Gareth Morgan on foreign investment

October 19th, 2010 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

As Labour retreats to 1970s protectionism, Gareth Morgan points out the consequences:

If foreigners can’t use New Zealand dollars to buy New Zealand assets why would they be willing to hold New Zealand dollars? …

Foreigners who sell us the imports we covet don’t really want to be paid in our quaint currency. So a pass-the- parcel process occurs until some foreigner is found who will either extend us credit (by holding our Reserve Bank’s IOUs) or buys one of our assets, thus giving us the foreign currency to buy those imports we crave.

So what happens when you try and stop ?

Ban foreigners from buying our assets, though, and there certainly will be a sharp shock to the system.

If foreigners can’t use New Zealand dollars to buy New Zealand assets why would they be willing to hold New Zealand dollars?

Those dollars would become like debentures in just another New Zealand finance company, in quick time worth much less than their face value – in effect the kiwi would cease to have any asset backing. It would fall and that would deter further lending from overseas. …

A prohibition of land and business sales to foreigners would be one solution – it would drive down the currency and scare off foreign lenders and investors. Argentina is currently banning greater exports of its beef despite huge international prices, simply because they want to eat it themselves and at cheap prices.

I can’t imagine how that might do anything but damage the supply of Argentine beef but it shows these sorts of whacky interventions are not unheard of. Ban land sales to foreigners but expect lower incomes as a result.

Lower incomes and even lower purchasing power as a falling dollar will push up the prices of many goods.

I have a financial interest in a dairy farm and processing factory in Brazil. For that economy such foreign investment brings growth and jobs – and milk it would otherwise have to import.

It sees also a technology transfer from New Zealand to another country – the real worth after all in our dairy industry lies in the decades of intellectual capital, productivity and technology that we have been silly enough to roll up into our per hectare land price. The benefit to New Zealand from that activity is significant as well – an inflow of profits we wouldn’t otherwise have.

If instead I’d invested in dairying in New Zealand I would simply have pushed land prices up and, I’m reasonably sure, have made less money. So it’s being argued by the xenophobes that a win-win for New Zealand and Brazil is worse than if I’d spent my money developing a farm up the slopes of the Southern Alps.

Get real. Foreign investment is how countries develop.

Remember that every transaction needs a willing seller and a willing buyer. If you ban sellers from being able to sell to the highest bidder, you are reducing the value of farms to their current farmers. The PM has also pointed out that this may push the value of the farm below the equity in it – ie banks will be more likely to bankrupt struggling farmers under Labour’s policy.

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192 Responses to “Gareth Morgan on foreign investment”

  1. Grant Michael McKenna (1,156 comments) says:

    Gareth Morgan is an economist.
    Economists study capitalism.
    Capitalism is evil.
    Therefore Gareth Morgan is evil.

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  2. decanker (222 comments) says:

    I must have missed the memo that says Labour intends to ban foreign investment.

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  3. m@tt (587 comments) says:

    Gareth Morgan is right, living within our means as a country would remove our over-reliance on foreign investment.

    Think about it… If you live outside you means and keep selling off your assets to enable that to continue, what do you do when your no assets left to sell?

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  4. bchapman (649 comments) says:

    If NZers were smart they would sell the land to unsuspecting foreigners now while commodity prices are high then buy it back later on when prices drop.

    Morgan makes a number of great points- the main one to me is that if we are incapable of competing on the world stage withdrawing into protectionism won’t save you.

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  5. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    The PM has also pointed out that this may push the value of the farm below the equity in it – ie banks will be more likely to bankrupt struggling farmers under Labour’s policy.

    The farmers are struggling because their farms are ridiculously over-valued and they’ve had to put themselves up to their necks in debt to get a farm. Key’s answer is to keep the bubble inflating, for which foreign investors are useful. How about we stop inflating the damn bubble and let farm values reflect the money that can actually be made out of them?

    [DPF: Umm if an investor is prepared to pay a higher price for a farm, then that is reflecting the money they think they can make from them. A farm is only over-valued if no one will pay the value. By removing those who will pay you make them over-valued]

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  6. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    The constant use of the word xenophobia in this debate is so irritating. Putting people who disagree with a policy in socially unapproved groups is a leftist tactic. There’s an argument for and against. Let’s have it without the use of prejudicial words like xenophobia.

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  7. jinpy (237 comments) says:

    I have a financial interest in a dairy farm and processing factory in Brazil. For that economy such foreign investment brings growth and jobs – and milk it would otherwise have to import.

    It sees also a technology transfer from New Zealand to another country – the real worth after all in our dairy industry lies in the decades of intellectual capital, productivity and technology that we have been silly enough to roll up into our per hectare land price. The benefit to New Zealand from that activity is significant as well – an inflow of profits we wouldn’t otherwise have.

    Yes, but in the long term wouldn’t that technology transfer extend to Brazilian owned dairy industry, thus reducing NZs competitive advantage?

    If instead I’d invested in dairying in New Zealand I would simply have pushed land prices up …

    Isn’t land prices going up one of the benefits touted from foreign investment in NZ? I mean you can’t have the argument both ways can u…?

    Morgan investing in Brazil is the opposite example of what we are facing. I would argue China has very little to offer us in terms of dairy technology transfer. Surely its more likely to flow in the other direction? And is NZ farm prices going up in value good or bad? Can anyone address my points. I’m not against foreign ownership per se.

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  8. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    I must have missed the memo that says Labour intends to ban foreign investment.

    Might pay to open both eyes then.

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  9. slightlyrighty (2,496 comments) says:

    Redbaiter, Xenophobia is at the heart of the issue. This entire matter came to a head whan an asian consortium looked to buy the Crafer farms.

    Can China offer us increased technology in Dairy Farming? No. Can China bring capital to New Zealand to help New Zealand improve dairy technology? Of course. If Chinese business interests, or any other nationality purchase New Zealand land, does that land become part of that country? Of course not. My parents were Dutch, yet the house they purchased did not end up as part of the netherlands.

    The fact remains that capital is directly linked to population. We live in a country of 4 million people. Simple mathematics dictate that we do not have the capability to provide capital for everything we need to do. We need foreign investment to enable this country to grow.

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  10. berend (1,633 comments) says:

    Remember: farmers don’t vote National. So Goff doesn’t care about farmers. He’s after other votes.

    Decanker: I must have missed the memo that says Labour intends to ban foreign investment.

    Read the article again Decanker: investors wouldn’t buy NZ dollars if they could own the assets to backup the paper money.

    Jinpy: Yes, but in the long term wouldn’t that technology transfer extend to Brazilian owned dairy industry, thus reducing NZs competitive advantage?

    It we keep doing things the same way forever it might (and what is wrong with helping the Brazilians?). But that’s not how it works. Even in diary farming we’re continually changing and improving things. I’m sure there are farmers out there already using an iphone to improve their yields or minimise environmental harm.

    slightlyrighty: Simple mathematics dictate that we do not have the capability to provide capital for everything we need to do. We need foreign investment to enable this country to grow.

    Goff only cares for the votes. He doesn’t care about growth just like the 5th Labour government didn’t care about growth, and just like the current National government doesn’t care about growth.

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  11. burt (7,806 comments) says:

    ie banks will be more likely to bankrupt struggling farmers under Labour’s policy.

    And then the farmers will go on a benefit and vote for more benefits… perfect Labour policy.

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  12. Poliwatch (335 comments) says:

    “Yes, but in the long term wouldn’t that technology transfer extend to Brazilian owned dairy industry, thus reducing NZs competitive advantage?”

    Only if we stop innovating. People innovate – not blocks of land. The kiwifruit industry took a long time to understand this.

    “I would argue China has very little to offer us in terms of dairy technology transfer.”

    I would argue to the contrary. There is a lot of dairy development occurring in China (Fonterra, Nestle etc). They are leveraging the technology available in China for those assets and from that there is technology transfer in the case of Fonterra coming back to NZ – and of course profits. The Chinese can be very innovative – we need to tap into this in the same way that we have tapped into previous technologies coming from Europe then USA.

    Most NZer’s would be surprised at the level of dairy land investment that NZ farmers are making in USA, Ireland, Brazil etc.

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  13. kowtow (7,614 comments) says:

    Make no mistake, this is not xenophobia. It is racism,targetting the yellow peril. Labour simply can’t admit that.

    Honestly Goff is playing the Winston Peters race card for the populist vote,it’s just he’s hiding it up his sleeve a wee bit.It’s called desperation politics.

    WE are a trading nation,always have been,who to,that’s right foreigners.

    If Goff and Labour don’t want their former friend s in the glorious workers paradise buying farms here then they should man up and say so.

    Sinophobia. We are very brave when it comes to Fiji!

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  14. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Redbaiter, bit sensitive there mmmmmm?….is that the tell tail sign of your own xenaphobic trait thats showing….?

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  15. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    [DPF: Umm if an investor is prepared to pay a higher price for a farm, then that is reflecting the money they think they can make from them.

    Yes, because they're anticipating the bubble will make money for them. Should have expressed it more clearly: "How about we stop inflating the damn bubble so farm values reflect the money that can actually be made out of farming the land?" Reducing the number of sales to foreigners should help with that quite nicely.

    [DPF: If foreign investors want to lose money by buying farm land at too expensive a price from local farmers, than all power to them. Your solution makes all current farmers poorer]

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  16. wreck1080 (3,730 comments) says:

    Noone cares if an englishman or australian buys farms.

    They just don’t like the yellowman.

    Personally, I don’t care. If asians want to buy overpriced land then let them.

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  17. ben (2,396 comments) says:

    The case for foreign investment is not that Chile, or whoever, gets to import less milk. Chileans could have and probably would have had a dairy farm in that location anyway. The case for foreign investment is really about the introduction of new ideas and techniques that would otherwise not be available to the local economy. Capital, labour, the pruduction itself, can all happen without foreign investment, but not the knowledge and ideas and processes for better production. That is the value of foreign investment. These ideas spill over and eventually benefit the entire economy. The foreigner makes money, the local economy is capital enriched, and wages therefore rise from the accumulation of knowledge and capital.

    Foreigners pay higher wages: 10% more than the local wage in first world economies, and double the local wage in developing economies. That is because they bring capital and new techniques.

    Is there anything sadder than watching the leaders of a poor country – New Zealand – jostle for leadership by promising to further impoverish the people living here, knowing that is what it takes to convince the tiny, isolated voting population, which is apparently determined to keep out any more of ‘dem foreigners, to vote for them? Christ what a sad backwater this place is.

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  18. ben (2,396 comments) says:

    Redbaiter – it’s not good economics that explains the policy, yet voters love this sort of protectionist nonsense. What explains this? If not xenophobia, then what?

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  19. ben (2,396 comments) says:

    Capitalism is evil.

    Says the man typing into his Dell laptop, wearing a t shirt from China and jeans from America, sipping a latte using beans from Brazil, all paid for with an income beyond the wildest dreams of every person living under every alternative system ever conceived.

    Yes, good point, retard.

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  20. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Morgan, DPF, and the National PR squad are using an old rhetorical ploy. The Natural Dairy bid for Crafar farms has sparked the controversy. Morgan and Co, without mentioning the names Natural Dairy, Crafar, or Wang by association imply those who oppose the deal, and those who oppose the sale of agriculture land to foreigners for company farming, are opposed to foreign investment in NZ. This is rubbish of course. You can welcome foreign investment generally without supporting all cases of foreign investment. If Morgan was opening branches of his investment firm throughout Africa instead of building village wells, I’m sure the Africans would validly have a different response.

    Morgan, as pointed out in the General Debate thread is well off the mark when he says:

    If foreigners can’t use New Zealand dollars to buy New Zealand assets why would they be willing to hold New Zealand dollars?

