While the New Zealand government is quick to criticise oppressive government regimes in countries like Zimbabwe or Fiji, its an entirely different story when it comes to China.

When you are looking to sign a free trade agreement with the Chinese Stalinist regime, you turn a blind eye to the more 'unpleasant' aspects of the Chinese government.

Like the continued violent oppression of the Tibetan people.

Prime Minister Clark's response to the current Tibetan uprising is political and moral cowardice on a grand scale.

According to Clark her government has said nothing about the current Tibetan situation because 'she 'wants to find out the full story behind the riots'.

As Green MP Keith Locke has commented these are just 'weasel words'.

This government will say nothing and do nothing as it seeks to sign a disastrous free trade agreement with the Chinese regime.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters in Parliament last week also failed to condemn the Chinese government. Questioned by Locke, Peters would only go as far as to say the government had 'concerns' about the Chinese government's human rights record.

More than 1.2 million Tibetans have died as a result of the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1950. The Chinese regime have destroyed and looted over 600,000 Buddhist monasteries. At the present time more than 4,000 Tibet political activists are are being held in jails and labour camps.

Last year PM Clark described the Zimbabwe regime as 'appalling' and in 2005 she commented she 'would not be seen dead' in that country. Its a pity Clark can't find it in herself to make similar comments about the Chinese regime.


  1. Great post Steven. This issue is a bit of a litmus test for left blogs. And while yours clearly passes, all the Labour-hack blogs are failing badly.


  2. Steve: its just too easy to criticise China re tibet without seeing the greater historical context. yes the chinese government has been harsh in tibet...have you asked yourself why?...In emerging from 150 years of foriegn interference and internal strife, the newly formed Chinese government of the early 1950s could see the need to ressit the likelihood of further foriegn intrusions into chinses self determination. Tibets high altitude and strategic location made leaving it to American designs unacceptable to chinese who had fought hard and died in thier millions to regain self determination. This si the brutal reality of the real world...a world long dominated by 'christian' whitemen...China had no chioce but to take Tibet to ensure it would not be under the constant threat. The hypocracy of western liberals condemning china for its stand against real foreign and internal dangers is astounding. western democracy is built upon the decimation and fragmentation and subjugation of 3rd world cultures. China just managed to escape this and has every right to defend against it. As the west sinks into moral and economic morass, alternative models such as china offer hope to the 3rd world. we are in no position to preach to china on democracy or proper government. I believe engagement with China is the way to go. I dont like the situation in tibet but we need to make the connection that that situation is in part caused by past aggression from the west.


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