made available by the New Zealand Government. According to their own release.

        That means all those lovely China-sucking sounds coming out of Fran O’Sullivan shows her pro-business-with-China bias against her ability to think in the security interests of New Zealand.

        Again, as I pointed out in my post, at some point the government politicians are going to have to grow a pair and follow the advice that they have clearly received on the matter.

          • One Two

            What should be talked about is the risk to health and biologically damaging, including to fauna and the environment…from the deployment of 5G…

            The risks are staggering on many levels…

        • ianmac

          Is it possible that in a risk averse society the “authorities” are not taking risks after being pressured by whoever. They may feel that they cannot afford the “I told you so.”

        • lprent

          And you are carefully ignoring what I said. Is that deliberate?

          There are known deliberately inserted holes in most if not all infrastrucural network firmware and software. It is there to provide access points for interested parties and is usually mandated by laws in the respective countries. In the case of the US this has been the subject of debate and even some specific guidelines when it comes to their own citizens. But not those overseas citizens subject to

          They are the alternative suppliers. Explain why you think that similar gear that might not have the same
          recipient spyware is any different?

          • RedLogix

            I’m not arguing that point at all. When I told a certain divisional manager some years back “it is almost certain we’ve been penetrated, we just don’t know the payload yet” I wasn’t being funny. Your point is well made and incontrovertible.

            The question is the same as I asked Bill … who would you prefer doing it?

            • lprent

              I’m not arguing that point at all.

              Obviously something wrong with the indenting today. I was responding to Ad.

              But I would prefer that neither did it.

              At present I know of one reasonably verified instance of the US using their partnership with the GCSB to unlawfully target a NZ resident – presumably using some interesting capabilities in the local networks. That is interesting in its own right because the GCSB isn’t meant to have or to use those capabilities here.


              I haven’t seen the judgement on that appeal yet (I’ve only been in the country for half of the year).

          • Ad

            The answer LPrent is that that is the judgment of the security services that our national interests are very clearly served by allowing one and not the other.
            You could simply ask them about the technical reasons, but as I noted in my post, it’s above my pay grade and that really is what they do all day.

            You’ve managed to align Fran O’Sullivan, centrist yourself, and anarchist Bill, against the advice of:

            the Australian government and communications intelligence,

            the Malaysian government,

            the Singapore government,

            the New Zealand intelligence service, and (at least) the following:

            Tony Blackett, Executive Director, Amnesty International New Zealand

            Anne-Marie Brook, Co-founder, Human Rights Measurement Initiative (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research) New Zealand Alternative

            Dr Julienne Molineaux, Auckland University of Technology

            Dr Kate Nicholls, School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology

            Asssociate Professor Jane Verbitsky, School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology

            Dr Cristina Parra, School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology

            Dr Antje Deckert, School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology

            Dr Carol Neill, School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology

            Dr Kirsten Hanna, School of Social Sciences and Public Policy, Auckland University of Technology

            Dr David Hall, Senior Researcher, The Policy Observatory, Auckland University of Technology

            Professor of Law Kate Diesfeld, Auckland University of Technology

            Associate Professor Ineke Crezee, School of Language and Culture, Auckland University of Technology

            Dr Pat Strauss, School of Language and Culture, Auckland University of Technology

            Associate Professor Nicola Gaston, Department of Physics, University of Auckland

            Kate Hannah, Research Fellow, University of Auckland/PhD Candidate, Science and Society Centre, VUW

            Dr Matheson Russell, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy, University of Auckland

            Dr Barbara Grant, Associate Professor, Higher Education, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Auckland

            Dr Lindsey Te Ata o Tu MacDonald, Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Canterbury

            Professor Jack Heinemann, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury

            Dr Jarrod Gilbert, Department of Sociology and Anthropology,

            University of Canterbury Robert Patman, Professor of International Relations, Department of Politics, University of Otago

            Professor Jack Vowles, Professor of Comparative Politics, Victoria University of Wellington

            Professor Tahu Kukutai, University of Waikato

            Dr Reuben Steff, School of Social Studies, University of Waikato

            Nicky Hager, Author

            Dr Paul G Buchanan, IGIS Reference Group member, 36th Parallel

            Dr Christopher Fung, Director Native American and Indigenous Studies, and Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Massachusetts Boston

            Tze Ming Mok, PhD Candidate, Department of Social Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science

            Now it’s quite possible that the experience of yourself and Bill are superior to the above governments and their security analysts, and academics, but you might want to reflect on calling all of them mere lemmings reduced to scaremongering.

            • Mark

              Ad – not sure what the likes of Tze Ming Mok or Dr Carol Neill or Tony Blackett have in the way of technical expertise in telecommunications.

              Are you sure you your list is not the list of those who came out in support of academic freedom and Anne Marie Brady? Their opinion on Huawei could not count for a tin of beans, I should think.

            • lprent

              So? An simpleton’s appeal to authority. That isn’t an argument – that is simply being silly.

              Unsourced, linkless, and provides no useful information apart from the knowledge that you have a problem with robust argument.

              I’d bet that if I asked most of the people on that list about the same kinds of security flaws known to be in the US gear, they also say that they were a problem from teh security viewpoint as well.

              It also avoided my point again – which is just ignorant and irritating.

              What I asked was is there any real difference between Huawei’s gear and that of a US provider like Cisco. Both may and probably do provide spying capability gateways accessible to the nations who provided them. To have the capability to spy on other nations through tech hardware is the issue. The China scare is merely a distraction.

              If you can’t address that point then please don’t leave any further comments on this post as you clearly are :-

              1) Failing to address the content of the post
              2) Trying to divert from the post
              3) Failing to address the points raised by me using stupid debating level tactics to avoid expressing your own opinion and why.
              4) All three of the above are classic crappy techniques to avoid robust debate – and are unwelcome here.

