New Zealand and the PRC: some US testimony

For almost 20 years now, the United States has had

The United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission is a congressional commission of the United States government. Created through a congressional mandate in October 2000, it is responsible for monitoring and investigating national security and trade issues between the United States and People’s Republic of China. The Commission holds regular hearings and roundtables, produces an annual report on its findings, and provides recommendations to Congress on legislative actions related to China.

The twelve commissioners are appointed to two-year terms by the majority and minority leaders of the U.S. Senate, and by the minority leader and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Not long ago, the Commission was hearing testimony about PRC activities in both Europe and in east Asia and Australasia. I only noticed this in a story this morning running under (what turns out to be) a somewhat exaggerated headline of

NZ should be kicked out of Five Eyes – ex-CIA analyst

As it happens, all the relevant testimony –  written and oral – is online, in a document  – the report of the Commission to leaders of the House and Senate – published a few weeks ago.

I’m not sure how often New Zealand comes up in testimony before Congress, or congressional committees.  One hopes that when we do, it is generally more favourable than what the Commission heard a few weeks ago.

The key relevant witnesses were a couple of people from US think-tanks, specialists in PRC-related issues.   In respect of New Zealand, there wasn’t much very new, mostly drawing on the work of Anne-Marie Brady (and John Garnaut in primarily an Australian context).   And yet it is sobering to see your own country described in these terms, and to reflect on the extent to which our political leaders have allowed themselves to be compromised in ways that serve the ends of the PRC.

Here was how the co-chair of the Commission, former senator Jim Talent, opened the session

The activities of the United Front Work Department, which coordinates the CCP’s overseas influence operations, deserve more scrutiny–and a careful response. Australia and New Zealand, members of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing network, have seen a sharp rise in political donations and media investment from United Front Work Department-affiliated entities, and even individuals affiliated with the United Front Work Department and People’s Liberation Army holding office. Beijing also incentivizes political figures in Australia and New Zealand to parrot its line on issues it deems important.

And comments from Amy Searight of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, whose testimony related primarily to South East Asia.  These were from her oral testimony.

Recent studies on Australia and New Zealand have demonstrated the extensive and centrally coordinated efforts through CCP-led mechanisms to influence public debates and policy outcomes in these countries. John Garnaut and Anne-Marie Brady have both described their respective countries as “canaries in the coal mine” of Chinese political influence efforts. If countries with strong democratic institutions like Australia and New Zealand are vulnerable to Chinese influence and domestic political interference, one can imagine that countries in Southeast Asia, which have weaker governance, less transparency, and in some cases higher levels of corruption, would be even more susceptible.

She asserted that

Ultimately, China seeks to build a new order in Asia on its own terms where countries in the region will enjoy the benefits of economic linkages for the price of paying political deference to China’s interests and prerogatives.

In terms of the instruments of influence that China deploys, it primarily uses traditional tools of statecraft–aid, investment, commercial linkages and active diplomacy. The Belt and Road Initiative, along with the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, have become the primary tools for China’s economic diplomacy…..

It’s also important to note that China resorts to economic coercion, both to directly punish countries that act in defiance of its interests and to demonstrate to others the cost of defiance, and the most notable example here is in the case of the Philippines. When the Philippines challenged Chinese seizure of Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea in 2012, Beijing sought to punish Manila by cutting off imports of bananas and other farm goods.

and

Recent examinations of Chinese political influence activities in Australia and New Zealand have revealed a number of mechanisms through which the CCP seeks to influence domestic debate in these countries. At the heart of most influence activities is the United Front Work Department, UFWD. UFWD efforts have focused heavily on overseas Chinese populations in Australia and New Zealand, including businessmen, community leaders, and students, but their efforts are not limited to ethnic Chinese and increasingly target the non-ethnic Chinese people in these countries. And we’ve seen allegations that have caused some real concern and public debate over a number of incidents, which include things like Beijing-linked political donors buying access and influence with party politicians; universities being coopted by generous donors for research institutions that have dubious neutrality in their academic pursuits; and voices that are coerced and silenced by networks on college campuses and elsewhere that are mobilized to silence criticism of Beijing. So these cases, the recent revelations in Australia and New Zealand, I think point the way for questions that should be investigated in the cases of U.S. allies and partners in Southeast Asia.

