China is heaping praise on New Zealand as “an example for Australia in how to deal” with foreign affairs after Trade Minister Damien O’Connor suggested our trans-Tasman neighbour practice “more diplomacy” with China.
O’Connor’s remarks have riled some Australian politicians, such as Liberal MP Dave Sharma, who told The Sydney Morning Herald: “I don’t see this advice from New Zealand as particularly insightful or helpful.”
The frustration is illustrated in a front-page story on Australia’s Daily Telegraph newspaper titled ‘Oz swipe from New Xi-land’ – a reference to Chinese President Xi Jinping and commentary from China praising New Zealand’s foreign affairs approach.
In a report by the Global Times, a tabloid newspaper under the auspices of the Chinese Communist Party, Qin Sheng from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences compares Australia and New Zealand’s approach to China.
“Australia and New Zealand are very much alike in many ways,” he writes, noting how both countries have similar histories, host large numbers of immigrants, are members of the intelligence-sharing Five Eyes alliance, and are reliant on foreign trade.
“But what has caused such a huge difference between Australia and New Zealand in their development of relations with China in recent years?” Sheng asks.
“First, New Zealand respects rules of the market economy more than Australia does,” he writes, criticising Australia’s Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018, which China complains has led to a sharp decline of Chinese investment…READ MORE
Martin comments: Knowing the manner in which the CCP practises “diplomacy” I’d say someone in NZ’s government has been “fixed” as they say in China (meaning, bribed, leveraged.) On the one hand we have our Western loyalties and “Five Eyes” intelligence allegiance, on the other hand we did sign up to China’s “new Silk Road” Belt and Road trade initiative. We tread a fine line. With Biden now the “Steward” of the US Government (“Gondor has no King!”) China’s influence in the West grows and Ardern, if she desires to retain any credibility as an allegedly compassionate leader, should speak boldly against China’s human rights abuses, especially with her very public show of solidarity with the NZ Muslim community after March 15. Considering the level of influence the CCP already has here, and Arden’s willingness to embrace the New Normal and the rising technocracy, I suspect she’ll pay lip service only.
On a positive note, I have observed a steadily increasing presence of the anti-CCP Falung Dafa (Falung Gong) movement here in NZ and have signed several of their petitions.