              If you can’t argue – then go and shit in a can elsewhere.

        • One Two

          Ad, do you understand what the following involve, and how they are linked…

          Trade War
          Tech War
          Financial War
          Five Eyes

          The list of names you gave may impress those who don’t understand the core issues any better than you do…I am not one of those people…

          I understated the core issues…very well…and I understand this is all a one sided imbalanced beat up…as pointed out by LPrent…

          It is also covering up the serious discussion about deployment of 5G and the risks/issues…which is unlikely to be allowed to happen…it will be confined to the fringe…

          5G will be a disaster for humanity…

    • bwaghorn 5.2

      Is this likely to affect the FTA?

    • barry 5.3

      The problem for GCSB is not that the Chinese could monitor traffic with Huawei equipment, but that the GCSB and five eyes can’t.

      • Bill 5.3.1

        Probably about the size of it.

        • RedLogix

          Given the inevitability of network surveillance (terrorism and child porn being at least two inarguable reasons why) … then who would you prefer do it?

          An agency accountable to our own democratically elected government and it’s historic allies, or the CCCP? And if the latter, why?

          • Bill

            You really believe that western intelligence agencies are accountable to government and that government is accountable to us?

            Anyway. To attempt an answer to your question, I’d ask why defensive capabilities haven’t been developed in place of all this offensive bullshit that just guarantees everyone’s vulnerability.

            And how much terrorism do you think network surveillance has stopped (documented instances of entrapment aside)? Or figures for the dramatic drop in sexual abuse of children post (say) 2001 when the security state “kicked in”…you got a link to figures for that one?

            • RedLogix

              I understand that as individuals there is no direct line between us and the state’s spy apparatus. Even your average MP or Cabinet Minister isn’t privy to most operational matters. Yet neither does the GCSB operate without any oversight whatsoever and (despite JK’s probably dodgy dealings) there is political accountability to our government.

              As for our allies … well that’s always been the problem for NZ; from a security pov we have never stood on our own, nor will we ever be able to. The independence we might all yearn for, remains illusory while empires arm-wrestle over us.

              Whether or not network surveillance is especially effective or not is beside the point; politically it’s inevitable. And at least the surveillance we are under right now, even as I type this, is relatively passive and unobtrusive for the present. By contrast I can tell you from first-hand personal experience the Great Internet Wall of China is very much an everyday reality. And not in a nice way.

              Given these realities I’d contend that defending ourselves from network surveillance, while desirable in a purist sense, is probably not ever going to happen. Which still leaves my question open.

              • lprent

                The problem is that there appears to be no accountability in either case.

                The more you look at the circumstances about how and why the GCSB accessed the communications of DotCom and others tends to indicate that there is effectively none. The GCSB 2013 legislation and subsequent gives me no confidence that there is now

                Your argument about the Great Firewall of China is rather irrelevant.

                If you look at the UN Charter and all of the international law that surrounds it, you don’t find much of mention about the internal affairs of nations for a reason – except for acts of genocide or peacekeeping.

                What the Chinese people through their government choose to do internally is largely up to them (the Uigher and Tibet concentration camp questions excepted). What the US people through their government choose to do internally is largely up to them (subject to any immediate genocide on their southern border) .

                What we choose to do is our choice. It may be ineffectual, but that should be clearly our choice, not that of hypocritical fools looking after their own interests from the other sides of the world.

                • RedLogix

                  Your argument about the Great Firewall of China is rather irrelevant.

                  You may view it as a benign irrelevancy, except as I clearly hinted, it’s not irrelevant to me for personal reasons I’m not going to detail here.

                  What we choose to do is our choice. It may be ineffectual, but that should be clearly our choice, not that of hypocritical fools looking after their own interests from the other sides of the world.

                  Of course we’re ineffectual; worse we’re defenseless. NZ is so small we have ONLY one option and that is to take shelter under a collective umbrella. Since WW2 the USA has provided the bulk of that shelter, even if we saw good reason to stray a little from time to time. (We got away with it because it wasn’t raining much at the time, next time maybe not so lucky.)

                  The other alternative major power will be China. Do you suggest we become a client state of Xi Jinping’s dystopia? Or do you have another plan? Because going it alone doesn’t cut mustard.

    • Lucy 5.4

      But the Spark and 2degrees 4G is already using Huawei equipment with MOU signed in 2012 and 2014 what has changed between 2014 and now (except a Trump / Xi trade war) that makes it a bigger risk?

      • Andre 5.4.1

        Does it have to be a bigger risk? Or would simply becoming aware of a risk we were blissfully ignorant about be sufficient reason for the action?

        • lprent

          The spying risks raised about the Chinese gear and that of the US were definitely raised in 2014, and I think in 2012 as well.

          In the end it was mostly matter of cost.

          Personally I suspect it is now more a matter of trade war.

      • Dennis Frank 5.4.2

        Don’t expect anyone here to be able to answer your question. Nor the PM. The technical advice the govt acts on is provided by specialists in our intelligence agencies, and is comprehensible only to such experts. It would be a summary of the relevance to our national security, based on interpretation of tech details shared via 5 eyes, I presume.

        I suspect they got advice from the US intelligence agencies, agreement on that from the UK & Oz, prior to the govt decision. Either knowledge of, or reasonable grounds to suspect, that snoop tech had been designed into Huawei’s 5G that was either lacking in 4G or is more of a threat.

      • Exkiwiforces 5.4.3

        It’s to do when British Telecom (BT) contacted Huawei upgraded it systems and what happened some mths afterwards when a couple of BT tech’s noticed a lot of increased traffic from a UK addresses to a single Point Of Entry (POE) in China and back again.