And these comments were from her written submission

Recent examinations of China’s political influence activities in Australia and New Zealand have revealed a number of mechanisms through which the CCP seeks to influence domestic debate in these countries. At the heart of most influence activities is the United Front Work Department (UFWD). UFWD efforts have focused heavily on overseas Chinese populations in Australia and New Zealand, including businessmen, community leaders and students. But their efforts are not limited to ethnic Chinese, and increasingly target non-ethnic Chinese people in these countries. Influence activities are broad and varied in these countries, but the allegations that have sparked the most concern include Beijing-linked political donors buying access and influence with party politicians; universities being coopted by financial largesse for research institutions that have dubious neutrality in their academic pursuits; and voices that are coerced and silenced by networks on college campuses and elsewhere that are mobilized to silence criticism of Beijing.

The second expert to testify was Peter Mattis, apparently a former CIA analyst but now Fellow in the China Program at the Jamestown Foundation.

First point is that Australia and New Zealand both face substantial problems with interference by the Chinese Communist Party. In both cases, the CCP has gotten very close to or inside the political core, if you will, of both countries. The primary difference between the two has simply been their reaction. The problems that are there include the narrowing of Chinese voices, the CCP’s essential monopolization of the media outlets, the takeover of community organizations, and in a sense denying the rights of Chinese Australians and Chinese New Zealanders to exercise the rights of freedom of association and freedom of speech in public forums. And this relates to the political systems of these countries primarily because if these are the–if CCP backed people are the heads of these Chinese community organizations in those two countries, and politicians use them as their sort of advisors or their guide to what the Chinese community is thinking, it means that they really essentially have a CCP firewall, if you will, between the political class in both countries and the Chinese communities that live within them.

There is the supporting of those voices that speak productively, in Beijing’s terms, about China, and there is the issue of suppressing voices that don’t through denial of visas, through pressure placed on institutions, and in some cases sort of calls directly to those individuals. There’s also the issue of what you might call a three-way transaction where retired officials or politicians take on consulting jobs, if you will, ….. it’s a bit of a proof to the pudding of Lenin’s apocryphal comment that only a capitalist will pay for the rope that’s used to hang him.

With respect to the reactions, in New Zealand, both the last prime minister, Bill English, and Jacinda Ardern, have denied that there’s a problem at all, and although the current prime minister has said that the attempts to intimidate and to steal materials from scholar AnneMarie Brady will be investigated, that’s a far cry from any sort of productive action when you have people who have lied on immigration forms that are now sitting as members of parliament.

And to quickly move to a recommendation, I think that at some level the Five Eyes or the Four Eyes need to have a discussion about whether or not New Zealand can remain given this problem with the political core, and it needs to be put in those terms so that New Zealand’s government understands that the consequences are substantial for not thinking through and addressing some of the problems that they face.

The Commission also reproduces the interchange between witnesses and Commission members.  Some excerpts

HEARING CO-CHAIR TALENT: Mr. Mattis, two questions. Mr. Mattis, you said that you noted that New Zealand is part of the Five Eyes arrangement, and you, I think you said in your oral testimony that the United States should consider that on an ongoing basis, and I think the suggestion here is that there is some risk that they may have been compromised to the point that perhaps we shouldn’t continue that arrangement. Am I reading you correctly that that’s an option we ought to take into account, and how high would you assess the risk? …