    The vast carry trade, which has made the NZ dollar among the 12 most traded currencies in the world, fuels on NZ’s high interest rates. It’s about borrowing in low-interest rate countries like Japan and investing in high-interest rate countries like NZ and Australia. Morgan knows the carry trade is far more important in the level of the NZ dollar than inflow of money to buy NZ assets.Trade also affects the NZ dollar as exporters buy NZD when they sell the foreign currencies they earn in. Incoming tourists also help keep the NZ dollar high.

    An argument also being put forward, but in support of selling our agricultural land to the foreign equivalent of Queen Street farmers, is that land prices will dive without sales to foreigners. Dairy-suitable land is in a bubble, with many recent purchasers unable to make an economic return because of the high land price they paid. The people using this argument imply or state outright the way to solve a bubble is to keep it going – and growing.

    Then, of course, in the posts, there is the usual hackneyed resort to accusations of racism. If you oppose sale of Crafar land to a Chinese company whose principals are big in Red China you are racist. I, for one, have in Kiwiblog criticised the sale of dairy farms to Harvard university interests. So it’s okay to criticise sales to Americans, but not to Chinese. Just who are the fucking racists in this case? (My argument is that the backbone of successful NZ farming has always been family farms, and that company farming has a poor record in NZ.)

    Another argument being put about, including by the head of Federated Farmers, is that blocking NZ agricultural land sales to foreigners is an infringement of the property rights of the land owners. So would blocking the sale of a sheep station to Al Qaeda for a training ground of course. Then there is the legal state of freehold land and just what is owned. I think you will find it is just the fullest right to occupy, ahead of perpetual leases, and that all NZ land ultimately remains the property of the Crown/State, except perhaps for some Maori land. In summary, property rights are not and have never been absolute.

    IMHO, the intense support being shown for the Natural Dairy bid for Crafar farms does not contradict concerns about donations and links between Auckland Chinese business interests and both our main political parties. Let’s have full exposure on this.

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  21. Dave Mann (1,168 comments) says:

    Slightly tangential to the main thrust of this thread… but I love Argentina, having lived there for some part of the ’70s and I always knew it as an economic powerhouse and the great economic rival of Brasil, with whom they were in intense economic (and of course sporting hahahaha) competition. Manufacturing was thriving, the beef trade was on a high and the atmosphere of optimism and growth was palpable and dynamic. Actually, often you couldn’t buy beef because it was all being exported.

    Last year I returned. The country’s rail network has been literally ripped up and destroyed. The line over the Andes to Chile, built a hundred years ago by pioneers with pick and shovel, is no more. Apparently they were privatised and then sold by the Menem administration who simply ripped off all the proceeds and stashed it away in Swss bank accounts! They stole a whole railway FFS and almost all the other state assets.

    The Airline is so fucked that they simply cannot adhere to their schedules with any certainty and the planes look worn and tired …. God knows what their maintenance is like.

    Argentine manufactured goods are shoddy and look like they were actually manufactured in the ’70s, while poverty levels are so bad that their neighbours in Chile and Uruguay often shake their heads and just sigh with the sadness of it all…. Like seeing a rich cousin lose everything – and God knows, both these other countries have had their fair share of problems of their own.

    I think Argentina is beginning to struggle back on its feet… just… and it is certainly a wonderful country with a rich history and culture (mi querida Argentina) but Jesus F what an awful time they have had for the last 30 years and they are only just beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But even now there is a debate on whether or not farmers should be TAXED for exporting!! Honestly. The argument goes “These rich pricks are gaining an unfair advantage over the rest of the country by getting high prices for their exports, so its only fair to take most of this off them in tax.”

    I don’t have the answers and I suspect that the real causes of Argentina’s tumultuous descent into hell are too complicated to describe in simple terms…. but it would be like watching Australia suddenly destroy itself and end up living on its own streets and starving to death; its that tragic. I saw a young couple living in a heap of rubbish sacks in Buenos Aires. They had a little business sorting out the garbage and selling the recyclables and they lived amongst their precious sacks. Well spoken, obviously educated and living literally in their own garbage.

    Whenever I hear somebody defending the wholesale selling off our state asets with “Well, they will still be here, won’t they? They won’t just disappear!” I think of the heartbreak of driving a railway from the Bolivian high plains down to Buenos Aires and then having it literally ripped up and stolen for the scrap value by corrupt thieving assholes.

    Here is a telling illustration: to take a bus in Buenos Aires you HAVE to pay with COINS into a machine (I guess because the drivers cannot be trusted to handle cash)… but you can’t get coins anywhere for love or money and the shops don’t give any for change. And why can’t you get any coins? because the metal is worth more than the face value of the coin and all the coins go over the border to Chile to be melted down! So the average Joe spends hours per week queuing at a bank to change a maximum of 10 pesos per time into coins so he can go to work.

    Argentina was a world leading powerhouse economy for a large part of the 20th century but it went down the drain big time and it is on its knees. There aren’t even any noticeable Chinese goods in the shops – probably because they can’t afford them. Will new Zealand go the same way? What can we learn here?

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  22. berend (1,633 comments) says:

    Jack5: Dairy-suitable land is in a bubble, with many recent purchasers unable to make an economic return because of the high land price they paid.

    If that’s the case, prices will fall right? Nothing the government needs to do here. And that’s the point you were trying to prove.

    Jack5: all NZ land ultimately remains the property of the Crown/State

    You’re commie credentials were already top notch Jack5.

    Ever heard of the phrase: “The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail — its roof may shake — the wind may blow through it — the storm may enter — the rain may enter — but the King of England cannot enter — all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!”

    That was England, that’s common law, that’s the system we inherited. And guys like you want to turn this into North Korea where it is true what you claim.

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  23. burt (7,806 comments) says:

    Well the answer is obvious if you are a socialist. Just confiscate the land back into state ownership and only allow people to work the land who are prepared to work on a fixed wage employed by the state under a collective contract.

    When production falls because there is no connection between effort and reward for the people working the land then the socialists can send in their bully union mates to beat up the lazy workers who have failed to keep the party leaders in the lifestyle they expect.

    Oh, don’t listen to Goff when he says ‘I wouldn’t be selling them Fontera shares just yet….

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  24. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    [DPF: If foreign investors want to lose money by buying farm land at too expensive a price from local farmers, than all power to them. Your solution makes all current farmers poorer]

    Whereas constantly finding new ways to drive land values up made us all so much richer – for a while, anyway.

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  25. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “What explains this? If not xenophobia, then what?”

    Well I cannot speak for everyone of course. There could be the odd critic of the plan out there who objects on Xenophobic grounds. Xenophobia was originally a term widely used to decide a national mood whipped up by government to encourage the war effort. It was often used by pacifists or other anti-war types.

    With the onset of multi-culturalism, it has morphed into a term like “homophobia”, which I regard as a group smear designed to stifle debate and to conceal the fact that the pro argument is weak.

    I do not object to the sale of Crafar farms to the Chinese Communists on racial grounds or because they’re from an overseas country. If I did, there might be a weak case for using the word xenophobia, but I don’t. I object on the grounds that we should not be dealing with the gang of totalitarian murderers who pose as the Chinese government. I also object on strategic grounds in that one only has to look at China’s global expansionist policy and its arms build up to know it is not a wise move.

    Look at how those who traded with Nazi Germany are regarded today? Its not a dissimilar situation.

    China is in the hands of a band of untrustworthy thugs who rule by power of the gun. They should be subject to trade bans from every democratic country.

    (I have refused to deal with them myself on exactly those grounds. It is quite interesting to see their reaction when you inform them of this actually)

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  26. emmess (1,368 comments) says:

    Dave Mann,
    Argentina is has been run by the Kirchner’s for the last decade or so, who are Chavez mini me’s

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  27. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “We need foreign investment to enable this country to grow.”

    I am not against foreign investment.

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  28. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Phil of it should be locked up in a institute for the criminally insane, commie arsehole. Would like to see the prick limit foreign buyers of urban property. Lets see the commie arsehole infringe on the precious housing market, see how he goes then. Easy to pick on those with no voice, totally different story if we were to say fuck you to townie property rights.

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  29. burt (7,806 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt

    I take it you would also suggest that only NZ citisens should be allowed to own residential property. Or are the rules to be different when they might effect your own personal investments?

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  30. burt (7,806 comments) says:

    ssb

    SNAP!

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  31. Mark (1,360 comments) says:

    There is some drivel writen on this post. The issue that labour has focused on is Rural Land and strategic assets. Key has come out and said to restruict foreign owners NZ farmers may end up broke or with negative equity and then Garenth Morgan chimes in expousing the virtues of foreign investment.

    Forstly there needs to be a coherent and clear policy on foreign investment in NZ assets. Foreign investment in NZ assets should only be on the basis that there is in

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  32. Gwilly (156 comments) says:

    It ‘s such poor policy its not worth a debate. Labour is desperate and resorting to scare tactics. If they weren’t the laughing stock, they are now. What scares me more is that 40-45% of NZers will vote for either Labour or the Greens.

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  33. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    berend (2.57 post) accuses me of having commie credentials. After being abused by a succession of posters for having Right views, I’m chuffed at being called a communist. Sort of even things up.

    The ultimate ownership of freehold land is nothing to do with my opinion or my politics, but with the legal case, the law. Consult a law professional, or perhaps the valuation/real estate academics at one of our applied universities. It’s not about politics but about the nuts and bolts of the law, berend.

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  34. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Dave Mann (2.54 post) raises the case of Argentina.

    Here’s what the CIA World Fact Book says of Argentina’s economic decline:

    Although one of the world’s wealthiest countries 100 years ago, Argentina suffered during most of the 20th century from recurring economic crises, persistent fiscal and current account deficits, high inflation, mounting external debt, and capital flight. A severe depression, growing public and external indebtedness, and a bank run culminated in 2001 in the most serious economic, social, and political crisis in the country’s turbulent history. Interim President Adolfo Rodrgiques Saa declared a default – the largest in history – on the government’s foreign debt in December of that year

    In NZ , we’ve got the persistend current account deficits. State debt is relatively modest, but private debt is high. We have low inflation, and there can’t be much capital flight apart from the frequently poorly performing foreign funds advisers have put savers’ money into.

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  35. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    If the Chinese were to convert to democracy tomorrow, and hold Nuremberg type trials where all the murdering Communist leaders were hung, then they could buy my farm. (Assuming I had one for the sake of the argument)

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  36. Rex Widerstrom (5,258 comments) says:

    I have a financial interest in a dairy farm and processing factory in Brazil.

    According to Goff:

    They would be rejected unless the overseas buyer of farm or forestry land also invested in significant further processing of primary products and brought new technology into New Zealand.

    So if a Brazilian wants to buy a dairy farm in NZ and invest in processing as Morgan has done then he or she will be welcome.

    What needs to be stopped is the kind of “investment” that rips logs off of our land and ships them offshore with the absolute minimum payments flowing into NZ (wages for a handful of loggers and truck drivers) and then sells us the finished product back for vastly more than was ever “invested” here.

    A rule saying “if you want the finite resource (land or minerals, not much else) then the rules are that the maximum possible amount of processing must be done here” isn’t xenophobia – it should apply to majority-owned and even wholly NZ owned companies too – it’s common sense.

    If foreign “investors” complain they can no longer exploit NZ and NZers while putting the minimum back into this country then the message, to misquote Beyonce, is “if you liked it then you should have put a processing operation on it”.

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  37. burt (7,806 comments) says:

    Mark

    The issue that labour has focused on is Rural Land

    Of course, how many farmers do you know who vote Labour. Easy target to kick without losing any votes. Classic labour popularism.

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  38. burt (7,806 comments) says:

    Oh remember if Wisnton joins a Labour-led govt there will be an exception for horse breeders. They are special and they have helicopters which are already painted in NZ1 colours.

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  39. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Since Rex Widerstrom raises forestry in his 3.26 post, what’s happening in Russia may be of interest.

    The resurgence in NZ log prices is probably largely due to restrictions Russia has placed on unprocessed forestry products from the country’s vast Siberian forests. Log exports to the nearby Asian industrial powerhouses have dived. The Russians’ goal is to create jobs in Siberia.