        From what I can remember from the Janes Defence Article at the time. Those UK addresses were UK Military Bases, Sensetive Sites which I think is to do Nuclear Power Stations etc, Government Depts such as the Foreign Office, MOD and they also tried to gain access to the EU via the UK Government, the Technology/ Research and Defence Sectors. Once the BT Tech’s realised what was happening at the time, they a immediately informed GCHQ on what they identify and which later confirmed GCHQ assumptions about Huawei overall intent, but at time prior to BT sandal had no firm evidence until the BT Tech’s came a knocking.

        Once GCHQ finish their inquiries, very top level of the Government was informed, then later head of BT and 5E along with NATO were inform of what had happened.Where a very British Cover up happened and a few people were told to take retirement or a don’t come Monday letter and all further Chinese investment was looked at more closely from then on.

        I had wish, I had cut and paste the Janes Defence Article at the time and Yank site Defence New dot com ran something similar mths later using most the Janes Defence Article a with Yank POV.

        • lprent

          Timeline doesn’t work.

          I thought that was in public about 2010. Let me see …


          The report was produced by the Huawei Cyber Security Evaluation Centre (HCSEC), which was established in 2010 in response to growing concerns that BT and other telecommunication firm’s use of Huawei equipment could pose a threat in the UK.

          HCSEC reports to the National Cyber Security Centre which is part of GCHQ.

          Ummm… Doesn’t say when the HCSEC was public. However I’d have expected that we’d have been informed when the Brits felt it to be necessary to start evaluating the gear.

          • Exkiwiforces

            I’m a little bit pissed off with myself at not keeping the article from Janes Defence and passed onto you via the the standard email addy, as this article would’ve been of interest to you like a few other articles I’ve sent to the writers/ editors of The Standard.

            My apologies for not providing a link or reference as I would normally do when quoting from Janes Defence which most people here don’t have access to it. I look at getting access to Janes, Defence.News and CBRNe when I got the boot on medical grounds, but all three cost a bomb even a 12mth subscription.

    • KJT 5.5

      I suspect it has more to do with the fact that the GCSB cannot force Huawei to put in back doors, so they can spy on New Zealanders, without making it public. Unlike USA aligned suppliers.

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    I agree that humans ought not to act and think like lemmings. However I don’t see kiwi criticism of current Chinese state policy fitting that analogy. I agree with Fang Zhou. And my opinion derives from observation of Chinese foreign policy over a very long period of time. It originated in hearing the flight of the Dalai Lama reported every night on our evening news for a couple of weeks when I was in primary school in 1959.

    I started reading history several years before that. Few children were capable of reading adult books at age seven in those days. In 1994 I did my own research of the history of Tibet to discover how much basis in reality there was for China’s claim that it had always been part of China (was convenor of the GP international relations working group and writer of their policy drafts). I discovered it never had been! That explains their refusal to abide by the UN Security Council decision on Tibet: Mao was determined to continue the Emperor’s policy. Collective delusions can be made to simulate reality effectively when you have total control.

    Any attempt to paint Chinese imperialism as being in moral equivalence to American imperialism founders on this point. Americans are free to choose, Chinese are not. The similarity deriving from the manufacture of consent in both empires cannot mask the difference in scale. Totalitarianism is the difference.

    • ianmac 6.1

      Are you sure that the American people really are free to choose?

      • Dennis Frank 6.1.1

        Yes, free to choose between the Dem puppet & the Rep puppet. They don’t get to choose the puppeteer. The Chinese people have only one choice. Like Germans under Hitler or Russians under Stalin, most of them end up feeling they have no choice. That commonality is totalitarianism.

        • In Vino

          So the American system is not a sort of class/economic power totalitarianism?
          I find the pretence at democracy deceitful.

          • Dennis Frank

            Oh, I’ve found it offensive for decades. Here’s the current technical definition: “Totalitarianism is a political concept that defines a mode of government, which prohibits opposition parties, restricts individual opposition to the state and its claims, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life.” [Wikipedia]

            I don’t like it as much as the original definition: “Totalitarianism, form of government that theoretically permits no individual freedom and that seeks to subordinate all aspects of individual life to the authority of the state.” [Encyclopaedia Britannica]

    • Bill 6.2

      Current Chinese state policy is pretty much within the international ballpark of state activity. That seems to be point you miss or don’t want to see … I wonder why.

      Annnd Tibet. 🙄 Really? China is an exception to wherever else because Tibet!?

      Good to know we can forget all about the Belgian Congo and god knows what else that went down in Africa; Palestine and what not in the Middle East; however many indigenous peoples and cultures across the American continent…and so on.

      Because nothing compares to China.

      And nothing compares to China because we were and are free citizens (I need a goggle eyed icon here), and that means that whatever our governments did or do is “lesser” in some strange scale or scheme of things? (ie, at least, or so you seem to claim, we are free?) Or have I picked you up wrong there?

      • Dennis Frank 6.2.1

        I really haven’t a clue why you wrote all that. Tibet is still controlled by a dictator. Congo isn’t. That’s the point.

        • Mark

          Tibetans have more of their way of life, language, customs, and traditions, and indeed numbers preserved than almost any group of indigenous people who came under Anglo-Saxon domination.

          After all how much control do Australian aborigines, native Americans etc have over the way things are done in their respective places? So they are pretty much dictated to.

          • Dennis Frank

            Yes I agree with that. I haven’t been to Tibet but folks who do say that anyone who protests or complains is likely to be imprisoned and/or disappear. The communist genocide against the Tibetans is an historical fact, even if the numbers of victims were less than other genocides, such as the Armenian. You could reasonably compare that to the fate of the indigenous tribes in OZ & USA too.

    • Mark 6.3

      Just wondering. What ‘UN Security Council decision on Tibet’ are you referring to.

      And just for your interest, the successive Taiwanese governments include not only Tibet, Inner Mongolia, as part of China, but also all of Mongolia, and all of the South China sea. These claims long predated the communist victory of 1949.

