Watching our largest trading partner turn Hong Kong into the next Tiananmen Square


I remember watching Tiananmen Square unfold in 1989.

Two things struck me then and resonates still today.

The incredible bravery of tank man…

…and the shock when Chinese Officials simply told the world that nothing had happened.

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That’s right.

They looked down the barrel of the camera and told the World that what we had all witnessed with our own eyes never happened.

I haven’t looked too favourably upon China ever since.

I’ve always thought becoming reliant on them being our largest trading partner was always a terrible blunder by Helen Clark and John Key.

Today China is trying to pass law that will remove the few protection Hong Kong citizens enjoy, in response a large chunk of Hong Kong is protesting…

…so what does our Government have to say about the largest totalitarian regime on the planet who has Orwellian mass surveillance,  who butcher dissidents for body organ trade and who is currently enslaving one million Uighur Muslims? What do we say about China’s latest attempt to turn someone else into the next Tibet?

Well, it looks like not much at all…

…how courageous of us.

When you consider the ease with which the Chinese Government dominate our mainstream media via their NZ Herald infiltration…

Chinese NZ Herald retracts misleading article

The Chinese New Zealand Herald is in the spotlight for publishing and then retracting an article which made a number of debunked and controversial claims about the recent protests in Hong Kong.

The city has been hit by intense street protests this week over a controversial extradition law, which would allow people to be extradited from the territory and tried in mainland China, where they would be unlikely to receive a trial free from political interference. 

Media sympathetic to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) have attempted to downplay the protests, saying the controversial law is actually widely supported.

The story, which comes from the international edition of the People’s Daily, a CCP-controlled newspaper and website, claimed recent protests in the city had been stirred by “foreign anti-China forces”. It also used a much-debunked website to allege at least 860,000 people had signed a petition in support of the extradition law.

…is that behind a Great Paywall of China?

So China manipulates our media, has a spy inside the National Party and are increasingly becoming involved in taking our pure water supplies.

How brave and courageous of us.


  1. It’s only a matter of time before the love affair between New Zealand and China ends. Tiananmen Square is an example of how every great big left wing project of the 20th failed. If we look at the successful nations of the 21st century Singapore and China what started as colonisation and communism has given way to a new love affair with capitalism and democracy features very little.

    I hear the calls for a new left wing party and a new more local democracy and I think that will fail as well. To much of left wing politics is taken up by the welfare state. I argue that the welfare state is no longer sustainable as long as globalization continues its March away from democracy. I just think we need a new type of welfare, we need a UBI that can unlock the Creative Commons so we can have new machines that produce stuff for us and we can go about watching movies and reading and writing philosophically.

    I’m just not very keen on the idea of local democratic means where I have to involve myself in every detail of running a community. I want there to be some degree of automation in the back ground fixing up and plumbing the policies. Y’know I want banking regulation to be managed in away that I don’t have to vote every time they screw up which is often, I want that and every other regulation to be automated so I can watch movies at night.

  2. Excellent column Martyn. Our supine stance towards China is utterly shameful. The findings of the international tribunal on China’s harvesting of organs from political prisoners condemning them to a hideous death, which were reported in yesterday’s Guardian, turn the stomach. And our main political parties turn a blind eye while continuing to take Chinese Communist Party money through local front organisations. Not to mention the spy-trainer sitting in our Parliament. New Zealand is an increasingly degenerate dependency.

  3. The policies of the New Zealand state (inclusive of all major parties) on trade, investment and immigration have been short sighted to say the least, and it may be that the state and capital are now economically dependent on China to their great peril.
    But this is not about China.
    It is about a colonial mentality which has grown more deeply entrenched within the New Zealand political establishment at the very time in history when the optimists among us were expecting New Zealand to evolve in the direction of nationhood and political and economic independence.
    Instead, the regime has remained true to its fundamental doctrines and consequently is lurching towards an economic and constitutional crisis.
    Those on the left who believe that the governing coalition parties can simply go along with Trump’s China policy without harming New Zealand’s national interest are deluded.
    Jacinda Ardern at least has the wit to realize that she is between a rock and a hard place where any rash move will leave her severely bruised on one side or the other.
    What she lacks is the courage or the political capacity to lead the regime out of the mire of colonialism where it will surely founder and drown.

    • Jacinda didn’t build the Labour Party she’s got because she inherited it from Andrew !ittle in a hail marry pass. What we elect from her is to much. Even though expectations was managed higher. Y’know our great left wing policy that was supposed to be kiwi build, that was a hail marry pass to get it over the line in 3 years. It’ll probably take 6 if Twyford can ignore the calls to resign and stick at it. We’re supposed to get a work force out of kiwi build. We are supposed to get new machines with which to make stuff so we can all go on holiday more. Fuck all the geopolitical calculus. What America or China does should have very little effects on the quality of life of kiwis.

    • Trev1: “Here’s the link to the Guardian article….”