MR. MATTIS: The answer is yes, that’s precisely what I was implying, that it should be considered on an ongoing basis, and the way some of what was described to me is that, yes, some of these individuals had not, don’t have direct access to the product of NZSIS or the Ministry of Defense, but because they were close to the prime minister, in the case of Bill English, that anything on China that was briefed to Bill English was briefed to Mr. Yang Jian, and therefore it may not be sort of official day-to-day access, but in terms of the conversations, the briefings, it was entirely present within the system. And I think because it has gotten very close to the political core, one of the major, one of the major fundraisers for Jacinda Ardern’s party has United Front links, that you have to say this is close enough to the central political core of the New Zealand system that we have to think about whether or not they take action and what kinds of action, what do they do to reduce the risk

and

DR. SEARIGHT: Can I just add something on the New Zealand point? You know Peter raises some really important concerns, and he’s more knowledgeable about some of the specifics than I am, so I don’t discount his concerns, but I would say that the Five Eyes relationship with New Zealand is extremely important to New Zealand, and it’s one of the few pillars we have in our relationship.

We don’t have a free trade agreement with New Zealand. Obviously we walked away from TPP. We haven’t exempted them inthe steel and aluminum tariffs. I heard an earful about this when I was just in New Zealand two weeks ago. But I think there may be a disconnect between the political level and the bureaucratic level, I mean the government. The bureaucratic level is really turning on China and sees its connection with the United States and Australia as really significant in that sharpening of their policies, their thinking about China, and we heard a lot of thinking that was encouraging. And so I would just say I would be very cautious about cutting off a Five Eyes relationship because I think that really could have some tremendous negative blowback and push New Zealand in a direction that we would not be happy about.

MR. MATTIS: Two other points. I didn’t say cut it off. I said consider it because we–and you just highlighted a number of carrots that are on the table. There are sticks and carrots that we have with New Zealand, and I think on this issue we need to consider how to apply them and sort of encourage New Zealand to find the political will if they can find it because it does, especially in their system, given what has to come from the prime minister’s office, it is a question of politics, not a question of knowledge at the bureaucratic level.

Pretty sobering stuff, to have affairs in your own country described thus.

What was, perhaps, new was Dr Searight’s comments from her recent visit to New Zealand, in which she noted

The bureaucratic level is really turning on China and sees its connection with the United States and Australia as really significant in that sharpening of their policies, their thinking about China, and we heard a lot of thinking that was encouraging

It would be interesting to know who, and what, she meant by that (perhaps the intelligence agencies or Defence, rather than MFAT?).  To the public, there is no sign of any unease, or any change of course.  And of course our political leaders –  of all parties –  keep blithely on, preferring (for example) to avoid awkward issues like Jian Yang or Raymond Huo (the latter now chairing a major parliamentary committee) and to pretend that there are no issues.

I was reading yesterday the New Zealand China Council’s report on options for New Zealand to participate in the Belt and Road Initiative (the one in which the previous government agreed to work with the PRC towards a “fusion of civilisations”).  This report was paid for by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the head of NZTE sit on the board of the China Council.

It was quite as obsequious, and deferential, as ever.  In the preface, Council chair (and former Deputy Prime Minister) Don McKinnon gave a single mention to the need for New Zealand’s involvement to be considered in the light of New Zealand’s “deeply held values”.  That sounded briefly encouraging, but throughout the rest of the 40 page report there was no further mention of, or identification of, values.  One was left assuming that for the China Council, and perhaps their sponsors, the only “value” that mattered was the dollar one – as much trade as possible, never upsetting the interests of the Council’s corporate membership.

I’ve also been reading over the last few days, Clive Hamilton’s book on PRC influence activities in Australia (although with some references to New Zealand), Silent Invasion.  This was the book that the author’s long-time publisher pulled out of publishing at the last minute worried about the threat of (PRC-related) legal action.  Based on where I’ve got to so far, the book does have its weaknesses, but it also gathers a wide range of well-documented information on PRC activities in this part of the world, and we’d be foolish to think that things here are materially different than they are in Australia.  But as I read, it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen a single review of the book –  or article about its substance –  in any New Zealand outlet (although the Beijing-aligned New Zealand China Friendship Society did link to a negative review from an Australia paper).  It is as if the willed-blindness to the nature of the PRC regime, and its interests in keeping New Zealand and Australia quiescent by whatever means, and its attempts to use ethnic Chinese abroad in its interests (whether they really want to or not) extends not just to our political and business leaders but to all or most of our media as well.