      The territorial claims of the Peoples Republic of China (i.e. mainlaind China) have been traditionally more modest than the claims of the Republic of China (Taiwan). (however I believe there have been some recent changes in respect of Mongolia which I am not too familiar with).

      And the Chinese claim over Tibet, was recognised by the US government – again, well before the communist victory of 1949

      “Any attempt to paint Chinese imperialism as being in moral equivalence to American imperialism founders on this point. Americans are free to choose, Chinese are not.”

      Could you please expand on this rather strange point?

      • Dennis Frank 6.3.1

        I just googled to check my memory due to getting old: looks like I was remembering UN General Assembly Resolution 1723 (XVI) of 1961. It was adopted by the General Assembly by a vote of 56 to 11, with 29 abstentions. So not a Security Council decision, just a UN decision. Re your final question, see my reply to someone else @ 6.1.1

        • Mark

          Thanks. Just read it. Makes no real mention of independence aside from a reference to self-determination (which the Chinese, at least nominally accept – that is why Tibet is an autonomous region).

          Can’t blame the Chinese for ignoring the resolution though. They were refused membership of the UN right up until 1972, when African and other developing countries forced a change and booted out the Taiwanese (so called Republic of China).

          • Dennis Frank

            Yes, the history of Tibetan independence is long & complex but has been documented back to around the 7th century AD. I read all the relevant books available in the Ak public library and word-processed all the key points, ended up with a file that printed out around 65 pages, and I’m real serious about being concise! That was 1994/5.

            I vaguely recall the Tibetan empire was around the 7th-9th century period. the Mongol empire lasted much longer, like the earlier and later Chinese empires, but the region had these three power centers in oscillating relations throughout. The Chinese historical claim derives from relatively brief periods of suzerainty within this overall period. That’s when the local ruler acknowledges the technical superiority of the greater power at the time.

            Complicating this is the patron/priest relation between the two. In Buddhism, the ruling priest was usually deferred to by the emperor due to moral authority. In Tibet, that entity became known as the Dalai Lama. The key point is re sovereignty (operational state control) vs suzerainty (technical supremacy).
            The way it usually worked in those brief periods was sporadic payment of tribute sometimes, when the emperor threatened. Mostly the Tibetans ignored the emperor & got a way with it. Supremacy was usually pretence.

    • lprent 6.4


      The problem is that I wasn’t discussing Chinese imperialism.

      I was discussing if there was any more of threat from China than we have from the US or the UK – our previous / current allies.

      With the US we know that they have recently unlawfully (if indirectly) used information sourced off out networks, probably through inbuilt security gateways to spy on NZ citizens and residents.

      In legal terms, we have a probable mens rea (guilty intent) for both, but only a actus reus (guilty act) for the US performed on their behalf by the GCSB.

      BTW: With American imperialism, I suspect that you simply need to expand your reading.


      The war resulted in the deaths of at least 200,000 Filipino civilians, mostly due to famine and disease.[19][20][21][22][23][24][25][26] Some estimates for total civilian dead reach up to a million.[27][8]


      I particularly disliked this sequence

      Some of the authors were critical of leaders such as General Otis and the overall conduct of the war. When some of these letters were published in newspapers, they would become national news, which would force the War Department to investigate. Two such letters included:

      A soldier from New York: “The town of Titatia was surrendered to us a few days ago, and two companies occupy the same. Last night one of our boys was found shot and his stomach cut open. Immediately orders were received from General Wheaton to burn the town and kill every native in sight; which was done to a finish. About 1,000 men, women and children were reported killed. I am probably growing hard-hearted, for I am in my glory when I can sight my gun on some dark skin and pull the trigger.”[108]
      Corporal Sam Gillis: “We make everyone get into his house by seven p.m., and we only tell a man once. If he refuses we shoot him. We killed over 300 natives the first night. They tried to set the town on fire. If they fire a shot from the house we burn the house down and every house near it, and shoot the natives, so they are pretty quiet in town now.”[69]
      General Otis’ investigation of the content of these letters consisted of sending a copy of them to the author’s superior and having him force the author to write a retraction.[citation needed] When a soldier refused to do so, as Private Charles Brenner of the Kansas regiment did, he was court-martialed. In the case of Private Brenner, the charge was “for writing and conniving at the publication of an article which…contains willful falsehoods concerning himself and a false charge against Captain Bishop.”[69] Not all such letters that discussed atrocities were intended to criticize General Otis or American actions. Many portrayed U.S. actions as the result of Filipino provocation and thus entirely justified.

      They haven’t got much better since. The kill rate for their unlawful invasion of Iraq in 2012 was way higher and had far less cause.

      Basically if you want to have a cheery rose tinted view of societies then I suggest that you don’t raise it here in debate. You’ll find you get educated on history.

      • RedLogix 6.4.1

        This is the nature of war; especially when an outnumbered occupying force must resort to terror in order to retain control. It always has been this way. If you want to selectively argue that somehow the Americans have a monopoly on such guilt …

        And such atrocities, orders of magnitude worse, will be our future unless we act differently. Nuclear war mandates that either we end nation state empires and embrace a form of global governance that ensures major power war can never happen, or we pretty much go extinct.

        Whenever I argue for this everyone here treats me as some naive idealist; quite the opposite, I argue this from a deep personal conviction and understanding of exactly what horrors such a war would entail.

        • Draco T Bastard

          If you want to selectively argue that somehow the Americans have a monopoly on such guilt …

          He wasn’t. LPrent was pointing out that all empires do it.

          And such atrocities, orders of magnitude worse, will be our future unless we act differently. Nuclear war mandates that either we end nation state empires and embrace a form of global governance that ensures major power war can never happen, or we pretty much go extinct.

