After years of push and shove between America and China in the South China Sea, the last week has seen a sharp and steep rise in China taking offence against their deplorable crack down in Hong Kong…
The Foreign Affairs Minister is not sure if New Zealand has offended China, but admits a statement made by a government official about removing the eyes of those who interfere with the country’s business is “strongly worded”.
The Five Eyes intelligence network, which includes New Zealand, Australia, Britain, the United States and Canada, made a joint statement which said Beijing was trying to silence political opposition in the Chinese territory.
The countries called for China to immediately reinstate recently fired members of Hong Kong’s legislature and said new rule changes appeared to be a concerted campaign to silence critical voices.
China has issued a stark warning to the Five Eyes countries, an intelligence alliance including New Zealand, that it risks “having their eyes poked out” for calling on China to obey international obligations in Hong Kong.
There are warnings this is only the beginning of tensions between China and the Five Eyes countries.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern used the virtual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit to hammer home the importance of sticking to the rules.
“We must continue to ensure a level playing field and predictable rules for our exporters in the region.”
In August, China’s Deputy Head of Mission Wang Xining made an extraordinary speech at Canberra’s National Press Club outlining how Australia had wronged his country.
It was a pointed attack at Australia over its decision to back an independent inquiry into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic – a decision the diplomat compared with the treacherous assassination of Roman emperor Julius Caesar.
The rift over where coronavirus originated has dominated the relationship between the two previously strong allies. But it is far from the only reason China is “angry” at Australia.
A deliberately leaked document delivered by the Chinese embassy in Canberra to The Age newspaper reveals 14 disputes that are “poisoning bilateral relations”
…China is our Economic Overlord, Australia is our loud mouthed rude neighbour and America is our 5 Eyes Political Master, so to think we will be immune from such volatility between China, Australia and America is delusional.
To date NZ has managed to keep out of any direct confrontation with China because China bought the National Party and the National Party did everything in their decade of power to bend over backwards to China.
Key put all our cows in one Beijing paddock off the back of Helen’s free trade deal, and we’ve been trapped ever since.
The fact there was an alleged Chinese spy inside the National Party caucus highlights how compromised National had become.
With their investment in National wasted, soft power turns to hard force very quickly.
Trump’s erratic and increasingly desperate thrashing around while there are two carrier task forces in the South China Sea is an enormous uncertainty and recipe for miscalculation.
China could ‘poke out our eyes’ in 3 ways.
Economically – They could strangle off exports and hurt the economy.
Militarily – They could shoot down an American satellite launched by RocketLabs from a submarine off the East Coast.
Domestically – We know Chinese newspaper editors in NZ all take their editorial stance directly from the Chinese Government and calling for mass demonstrations against the Government for whatever perceived insult would cause enormous upheaval that could easily spill into something ugly.
NZ-Asians face the most overt racism in NZ, there is a huge tension beneath the mild surface of NZ society, and we aren’t prepared for if it ruptures from geopolitical tensions.
We must be a voice for peace and the champion for International co-operation and respect for the rule of law because conflict will create social reverberations we are not ready for.
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