Why it is mad for NZ to support a US war against China


The graph below should explain it all.

From the year 2000 to 2022 exports to China increased from less than half a billion dollars to $13.28 billion. This is an increase of 3,220%. Exports to China went from 3% of the total to 29%. Without China New Zealand would likely have suffered a significant economic decline.
Exports to the rest of the world roughly doubled. Exports to our friend and ally the UK barely changed – remain less than one billion dollars. China signed a trade deal with New Zealand in 2008. The US and UK still have not. According to recent reports, 98% of New Zealand exports to China are tariff-free. That is not true for exports to the UK, US and Europe, our so-called friends.
The only country in the world that imposes sanctions on New Zealand companies is the US. Trump imposed punitive tariffs on NZ exports of steel and aluminum that have not been removed by President Biden. Trump did not go to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for a ruling on whether New Zealand was acting against the rules. He acted unilaterally.
The “rules-based international order” the US demands we support is entirely a self-determined set of rules. They are not UN rules, which the US ignores or vetoes anyway if their decisions displease them. They are not the WTO rules. They are not International Court rules because the US doesn’t recognise the court. In fact, the US has threatened to use its military to intervene and release any US citizen who is charged. They don’t even accept the rulings of the International Court of Justice which they do recognise. This court found in 1986 that the US had illegally mined Nicaragua’s harbours in 1984 during its ongoing war against that nation. So they vetoed the Court’s punishment in the UN Security Council. They are not rules from trade agreements because outside of Canada and Mexico, the US refuses to be part of them.  The UN convention of the Law of the Sea was signed by the US but remains unratified by the Senate so the US is not a party to the Treaty. Yet the US claims to be upholding this law when its navy cruises up and down the coast of China which has signed and ratified the treaty. The “rule-based order” is simply whatever the US/Nato military alliance decides are the rules. The UN did not sanction the US-led wars against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria over the last two decades. Literally, millions of people have died needlessly as a consequence of these wars. No one has been liberated. Slavery is being imposed in parts of Libya today, and famine is coming back to Afghanistan which remains under US sanctions despite running away.
The US has also waged economic war by imposing economic sanctions on dozens of countries over the last few decades as well. They have also confiscated the gold deposits of Venezuela and Afghanistan. They seized the bank deposits of Russia. The globe is watching this unilateral imperial world order and is desperate to escape its bullying behavior.
The US is going to war against China because it is losing the international economic competition that previously enabled its military and economic bullying to dominate the globe. The empire is in slow decline. China’s extraordinary rise as an economic powerhouse over the past few decades means that it is now the top international trading partner for 120 countries. This has given the world the freedom to act in ways they have never before – politically and economically.
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw China broker a deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran. All three nations simply ignored the US. Whatever we may think of these regimes, this will help bring peace to Yemen and the region. The world is becoming a safer and freer place because of that independence.
That is also why there is a division inside the capitalist class and their political representatives in New Zealand and Australia about being part of the US-led provocations against China. They know where their exports are going and don’t want to poke that country in the eye for no apparent sensible reason.
After being thrown out of the ANZUS military alliance for New Zealand’s anti-nuclear position, lets not keep trying to curry favour with the US empire and its military adventures. New Zealand was wrong to join the war against Afghanistan. We were wrong to join the occupation of Iraq. We were wrong to become an “observer” at Nato. And it would be foolish and dangerous to become a participant in any way with the AUKUS military provocation against China. New Zealand should be a neutral power that offers medical aid to the world not a tiny jumped-up militarised puppet of the US empire like Australia has become.


  1. So our relationship with the world is to be purely based on trade – no problem have your concentration camps as long as you buy enough cheese?

    • The U.S incarcerates more people than any other country on the planet … mainly Black who they had segregated up till the 1960s … they’ve used atomic weapons on civilians … used more armaments than any other country in the last 50 years on other humans … and you think they’re a bastion of ethics ? … wake up and smell the Big Mac and Fries mate. Hold the cheese …

      • If you don’t want to go to prison don’t break the law . . seems pretty simple really.
        Would go on to explain how the use of atomic weapons meant that the planned and impending invasion of the Japanese Home Islands didn’t proceed saving literally millions of both Allied and Japanese lives but to be honest what is the point . .

  2. Wishful thinking I’m afraid. The US will provoke (as in Ukraine) a war over Taiwan and will then say “unprovoked attack” and we’ll all be sucked into it like now. If this all ends without a nuclear war then I suppose that would be great. But I’m still not totally convinced that will be the case.

    • I think you are overestimating the US Brigitte and their ability to load Chinese ships full of Chinese troops to cross the Taiwan Straight to invade an independent country.

      • Just as they didn’t directly attack Russia over Ukraine, they won’t here either. They’ll arm Taiwan and then “suggest” they claim to be an independent country.