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  40. Lance (2,448 comments) says:

    I don’t get why the phobics think that they will be worse off with foreign ownership?
    If the land stays exclusively in NZ hands do they think the overpriced produce will come down in price or the land will be cheaper so they can buy it or some other such ethereal reason?

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  41. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Ben- Actually I agree that widespread scare-mongering against “overseas investment” as a concept (as the left frequently engage in) should be criticised. I’m just not sure that “xenophobia” is the right word.

    Its more anti-capitalist than xenophobic.

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  42. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Lance posted at 3.35:

    …If the land stays exclusively in NZ hands do they think the overpriced produce will come down in price or the land will be cheaper so they can buy it or some other such ethereal reason?

    What are you trying to say Lance? C’mon try again. Spit it out. Do you want cheaper milk? What ethereal reason would you want to buy land for – an Ayn Rand spiritual retreat site?

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  43. Rex Widerstrom (5,258 comments) says:

    I can’t look into the heads of fellow commenters so I can’t say whether xenophobia is motivating some people, but I doubt that it is for most. Some people understand history, and human nature – both factors which mitigate against Gareth Morgan’s unwaveringly positive, rose-tinted view of foreign “investment”.

    But to those levelling the charge, a question.

    Is it xenophobic to note that the British, in the 19th century, exploited many countries to grow products for export back to the UK? (e.g. the Congo, Indonesia etc) That they did so at the point of a gun when the natives became stroppy? That the US isn’t exactly unknown for its exploitation of smaller, weaker countries in the 20th century? (e.g. Guatemala, Iran (in 1953) etc).

    Yet it’s “xenophobic” and even “racist” to suggest that the Chinese, at the beginning of what will inevitably be their century will, if permitted, act in exactly the same way?

    You’re relying on history not repeating, and on the Chinese being less aggressive and expansionist than Britain or the US when they had their turn? Good luck, suckers.

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  44. Mark (1,360 comments) says:

    There is some drivel writen on this post. The issue that labour has focused on is Rural Land and strategic assets. Key has come out and said to restruict foreign owners NZ farmers may end up broke or with negative equity and then Garenth Morgan chimes in expousing the virtues of foreign investment.

    Firstly there needs to be a coherent and clear policy on foreign investment in NZ assets. Foreign investment in NZ assets should be on the basis that there is a clear benefit to NZ and in most cases you could expect that there will be.

    With Rural land there may well be an exception as rural production is the backbone of the NZ export sector. If foreign investors can demonstrate a benefit to NZ through their ownership of the farms then they should still be able to make their case but unrestricted foreign investment in NZ farms so a few NZ farmers can make tax exempt capital gains is good for New Zealand how?

    As for Keys comments, just nonsense. If you think it through his comments simply mean that NZ farms are overgeared and it makes you wonder whether the over inflated farm prices are caused by foreign investment in the first place. I have never really understood why farms have sold at such ridiculous price/earnings ratios. Given the risks involved farm prices make little sense. It would appear many farmers rely on tax exempt capital gains to make their money in the end.

    As for CER, have a look at the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board rules which provides certain exemptions for NZ citizens and higher threshholds on foreign investment for American investors. NZ can provide exemtions to Australians in the same manner if CER is a concern.

    Australia has restrictions on Airports, ports, ships, telstra, their banks and land amongst other classes.

    Having had first hand experience of the FIRB regime, the Australians pointing any bone at NZ in terms of foreign investment restrictions would be a bit more hypocritical than you can imagine. The FIRB website has nice friendly weasel words about encouraging foreign investment on the front page but it wields a fairly big stick and buying undeveloped property and rural land for foreigners is not a straight forward process.

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  45. Dave Mann (1,168 comments) says:

    Jack5, yes all that is true (although why one should trust the word of America’s foreign spy agency responsible for destabilising huge swathes of Latin America is a bit of a mystery hahaha!)…. but the people I spoke to seemed to be of the opinion that there was simply TOO MUCH financial change in the ’90s and it was way too FAST and UNCONTROLLED. For example, the banks collapsed because the peso had been artificially pegged to the $US but then it was literally allowed to freefall overnight which wiped out 90% of people’s savings and companies’ investment potential.

    I think that both right wing dictatorships and Chavez-style neo-communism are equally harmful. Violent and wild unrestrained swings in EITHER direction can be catastrophic to an economy and a society. I’m not advocating the status quo by any means here… I’m only saying that if you open the flood gates just don’t be surprised when you get flooded.

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  46. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    It doesn’t matter if foreign ownership is the worst thing in the world for the New Zealand economy (and it is, in fact, quite the opposite). Nobody should be banned from selling their own land to whomever they wish!

    And if the economics hold, then why stop at a national level? Why not ban Aucklanders from owning Waikato land, and vice versa? A bit of reductio with this argument leads to ad absurdium very very quickly.

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  47. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Re Redbaiter’s 3.35:

    The only person/group I know of totally opposed to foreign investment is Murray Horton’s group in Christchurch, and it has a dozen members I would guess.

    The National PR-marshalled claque shouting opposition to supposed opposition to all foreign investment is a cleverly devised ploy to distract opposition from the Natural Dairy bid for the Crafar farms.

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  48. Mark (1,360 comments) says:

    “burt (4,667) Says:

    October 19th, 2010 at 3:27 pm
    Mark

    The issue that labour has focused on is Rural Land

    Of course, how many farmers do you know who vote Labour. Easy target to kick without losing any votes. Classic labour popularism.”

    …but unrestricted foreign investment in NZ farms so a few NZ farmers can make tax exempt capital gains is good for New Zealand how?

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  49. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Why not ban Aucklanders from owning Waikato land, and vice versa?”

    I cannot believe you seriously submitted this as an analogy.

    Good grief.

    Here is a question for you. Should the Black Power movement be permitted to trade as stock on the stock exchange?

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  50. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Also, as I have said elsewhere, it’s an unlikely scenario, but let’s not forget that messing with the property rights of foreigners is the fastest way to start wars. The Afrikaaners found that out in the Transvaal when they tried to place restrictions on poms owning land there. Big war, they lose, the British Dominion of South Africa is established.. Even further back, the Mexicans soon found out what happened when they restricted the land ownership of whites in Tejas. Big war, they also lose, the Republic of Texas is established. Of course, I for one welcome our new Chinese overlords – maybe we will get some decent tax cuts out of it…

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  51. Jimbob (640 comments) says:

    I would take anything Gareth Morgan said or wrote with a grain of salt. There is errors in his reasoning you could drive a truck through. The value of the NZ dollar is mostly tied to commodity prices and of course the interest rate differential via the so called carry trade. Nothing to do with buying farms. These Brazilian farms, have they sprung up out of rain forest? Since Mr. climate change guru here says the sky is falling, the Brazilians are cutting down the lungs of the earth and Mr. guru seems to approve. Also this is the same guy who said on close up one night a couple of months ago that old people in NZ where clogging up the health system and their expectations on health care was too high. Didn’t he call NZ farmers Neanderthals? No DPF, you are quoting from the wrong guy here, move on, there is nothing to see here.

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  52. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    BlairM posted at 3.43:

    …Nobody should be banned from selling their own land to whomever they wish…

    So it would be okay for Al Qaeda to buy the Crafar farms for conversion into training camps then (assuming for a moment that they would get resource consent, of course)?

    You would have found it fine for an NZ owner to sell a Cook Strait Island to the German Navy in World War 2 or the weeks leading up to it.

    You would allow North Korea to buy a sheep station beside the Waiouru Army Base?

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  53. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Redbaiter:

    Here is a question for you. Should the Black Power movement be permitted to trade as stock on the stock exchange?

    Yes.

    Absolutely!

    Given the illegality of P and the poor policing in NZ, I’d say Black Power stock would be an excellent investment! I would go long in it. Vice pays, simple as that.

    It’s also not illegal for them to do it now, the ASX is a private organisation, and if they did list, it would make them far more transparent than they are now. Everybody wins.

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  54. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    BlairM posted at 3.53:

    Black Power stock would be an excellent investment

    You’re crazy, Blair. These guys would rip off shareholders, customers, suppliers. Their auditors would be scared of them. They would lie in their results and annual reports. Directors would be corrupt. Banks wouldn’t lend to them.

    Black Power would be a dismal failure as a listed company. They are moral, physical, and mental trash.

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  55. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “”Here is a question for you. Should the Black Power movement be permitted to trade as stock on the stock exchange?”

    Yes. Absolutely! ”

    Well sorry. I think the Black Power gang should be jailed not invested in, or given capital to expand their crimes and their network.

    “Vice pays, simple as that.”

    Why? Because people like you who apparently see no immorality anywhere, would invest in it and support it? Some argument.

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  56. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    I take it you would also suggest that only NZ citisens should be allowed to own residential property. Or are the rules to be different when they might effect your own personal investments?

    I haven’t suggested that only NZ citizens should be allowed to own rural property, only that unrestricted sales of large amounts of NZ farmland to foreign companies isn’t a good idea. Same applies to residential property, and yes I own some, yes it is over-valued compared to what I paid for it, and no it’s no skin off my nose if the values come down a bit. Perhaps we could drop the “completely opposed to foreign investment” strawman?

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  57. ben (2,396 comments) says:

    And if the economics hold, then why stop at a national level? Why not ban Aucklanders from owning Waikato land, and vice versa? A bit of reductio with this argument leads to ad absurdium very very quickly.

    That is precisely the right analogy. The arbitrary absurdity that says a national political boundary is the magic place where the benefits of trade stop is made clear by the analogy. Most people are, thankfully, sensible enough to understand that preventing Aucklanders buying land in Waikato would needlessly expropriate Aucklanders and Waikato people. Nobody wins from that policy. But the very same expropriation occurs when you do it for trade across a national border. If such policy fails at the provincial level, letalone the town, or street or household level, then it must also fail nationally.

    But – woops – there I go again hoping reason might mean something in New Zealand.

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  58. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    So it would be okay for Al Qaeda to buy the Crafar farms for conversion into training camps then (assuming for a moment that they would get resource consent, of course)?

    Yes. We have these, like, whole other laws, called antiterror laws, which would soon shut that operation down. I mean, I suppose we could make it illegal for Al Qaeda to breathe oxygen too, but really, how many laws do you need to stop terrorists? One law that says they can’t plot to blow up innocent people really should be enough, surely?

    You would have found it fine for an NZ owner to sell a Cook Strait Island to the German Navy in World War 2 or the weeks leading up to it.

    Assuming the Germans would be stupid enough to think this was a good idea, I think this would be fine. You’d know exactly where those people were and exactly where to bomb come September 2nd. They would have needlessly wasted resources that could have been used to better effect in a more clandestine place. That’s why countries tend to build bases on their own sovereign land, or those of allies.

    You would allow North Korea to buy a sheep station beside the Waiouru Army Base?

    Why not? We get the cash and they get to eat something other than grass soup. I fail to see the problem.

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  59. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Re ben at 3.59:

    Well, Ben, you better tell the leaders of booming China about the benefits of allowing others to buy their land, seeing as they won’t allow it to be sold to foreigners at present.

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  60. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “That is precisely the right analogy.”

    Sorry. Its not at all the analogy. Were citizens of Britain permitted to engage in business practices with Nazi Germany during WW2? To suggest there is no limit on who you can sell your property to is a view that ignores the reality of global politics and the world’s history of frequent international warfare. To compare the intricacies of global politics and warfare with citizens trading land in New Zealand is idiocy.

    I think it is a mistake for any free western nation to trade with Communist China.

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  61. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    You’re crazy, Blair. These guys would rip off shareholders, customers, suppliers. Their auditors would be scared of them. They would lie in their results and annual reports. Directors would be corrupt. Banks wouldn’t lend to them.

    Black Power would be a dismal failure as a listed company. They are moral, physical, and mental trash.