I can’t see how kicking us out of Five Eyes helps anyone, except perhaps the PRC.  And in the current climate, the US Administration certainly doesn’t help the case of those interested in a serious sustained pushback against PRC influence activities, and aggression in and around the South and East China Seas, and in countries like Pakistan, the Maldives, Cambodia etc.  But the flakey and inconstant nature of the US at present doesn’t change the character of the issue, and shouldn’t distract us from the nature of the reprehensible regime our politicians and business leaders constantly want to make nice to.  Our Foreign Minister is in Beijing this weekend, but presumably will be as deferential as ever, seeking new deals with the regime, and keeping very quiet about what it seems to be doing here and abroad.

As I noted a week or two back, this government seems more like Neville Chamberlain than Michael Joseph Savage (whose government took a strong stand in the late 1930s).  The previous government was, of course, just as bad (and remain so now in Opposition), but I don’t suppose comparisons with Savage mean much to them.

UPDATE: A Herald story on this material, including some reactions from politicians  –  “nothing to see here”   – and academics.

 

 

 

24 thoughts on “New Zealand and the PRC: some US testimony

  1. I see Paul Spoonley chairing a forum on Hate and the Internet

    https://internetnz.nz/event/hate-and-internet

    On line viewer asks for a quantifiable definition of hate speech

    Spoonley [53;00]
    Anything that spreads promotes or justifies and then there’s racial hatred xenophobia anti Semitism and of course what we’ve done recently is expand that out to include religion disability gender age and sexual orientation. The second part of that is that it incites hate, and often violence.
    //
    Um, can I say that also a lot of this is deeply personal and I know that any of those who work in the media, you know you always get a response from New Zealanders, sometimes they are not New Zealanders sometimes they are from overseas, in which your thoughts, your actions, what your trying to contribute to dialogue gets misconstrued (at the positive end of the spectrum) but at the other end of the spectrum it does truly become hateful. And the question then becomes (of course) what do we as a community do about that? Yes we’ve got Netsafe, congratulations to internet NZ for encouraging this discussion today, there are people out there in the community who would rather not have this discussion because the only thing they care about is free speech. But as you heard, I think, free speech has it’s boundaries and that’s what we are talking about. When does free speech (a right that we all should preserve) stop becoming a right and becomes a becomes an opportunity to close down or communicate hateful things to other communities.
    ………

    When does realism become xenophobia?

    Like

    • Sorethumb: Thomas Mair lived a hate-filled and lonely existence, he never held down a full-time job due to severe anxiety and depression. He murdered Jo Cox MP 16/06/2016 because of his mad racist ideas inspired by the Rotherham sex grooming trial. So Prof Paul Spoonley who has been threatened has good reason to fear mentally disturbed individuals.
      Ref https://inews.co.uk/culture/television/jo-cox-death-of-an-mp-documentary-review/

      On the other hand look at my example of hate speech which is designed to inspire hate and promotes violence: “Hitler is an evil man responsible for evil acts and we should rearm our military and attack his country killing however many Germans it requires to stop him”. Seems reasonable to me just 80 years out of date. I could write similar about how all anti-slavery proposals will ruin the cotton industry and ruin the economy of pre-civil war USA.

      The problem with limiting free speech is who decides.

      Our current legislation seems adequate – we can hate and we can say so but the law decides whether by context our speech is intended to cause violence. So Irish flags and the Union Jack were prohibited at Rangers-Celtic soccer matches where they were considered to be provocation for a fight but there was no law against displaying them elsewhere as acts of patriotism.

      Like

      • Thomas Mair lived a hate-filled and lonely existence, he never held down a full-time job due to severe anxiety and depression. He murdered Jo Cox MP 16/06/2016 because of his mad racist ideas inspired by the Rotherham sex grooming trial.
        …….
        I don’t buy that.
        When I was a Revolutionary Marxist, we were all in favour of as much immigration as possible.

        It wasn’t because we liked immigrants, but because we didn’t like Britain. We saw immigrants – from anywhere – as allies against the staid, settled, conservative society that our country still was at the end of the Sixties.