          The major powers won’t allow a global government that they’re beholden to. They’ll only one where they’re* the government.

          * This, of course, means the oligarchs from those powerful states as they use state power to protect and enhance their own.

      • Dennis Frank 6.4.2

        I agree re what the Americans have done in their various wars. Back in the eighties I bought a book called Under the Eagle that detailed all the historical evidence that the msm hadn’t been carrying.

        My point was the relativity between China & the USA on bad state behaviour. Totalitarianism is the essential difference: lack of human rights, democracy, monolithic state control of the populace, no balance of powers in governance.

        And yes, in regard to the intelligence-based threat – cyber warfare, spying etc, I’m inclined to accept your view. I see no reason to believe the Americans are less likely to be doing that stuff, so I haven’t taken issue with that part of what you wrote.

  7. RedLogix 7

    “Taking lessons from a historical pattern called “Thucydides’s Trap,” political scientist Graham Allison shows why a rising China and a dominant United States could be headed towards a violent collision no one wants — and how we can summon the common sense and courage to avoid it.”

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    And that the originally private dairy company – which was led by the vigorous Canterbury entrepreneur John Penno – had failed to convince New Zealand shareholders to invest their capital with it.

    As Richardson noted in a paper earlier this year when talking about the NZ investment deficit – ” it is no secret that the NZ capital markets refused to fund Synlait at the outset – were it not first for Japanese and then Chinese investment we would have been stopped in our tracks.”

    And yet another failure of capitalism but that’s not the real question here: How much foreign resources were brought to play by the foreign investment?

    I suspect that it was none and that all the resources and skills used were NZ skills which means that foreign ‘investment’ did nothing for us.

    • lprent 8.1

      Generally you tend to find that the resources used were largely in funding R&D that couldn’t be afforded otherwise for target market(s) and in then getting a return from those market(s) after penetration distribution and marketing.

      Certainly that has been the case for about 70-80% of the total startup funding for everything that I have been involved in (ie to get to profit). The milk products would have had to have been sold outside NZ (which seems to been your economics yardstick) as we don’t exactly need more milk product here.

      What has been written about this company tends to indicate that the ratio was higher – which is usually the case for an newly opening market segment.

      Quite simply most new product doesn’t require that much local “resources and skills”.

      It generally requires wages and equipment to support R&D to create product to enter a market and the costs of entering a market. Usually that is what investment is required, and in this case was not forthcoming from local resources.

      BTW: That is the case even inside our teeny NZ market – the upfront product R&D plus penetration marketing usually vastly exceeds the rest of the costs including primary R&D and tooling. When you are talking about overseas markets it is way way higher.

  9. DJ Ward 9

    I pay attention to China and they are damn scary.

    The US is corrupted by the war machine, oil interests, etc and indoctrination around nationalism/patriotism (same thing Frenchy). The US has a hangover from the Hoover era paranoia over communism and socialism. We here can see how a public health system supplemented with the wealthy having private insurance works well. The US view the idea as disastrous and destruction of American values. They remain a threat to many nations engaging in socialism and will pervert democracy with puppets or fund/arm radicals.

    China controls its population in ways that makes NZ look like paradise. They are achieving great things developement wise but the individual is a pawn that gets squashed, even eliminated if it gets in the way.

    Many here complain about the rich vs the poor in NZ. How the rich can abuse the poor. China has a political machine, compliance to its will is mandatory. The rich in China truly have power in a complicit relationship to the political machine.

    China nationalism/patriotism makes the US version look tame. Any contempt of it, any dissenting voices to the political machine are crushed. Information is controlled, people are monitored and citizens who see the party as God report dissent to the political machine.

    China is the elephant in the room. As long as it doesn’t move we are fine. Unfortunately it is acting militarily, and if political infiltration of Tiawon doesn’t work, eventually it will stomp on it.

    Like the US it engages in economics to gain political compliance to China.

    And it’s controlled by a dictator for life.

    • Mark 9.1

      “They are achieving great things developement wise but the individual is a pawn that gets squashed, even eliminated if it gets in the way”

      Bit of an exaggeration – China is a complex place.

      In NZ if one refuses to move house for a highway, the government will eventually move you. In China it appears they will build around you at least:


      And they even encourage minorities to have more children, not less, be exempting them from the one-child policy.

      The rich in China truly have power in a complicit relationship to the political machine.
      Even if this is partly true, is it really any different in any other Western country. Look up the top donors to both the Republican and Democratic parties.

      • Dennis Frank 9.1.1

        I remember a story in the Herald about a decade ago. The government was clearing a long-established residential area for urban development, and had successfully persuaded, induced, or threatened all the residents to leave except one old lady who was determined to stay in her home.

        In the USA they just build around such people. The Herald report told us how she went out and stood in front of the digger as it moved toward her house, and how the digger dropped it’s load of dirt on her. She was never seen again.

  10. Mark 10

    “China nationalism/patriotism makes the US version look tame.”

    How many counties has China invaded over the past 3 decades?
    How many overseas bases does China have compared to the US?
    Who has tested atomic weapons in the Pacific, in the homes of other people?

    And who is trying to tie the noose around who and contain the other?

    John Pilger’s documentary is highly recommended:

    • DJ Ward 10.1

      I didn’t say the US was better. Clearly they act as a rouge state. The worlds policeman blind to integrity and filled with hypocrisy.

      My comment about US hatred of socialism applies to China and is a strategic enemy in the mind of the US. Plus the US war machine loves the boogeyman to maintain paranoia.

      We cannot predict the future. I hope we can avoid conflict. That the invasion by China and the hostile claiming of territory and island building is not the start of China building an empire. I hope it’s long history of oppression like Tibetans and the Ughur its wars with Russia, India, Vietnam, Korea, it’s continual threats at Tiawon its indoctrination and propaganda of its people is no indication of things to come.