    Oh, so they’d be just like a normal listed company then? Maybe Richard Long could do their ads ;-)

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  62. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    Easy to pick on those with no voice…

    The people with their party in govt have no voice? OK, now I’ve heard everything. If anyone thinks they’ve got something to top this, I’m calling them a liar.

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  63. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    No worries that BlairM would sell his land to the North Koreans.

    The receivers would have it after he’d rooted his business borrowing to invest in Black Power.

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  64. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Why not? We get the cash and they get to eat something other than grass soup. I fail to see the problem.”

    This is why Libertarians should never be permitted to be within a light year of government. In their naivety and ignorance and doctrinal subservience, they would destroy any country’s national security in the blink of an eye.

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  65. insider (1,000 comments) says:

    @ REx

    So what you want to do is force people who could make 15% ROI on exporting logs to invest in some unproven processing business that may not have a product or a market, which may only make them 7% just because you think it is better for the country and makes you feel good? Sounds like a really awful economic model.

    Can I in turn insist that you sell your (hypohetical) modern German car at a loss and buy a Trekka, or insist that you not go to Fiji on holiday this year but go to a nice campsite on the West COast because that will be better for a poor part of the country?

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  66. Rex Widerstrom (5,258 comments) says:

    Jack5 asks:

    …You would allow North Korea to buy a sheep station beside the Waiouru Army Base?

    I’m sure some people would put on their rose tinted spectacles and see no reason why not. Can’t be xenophobic, after all. And NZ’s control over its foreign “investment” has moved to a point where such a thing would probably be approved… provided it wasn’t the North Korean government and was just Jong Un (Kim Jong Il’s son and likely successor).

    After all, what harm could that do?! We sold Tommy Suharto a nice little $4 million bolt-hole (which just happened to be about half the land mass of the South Island) so he could hide from charges of illegal weapons possession and extensive graft. Oh, and hiring a hit man to kill a Supreme Court judge.

    And anyone who thinks Indonesia isn’t a potential risk (albeit not a nuclear-armed one) like North Korea needs to come live on the west coast of Australia for a while.

    That may sound like alarmism but it’s not just a few tinfoil hat-wearers that are concerned. Both the Australian and American defence forces are now running war games which openly acknowledge the threat posed by Asian expansionism and the Australian government is spending $10 billion upgrading its naval strength to protect its northern borders. But I guess with all their intelligence capability, they’re just xenophobic too, huh?

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  67. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Wars have laws attached to them covering treason and aiding, abetting and giving comfort to the enemy. Property that is used for such a purpose ie. in the service of an enemy determined to destroy YOUR property rights, is fair game.

    We are not at war with Communist China. In fact, our trade with them has played a part in ensuring mainland Chinese enjoy freedoms they have never had in the past. I hope that it continues to encourage more freedom and human rights in China. Land sales are part of that healthy exchange, and enrich both countries.

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  68. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “We are not at war with Communist China.”

    Not yet. The time is fast approaching when we will have to choose sides.

    ” I hope that it continues to encourage more freedom and human rights in China.”

    It doesn’t. That it does is a myth. The only way those scum will give up power is when it is taken from them by a superior force.

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  69. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Rex,

    Bad people buy land and do bad things with it all the time. Just ask Jeffrey Dahmer. They generally get arrested for doing the bad thing and thrown in prison.

    The guy that sold it to them does not get arrested.

    Again – how many laws do you need to stop bad people? Surely just the one that says they shouldn’t do bad things?

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  70. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    BlairM posted at 4.16:

    … mainland Chinese enjoy freedoms they have never had in the past…

    Like affordable kidneys! Western style, milk-rich, fat rich food that will replace their own marvellously healthy, traditional diet and superb national and regional cuisines.

    One question BlairM: Are you an Ayn Rand-worshipping libertarian?

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  71. Rex Widerstrom (5,258 comments) says:

    insider asks:

    So what you want to do is force people who could make 15% ROI on exporting logs to invest in some unproven processing business that may not have a product or a market, which may only make them 7%

    Sorry, what? I want them to build their processing factory in, say, Tokoroa and not Yokohama and, by dint of it being in the Southern hemisphere, it becomes “unproven”? What, the logs are going to fall off the conveyor because we’re upside down? :-D

    Can I in turn insist that you sell your (hypohetical) modern German car at a loss and buy a Trekka

    I’m somehow using a finite resource belonging to all New Zealanders by buying a Swedish (I swapped my BMW for a Saab a few years back) car? They don’t even get the iron ore out of NZ soil. There’s an argument for sustaining a car manufacturing industry in Australia, however, which does have the raw materials, but the window of opportunity has long since passed… the massive investment in production facilities in Asian countries means the Australians must just watch their ore head overseas straight out of the ground, then pay tens of thousands for a vehicle that cost very little to manufacture in a robotised factory.

    or insist that you not go to Fiji on holiday this year but go to a nice campsite on the West COast because that will be better for a poor part of the country?

    Actually I always holiday in Australia (when I’m living here) or NZ (when I’m living there). But even if I didn’t, hotel rooms and plane seats aren’t finite resources; they’re not parts of NZ in which we all, by birthright, have a stake. And if they became unobtainable tomorrow then (unlike food, or even timber) we could still get by quite happily.

    Besides, I doubt the Fijians are intending to assert their “right” to my holiday dollars at the barrel of a gun.

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  72. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    Well Psycho Milt if they are “our party” then I’m a hairy horses arse. The National Socialists are hardly the pin up boys for the rural community. Have you not heard of the ETS or the proposed Carbon Tax on farm animals. Fuck man with friends like these who needs enemies.

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  73. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Redbaiter –

    ” I hope that it continues to encourage more freedom and human rights in China.”

    It doesn’t. That it does is a myth.

    So how do you think all that progress has been made, huh? Entirely a coincidence that more freedoms, better human rights, and yes, better property rights, have appeared in China since the US in particular “normalised” relations and opened the doors for trade?

    If you improve people’s economic freedom, then they gradually get back their other freedoms too. Worked very well in Chile, for example. Pinochet was a brutal dictator who threw commies out of planes (which I confess I didn’t mind too much, and neither did you probably). But he gave up power voluntarily and now Chile is a democracy with full Western freedoms and the best performing economy in South America. (and their Carmenere is superb accompanying dark chocolate)

    Conversely, the countries which have been most closed to Western trade, by choice or by edict, have stayed firmly communist. I’m looking at you, North Korea and Cuba.

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  74. James (1,338 comments) says:

    Redbaiter….are you feeling ok? You have been downright civil and tolerent of others opinions in this thread…..I feel unsettled and confused….please stop it.

    (Joke dude….keep it up.)

    ;-0

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  75. BlairM (2,286 comments) says:

    Are you an Ayn Rand-worshipping libertarian?

    Ayn Rand is yet another in a long line of people who read Nietzsche and got the complete wrong idea.

    I believed what Jesus did – that socialism is a great idea, but only if it’s voluntary.

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  76. James (1,338 comments) says:

    # Jack5 (2,199) Says:
    October 19th, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    BlairM posted at 4.16:

    … mainland Chinese enjoy freedoms they have never had in the past…

    Like affordable kidneys! Western style, milk-rich, fat rich food that will replace their own marvellously healthy, traditional diet and superb national and regional cuisines.

    One question BlairM: Are you an Ayn Rand-worshipping libertarian?

    No Jack…I’m sure he isn’t…sometimes he does get it wrong. ;-)

    And yes…I’m sure thoses tens of millions who starved to death under Mao were damm glad they didn’t have that calorie rich Western food inflicted upon them! Just as Im sure no one in China ever ate local cusine again after McDonalds opened its first outlet there…

    Tsk……

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  77. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    BlairM at 4.29:

    ……their Carmenere is superb accompanying dark chocolate…

    Sorry Blair, I had you pigeonholed as a latte-lapping libertarian, but you turn out to be more like a gewürztraminer güzzler, whoops, a Carmenere choker.

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  78. insider (1,000 comments) says:

    @ rex

    What a simple world you live in. Just move the factory and the market is assured.

    Have you ever considered a processing plant mihgt be where it is for a good reason?

    If for instance you are processing those logs into sawn timber for the construction industry in Japan, how reliable a supplier are you going to be if you are dependent on getting the timber from Tokoroa? I suspect local mills that can respond to changes in demand with lead times of days are going to have the edge on you. If it were that easy you wouldn’t have to regulate for it.

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  79. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “So how do you think all that progress has been made, huh?”

    What progress? You do realise that almost every dollar China earns in over seas trade goes to building up its military? Building missiles and nuclear submarines while it threatens Taiwan and carries out belligerent naval exercises in the South China Sea.

    Read up on it. The Communist thugs are emboldened by America’s weakness.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/oct/18/countering-chinas-aggression/

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/dont-kowtow-to-the-chinese/story-e6frg6zo-1225931985418

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  80. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Re James at 4.36:

    It isn’t an either/or choice between McDonald’s grease and the odd grass root of the Great Leap Forward, James.

    Just that we’ve given the poor Chinese a lot of shit over the centuries: opium, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and, soon, a dairy-rich diet.

    I’m all for democracy, but I would put a decent tariff on the fast-food and dairy gunk until the novelty wore off, and the people inevitably rediscover the joys of food like the cuisines of Guangzhou and Szechuan. Damned healthy, too, if you keep the MSG low.

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  81. Rex Widerstrom (5,258 comments) says:

    BlairM asks:

    how many laws do you need to stop bad people? Surely just the one that says they shouldn’t do bad things?

    That’s a little simplistic. Suharto’s arrest and conviction in Indonesia didn’t extinguish his property rights in NZ, and nor should it (it was the Indonesian government’s seizing of his assets that did that, which was an effect of his bad acts but, had he not engaged in graft, may not have occurred). He could then vest his rights in whomsoever he chose… including Jong Un if he felt like it.

    Then there’s also the difference between illegal (which may extinguish property right in some circumstances) and “bad”, which can mean any number of things, including simply “not desirable”. Shipping raw material offshore when it could have value added to it here is, by that definition, bad.

    One of the many orinies about this debate is that those opposed to measures that would be best for NZ and NZers are called “xenophobic”. It’s assumed that there are very good economic reasons for foreign owners to take unprocessed raw materials offshore and that they’re not doing so due to their own nationalistic and possibly xenophobic motives.

    Even the unions come in for a thrashing, with the argument that if they’d just let wages fall to Third World levels, we could be competitive. But as research including this paper shows, labour costs account for about four percent of manufacturing cost in the US. Therefore those companies shifting US jobs to Mexico and other South American countries aren’t doing so just to save money on the workforce, and that offshore manufacturing can make a product more expensive.

    They’re doing so for a host of other reasons including the ability to pay bribes to governments, or take advantage of lax laws, on environmental, health and safety, copyright and similar restrictions. The same applies to Asia.

    Do we want to join these countries in a race to the bottom? Or are we brave enough to say that our resources have a cost that goes beyond their net worth as raw materials and that that includes onshore processing?

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  82. Rex Widerstrom (5,258 comments) says:

    insider:

    What a simple world you live in. Just move the factory and the market is assured.

    Oh gee, if we insist the Japanese build their mill here, they might decide to grow thousands of hectares of pine in their own country! Oh wait… they can’t, which is why they exploit our climate and soils to do so. Tie the onshore processing requirement to the availability of the raw materials and yes, the market is assured because the overall cost doesn’t really change that much (see the report linked to in my comment above).

    Have you ever considered a processing plant mihgt be where it is for a good reason?

    Of course it is! And that reason is: jobs for the Japanese mill workers, furniture manufacturers, chopstick makers and everyone else downstream of the raw material import operation. Unless they’re made to, no Japanese manufacturer is going to choose the good of NZ over the good of Japan, provided costs are roughly equal. It’s called nationalism or, if you want to be nasty about it, racism. I call it common sense.

    If for instance you are processing those logs into sawn timber for the construction industry in Japan, how reliable a supplier are you going to be if you are dependent on getting the timber from Tokoroa?