        Also, we liked to feel oh, so superior to the bewildered people – usually in the poorest parts of Britain – who found their neighbourhoods suddenly transformed into supposedly ‘vibrant communities’.

        If they dared to express the mildest objections, we called them bigots.

        Revolutionary students didn’t come from such ‘vibrant’ areas (we came, as far as I could tell, mostly from Surrey and the nicer parts of London).

        We might live in ‘vibrant’ places for a few (usually squalid) years, amid unmown lawns and overflowing dustbins.

        But we did so as irresponsible, childless transients – not as homeowners, or as parents of school-age children, or as old people hoping for a bit of serenity at the ends of their lives.

        When we graduated and began to earn serious money, we generally headed for expensive London enclaves and became extremely choosy about where our children went to school, a choice we happily denied the urban poor, the ones we sneered at as ‘racists’.

        What did we know, or care, of the great silent revolution which even then was beginning to transform the lives of the British poor?

        To us, it meant patriotism and tradition could always be derided as ‘racist’.

        And it also meant cheap servants for the rich new middle-class, for the first time since 1939, as well as cheap restaurants and – later on – cheap builders and plumbers working off the books.

        It wasn’t our wages that were depressed, or our work that was priced out of the market. Immigrants didn’t do the sort of jobs we did.

        They were no threat to us.

        The only threat might have come from the aggrieved British people, but we could always stifle their protests by suggesting that they were modern-day fascists.

        I have learned since what a spiteful, self-righteous, snobbish and arrogant person I was (and most of my revolutionary comrades were, too).

        I have seen places that I knew and felt at home in, changed completely in a few short years.

        I have imagined what it might be like to have grown old while stranded in shabby, narrow streets where my neighbours spoke a different language and I gradually found myself becoming a lonely, shaky voiced stranger in a world I once knew, but which no longer knew me.

        I have felt deeply, hopelessly sorry that I did and said nothing in defence of those whose lives were turned upside down, without their ever being asked, and who were warned very clearly that, if they complained, they would be despised outcasts.

        And I have spent a great deal of time in the parts of Britain where the revolutionary unintelligentsia don’t go.

        Such people seldom, if ever, visit their own country.

        Their orbits are in fashionable London zones, and holiday destinations.

        They are better acquainted with the Apennines of Italy than with the Pennines of their own country.

        But, unlike me, most of the Sixties generation still hold the views I used to hold and – with the recent, honourable exception of David Goodhart, the Left-wing journalist turned Think Tank boss who recognises he was wrong – they will not change.
        http://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/2013/04/how-i-am-partly-to-blame-for-mass-immigration.html

        Like

      • The problem with internet hate speech is that some people just want to shut you down. If they are going to determine what is hate speech we need case studies. We can’t have “othering” as a standard. Paul Spoonley would wear his expert on racism hat and that would be a case of fox minding hen house.
        Essentially you are not allowed skepticism; you must not perceive ethnic interest. There is only one ethnicity and that is humanity (alternatively, the state will handle it)?
        https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/proposed-nz-foreign-property-register-labelled-popular-racism-6188261

        Like

      • Sorethumb: you can find my opinion of excessive and of low wage immigration in many comments. However Anders Breivik proves insane violence that is triggered by or related to the immigration debate does occur. Those who approve of cutting immigration do not have to fear about publishing their names and addresses. But those who like Prof Spoonley support high immigration do have a reason to beware of nutcases. He is entitled to say “”Um, can I say that also a lot of this is deeply personal…””. His life has been threatened. So for example if I had his address I would not print it.

        A polite disagreement based on accurate data disarms the disturbed but the media suppressing informed debate will trigger their fears. The failure of INZ to publish timely stats or the govt keeping a register of foreign ownership is also allowing rumours to circulate.

        Suggesting we curtail free speech is not only deeply wrong it is also counter-productive.