      You should look at history. Examples like that run by dictators for life don’t end well.

  11. David Mac 11

    I think the Chinese Social Credit system being trialed throughout the country with a 2020 roll-out likely is cause for alarm.

    Buy alcohol, lose points, buy nappies, earn points. Cross the road before the Walk light flashes, lose points. Late with paying a bill, lose points. talk with somone considered undesirable, lose points. Look at a website the Govt doesn’t like, lose points. Every citizen monitored via online data and facial recognition via the 200 million cameras mounted everywhere.

    Lose enough points and be unable to buy a train ticket, get an operation or go to university.

    Aussie ABC report.

  12. Ad 12

    Despite our Prime Minister’s absurd lack of political courage on RNZ this morning seeking to sustain her studied neutrality, her communications security people are giving her clear advice, and the only reason they aren’t shouting as loud as the Australian equivalents is because investigations continue. Hence the statement from the Director-General of the GCSB Andrew Hampton:


    “As per Spark New Zealand’s statement today, I can confirm the GCSB under its TICSA responsibilities, has recently undertaken an assessment of a notification from Spark. I have informed Spark that a significant network security risk was identified.

    As there is an ongoing regulatory process I will not be commenting further at this stage. The GCSB treats all notifications it receives as commercially sensitive.”

  13. mickysavage 13

    To show that diversity of opinion is alive and well among authors let me say that in my personal opinion I think there is justifiable reason to be very afraid about Chinese activities, although I have respect for the environmental steps that the PRC is taking, I have a tentative view that China as world leader would be far better for the World than the USA but that we should be careful about both nations.

    And Fran O’Sullivan is a very good reporter but she tends to present views that support the pro Chinese corporate view.

    • Mark 13.1

      Agree. We should be careful about how we handle relations with both countries.

      Also agree that Fran O’Sullivan takes a pro-Chinese corporate view, much like many in the National Party But to give her her due she did come out and oppose house sales to foreign residents.

      And her take down of Anne-Marie Brady in this morning’s NZ Herald article was absolutely correct.

      Anne-Marie Brady, herself funded by conservative American think-tanks, and the Taiwanese, and uses this to make insinuations about Chinese influence?

      The recent incidents are most likely (1) false flag activities (2) something she arranged herself to grab attention (2) the actions of some misguided supporter of China.
      It is almost inconceivable that the Chinese government itself is responsible, and indeed Brady herself has just come back from a month spent in China. So I don’t think she feels any real threat from the Chinese government at all.

      • Anne 13.1.1

        The recent incidents are most likely (1) false flag activities (2) something she arranged herself to grab attention (2) the actions of some misguided supporter of China.

        1) uggh?
        2) utter nonsense!
        3) most likely scenario but probably more than one of them.

        Btw, one of our commenters mentioned the other day that AMB sought the Labour Party candidacy in one of the electorates last year. That means she must be a member of the Labour Party.

    • lprent 13.2

      I’d agree with all of that. It is an accurate assessment of my position as well.

      Well apart from the PRC’s efforts on environmental steps (and therefore the better for the world bit).

      Thus far it looks more like those are only slightly reducing the rate of increase in the use of coal power rather than reducing it. Similarly in the US, it looks like Trump has only managed to reduce the rate of reduction in the use of coal power.

      It looks more like lip service than reality in both cases. Meanwhile the rising user of coal power is India.

      I’m still picking for a 4C average rise by the end of the century. There is simply too much heat and CO2 sitting in the ocean pipelines and the pace is picking up overall rather than reducing.

  14. Ad 14

    Which democracy did Edward Snowden seek to alter? China’s? Nope. The United States’.

    Which country did Edward Snowden even have the human right to alter? China’s? Npe again.

    If Edward Snowden had worked for the Chinese intelligence agency and pilled his guts, who here thinks he would still be alive? Of course not. Not only is he still alive, he has used multiple legal and diplomatic processes available only to a person in a free-er society.

    Has Edward Snowden been able to critique multiple democratic and security processes of China? Nope, but he does and can do in countries with greater freedom than China.

    Which Chinese media outlets or other channels invite Edward Snowden onto their sites to critique Chinese communications security? None, but he does and can do in countries with greater freedom than China.

    Has Edward Snowden’s Freedom of the Press group ever taken any action against Chinese media censorship? Does anyone think anyone in that group would be alive after a year if they tried? No. But they are able to do so in countries with greater freedom than China (including of course New Zealand for Hager).

    Pretty obvious questions to measure relative freedom with.

    Edward Snowden is entitled to advocate for a world of perfectly unfettered freedom of expression and freedom of political affiliation. But what this little country of New Zealand has to choose mass communication equipment that is far less free than others.

    So our agencies have evaluated and chosen: Not China.

    I would have thought that our Prime Minister could actually articulate that.

    • Mark 14.1

      Actually Snowden is now safely ensconced in Moscow at an undisclosed location.

      The US Secretary of State Pompep has openly called for his execution, and if Snowden was ever returned to the US, the death penalty would be a real possibility.

      “Pretty obvious questions to measure relative freedom with.”
      Actually the Chinese, at least externally, are far less controlling than the US. They will not bomb the shit out of you, or kill half a million infants through denial of medical care, or start a war to legalise narcotics in order to reverse a trade imbalance not in their favour. Their internal conditions are for them to decide – they are at a different stage of development from the West it is ridiculous to compare them with the West in the way you have tried to do so.

      But at least on the international scene, the Chinese behave far more ‘democratically’ for want of a better word, than the US.

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        They will not bomb the shit out of you, or kill half a million infants through denial of medical care, or start a war to legalise narcotics in order to reverse a trade imbalance not in their favour.