    The Japanese perfected just-in-time inventory management. I doubt ensuring a steady supply of sawn timber or chopsticks is beyond them.

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  83. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    What progress? You do realise that almost every dollar China earns in over seas trade goes to building up its military?

    Other than the dollars which buy trillions of US treasury bonds, swathes of Africa, builds the fastest growing cities in the world, the largest hydro dam, the fastest growing middle-class, more Rolls Royce’s than any other country bar one, the worlds first commercial maglev rail link and more factories building more stuff for the rest of the world than any other country on earth. Yeah, apart from that, all the rest goes on the military.

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  84. lastmanstanding (1,204 comments) says:

    Over the past month we have seen Paul Henry punished for daring to speak his mind and now Phil Goof is threatening to punish farmers by restricting who they can sell their land too.

    I see a trend here. And its all about restricting individuals freedoms.

    I see a continuation of a polcy of slowly but surely chipping away at citizens freedoms conning them by using smoke screens so too late like the frog in the slowly boiling water they realise whats been happening.

    Governments left right and centre will always look to finding ways to restrict their citizens freedoms.

    The greatest fear of any politican is to have citizens who are financially independent enough to not need to rely on benefits and handouts.

    Because these citizens cant be easily bribed swayed by political bullshit.

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  85. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Yeah, apart from that, all the rest goes on the military.”

    So you’ve traced the path of every dollar earned in overseas exchange as opposed to the growth of China’s own internal economy? Well done.

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  86. insider (1,000 comments) says:

    @ rex

    “Tie the onshore processing requirement to the availability of the raw materials and yes, the market is assured because the overall cost doesn’t really change that much (see the report linked to in my comment above)”

    Or they might say: “we have a limited amount of capital. If we buy NZ logs we are going to have to use a lot more of it to build a factory in NZ. We can get logs from other places at a similar price and no additioal plant cost, so sod NZ, let’s keep our capital down and buy logs from China or Russia.”

    So we lose a market for logs and don’t gain a processing plant. Nice one.

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  87. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “I see a trend here.”

    Hhahahha.. what fucking cave have you been asleep in for the last thirty years?

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  88. insider (1,000 comments) says:

    @ Rex

    “And that reason is: jobs for the Japanese mill workers, furniture manufacturers, chopstick makers and everyone else downstream of the raw material import operation. ”

    So Jaapanese businesses are primarily motivated by economic nationalism? Have you considered that it might be driven as much or even more by meeting the needs of their customers, and so a better business decision?

    “The Japanese perfected just-in-time inventory management”

    How many transport options out of Yokohama and how many out of Tokoroa? What effect do you think the difference might have on your ability to manage just in time logisitics, let alone the cost?

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  89. Bob (479 comments) says:

    I think Labour are clutching at straws trying to manufacture a difference from National. To do that they have to go against their last Labour policies.

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  90. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,793 comments) says:

    Labour has blinked first and lost big time. Only they don’t know it yet.

    They’ve walked away from the centre and have out-commied the commies.

    What fun will be the next twelve months.

    But don’t worry, Andrew Little will be there waiting. Waiting to save them from the disaster of 2011 which he this week has carefully manufactured.

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  91. Rex Widerstrom (5,258 comments) says:

    insider:

    The report I’ve linked to, which aggregates data from a multitude of US-based manufacturing operations, puts raw material costs at an average of 72%, labour at 4% and overheads at 24%.

    So we’re talking about perhaps a quarter of the manufacturing cost. An intelligent government would ensure that the capital cost of a factory in NZ were offset by a lower rate of tax on the raw material component (the 72%) during an agreed start-up period. In return, the NZers now employed in downstream processing would be paying income tax and a greater amount of GST.

    I’m assuming an “all other things (especially costs) being equal” scenario – it’s the government’s job to bring this about in order to ensure our raw materials are used to provide jobs and growth for NZ. Assuming equality of costs (and that report, and others, suggest that the disparity between onshore and offshore manufacturing isn’t as great as commonly assumed) then my argument is that nationalism will prevail. In that environment, unrestricted, a Japanese logging company will give jobs to Japanese woodworkers, furniture manufacturers etc. Hence we need to get tough.

    On your other point, I don’t pretend to know enough about the finer points of inventory management. I do know, however, that vast variety of industries the world over cope with the use of imported components (partially manufactured, not just raw materials) and not only survive but remain profitabe. There are people who specialise in logistics and inventory, and I’m sure they exist in Asian countries.

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  92. ben (2,396 comments) says:

    Redbaiter

    “That is precisely the right analogy.”

    Sorry. Its not at all the analogy. Were citizens of Britain permitted to engage in business practices with Nazi Germany during WW2? To suggest there is no limit on who you can sell your property to

    Well if Goff was proposing to limit land sales to evil regimes that threaten our sovereignty, then you might have a point. But Goff isn’t saying that. He’s isn’t limiting himself to evil regimes. He’s limiting himself to people who aren’t local, and he’s doing so by saying this is good for New Zealand. Which makes the analogy precisely the right one: it takes the obvious economic lunacy of limiting trade between NZ provinces and points out that limiting trade between nations is no less silly.

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  93. ben (2,396 comments) says:

    Jack5

    Well, Ben, you better tell the leaders of booming China about the benefits of allowing others to buy their land, seeing as they won’t allow it to be sold to foreigners at present.

    Hey if China wants to throw rocks in their own harbour, let them. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

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  94. Rex Widerstrom (5,258 comments) says:

    ben:

    it takes the obvious economic lunacy of limiting trade between NZ provinces and points out that limiting trade between nations is no less silly.

    Can you proffer an example (outside of rugby :-D) where the ambitions of one province of NZ may be at the expense of, and even a potential threat to, the growth, sovereignty or safety of another?

    Meanwhile I’m sure Redbaiter can produce any number of examples in which the economic and even physical security of New Zealand may be threatened by Asian expansionism. The Australians and Americans have no trouble envisaging such a scenario, which is why they’re conducting wargames which openly acknowledge China as the aggressor.

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  95. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Well if Goff was proposing to limit land sales to evil regimes that threaten our sovereignty, then you might have a point.”

    I do not give a damn what that idiot Goff is saying. Goff doesn’t know what this is really about and neither do half the people commenting, safely ensconced in their Lazy-boys watching TV One and TV 3 bullshit to them every night.

    I am saying that applying shallowly founded Libertarian doctrine to this situation is foolish because it weakens our security and the security of the whole western world.

    How does kowtowing to those who would destroy our freedoms enhance it?? Answer- it does not. Not in the long run. Read the two links I included in my post at 4:40 PM. To think this is an issue that can be decided solely upon the rantings of a dictatorial nut case like Rand is the real lunacy.

    We have to start reducing the legitimacy of China’s Communist thugs, not kissing their arses in weak politically and economically convenient subjugation.

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  96. OctagonGrappler (84 comments) says:

    You guys need to listen to Paul Spoonley I love his work. We need an asian majority because to do business with them we must become like them. This is racism from labour.

    We need 200,000 chinese migrants a year to do business with them and anyone who opposes it is a racist bigot. And if chinese kiwis control government and only hire chinese then so be it that is how there culture works and we must be tolerant towards it.

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  97. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Octagon..what exactly are you on? Are your posts meant to be a joke?

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  98. OctagonGrappler (84 comments) says:

    Yes sorry but thats actually more or less what i was taught at massey university. Chilling is it not.

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  99. kiwi in america (2,436 comments) says:

    The possible sale of the Crafar farms to the Chinese has raised the hoary chestnut of foreign land ownership despite the fact that there’ve been far fewer foreign sales since National came to power than under Goff’s 5th Labour Government .

    It must be understood that New Zealand throughout its long history has always lacked sophisticated capital raising markets. Substantial capital of the type needed to develop the vital infrastructure of the country or to build large industry capacity to affect real foreign exchange income could only ever be done by the government or large offshore companies. When one considers the freezing industry, long one of the huge drivers of NZ prosperity through most of the 20th century, almost all the capital to build the freezing works came from Britain. Until Britain joined the EU in 1968, British industry and capital dominated NZ’s economy and its markets. Australian companies similarly dominate today. Did British majority ownership of the freezing companies impoverish New Zealand? To the contrary – they brought vast amounts of capital needed to develop what became a vital industry that neither the government nor NZ companies could access.

    In the case of land, it can’t be exported. It is trapped asset class in that it cannot be removed. In the case of a large dairy farm, the benefits of the farm and all that it can offer the economy of NZ and treasury of its government is largely unchanged whether it was bought by a New Zealand, French or Chinese individual or company. This is because:
    1. The GST on the sale is payable regardless of the domicile of the owner.
    2. The tax on the capital gain to the selling current owner is payable regardless who buys it.
    3. The farm must employ local workers to milk the cows and run the farm and these workers spend their wages in the NZ economy and their PAYE is paid to the gov’t regardless of the domicile of the new owner.
    4. The farm must contract with local businesses to maintain its plant and equipment. Those business in turn pay GST, taxes, PAYE and wages to their workers and profits to their owners (all spent in NZ mostly) again regardless of the domicile of the new owner.
    5. The products produced from the farm (wool, meat, dairy, fruit etc) are sold to NZ based (or controlled) food distributors or single desk marketers (eg Fonterra or the Wool Board). These goods have a long and established distribution channel that the products will follow regardless of who owns the company. If the owners were German and say owned a chain of German supermarkets and wanted to directly sell the produce from their NZ farm, how is NZ disadvantaged? All the various NZ based businesses will still be involved in the pickup, storage, partial processing and exporting of the product as if the owners were 100% NZers.
    6. The last issue and that is the most contentious is where the profits of the new owners flow. Those opposed to foreign ownership of NZ assets argue that these profits flow offshore. They forget that with the tough Foreign Owned Corporation tax rules that the tax on the profits will always be paid in New Zealand so the IRD does not miss out on the taxes on the profit from the farm even if the owners are foreign. The foreign country’s treasury may (depending on tax treaties) credit the tax that their domestic corporation has paid in NZ. In the case of China it is likely that additional taxes may be payable in China. If Chinese taxes are lower, then the NZ tax payer is not liable for the difference. The only likely difference between a NZ or non NZ owned company that would own a large dairy farm might be that the foreign owned company might (and that is only a might) employ a foreign General Manager. That is one high salary position that might not be filled from NZ. That is hardly a deal breaker.

    So now we are left with two contentious issues:
    (i) The net or after tax profit is spent by the foreign owners in their country and not NZ. However the net after tax profits of New Zealand companies who do business in foreign countries are repatriated to NZ and spent in NZ. If we restrict foreign ownership of our assets then we invite a tit for tat retaliation from the country or countries who like to buy NZ assets who may restrict the ability of NZ nationals and companies from investing in their country. This is called a trade war and every trade war ends in tears or at least in impoverishment in comparison with free trade. The reciprocal tit for tat trade barriers that erupted after the US passed the Smoot Hawley Act in 1931 helped plunge the world deeper in the Great Depression.
    (ii) Wouldn’t a company from a country like China treat its assets, staff and property in NZ with the same disdain that they might be inclined to in China? The problem with that argument is that the farm, regardless of who owns it, is subject to NZ law. The workers on the farm must be treated in accordance with NZ labour laws or the owners and managers face prosecution. The animals must be similarly treated within NZ law. Discharge, waste and other environment issues are similarly governed by statute and breaches bring fines and penalties. Quality must be maintained on the farm in order for the end product to be of sufficient quality to not only pass NZ food inspection standards but be comparable to the products produced by similar size and style farms otherwise the vital marketing intermediaries that any foreign owner would most likely use would refuse to handle contaminated or substandard product. So even if the Chinese owners wanted to cut corners, they would have very limited room to do so and anything detrimental arising from such practices would soon catch up and NZ regulators would pounce. It would be easy for the government to build into any foreign ownership approval a more rigourous oversight regime to ensure such lapses never happen – all paid for by the foreign owners.