        This is how they started the conflict in Ukraine back in 2014. Even if they didn’t start or aid the Maiden uprising, they certainly officially backed the coup against an elected government (on Russia’s doorstep). Since the ambassador (who officially represents a country) gave a speech to the coup leaders in support, then subsequently discussed who should be part of the interim government (the call with Victoria ‘f*** the EU’ Nuland). So when that happened, what would Russians (and Russia) reasonably think? That the US had taken over (doesn’t matter if they really had, it’s the reasonable perception that counts).

        And then they removed Russian as an official language and banned the Russian aligned parties (supported by well over 75% in Crimea and the 4 newly annexed regions). So Russians were being told they were second class citizens (at best). Recall all Crimeans at that time aged 60 or more were born in Russia (as it hadn’t been given to Ukraine at that point). Most of the rest of the adults were Russian as one or both parent(s) were born in Russia. No wonder they voted to leave and go back to Russia. At least they were wanted there.

        But it still took the direct threat to Russia of kicking them out of Crimea and installing NATO there before they acted.

        So it’ll be something along those lines for Taiwan and another war. And China, like Russia, will try and avoid a direct conflict for as long as possible. And then hope for something as quick and clean as the 2014 Crimea take over. Rather than a war like there has been for the last year.

  3. At last some common sense on our biggest trading partner!! Totally agree Mike. If we are to pull ourselves out of the economic and social catastrophe this government has inflicted on the country then our relationship with the largest export markets is crucial.

  4. Mike – Thank you for the balanced comments…that map above tells you everything about the USA military

  5. I agree 100% with your post MT.
    The US has always used hard power to grow which has now pushed the world to the brink while China uses soft power and concentrates on building international relations and forging strong trade agreements that benefit all concerned.
    Wang Yi’s monumental success in bringing Iran and Saudi Arabia together has brought, hopefully an end to the war in Yemen.
    Significantly Saudi Arabia and Syrian foreign ministers met in Riyadh on April 12th and agreed to reinstate consular privileges and more importantly support Syria back into the Arab fold.
    All of this has been achieved through peaceful negotiation which only confuses a hard power White House and their allies who follow blindly and are themseles fearful of US reprisal.
    Sadly the Western media refuses to acknowledge the role China is playing in sowing the seeds for a unified and peaceful Middle East which ultimately does not fit the US foreign policy playbook of a destabilised Middle East.
    It is ironical that the West portrays a country who builds roads, ports, hospitals, schools etc in a bid to encourage a successful future for all as someone we can’t work with and yet a country that has over 800+ military bases across the globe, a history of military conflict, supporting regime change, blockade and sanctions is a country we should follow.
    The US has been in decline economically for many years and in stark contrast China has grown exponentially especially under President Xi Jinping but the neocon mindset in Washington is unable to see the vast opportunities this offers and for this reason alone it is imperative that NZ becomes a neutral geopolitical observer with a committed advocate for global peace.

  6. Thanks Mike Treen I was beginning to think that TDB contributors were ‘pro-WAR’ not mentioning the monumental shift in world affairs especially from countries/continents that are resource rich.

    America has had this exorbitant privileges on the world stage for far too long. It has used that privileges to destabilized and make the world a more dangerous place to live. The Ukraine war only serves the US interest and has destabilized the EU relationship with its largest trading partner China. The EU energy security is under threat and now into the future have too rely on the US to be its gas station.

    The Asian economic region is wealthy because of China and the US wants to fuck it up for our region. Remembering that we have 3 economic regions on a macro scale which are Europe, Asia, Americas and we have to be gullible to believe that the US has our best interest.

    This morning on breakfast there was a Maori girl talking about ‘AUKUS’ and that our govt actually wants to sign up to this maniacal arrangement. We need to wake the fuck up collectively whether right/left leaning politically and let our leaders know that we don’t want a bar of this BS that will reduce our country and region to 3rd world status.

    Remember Zimbabwe?

  7. Totally agree with Mike Treen’s piece.

    China generally builds infrastructure and mutually beneficial relationships when it interacts with other countries–the USA prefers to invade, exploit, or vandalise other countries!

    US Imperialism has almost 800 publicly discoverable military bases and facilities off shore, most of which conveniently butt up against its rivals–Russia, China, and parts of the Mid East. China has barely half a dozen anywhere.

    The USA has major internal problems such as crumbling infrastructure including public education, a polarised society, monetised health care, inequality and poverty, yet they still spend trillions on war and the military. The interests of US Capital are put massively before their own working class people–it is time for more NZers to wake up and stop supporting the major threat to world peace–US Imperialism.

  8. This is a Thucydides Trap situation, the declining US Power is unable to tolerate the rising Power, China! It’s US desperation!

  9. “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw China broker a deal with Saudi Arabia and Iran. This will help bring peace to Yemen and the region.”