        Like

      • Bob, I don’t think Paul Spoonley is worried about physical violence. Anders Breivik and jo cox’s killers were outliers. I think he is administering the program and in doing so he has the full complicity of the media who simply listen to the expert; they are also part of the program.
        I was reading about an exchange between Peter Brimelow and an author for Washington Post, where the author was trying to deconstruct the Anglo nature of the American nation. Brimelow insisted on an email exchange. The media would not be quite so entertaining if carried on this way but we might get closer to the truth? Facebook have been calibrating expressions of nationalism as hate speech. That’s the nature of the program. In the old society we were Hobbits, Dwarves and Rhohirin. In the new society we are mixed with civic values to bind us (and the media).

        Like

  2. Michael,
    Yet another reason for votes to be restricted to citizens.
    Regarding PRC I believe that PRC does not allow dual citizenship.
    Maybe a change would make many permanent residents having to make a decision as to their citizen status.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, altho re PRC something I was reading recently noted that allow PRC itself doesn’t allow dual citizenship, in effect it also (increasingly) doesn’t recognise anyone as genuinely an ex-PRC citizen (in practice it is a one way street). Also many of the issues in NZ and Australia now arise from (a minority of the) people with citizenship – some coerced (pressure on families back in PRC) and some just pursuing business interests.

      See in the Australian context, the brave statement the other day by the head of Australia’s parliamentary committee on intelligence and security, about someone who has been a significant donor to both main parties
      https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-hastie-and-turnbull-what-you-dont-know-you-cant-stop-97102

      Like

      • NZ should not allow Dual citizenship, especially not to countries that dis-allow reciprocal citizenship.

        Like

      • Mihail, it does not matterto NZ that the other country does not offer dual citizenship because it is illegal by that country for you to hold dual citizenship. If you travel to PRC and are found to be guilty of that offence of holding 2 passports then the fine can be quite hefty and possibly also delays in your travel plans or perhaps jailtime or held by authorities in PRC or even in Malaysia.

        Like

    • FIVE men who ran a bookshop in Hong Kong disappeared in mysterious circumstances in late 2015. One was apparently spirited away from the territory by agents from the mainland; another was abducted from Thailand. All later turned up in Chinese jails, accused of selling salacious works about the country’s leaders. One bookseller had a British passport and another a Swedish one but the two suffered the same disregard for legal process as Chinese citizens who anger the regime. Their embassies were denied access for weeks. The government considered both these men as intrinsically “Chinese”. This is indicative of a far broader attitude. China lays claim not just to booksellers in Hong Kong but, to a degree, an entire diaspora.
      https://www.economist.com/briefing/2016/11/19/the-upper-han

      Like

      • Yes – unfortunately, have to consider all Chinese here in NZ as a potential “fifth” column, as they could be pressurised to conform to the Communist party direction ( eg: relatives in China, business interest back in China, arrest upon re-entry into China, fabricated crime allegations, ..etc,,..,,..).

        Like

    • Agree. I think Permanent residence in NZ is a joke – because there is no real difference between NZ citizens and “permanent ” residents. There is full access to social welfare.

      Liked by 2 people

      • NZ is very generous. The NZ Universal retirement Income is also available to all 600,000 kiwis living in Australia that have not paid any NZ taxes since they went to Australia the day they decide to return to NZ.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Having been exposed to Communist propoganda in Europe, I can now recognise the insidious takeover in NZ by China. We have NZ politicians selling their soul by accepting directorships in Chinese controlled companies ( Jenny Shipley, Don Brash, others ? ). There is a former? (maybe not so former) member of Chinese Communist party in Parliament. Plus the speedy granting of NZ citizenship to a Chinese millionaire is indicative of political sell out. The Chinese invasion of NZ continues with easy immigration. Is there no way to stop this ?

    Like

  4. It would be relatively easy to make a change, probably at some short-term economic price (intense for a few sectors – tourism and export education – but mild for the economy as a whole.

    But it requires a major political party with some self-respect, and regard for the values that underpinned our country, and for the interests of our friends in other free countries (including those in Asia).

