While the New Zealand Government looks to open more doors to China, it continues to ignore the plight of the Tibetan people. It has nothing to say about ongoing Chinese violence against the Tibetan people.
New Zealand Government's are so consumed with courting the Chinese Stalinist regime, that they continue to demonstrate a policy of 'see no evil, hear no evil' when it comes to China's miserable human rights record.
A quick perusal of the New Zealand mainstream media reveals that it is more interested in talking about new trading opportunities with China rather than the Chinese regimes appalling human rights record. That is something New Zealand politicians are more than willing to sweep under the carpet and, yes, China can buy the country's dairy farms.
Tibet has conveniently dropped off the political radar of both the politicians and the media hacks , but the struggle of the Tibetan people for national independence continues. China invaded Tibet in 1959.
A day ago a nineteen year old Tibetan monk set himself alight.
He was the 23rd Tibetan to self-immolate in the last year. The Chinese regime describes self-immolation as 'terrorism' Amnesty International has said the spate of self-immolations "indicates a new level of desperation" on the part of Tibetans.
The exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, has blamed the self-immolations on "cultural genocide" by the Chinese but he has not called for them to stop.
He has described China's policy in Tibet as 'ruthless and illogical'.
The 'self immolations are, in fact, also an attack on the Dalai Lama's 'middle way', which asks the Tibetan people to be patient while exile leaders offer to negotiate with China on their behalf. The Dalai Lama's political view is fast becoming irrelevant. Leaders in the prominent Tibetan Youth Congress leaders have long called for an end to the nonviolent resistance insisted on by the Dalai Lama.
The self- immolations are evidence of mounting unrest in Tibet with protests having broken out in several areas .The most intense have been in Aba, known in Tibetan as Ngaba – a mountainous area of north-west Sichuan that has been resisting Chinese Communist party rule for decades. And 13 of the current 23 self-immolations have occurred here.
However Tibet appears to have vanished from the map as far as the New Zealand Governments are concerned.
A fortnight ago Prime Minister John key unveiled New Zealand's 'new strategy' for China. This strategy can e found in the document 'Opening Doors To China'.
Key called for more trade between New Zealand and China and closer political ties.
"We have a strong relationship with China and have seen good growth in trade over the past few years. The launch of the strategy today will help further strengthen that relationship," Key said.
Key declined to meet the Dalai Lama when he visited New Zealand in 2009.
The new strategy has been welcomed by New Zealand business.
Said David Green, managing director of Australia and New Zealand ( ANZ) Bank's Institutional Sector, "I think we need more New Zealanders to appreciate what opportunities for our country presented by China and doing more business together.'
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully told Friends of Tibet(NZ) last year: “ I wish to assure you that discussion on Tibet and on human rights remain an important part of our increasingly comprehensive engagement with China.”
Can McCully point to any discussions with China about Tibet? No, he can't. That's because there haven't been any.
The image from video (above) shows Buddhist nun Palden Choetso engulfed in flames in her self-immolation protest against Chinese rule on a street in Tawu, Tibetan Ganzi prefecture, in China's Sichuan Province Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011.