    In my opinion the primary problem with foreign ownership of NZ assets is a political one. It is easy to demagogue and throw up the spectre of loss of control. I do believe that there are certain locations in all countries that should be offlimits. For example the commercial land in and around Ground Zero in New York should be designated by Congress as a special zone of national significance perhaps even part of the National Park system so as to end this travesty of radical Muslims with ties to Hamas and terror groups building this triumphal mosque. Young Nick’s Head is perhaps a NZ equivalent. But there ought only be a few. If the fear is vital land being purchased and lying fallow or underutilized (like the Shinia Twain lifestyle block purchased near Wanaka) then it is easy to make OIC approval subject to proper economic use of the land. My view is that the regime can be reformed and tightened without undermining the operation of free markets and free trade.

    Then there is the issue of Crefar farms. Would people be reacting this strongly if Nestle of Switzerland was the buyer? Or Kraft from the US? Is somehow a Swiss or American giant more acceptable than a Chinese holding company effectively controlled by the CCP? Is there any evidence that foreign owned large dairy farms are farmed any differently than when under NZ ownership? I doubt that there is any substantive difference. If the produce produced is exported to China by the NZ owners that’s OK but if its exported to China by Chinese owners that is beyond the pale?

    Restrictions on the sale of land and assets to foreigners are often in direct proportion to the poverty or otherwise of nations. Ever increasing xenophobic and populist restrictions on foreign ownership are the hallmark of impoverished regimes as if somehow they can legislate their way to wealth. Labour with this policy change begins to go down the slippery slope that once fabulously wealthy Argentina is now almost at the end of!

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  100. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    Is somehow a Swiss or American giant more acceptable than a Chinese holding company effectively controlled by the CCP?

    Are private buyers from Western democracies more acceptable than buyers who are fronts for a murderous, aggressive and expansionist totalitarian dictatorship? Uh, duh-uh… Fuck, that’s a tough one… Maybe a hint?

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  101. malcolm (2,000 comments) says:

    So you’ve traced the path of every dollar earned in overseas exchange as opposed to the growth of China’s own internal economy? Well done.

    No – just pointing out the patent absurdity of your assertion that “..almost every dollar China earns in over seas trade goes to building up its military?”

    As for selling land to Chinese companies with government interests. Go for it. This is the best government China has ever had and they’re moving in the right direction. In 50 years China will probably have a better democracy that NZ. And aside from the laughability of sanctions against the country which has out-done the rest of the world in good-old-fashioned manufacturing capitalism, they would do nothing to advance democracy in China. Probably the opposite. Like North Korea, Iraq, Iran, Burma et al.

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  102. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    There are many different themes here. The two biggest are:
    1. Those people who philosophically oppose trading with the Chinese (headed by RedBaiter). I can see the logic in that, even though I don’t agree

    2. Those who think that allowing foreigners to buy our stuff is economically bad

    On the first, I don’t agree that selling land to the Chinese will lead to their eventual domination of us. As just one argument, consider the scenario if the Chinese ever attempted to use their ownership of this land in some way greatly detrimental to NZ. The NZ govt has it within it’s power to simply pass a law forbidding that, and if not followed, to appropriate the land, potentially without compensation. In short, I’m not sure how the Chinese have us over a barrel, unless the suggestion is that they’ll use their military might to enforce their will. If that is the argument, then whether they own land or not we’re in trouble.

    On the second, I’d use the example of free trade. It is well established in the literature that countries get benefit from unilaterally reducing tariffs. And, in fact, NZ did get that benefit when we did so. Similarly for foreign investment. I’m pretty sure the economic literature has numerous examples here. I’m interested in Rex’s analysis, but I’d also note that this rhetoric explains his previous involvement in NZ First – they were well known for economic nationalism and dodgy economics. I believe that Rex tired of the other bits that unfortunately came with NZ First, but it looks to me like those two bits he still supports. I’m not sure that’s a good recommendation though. I find it hard to believe that all those US companies offshoring are doing so for reasons other than to do with profits – that’s a pretty big call. Certainly my company does quite a bit of work offshore, and it very clearly lowers our cost to our customers. But we do services offshore, not manufacturing, so probably not directly comparable to Rex’s studies.

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  103. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    PaulL’s argument (7.54 post) appears to be another reiteration of the argument that anyone who opposes the sale of the Crafar farms to the flaky Natural Dairy and/or the sale of our agricultural land to foreign investors, is opposed to all foreign investment. Not so.

    As has been pointed out in this string and in other strings on Kiwiblog today and previously, there are questions surrounding the bid by Crafar with its strange principals (one who falsely claimed to have a Ph. D. from one of the world’s top technical universities, Caltech, when his degree came from an internet degree mill; another, one of China’s richest men, who has been accused of backtracking on promises to set up a Chinese equivalent of the Gates charity foundation). IMHO, there are questions which need to be answered about possible links between some leading Auckland Chinese business people and on one hand, ties including substantial donations, to NZ’s main two political parties, and, on the other hand, links to the Natural Dairy bid.

    My second reservation is about selling agricultural land to foreign investors, as this entails company farming, which has performed poorly in NZ compared with family farming, which rides out down turns much more successfully.

    Clearly, a person can rationally question or oppose certain overseas investment plans, and types of overseas investment, without being branded as opposed to all overseas investment. I repeat again, the only person and tiny group in NZ opposed to all overseas investment is Murray Horton’s mob in Christchurch.

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  104. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “No – just pointing out the patent absurdity of your assertion that “..almost every dollar China earns in over seas trade goes to building up its military?”

    You did not point out anything. You merely made a number of unsupported assertions. Do some research. You’ll find that China’s trade balance is roughly the same as her military expenditure. As usual, you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

    (hint- Real expenditure is far above that admitted by the Chinese govt.)

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  105. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    “Is it xenophobic to note that the British, in the 19th century, exploited many countries to grow products for export back to the UK? (e.g. the Congo, Indonesia etc) That they did so at the point of a gun when the natives became stroppy?”

    You might as well add the two Opium Wars where Britain and France compelled China to legalise the sale of and accept imports of opium, thus draining China of silver.

    “Are private buyers from Western democracies more acceptable than buyers who are fronts for a murderous, aggressive and expansionist totalitarian dictatorship?”

    Expansionist? Have you any evidence of this?

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  106. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    Ah, OK. I’ll add another thread – those who think that foreign investment is fine, and that business with the Chinese is fine, but business with these particular principals is bad. I can see some logic there, but that’s the Al Queda argument. And the same argument holds – if they’re dodgy people there are already laws against them – we don’t have a law that says Black Power can’t buy property, we just have a law that says they can’t sell drugs (not that we enforce that either).

    Why is the fact that these folks are dodgy relevant to a discussion about whether they can buy land? What impact will their dodginess have – other the potential that at some point in the future the govt can appropriate their assets as proceeds of crime, and resell them at a profit?

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  107. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Expansionist? Have you any evidence of this?”

    Asked anyone in Taiwan that question lately?

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  108. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Re PaulL at 8.24….

    But do you still think it would be fine if it could be established there were links, direct or indirect, between “dodgy people” and our main political parties?

    Will the Government you have faith in act against them later?

    IMHO, your argument is similar to that of Blair further back in the thread. A very libertarian stand. He would have Black Power listed on the stock exchange you would apparently rule out consideration of moral or ethical character of potential investors.

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  109. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    China’s military expenditure is about 1/7 that of the US.

    China’s military expenditure is 2% of GDP.

    The US spends 4.2% of GDP

    The UK spends is 2.4% of GDP

    France spends 2.3% of GDP

    In absolute terms:
    United States: $663,255,000,000
    China spends $98,800,000,000
    Britain spends $69,271,000,000
    France spends $67,316,000,000

    China has more border to defend than the US, and a heck of a lot more border to defend than Britain and France.

    Furthermore China has been invaded by the US, Britain, and France in recent history.

    The US, Britain and France have never been invaded by China.

    In light of this China’s spending is within quite reasonable limits.

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  110. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Zhumao:

    Welcome back! How about using your contacts in the Chinese politburo to get us the inside story on the Natural Dairy principals, and on May Wang.

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  111. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    I suggest that those who really believe the China threat nonsense, should put their money where their mouth is.

    Why not pay for some full page newspaper advertising, in say Hong Kong’s major papers like Apple Daily, or Dong Fang ribao, telling potential Chinese investors that they will get a bad reception in NZ and that most NZrs oppose the sale of land to foreigners, the Chinese in particular? Foreign investors are very easily scared away, and in truth, New Zealand is not really all that important to China. Most Chinese think it is part of Australia.

    Look at the fallout in India from the Paul Henry mockery of Ms Dikshit. Asians, because of their history of colonial oppression, are very sensitive to anything that could be construed as anti-Asian xenophobia or racism on the part of Anglo Saxon westerners.

    It would not be difficult at all to give the impression in Asia of New Zealand being an unfriendly environment for Asian and particularly Chinese investment. Also perhaps one could organise protests against NZ companies where Chinese are significant stakeholders. Inform the local Chinese media in advance, and they will swoop down on the story and it will be reported in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and China. Or even a demonstration outside The Warehouse, which imports most of their stuff from China. You only need 50 to 100 protesters, perhaps less, to make it newsworthy.

    This could have a very real negative impact on economic relations between New Zealand and China – something that Redbaiter and those who think like him obviously want.

    Why not go for it? After all Redbaiter considers China an existential threat to NZ. Surely as a patriotic New Zealander he should consider taking up my suggestions?

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  112. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Zhumao:

    What about China allowing NZers to buy agricultural land in China?

    Your threatening posture on what China might or might not do sounds like gun-junk diplomacy to me. Bit like the Americans and Japan. Open the borders to us or we will sink you.

    If that’s your view, go to hell!

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  113. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    “What about China allowing NZers to buy agricultural land in China?”

    Admittedly that’s a hard thing to do. Because you see, not even Chinese people born in China can own land. If you do some research you will find that China had this revolution about 60 years ago. Landlords were killed in spades, and the land redistributed to the peasants, and subsequently this land was collectivised (at awful cost mind you).

    So I really cannot see them overturning this defining legacy of their revolution just for New Zealanders.

    But I don’t expect NZ to allow the Crafar sale to go ahead, even though they allowed the Harvard sale.

    But that is entirely New Zealand’s right.

    Chinese investors will get the message. And they will go somewhere else. No skin off China’s nose. Do you think Hu Jintao or Wen Jiabao have even heard of the Crafar deal? Of course not.

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  114. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    There you go readers- you have exactly the circumstances I have been trying to alert you to, kindly brought to you by Zhumao, a Communist party apparatchik with no business showing up on a free enterprise discussion board in a democratic country.

    Read his message at 8:40 PM and read it well-

    There’s the message. Be silent about China’s mistreatment of its citizens and all its other excesses as a totalitarian gangster government, or you will pay the penalty.

    So- that’s the deal you want is it NZers?

    Trade with Communist China on the basis that such trade will only continue as long as you are silent?

    Is that the deal you’re all flat out promoting??

    Here’s my view Zhumao. You commies can shove it.

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  115. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    C’mon Zhumao (8.58 post):

    The chiefs know who Chen Fashu and Tang Jun are, for sure.

    If you think there’s discrimination against Chinese in NZ on race grounds, how did NZ’s Labour Government block a Canadian pension fund from taking a minority stake in Auckland Airport, with agreement not to have seats on the board. This at the same time the same Government allowed a big Chinese investor to buy the Wellington electricity lines network.

    Are any Chinese power lines networks owned by foreigners? Idoubt it.

    Are you sure you are really Chinese, Zhumao? You don’t sound like a Beijing apparatchik to me. More like a Gwailo PR hack in Auckland playing a role.

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  116. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “And they will go somewhere else.”

    Good. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

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  117. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Be silent about China’s mistreatment of its citizens and all its other excesses as a totalitarian gangster government, or you will pay the penalty.

