Why Simon Bridges’ Enthusiasm For The Chinese Communist Party Is Utterly Unsurprising


So in the wake of a recent Newshub piece that quotes National’s Simon Bridges enthusiastically talking up the Chinese Communist Party – not, you know, the People’s Republic of China, but the Communist Party *itself*, various portions of my newsfeed have understandably been understandably just a little surprised and more than a little bemused that Blue is apparently The New Red. Not the right-wing, National-voting sorts, obviously – the perplexity and somewhat faux-bewilderment has basically been exclusive to those to the proverbial left of Genghis Khan

Yet to be honest, I’m entirely unsurprised that Simon Bridges would speak positively about the Chinese Communist Party, even at a time like this with regard to Hong Kong. The fact is, that regardless of however many National supporters might have earnestly believed in that sign at the last election, that Jacinda Ardern is somehow a “PRETTY COMMUNIST”, and then kept up much the same red-baiting rhetoric in letters to the editor and upon talkback radio for much of the just under two years since …

… the National Party has long had a much more complex relationship with “Communist” China. Even at the height of the Cold War,in 1976 – while Chairman Mao was still alive and still nominally in control, some years before the ‘transition’ to a ‘market economy’ had begun – the Nats were quite happy to have their then-leader pay an official visit to Beijing.

The PRC  then arguably returned the favour, by sending an apparent envoy in the form of Dr Jian Yang to meet with the last *several* National leaders, over a period of the last eight years, through the highly transparent forum of the National Party’s Parliamentary Caucus, of which he is an elected (list) member.

Something which the Nats were evidently quite keen to keep going, as it appeared that while in government they’d placed pressure on our security intelligence services *not* to unduly scrutinize Dr Yang, and particularly not over his hushed-up background with the PRC’s military intelligence apparatus.

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This ongoing bilateral politician exchange programme appears to have taken on elements of shuttlecock diplomacy – with former National Party Prime Minister Jenny Shipley amidst a lengthening list of luminaries who’ve since re-emerged into public life tethered to the local arms of PRC economic organs.

As applies Shipley in particular, there is a perhaps interesting comparison with what has happened with Simon. Bridges, at the very least, whomever may have written the words for him, *did* utter them himself. Unlike Shipley’s surprise at finding she’d somehow written an OpEd for the CCP’s People’s Daily without actually realizing it nor intending to do so.

More recently, at seemingly every step, the National Party have been like a small yappy thing with a bone in criticizing the Labour/NZF/Greens government for apparently undermining/imperiling/vandalizing New Zealand’s relationship with the PRC.

I suppose, in particular, that it is understandable that the Nats are now basically unconcerned about the signposted risks to national security of letting Huawei handle our 5G network upgrade. After all, with the PRC already having been in possession of a “man on the inside” [and not just of National – of the Foreign Affairs, Defence, and Trade Parliamentary Select Committee, inter alia] for some years now, the National Party just wants the rest of the country to be subject to the same privilege.

I would have said that was “generous” and “egalitarian” of them – but as we all know, National under Simon Bridges considers “two Chinese” to be “better than two Indians”, per their own words on the subject. No word on what the rough conversion rate is for other ethnicities, but I hear that when National’s loyalty to this country was up for grabs, it fetched only a mere thirty pieces of silver.

In any case, even leaving aside all of teh above, it is absolutely unsurprising that Simon Bridges would speak positively of the modern-day Chinese Communist Party.

And for one simple reason.

Once you strip away all the mid-20th century political rhetoric and symbolism (including, oddly enough, a lot of banging on about representing farmers .. by which I mean peasants, once upon a time), the CCP are basically more-market repressive authoritarians, who never lose an election, never have to apologize, build roads everywhere, and whose leader is mandatorily popular with the people.

You know – *exactly* what National and Simon Bridges *wish* they could be.


  1. I have visited China many times and it has a lot in common with the West.Its a hybrid Communist system with elements of the free market mixed in. I’m not surprised National are courting them. Indeed much as I’m not a fan of National I can see the logic in it as China is a massive market with lots of trade opportunities for New Zealand. I don’t see either why its often portrayed as such a big deal when NZ has been in a similar relationship with the US for decades. What I will say is our sovereignty needs to respected and deals like the CP-TPP and the RCEP should be walked away from and foreign ownership strictly limited for that reason. Trades fine but it should not mean selling the farm along with the cheese and milk.