      It’s best to take anything from the Guardian with a grain of salt. It hasn’t been a commenter of record since – oh, possibly ever, and certainly before I was born. Which is a considerable time ago….

      The Guardian is a left-wing publication like I’m the Pope: that is, not at all.

  4. The role of the US and UK in fomenting this protest have yet to be made mainstream.

    They will be in there somewhere following a familiar pattern used in many past “political” events.

    • John W: “The role of the US and UK in fomenting this protest have yet to be made mainstream.”

      My view exactly. Western agents provocateur find it more difficult nowadays to get into China proper; HK, however, is much easier.

      After a longish lifetime watching events of this sort, and with the benefit of information that wasn’t widely available before the rise of the internet, I now take the default view that the CIA (or, given that this is HK, possibly UK MI6) has a hand in it.

  5. While this is a hilarious article about Farewelling Makhlouf, it has some important issues to be addressed, such as why is our government and treasury are full of these sycophants, including our relationships with international partners, external sycophants being bought in to run industry and power interests here on behalf of the neoliberal agenda, and in real terms our increasing sycophant relationships to overseas power interests at the expense of our own…

    Farewelling Makhlouf

    an extract…

    “The other thing that caught my eye in the Harman column was the photo at the top of it, showing Makhlouf and Grant Robertson chatting pleasantly with the PRC Ambassador, Madame Wu. Pretty nauseating in the wake of the repression this very week of the Hong Kong protests – but no doubt Madame Wu is delighted that our government, unlike Australia, the UK, the EU, and senior US figures, has said nothing at all.

    But in particular the photo brought to mind Gabs’s shameless (and not even well-grounded) pandering to the PRC. There is, for example, this

    Secretary to the Treasury Gabriel Makhlouf has welcomed a new Memorandum of Arrangement formalising a financial dialogue between the New Zealand Treasury and the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China.

    signed on the Prime Minister’s recent tributary visit to Beijing. Of it, Makhlouf noted

    There are fiscal, financial and economic issues of mutual importance to our two countries and there is much we can learn from each other

    Quite what he thought the New Zealand Treasury could learn from economic policy etc in a middle income highly repressive state without the benefit of the rule of law or a genuine and open contest of ideas was never made clear. You might excuse that bumpf on the grounds of “well, it is meaningless, and just the stuff officials sometimes have to do”. But the same can’t be said for the dreadful speech he gave in Beijing last year. I wrote about it here. ”

  6. Martyn: “I remember watching Tiananmen Square unfold in 1989.

    Two things struck me then and resonates still today.

    The incredible bravery of tank man…”

    All is not what it seems; certainly not what happened in Tiananmen Square all those years ago. I’ve commented on this previously somewhere on this site.

    As to China: given the completely ludicrous anti-Russia propaganda emanating from Uncle Sam and Old Blighty, in virtue of what would you not cast a sceptical eye on what we’re being told about China? See this:

  7. All smoke and mirrors.
    There is an agenda here and it’s not in New Zealands best interest.
    New Zealanders need the courage ( like that of the million or so protesters in Hong Kong ) to stand up and say ‘ No More!’
    I wonder how long it will take?

  8. “I’ve always thought becoming reliant on them being our largest trading partner was always a terrible blunder by Helen Clark and John Key.”

    What a fucking stupid comment.

    Its not like Clark and Key did not try to diversify and develop similar trading relations with other countries – what was your stance on the TPPA for example? Did you support that? That was an attempt to break free of a reliance on China.

    Without the China trade of the past decade, New Zealand would have seen double digit unemployment and a collapse in the economy.

    Anyway, who else could we have traded to to nearly the same extent – come on, what would YOU have done in terms of developing trade relations round the world.

    Come on, what better strategy was there for New Zealand? Can anyone here tell us what they would have done to keep New Zealand ticking over?

  9. All the NZ govt (past and present) appears to do is kowtow to the PRC – makes you wonder if they would have behaved any differently had they been faced with Nazi Germany (which if you think of it is very similar to present day PRC).

    • If the Nazi’s wanted free water, cheap agriculture and assets to win the war our government both Natz and Labour would have turned a blind eye, and welcomed them with open arms, just like they do with the modern day equivalents we trade with. (Anyone who thinks genocide, political assassinations and imprisionments and apartheid is not longer happening around the world need to take another look… and some of the actions of our trading partners and their allies)

      • Australia for example where the CIA / UK threw out the popular elected Govt overnight.

        Ozzies mumbled but did as they were told.

        We are a well trained lot and that does not bode well for our future and equity.

        A Kiwi referendum on partial sales of state energy assets bought a resounding “No Sales”

        john key ignored that and sold them off to overseas “investor mates” amid a plethora of lies.

        What did Kiwis do. NOTHING.

        No civil disobedience, rolling demonstrations, or even press headlines.

        What the Fuck can’t they do and get away with it.

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