        You seem remarkably unaware. What exactly do you imagine is the purpose of China’s immense expansion of it’s military in recent decades? Does it not possess bombs? And if so what is their purpose? Or are you arguing that China is building weapons it has no intention of ever using?

        And if you imagine China has never been involved in mass death, consider your own recent history under Mao. Tens of millions of dead under his glorious leadership.

        And as for the drugs trade, are you not aware of where most of NZ’s illegal meth is coming from right now?

        • Mark

          What exactly do you imagine is the purpose of China’s immense expansion of it’s military in recent decades?

          Look at the US bases surrounding China. Consider Obama’s pivot to Asia:


          China obviously has to defend herself. Not to bomb the crap out of other people. Like the US and UK and other Western powers do. And just the other day we have US warships sailing through the Taiwan straits – not illegal, but obviously to intimidate. The fact is China’s building of foward defences in the South China Sea is in direct response to US actions in the region.

          China has a terrible history of being invaded by the West and Japan. She has a right to a strong military. Her military capability is still well behind that of the US.

          consider your own recent history under Mao.
          Well China experienced the greatest increase in life expectancy and reduction in mortality in documented global history during his time. Also an explosion in literacy, female as well as male, that other developing countries has still not achieved. Western academic sources will tell you this. You would do well to educate yourself. So yes, you could consider Mao’s leadership to be ‘glorious’

          are you not aware of where most of NZ’s illegal meth is coming from right now?
          The Chinese would have to send warships down here, send troops in to invade and fight two wars to force the NZ government to sign a treaty legalizing the meth trade, with the result that around a quarter of the population is addicted to it, and the trade is a huge part of China’s revenue, for your analogy to even come close to the ball park. As it is China fights the meth trade and combats it with the death penalty.

  15. Jenny 15

    Imperialism. (for want of a better word)

    Hegemony, spheres of influence, neo-colonialism, expansionism, soft power, hard power, trade wars, cyber wars, shooting wars, protectionism, economic penetration, subservience, sanctions, domination, co-operation, subjugation, free trade, rivalry, arms race, arms trade, greed, exploitation.

    Whether the elephants are making love or war. The ants still get trampled.

    • Jenny 15.1

      New Zealand’s dilemma.

      In world dominated by rival and aggressive superpowers, how do we choose between them, without offending, one or the other?

      In other words how do we not get trampled by either?

      • Ed 15.1.1

        It is certainly tricky.
        We certainly didn’t help ourselves by adopting neoliberalism and closing down so much of our own manufacturing base.
        Rebuilding that and making some consumer sacrifices would be a start.
        Do we forge alliances with other small nations ?

        • Dennis Frank

          It’s a situation where we need to build cross-party consensus. Just saw Gareth Hughes acknowledging the Greens got NP support for the food-labelling bill, to Duncan Garner. Way to go!

          I agree that manufacturing here is the way to resilience. Therefore the race to the bottom that free trade has created has to be rolled back – preferably without returning to a situation where goods are priced out of the reach of the working class, so a balance will need to be reached somehow.

          Consensus with Australia is sensible, and I agree in principle that alliance with other small nations is a good idea, diplomatically. In regard to defence policy, the status quo wins by default, but developing relations with Malaysia and Indonesia on the basis of their security concerns would help, particularly via linkage to Japan. Trade negotiations could occur alongside. As long as our diplomacy is intensively regional and Pacifica-oriented, we’ll trend toward sustainability.

      • greywarshark 15.1.2

        Where do elephants sit? Wherever they like.

  16. greywarshark 16

    We are up to our neck in international machinations. I think Harry Potter going through the maze is a parallel to our story.

  17. Dennis Frank 17

    “Deputy NZ PM Winston Peters issues warning against Chinese interference” in this (copied) ABC report: https://home.nzcity.co.nz/news/article.aspx?id=280653&fm=newsmain%2Cnrhl

    “”At the moment the issue is that the problem is from whence it’s happening, but this isn’t limited to just one country,” he said. Mr Peters also admitted that some of the concerns stemmed from racism against Chinese nationals which “went back 100 years”, but warned of Beijing’s increased ability to punish nationals abroad. “The reason why the Chinese don’t protest is that becasue they fear the reach from their homeland should they do this — and you see this all around the Western world,” he said.”

    “Professor Brady said that she received a letter detailing what the Chinese consulate was trying to do to “suppress the natural concerns” of the Chinese-New Zealander community, and that Professor Brady was “next for attack” without getting into specifics.” Sounds like a warning from a sympathetic insider…

    “In October, the Five Eyes alliance — drawing together the intelligence services of the UK, US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia — broadened its intelligence-sharing to include Germany and Japan to counter-balance Chinese and Russian activity.”

  18. Observer Tokoroa 18

    Hi Lprent

    I think this has been a very worthwhile Topic and it has importance for us all.

    China is a huge nation of 1.4 Billion
    India is also huge nation 1.4 Billion
    USA is relatively small at 325 Million
    EU is large coming in at 508 Million
    Asia has an overall population of 4.463 Billion

    When I look back at the story of China in the past 120 yrs I cannot see that it has undertaken war deeply outside its own territory. It has however, been invaded by the British and the Japanese, China is peaceful, when you place it along side America and Britain, Germany and Russia. Within China however, their are restraints that we westerners might dislike.

    The British are despicable. Under Elizabeth 1st and Queen Victoria – right up to very recent years -they Raped, Pillaged, Orphaned, and Enslaved an enormous number of nations. Including China. The Brits have never apologised to any nation for their utterly criminal, cruel and besotted behaviour.

    The children of the British, namely the United States of America, do what the British do. They are War Crazy and sickeningly self important. They use Commonwealth men and women and the sons of brown slaves to fight their wars.

    They praise themselves for having dropped two Atomic Bombs on the defeated Japanese. An Unspeakable Crime. And they followed it up by singing “God save America”. Creeps.