    Thanks for flagging this, Yemen is the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world. It has been facilitated by the US and ignored by western media.

    China’s situation is more precarious than most people think, outside of internal economic and demographic issues they depend on imports, mostly maritime, for about 80% of their energy including agricultural inputs. If there is open conflict beyond Ukraine expect a US carrier group to blockade China’s maritime trade in the Gulf or Indian Ocean. Unless massive overland infrastructure projects have been completed with Russia by then, cutting off trade could lead to a collapse of industry and mass starvation.

    While PUNAC alumni and neocons control foreign policy, America will act in its own very special interests. This unhinged rant from John Bolton says the quiet part very loudly.

    Neutral and potential ‘honest broker’ is the best path for NZ foreign policy. It would be unwise to align ourselves too closely with either of the current geopolitical poles. The US has a long history of demonstrating it cannot be trusted, even by its allies, and it is too early to determine China’s long term intent on the global stage.

    • China has heavily invested in the Blue water navy with the Iranians an important strategic trading and military alliance. This has strengthen their partnership and reawaken an ancient trading alliance between the Iranians and the Chinese.


      The Chinese understand the importance of the Malacca Straight’s’ and are aware of how vulnerable the straights are to being blockaded by their rivalries. They’ve built a gas and oil pipeline thru Myanmar in 2010 running to the Yunnan province in China. These pipelines have been under attacked by US backed separatist who are supporters of the western back deposed leader of Myanmar ‘Aung San Suu Kyi’.


      Russia & China built and are building more Gas and oil pipeline project from Siberia to China. The pipeline was filled with gas in October 2019. Deliveries to China started on 2 December 2019. Gas supply to China from the Power of Siberia 1 pipeline reached 4.1 billion cubic meters in 2020, 10.4 bcm in 2021 and 15 bcm in 2022. For 2023, volumes are expected to reach 22 bcm.


      China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) has discovered a new oil and gas field in the Xinjiang region. The new find is located in the Shunbei area of the Tarim Basin. Sinopec is one of the largest oil and gas producers in China. The company expects the discovery to host around 100 million tonnes of oil equivalent. In 2016, the company discovered the Shunbei field in Xinjiang. Last year, the field’s annual oil output and gas productions were around one million tonnes and 350 million cubic metres respectively.

      Agriculture China and Russia rail link will provide exports to 40% year-on-year in 2020-2021


      The rise of the east is inevitable.

    • Forgot to mention the Gwadar ports west of Karachi Pakistan. For China, the proposed CPEC route will offer the shortest possible access to the Arabian Sea. The port is just outside the Gulf of Oman after the Strait of Hormuz built by the Chinese. You have to realize why China has been successful in fermenting Peace arrangement’s between Iran & Saudi Arabia because its in their best interest to make this work. They have found alternatives to the malacca Straight’s.

      Russia & China aren’t concerned to much about global warming because then another trading corridor opens up that Russia will control which makes the Suez canal & the Malacca straight’s obsolete.


      • @Stephen some good links thanks
        “The rise of the east is inevitable.”
        I would agree that it will be a reality on current trajectory, but I’m not sure it is inevitable. China is diversifying trade routes but still heavily dependant on maritime. My guess is the US are seeking to provoke a war with China while they still have a huge military asymmetry.

    • Tui, fortunately for opponents of US Imperialism the US ability to project force with carrier task forces became obsolete with hypersonic missiles. They are not even safe in home ports. The rules of the game have changed.

      • @Nick+J
        If China can take out a carrier with hypersonic misslies that that does change the game.

        My understanding is that hypersonics slow down as they approach the target so will likely be intercepted by the carrier group defences.

  10. Bottom line is, it won’t matter. We will be considered part of the western alliance, and the CCP Chinese Criminal Party want to own the South Pacific.

  11. Excellent post Mike, such a shame none of this in this totally lucid post is in our main stream media.

  12. The world outside of Europe Australia, Canada, NZ and USA has spoken through their actions. Dedollarisation of trade is accelerating. The US empire is at risk, hence all the noise and belligerence.

    Taiwan, Ukraine, Syria, Yemen are the hot points but the real action is non US $ trade. It won’t change overnight, it may take years. Hopefully we will see the USA become just another country abiding by international law, as opposed to their “rules based” tyranny.

    As for NZ we are in the wrong camp and it will hurt us.

  13. NZ should re-assert an independent foreign policy, and conduct trade and diplomacy for the benefit of our citizens, and for the benefit of the wider world community, not for the benefit of a few greedy arms-producers and politicians.

  14. Thank you for the excellent straightforward article stating the obvious and little discussed reality of trade agreements. One has to wonder about the third party in any war, just like the lion the bear and the fox, and the ghoulish media relish of the accompanying war porn designed to anaesthetise the populus.

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