    Like

  5. To some extent (and I imagine when the SIS do vetting it is an issue), but even then one has to make a careful distinction between those relatively recently come from the PRC – some probably because they hate the regime – and ethnic Chinese who have come from other places (Taiwan, Singapore etc) or indeed those whose ancestors first came to NZ generations ago, almost as long ago as my own ancestors.

    Like

  6. I saw a Chinese tour bus driver a few years ago, sitting outside the Canterbury Museum with a Mao hat on. At the time I just thought “that’s not really appropriate”.

    Having said all that you can’t blame Chinese for being patriotic. It’s just that we have leadership who believe we will stay progressive and in charge.

    This is the queerest government ever with NZ First and the Greens who are polar opposites and National loosing over housing and immigration (disgraced). The fact that any got elected shows that they were least unpopular as much as popular. GGS gives me the feeling that some factions would be o.k sinking the welfare state as long as migrants keep on coming and real estate interests keep making money. Could we be the next Thailand?

    Like

  7. From: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2136676/xi-jinping-changing-constitution-whats-his-endgame

    “” Soon after Xi Jinping took the helm of the Communist Party in 2012, he gathered China’s political elite in Beijing to mark the 30th anniversary of its modern constitution.
    “No individual or organisation is above the constitution,” the new party chief thundered from the podium of the Great Hall of the People. “Anyone who acts against the constitution or the law will be held accountable.” “”

    But 6 years later China approves the most drastic constitutional amendments in decades. “”The 21 proposed changes to the constitution all point to one objective: to strengthen the legitimacy of the party and institutionalise its rule by blurring the line between party and state.”” and “”Under Xi, the party has sought to assert its leadership in the state apparatus, as well as in universities, social organisations and even foreign firms.””

    From http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-02/25/c_136999410.htm
    “” The addition of core socialist values into a clause was also in the proposed package.
    The proposal read that the State advocates core socialist values, and the civic virtues of love of the motherland, of the people, of labour, of science and of socialism. “”

    and “” A sentence stressing the Party’s leadership was proposed to be added into the Constitution. ‘The leadership of the Communist Party of China is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics’ “”

    President Xi believes in values and the uniqueness of being Chinese. That is patriotism.

    Like

  8. Grant Thornton – qualified opinion of the schedule of donations to the NZ Labour Party 2017 (p13)

    Basis for Qualified Opinion
    Based on our assurance procedures we were unable to obtain independent confirmation of the residency status of donors and therefore have gained no assurance over the associated disclosure according to Section 210 of the Act. We were unable to satisfy ourselves as to the residency-status of donors by any other assurance procedures.

    The Audit Report for the NZ National Party from BDO is long winded, tortuous and full of waffle but more or less leads one the same conclusion as Grant Thornton

    Grant Thornton is more direct and says its not good enough

    In Audits you either get an unqualified pass or a qualified report

    Both reports were qualified – no confidence there

    Like

    • The fact that China has 1.2Billion people means it has a large population with very high IQ’s. Just send them and job done, unless you can change their way of thinking to “the New Zealand way” (whatever that is). What do they care as long as they prosper?

      Like

  9. 8:55 Oct 15, 2014 75
    “Foreign forces”, hope and Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution
    https://publicaddress.net/speaker/foreign-forces-hope-and-hong-kongs-umbrella/
    Comments

    Joshua Grainger, 4 days ago

    You say that because of the influx of mainlanders and thus the dilution of the Hong Konger identity that many Hong Kongers are moving overseas. Surely that’s a little bit hypocritical: aren’t Hong Kongers moving, to say, Auckalnd, the same as mainlanders moving to Hong Kong? The concern about the shops of the old Hong Kong disappearing in favour of those that appeal to mainlanders seems to be reminiscent of Winston Peters old concern about corner stores disappearing and being replaced with Cantonese restaurants, TCM providers, and Asian supermarkets.

    Reply, Russel Brown

    Let me answer this: no. The Chinese government doesn’t run New Zealand let alone tear-gas Aucklanders in the street, the language (written and spoken) is in no danger of disappearing, retail still serves the needs of residents, the scale of migration and tourism is in no way comparable. It’s just not a comparison.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s