    They Veto good stuff at UN. As does Russia.

    Britain and America are not trustworthy. Anyway, Sir John Key has given all our details to the Americans. And that makes privacy/secrecy just another useless word in the dictionary of thugs.

    I am born of British stock. I wish I was not. I am glad I am not American.

    • Unicus 18.1

      After reading this. trash I’m sure plenty of New Zealanders would wish you werent one of us

    • Unicus 18.2

      On a second read this racist nonsense is clearly written by someone who is not of British “stock” But then PLA trolling is not unknown this site

  19. SPC 19

    Three reasons we had no choice

    1. China is well known for stealing other countries/corporate stuff and its corporates have to work for them (help them do this)

    AND 5G technology is designed to allow traffic to be handled with more intelligence at cellphone towers, THUS security risk is greater.

    We would not want our new tech start ups to lose their innovative edge, nor would we want it to be easier for China to blackmail government staff etc by knowing stuff.

    2. Once stronger than now economically, then militarily, China will challenge the status quo it is not happy with – the longer this is delayed the more stable our environment is. As with climate change, the slower this process the better. The longer the period without conflict the better.

    This has nothing to do with siding with the US and Oz, but prolonging the period in which where we do not have to choose.

    3. China gives us nothing – Oz is in bed with the USA but get a better FTA than us (never gave them the right to buy housing etc, better dairy access etc etc). THey do not favour our being more even handed – they just see us as weak and dependent (like nations they give loans too then take over land and resources). We should try at least stop them from seeing us as an easy touch.

    ++++. China would have done the same, if it was foreign tech inside China (esp tech that involved gathering up their information to an outside country, so they cannot complain.
    +++++The other tech providers have no motive, (and in the case of the Americans they already have access).

    • Observer Tokoroa 19.1

      An amusing young boy called Unicus imagined that I was not of British origin. All because I pointed out the exceedingly vicious nature of Britain. Particularly during the reigns of Elizabeth 1st and later of Queen Victoria.

      Of 200 nations Britain did not invade 22.
      They are: Andorra, Belarus, Bolivia, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Guatemala, Ivory Coast ,Kyrgyzstan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Marshall Islands, Monaco, Mongolia, Paraguay, Sao Tome and Principe, Sweden, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Vatican City.

      New Zealand was stolen from the Maori People, via a befuddled Treaty in which a very few Chieftans took part. The guns distributed by Samuel Marsden helped befuddle things even further. Many Maori were slaughtered. Their families monstrously ill treated.

      Unicus said the “trash I had written made him sure plenty of New Zealanders would wish I was not one of the British.”

      In other words, the boy Unicus has hatred of our Maoris and their lost stolen Lands. The Brits being the greatest thieves of the past 700 years.

      When I look at the overall Population of the Earth – the Asians are 4.463 Billion in number. They are to be respected. Little Unicus would not know what respect is. And that is a Pity.

      • RedLogix 19.1.1

        All empires have their vicious aspects. (They have their positive ones as well, but I’m sure you don’t want to hear about that.)

        No matter how far you go back into history, every nation state empire has expanded it’s interests at the expense of others. It does not matter what race or on what scale.

        Certainly the British and American examples are the most recent examples and thus most alive in our awareness. Certainly they also possessed technology that enabled them to operate on an unprecedented scale.

        But if you want to claim that somehow they were uniquely evil, or that somehow an Asian empire would be exceptionally and uniquely benign … you’ll need a much better argument than the one you’ve put up so far.

        • Mark

          “But if you want to claim that somehow they were uniquely evil, or that somehow an Asian empire would be exceptionally and uniquely benign”

          Issue is where is there any evidence of Asian empire building on a comparable scale to what the US and UK have been doing?

          The South China Sea is an ancient claim of various Chinese governments (even the Taiwanese support it), and its current so-called ‘militarisation’ is in response to the US military build-up in the region.

          In terms of indigenous people or minority groups, they have far less to fear under Chinese rule than under Anglo Saxon rule – the historical record on this is indisputable.

  20. Observer Tokoroa 20

    Hi SPC

    I took a bit of a liking to China when it refused to pay Copyright Fees on American products.

    You see, Americans put copyright on everything. For over a hundred years. They even put copyright on an Australian national song. They would put Copyright on your willy for 100 years or more. The pornographic Gropers.

    There is no need to give free money to Americans – as well as tipping them at every foot step. The Beggars. Anyway, as yet, America has not flown a Boeing or two over to Beijing and dropped a few Atomic Bombs. Yet.

    As for Intellectual Property – could you advise me which American has discovered Intellect ? And if he has discovered it, should he not keep it to himself. ?

    • SPC 20.1

      Yep we dodged a bullet the US not being in TPP and extending their copyright/IP periods for decades longer. It was a way they try and build monopolies, and monopolies that work with their government to spy on us/the world.

      Still no reason to assist China in doing the same.

  21. R.P Mcmurphy 21

    anybody will do anything if they think they can get away with it.
    that is why in the west we live in a rules based society as opposed to an oriental despotism where policy is at the whim of the ruler or woorse of the ruling cadre.
    Read the Soong Dynasty by Sterling Seagrave for an extremely good look into th eminds of the chinese of the 20th century and beyond.

    • Instauration 21.1

      So what could possibly trump “Oriental Despotic State Sponsored Front Tyre Deflation” ?

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    4 days ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
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    4 days ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
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    4 days ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
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    4 days ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
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    5 days ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
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    5 days ago
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
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    5 days ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
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    5 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
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    5 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
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    5 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
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    6 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
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    6 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
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    6 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
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    7 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
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    1 week ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
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    1 week ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
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    1 week ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
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    1 week ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
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    1 week ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
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    1 week ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
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    1 week ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
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    2 weeks ago