    What ‘penalty’ Redbaiter? You are fully against trade with China. You avoid China made. To you New Zealand would benefit by not having links with China. So where is the ‘penalty’?

    All your previous posts show that you would be happy to extinguish links between the ‘totalitarian gangster’ government in China and New Zealand.

    I’m telling you a way to do it. What’s stopping you? Or are you really just full of hot air?

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  118. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    If you are not the thugs and criminals I say you are, then explain by what right you killed the land owners 60 years ago (as you admit above)?

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  119. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Jack5,

    Zhumao’s name is Legion… For he is many. (The written English is a little different each day)

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  120. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    Re bhudson at 9.22:

    So they pass the name and password around.

    Perhaps it’s the same syndicate that seems to be behind the “Luc Hansen” posts.

    Could be a very idle PR firm, do you think?

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  121. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    If you are not the thugs and criminals I say you are, then explain by what right you killed the land owners 60 years ago (as you admit above)?

    That’s a long story. But accepting your point of view that China is ruled by thugs and criminals, what’s wrong with my suggestion at 8.40pm?

    Why not let these ‘thugs and criminals’ know exactly what you think of them, and that you want nothing whatsoever to do with them?

    Or, again, Redbaiter, are you just full of hot air?

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  122. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Jack5,

    I think they are offshore based – I tried a test post on GD a few days ago and it was missed. I think a NZ PR firm would be checking a little more broadly than just very obvious headlines.

    Last week’s rants also have some posts that indicated a hint of English as a second language – overall though their language is very good. I think Zhumao is a mix of native English speakers (though possibly multiple nationalities) plus a few Chinese with particularly exceptional English skills.

    I had visions of a govt group in HK or mainland China, but perhaps they ship the work out to groups around the world to handle – the power of tue interweb.

    I do notice that if you throw them a tricky question hey have to scurry off to get political instruction before answering. That is when they disappear overnight.

    (Unfortunately I think Luc is a real person – his ‘instructions’ come from pamphlets and activist websites.)

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  123. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ” That’s a long story. ”

    Don’t think so. You murdered them, took their land, gave it to your political cronies, and chased the legitimate government to Taiwan. Since then you have murdered or jailed any Chinese citizen who has criticised you. While attempting to take credit for China’s economic ascension.

    In fact China would have fared so much better without the millstone of the CCP, as has been demonstrated by the success of Hong Kong and Taiwan. In fact China would be a so much more internationally respected country if it was not governed by an oppressive gang of thugs who secretly build up Chinese defence forces. Expenditure that would be largely unnecessary if China was a democratic country.

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  124. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    I do notice that if you throw them a tricky question hey have to scurry off to get political instruction befor answering.

    Tricky question please?

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  125. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    Expansionist? Have you any evidence of this?

    No dispute with “murderous,” “aggressive” and “totalitarian dictatorship,” then? OK, consider “expansionist” withdrawn, and we’ll agree on the others.

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  126. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    “and chased the legitimate government to Taiwan”

    There you have it! You admit the government in Taiwan is Chinese. And so Taiwan is a part of China. Of course it is. That is why they call themselves the “Republic of China”.

    So how can the PRC intentions to Taiwan be considered ‘expansionist’. Perhaps ideologically there are differences (receding every day now), but territorial ambitions? Pull the other one.

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  127. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Zhumao,

    Thanks for proving my point. Check back on ‘your’ posts from the topic last week and you would see what I was referring to.

    Mind you, if you were only one person you would remember what you had said and when you scurried off to get clarification before answering the questions.

    Clearly you are a junior. The Zhumaos of last week would never have made such a basic error.

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  128. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Thanks for proving my point. Check back on ‘your’ posts from the topic last week and you would see what I was referring to.

    I was asking you to throw me a tricky question. This time I’ve already had dinner….hahahhahahahaha……so I will be able to answer you pretty quickly….hahahahaha

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  129. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Zhumao, do you think it is possible for yourself or any Chinese to reach their full human potential when the Chinese education system is essentially a communist brainwashing process. Do you ever consider that a childhood in a democratic country without the CCP installing itself into your mind might have allowed you a better and more fulfilling life? Why do you think so many Chinese Communists defect to the west? Only the other day senior members in your party were lamenting the lack of freedom of expression in your country. Why are you so blind to its many faults?

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  130. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Expenditure [chinese] that would be largely unnecessary if China was a democratic country.

    Yeah right. And let the West walk right in like they did in the past, and rape us for a century. It was only 60 years ago that the PLA blew the HMS Amethyst out of the water.

    Your attitude obviously is only white people are allowed armies.

    I’m just chuckling over the Iran thing at the moment. I hope they do get nukes. Really. If only to piss you guys off.

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  131. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “Your attitude obviously is only white people are allowed armies.”

    I am against communists, I don’t care whether they’re black brown white or yellow. It is only totalitarian governments who are a real threat to peace. Others are accountable to their electorate and cannot wage war without good reason.

    Making other countries part of your totalitarian government is never a good reason.

    “And let the West walk right in like they did in the past, and rape us for a century.”

    Yeah, like Hong Kong was in such bad shape when you took it back.

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  132. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Why are you so blind to its many faults?

    Actually I’m not. I don’t even think China is socialist anymore. I’m not sure though – still thinking about it.

    In fact I do support dissidents – some imprisoned right now. Just a different kind from the type you would support.

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  133. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “I don’t even think China is socialist anymore.”

    Well, that is my point. You have Chinese people, who are one thing, and the Chinese Communist Party, that is another thing.

    Chinese made Singapore the success it is today by rejecting Communism.

    We as a democratic country, do not help the Chinese people by dealing with and granting legitimacy to those (the CCP) who oppress them by force of arms.

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  134. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Zhumao,

    That’s right. Apparently you support hardline Maoist dissidents. Those would return to the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. An interesting view you have on ‘enlightement’.

    As to your “hahaha…” and “dinner” comments, I am pleased you ‘recall’ the codes for scurrying off to get instructions from the political masters.

    Here is a point made last week that clearly fell into the tricky basket. (my apologies to reid for lifting is comment wholesale from the thread.)

    “What I mean Zhumao is that I live in a country that let’s you say anything, and so have all my friends, family and just about, nearly, everyone else here and in the world I live most of time in. We ALL know, all of us that while our countries do stupid counter-productive sometimes even evil things, we’re still allowed to say anything we like about it and this doesn’t weaken the stability of the nation, by one little bit.

    I know you have problems with education, over-population, crime and corruption and those problems are, in China, vast and difficult and to a large extent we don’t have those hardly at all, relatively speaking. One thing however you do have is an ancient sophisticated culture and this will give all of you, does it not, an anchor through which you all pull the same way. With or without a central one-party govt.

    Perhaps I just don’t understand the enormous scale of your issues.”

    Perhaps you just overlooked it

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  135. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Others are accountable to their electorate and cannot wage war without good reason.

    That is true. They have internal democracy. But what about the people they invade on behalf of their electorates?

    Were the Iraqis or Afghans or Cubans or Vietnamese asked their opinion before America invaded or tried to invade them?

    At Geneva the Zhou Enlai helped to arrange elections that would have united Vietnam. The US rightly were afraid that Ho Chih Minh would win, cancelled the elections and thwarted a united Vietnam.

    A government beholden to a greedy and materialistic electorate is as much a danger to world peace as any authoritarian or ‘totalitarian’ one.

    All the evidence shows this to be the case.

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  136. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Have to go to the gym. Will have to finish beating you up some other time.

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  137. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Perhaps you just overlooked it

    What? I’m here for fun. Not to do your school assignments. And in any case Reid is already sufficiently open minded.

    He does not require further ‘re-education.’ :-)

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  138. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Will have to finish beating you up some other time.

    I doubt it. My overhand right is pretty, well pretty f*$#@&# – a- awesome.

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  139. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Zhumao,

    It was reid’s statement to you seeking clarification. Which your group did not provide.

    Clearly it was too ‘tricky’ to handle.

    Incidentally, your point to redbaiter above…

    “Were the Iraqis or Afghans or Cubans or Vietnamese asked their opinion before America invaded or tried to invade them?”

    Who should we ask? The Tibetans?

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  140. Muzza M (290 comments) says:

    I couldn’t live without chinese food.

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  141. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Can someone tell Kiwi In America that if foreign ownership of land is so great, why won’t Israel allow it? Hell, Israel doesn’t even sell its land to its own people!

    bhudson

    (Unfortunately I think Luc is a real person – his ‘instructions’ come from pamphlets and activist websites.)

    Thank you so much for thinking of me. Where do I find these pamphlets and websites you speak of, please?

    And do tell me, is the ACT website an activist website? Or are they dormant?

    In which case one wonders why they bother.

    Final question, how many redbaiters are there? I suspect there are two. The redbaiter we all know so well, and maybe his wife (or, you know, wink, wink, partner)

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  142. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    from bhudson

    “Were the Iraqis or Afghans or Cubans or Vietnamese asked their opinion before America invaded or tried to invade them?”

    Who should we ask? The Tibetans?

    Or the Samoans we colonised?

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  143. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Or the Samoans we colonised?

    Actually we didn’t colonise them. We invaded to kick the German navy out, and last I checked we were not stationing armed troops in Samoa and refusing to allow their independence.

    Regardless of the actions NZ can be found to have undertaken during the 1920′s that were detrimental to the Samoan people, the last thing you could say with a straight face is that we ‘colonised’ them.

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  144. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Can someone tell Kiwi In America that if foreign ownership of land is so great, why won’t Israel allow it? Hell, Israel doesn’t even sell its land to its own people!

    You know someones arguement is week when they resort to ad hominem (sp?) attacks – Israel has nothing to do with this debate.

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  145. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Were the Iraqis or Afghans or Cubans or Vietnamese asked their opinion before America invaded or tried to invade them?

    Was Kuwait asked before Iraq invaded them?

    Were the Cuban people asked before Fidel started his revolution?

    Were the Vietnamese asked before China invaded after the Vietnam war?

    Were the South Vietnamese asked before the North Invaded them?

    Were the Afghan citizens asked before the Taliban took over?

    Was Tibet asked before China invaded?

    Does Taiwan appreciate China threatening them with war if they declare independence?

    Where can one stop…. Oh, did North Korea ask the citizens in the South if they were keen on joining the Socialist Workers Paradise – or did China ask the South before they invaded on behalf of the North?

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  146. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Your attitude obviously is only white people are allowed armies.

    Well I for one don’t mind Taiwan having an extremely strong Military. Or Japan, or South Korea…..

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  147. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    China’s military expenditure is 2% of GDP.

    Correction, that is only “declared military spending”. Western analysts have long held strong suspicions that China does not divulge all its military spending and the released figures are about as valid as the current price of the yuan.

    China cannot have the standing military it does while funding is at the level you suggest. I’m not aware of too many countries that can have the following R & D programs running:

    - Future Chinese Aircraft Carrier
    - Type 51 Destroyer
    - Type 52 Destroyer
    - Type 54 Frigate
    - J10 Fighter
    - JF17 Fighter
    - JH7 Attack Fighter
    - L15 Advanced Trainer

    These all cost serious coin, and you think China is doing it all while funding its standing military for $99 Billion? And I’m not going to even start with the PLA projects…. I mean I know you guys typically just rip off other Nations designs, but even then the cost is significant.

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  148. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    “Western analysts have long held strong suspicions that China does not divulge all its military spending and the released figures are about as valid as the current price of the yuan.”

    While what is the estimated actual amount then? Whatever it is, it will still be a lot less than US military expenditure, and as a proportion of GDP still not that much above Britain and France.

    China does not have one aircraft carrier. The US has 11.

    When China gets to more than 11, then you may have cause for complaint. Still a long way off yet.

    Furthermore China has zero foreign military bases. The US has about 700 I believe.

    So quit your whining Bevan.

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  149. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Was Kuwait asked before Iraq invaded them?…………etc……..

    But the thing is the West has done more invading than anyone else over the past two or three centuries and still continues to do so. Especially the Anglosphere.

