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SMELLIE’S RANT: Not on, mate

Article – Businesswire

June 18 (BusinessWire) – The visit to New Zealand of the apparent heir to the Chinese presidency, Xi Jinpeng, is incredibly important for the burgeoning and unusually affectionate relationship between the world’s new powerhouse economy and New Zealand.

SMELLIE’S RANT: Not on, mate

By Pattrick Smellie

June 18 (BusinessWire) – The visit to New Zealand of the apparent heir to the Chinese presidency, Xi Jinpeng, is incredibly important for the burgeoning and unusually affectionate relationship between the world’s new powerhouse economy and New Zealand.

Xi visited the offices of Rakon Ltd today, and photos will have been taken with all the top brass which will be flashed like gold bars for years to all the right people and used to open doors, prove bona fides, and raise Rakon in the esteem of innumerable Chinese local government officials with whom the NZX-listed company deals in China.

The crystal oscillator manufacturer, supplying components for mobile phones and global positioning system devices, has recently opened a manufacturing facility in the city of Chengdu.

All fine.

Very polite, very Asian. New Zealanders may furtively display pictures of themselves in the company of famous people, but it’s more likely they’ll be embarrassed if anyone points it out. Very self-deprecating, very Kiwi.

It’s also very Kiwi that you can go where you like, when you like, and say what you like.

It’s one of the reasons people say we’re creative even if we’re not that wealthy.

So enough is enough.

It is time for Chinese security officials, embassy staff and the other kow-tow-ers whose cultural sensitivities extend to ripping Tibetan flags from the hands of elected New Zealand Members of Parliament, to realise that this is not how it goes here.

As someone with no axe to grind about Asian investors in New Zealand cities and farms – being one of the few who welcomes this phenomenon and sees it as a complex but exciting, let alone unavoidable, future – it is enraging to see such arrogance.

Enraging in part because such stupidity makes China’s path into New Zealand so much more difficult.

There are a lot of rules that New Zealand – a small, heavily foreign indebted nation contending with low productivity, remoteness and a narrow product base – has to obey in the world.

Pretending issues don’t exist isn’t one of them.

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3 comments:

  1. Anon, 19. June 2010, 19:30

    Concur fully, why should we ignore China’s human rights abuses for the good of trade? Lets just hope Norman isn’t an hypocrite or had singled out the Chinese, in that he’ll protest the next time Israeli’s or Americans visit.

     
  2. Dan, 19. June 2010, 23:42

    Well I for one don’t endorse the MP’s actions. It’s unclear what happened in the scuffle but the Chinese security had a job to do & having a flag in their face clearly hinders their ability. Just my 2 cents.

     
  3. Tim McLean, 20. June 2010, 1:05

    I am against foreign ownership of NZ land.

    It also needs to be noted that their is no private ownership of land in China.There exists land-use rights for varying periods of time, which is certainly not the same thing, and there is scant protection of those rights in a system subservient to the repressive political system and subject to endemic corruption.

    On top of that is Wnag’s very dubious business acumen, companys going belly -up and the lack of transparency of where the money is coming from as wellas existing breaches of the OI rules.