  2. The big difference is that in China the CCP manages the economy. In New Zealand, after the last National party sell off, there is no economy left to manage.

    • We thought that being tenants in our own country was bad enough, under the Natz, but now a significant amount of people can’t even afford to be tenants in their own country any more. And with the growing unchecked Meth trade in the imports of ovens, spices and general shit that NZ loves to import here, that’s only going to increase.

      I agree with Sean in there is nothing wrong with trade opportunities with other countries, but the trade agreements that successive NZ government’s signed (mostly Labour, go figure) have been a disaster in terms of the above, and not just housing, working and environment are also dysfunctional in NZ now after once being the jewel in our crowns!

      NZ sold not just the farms but the NZ businesses, banks, power, infrastructure like rail ways, etc in the last 3 decades, and the Rogernomics policy has tumbled NZ in most OECD statistics downward compared to other countries who are climbing up. The UK is a laughing stock and has Brexit and Boris now, after a similar policy.

      When NZ government and council officials (hence free trips to China for NZ Mayors strategy) are not selling the golden goose, we are giving it away, like bottled water!

      We have imbeciles in power who have no logic whats so ever but happy to give to the super rich corporations from overseas, take from the middle class and import in more poor…. while our 2nd biggest export is now profits!

      What sort of trade deal is that????

  3. For years the U.S.S.R tried to infiltrate left wing parties in the left -they failed – the problem was that those parties are full of people who a idealistic. The CPC on the other learnt from the mistakes of the U.S.S.R, they instead flooded the right wing parties with cash to infiltrate them. Same thing happening here is happening in Australia, and right around the pacific.

    Fun times.

  4. “Even at the height of the Cold War,in 1976 – while Chairman Mao was still alive and still nominally in control, some years before the ‘transition’ to a ‘market economy’ had begun – the Nats were quite happy to have their then-leader pay an official visit to Beijing.”

    Cold war by then was focused on the soviets, and not the Chinese. Nixon and Kissinger had already visited China, and both of them sung Mao’s praises. They played China off against the Soviets, taking advantage of the Sino-Soviet split a decade earlier. The Nats were simply following the Americans in this regard (the Sino-Soviet split was a tragedy for the world communist movement. But the positive side of it was it did mean the Chinese ended up following their own independent path).

    However there was real sympathy on the left for China, until 4 June 1989. Indeed in the 1960s David Lange strongly advocated for New Zealand to jettison Taiwan (the so called Republic of China) in order to recognise the Peoples Republic of China (mainland China). I remember reading about it ages ago, but can’t find it with google

    However here is an exchange from 1987, where Lange attacks Muldoon for a visit to Taiwan, and compromising the one-China policy and relations with China.

    Most New Zealand Chinese were strong labour supporters right up to probably the last election or last couple of elections. Indeed I have always voted Labour, except for the most recent election when I cast my vote for the Greens.

    But one has to respect Bridges acknowledgement of the facts. The Chinese communist movement was not about hippies and being ‘woke’ and cannabis reform. It was a party of serious minded people, whose goal was to throw out the imperialists, and develop China. It was about modernisation and science. As with the soviets, there were serious people, engineers and scientists supported the communists and were communists. It was not, except during some parts of the 1960s a party for lazy useless pricks. They developed the atomic bomb, built dams, electrified the country, ran public health campaigns, and achieved the most rapid increase in life expectancy in all of human history.

    Nowadays the communist party espouses are those solid middle class values that built up countries such as New Zealand, and make it such a pleasant place to live. That is what they want for China as well.

  5. Is it me but does the photo of Bridges sitting all straight and ‘uniform’ look abit like something that could well be in a Punch and Judy show?

    Bridges looks like an idiot and totally scared ‘shitless’ of his Chinese masters sitting to the left of him?

    But then how much has this vote-buying for the NZ National Party tour to China cost the NZ taxpayers? I would so like to know because when it comes to Simon Bridges I now know our taxes are not being spent wisely by Bridges and co on his tours and junkets? I get the feeling alot of countries around the world just don’t want to ‘get to know Simon Bridges’!

  6. Yep, the Natzkis will suck up to anyone with money and power, even Communists.
    Except that the irony of allying yourself with your historical ideological opposite escapes the Nats.
    I really wonder whether ANYONE in that party has ever pointed out that irony and questioned the wisdom of it?
    Probably not.
    Asking too much from a pack of mindless drones, I would think.

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