    So speaking of democracy at home, while behaving in a decidedly undemocratic fashion abroad, counts for nothing.

    After all do you care if the mongrel mob say, asks for a show of hands to select their mob leader. Would that make them any nicer, if they still carried on their criminal activities? Of course not.

    The US and the UK are the most dangerous nations on earth today. That is because they see any country which does have the same social and economic system as targets for regime change – either by direct military action, or by more insidious means such as awarding Nobel prizes to convicted felons of the target countries.

    It is only the West who wishes to change the social systems of other countries.

    Has China ever commented on the Seabed and Foreshore issue, or the police action in the Ureweras a couple of years ago, or the anti-smacking bill? Of course not. And if they did New Zealanders would be rightly outraged.

    That is why it is good that there are countries like China, and also perhaps Russia, which act as a counterweights to US hegemony.

    Otherwise the whole world would be subject to Western bullying as they were up until the 1950s.

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  150. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    or did China ask the South before they invaded on behalf of the North?

    Got your history wrong there. China only intervened after UN troops had pushed right up to the Yalu. This was after NK had invaded SK, and then been pushed back by UN forces. The US insisted on carrying on beyond the 38th parallel.

    As for the current situation, China cannot let NK fall. Because if NK falls, US troops will be right up on China’s border.

    Were the Cuban people asked before Fidel started his revolution?
    pointless question, but I should point out that loyalists outnumbered patriots in the American Revolution.

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  151. Psycho Milt (2,261 comments) says:

    China does not have one aircraft carrier. The US has 11.

    A murderous totalitarian dictatorship has no aircraft carriers, but a democracy living under the rule of law has 11? Thank Christ for that – long may this discrepancy continue.

    China cannot let NK fall. Because if NK falls, US troops will be right up on China’s border.

    US troops are on NK’s border due to the ongoing state of war existing between NK and SK. Is there perhaps a state of war also existing between China and SK that would require US troops on any future border between them? If so, perhaps China should end that state of war. If not, you’re talking out your arse again.

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  152. Jack5 (4,584 comments) says:

    The syndicate that posts as Zhumao posted at 11.51 last night:

    …the West walk right in like they did in the past, and rape us for a century

    Hence the inscrutable smile?????

    Seriously, Western colonialism in China was but a butterfly’s kiss compared with the tens of millions of Chinese murdered by starvation in the barbaric Great Leap Forward.

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  153. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    While what is the estimated actual amount then? Whatever it is, it will still be a lot less than US military expenditure, and as a proportion of GDP still not that much above Britain and France.

    Like I said, and I’ll bold it for you ‘ESTIMATE’. The problem with China is your lack of openness. China is hiding its true military spending from the rest of the world.

    China does not have one aircraft carrier. The US has 11.

    When China gets to more than 11, then you may have cause for complaint. Still a long way off yet.

    True, China doesnt have an AC carrier….. YET, and thank fuck for that! But you are trying your hardest to build one, and have plans to construct them. Maybe ripping off the Varyag is proving a little too hard for you guys…

    Furthermore China has zero foreign military bases. The US has about 700 I believe.

    And China has NEVER contributed to UN peace keeping operations except maybe some token liason, whilst the US has… All you’ve shown is China is an unwilling participant in the UN. So by default of your position on the Security Counsil, your very willing to vote to send the Yanks in to stop an invasion – but unwilling to contribute yourself….

    So quit your whining Bevan.

    And quit your propaganda.

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  154. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Zhumao, noticed you picked only three of the statements I made, what about:

    Were the Vietnamese asked before China invaded after the Vietnam war?

    Were the South Vietnamese asked before the North Invaded them?

    Were the Afghan citizens asked before the Taliban took over?

    Was Tibet asked before China invaded?

    Does Taiwan appreciate China threatening them with war if they declare independence?

    Did North Korea ask the citizens in the South if they were keen on joining the Socialist Workers Paradise>

    Funny, how you left those alone eh.

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  155. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    But the thing is the West has done more invading than anyone else over the past two or three centuries and still continues to do so. Especially the Anglosphere.

    Why don’t you ask Tibet, or Vietnam how they feel about China’s excursions?

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  156. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Got your history wrong there. China only intervened after UN troops had pushed right up to the Yalu. This was after NK had invaded SK, and then been pushed back by UN forces. The US insisted on carrying on beyond the 38th parallel.

    Boo fucken hoo to the commies… Here’s an idea, if you think the Yanks should have stayed South of the 38th parrallel – maybe China should have stopped the North invading the South in the first place!

    Shit, that’s like saying the Allies should have stopped at the Rhine and the Polish border and not continued into Germany!

    As for the current situation, China cannot let NK fall. Because if NK falls, US troops will be right up on China’s border.

    So you’d rather starve an entire population into subsistence than even think of having a US ally on your border? I see the spirit of Mao is strong in you.

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  157. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    We want to sell a NZ farm to these people??

    —————————-

    Zambian miners shot by Chinese managers

    A backlash against China’s powerful presence in the Zambian economy has been triggered by an incident in which 11 miners were shot by Chinese managers.

    Police said that the Chinese executives opened fire on workers protesting against poor pay and conditions at the Collum coal mine in the southern Sinazongwe province on Friday.

    Eleven people were admitted to hospital with wounds to the stomachs, hands and legs, and two are understood to remain in a critical condition.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/zambia/8073443/Zambian-miners-shot-by-Chinese-managers.html

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  158. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    So you’d rather starve an entire population into subsistence than even think of having a US ally on your border?

    WTF?? Since when has the US been an ‘ally’ of China? Oh, yes in WWII. But in WWII it was the ‘commies’ who did most of the heavy lifting.

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  159. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Redbaiter: the British hate the Chinese more than any other people in the entire world. That is because they hate the fact that they have lost all their former possessions in China. Any story written on China by a pom might as well be used for bog paper. Who knows what the real situation was in respect to this incident? You certainly won’t get it from an English newspaper.

    Instead look at the big picture. Africa has had sustained growth of 4% per year over the past 10 years. This coincides of course with massive Chinese engagement with the continent. China is overwhelmingly popular in Africa as poll after poll has shown. Unlike whites who just stole African land and resources (scramble for Africa), and drove the Africans off their own land, the Chinese pay fair prices and help develop the infrastructure of Africa, without giving the Africans patronising drivel on how to run their own affairs.

    The best study of the true Chinese role in Africa, backed up witha plethora of facts and figures is The Dragon’s Gift: The Real Story of China in Africa, by Deborah Brautigam. http://tinyurl.com/y87lm7n

    The Africans themselves highly praise China’s role in Africa.

    The Rwandan President:
    “The Chinese bring what Africa needs: investment and money for governments and companies…..China is investing in infrastructure and building roads……European and American involvement “has not brought Africa forward…….Western firms have to a large extent polluted Africa and they are still doing it”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8301826.stm

    The South African President
    “China is there discussing with the brothers and sisters in Africa to create a mutually beneficial kind of relationship”, which is “different from former Western colonialists (simply) taking things by force.”
    http://tinyurl.com/2eekb7t

    Botswana President:
    “I find that the Chinese treat us as equals. The West treats us as former subjects. Which is a reality. I prefer the attitude of the Chinese to that of the West. ”

    Ugandan President:
    “The Western ruling groups are conceited, full of themselves, ignorant of our conditions, and they make other people’s business their business. Whereas the Chinese just deal with you, you represent your country, they represent their own interests, and you do business.”

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  160. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    “Zhumao, noticed you picked only three of the statements I made, what about:

    [1] Were the Vietnamese asked before China invaded after the Vietnam war?

    [2] Were the South Vietnamese asked before the North Invaded them?

    [3] Were the Afghan citizens asked before the Taliban took over?

    [4] Was Tibet asked before China invaded?

    [5] Does Taiwan appreciate China threatening them with war if they declare independence?

    [6] Did North Korea ask the citizens in the South if they were keen on joining the Socialist Workers Paradise”

    Answers:

    [1] China carried out a short, sharp punitive excursion and then quickly withdrew. (and yes the Chinese did suffer an inordinate amount of casualties. The Viets are great fighters – everyone knows this).

    [2] it was only because the US cancelled elections where were supposed to have united the country in the 1950s that North Vietnam had to resort to war to reunite their homeland. The US could forsee that Ho Chi Minh was wildly popular in South Vietnam, as well as the North. Therefore they stopped the elections. And the Vietnamese people then had to suffer almost another two decades of war and bombing by the US.

    In any case North Vietnam and South Vietnam are both Vietnam. North Korea and South Korea are both Korea, and the PRC and Taiwan both China. So one part of a divided country attacking another part cannot really be called an ‘invasion’. It is an act to preserve national unity and territorial integrity. Just like how Lincoln attacked the South to prevent secession.

    [3] The Taliban is probably a reflection of the dominant religious ethos of that country. To most Afghans the Taliban is probably not even that radical. And as I have said before, how other people run their own internal affairs is not the business of the West.

    [4] Tibet was not invaded by China. Tibet was a part of China well before there were white people in the Americas and Australasia. Tibet is recognised as a fully legitimate part of China by every single nation in the entire world, all Western countries included. Taiwan not only holds Tibet to be a part of China, but also all of Mongolia as well.
    Sun Yatsen mentioned the Tibetans as part of the Chinese nation, and in 1942 the Americans assured Chiang Kaishek that the US recognised Chinese claims to the place. This of course was eight years before the peaceful liberation of Tibet by the PLA. So those who say Tibet is not a part of China obviously do not have a leg to stand on.

    [5] Only one in four Taiwanese seek independence. Most of those Taiwanses who seek independence are running dogs and stooges of the Japanese. Just like Chen Suibian (in jail for massive corruption) who served his Japanese masters during WWII. And Lee Tenghui, who secretly harboured thoughts of independence. His running dog brother served in the Japanese army during WWII (and happily was killed) as did Lee Tenghui himself. If Taiwan ever became independent it would be a puppet colony of Japan and the US.

    [6] Refer my comments under [2]

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  161. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    China is hiding its true military spending from the rest of the world.

    Even if they are (and I certainly hope they are), it would be nowhere near the level of US spending.

    Even the most hawkish US commentators don’t dare suggest it is.

    And even if it was. So what? China is a big country. China has been invaded many times in the past. She deserves and needs a strong national defense.

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  162. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    WTF?? Since when has the US been an ‘ally’ of China?

    Must be a language problem your suffering from….

    Sth Korea is the US ally that would be on your border dumbarse – not China. Although it may surprise you, but during the later stages of the Cold War, China was closer to the US than they were to the Soviets. All up until you blokes decided to drive tanks over students.

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  163. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Zhumao,

    “Tibet was not invaded by China.”

    Well you won’t mind us asking the Tibetans their opinion on that then. What was the Dhali Lama’s email address again?

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  164. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Seriously, Western colonialism in China was but a butterfly’s kiss compared with the tens of millions of Chinese murdered by starvation in the barbaric Great Leap Forward.

    The GLF was a massive cock-up. But it was not ill-intentioned. My wife’s mother died during that time. But the Chinese do not hold it against Mao. Because he was doing his best in a hostile international environment to develop the country. And most of the party and Chinese people supported the concept of the GLF in the beginning. They really thought that they could achieve an industrialised communist utopia within a few short years. Of course that was ridiculous. And there was a lot of fanatical zeal, and misreporting of harvests – with the well known disatrous results. But there was never any intention to kill people. That is ridiculous. And if it was Mao would not be nearly as popular as he still is in China (his popularity has probably increased the past couple of years).

    But the increase in mortality has to be seen in a larger context. During Mao’s time, except for the period of the GLF there was a massive decline in the mortality rate. This has been confirmed by researchers all over the world, and by the obvious result of a massive increase in population during Mao’s time – due to great improvements in medical care, and health related awareness during his rule. There were mass vaccination campaigns which got rid of many infectious diseases.

    By the time Mao died, China’s mortality rate was just 1/4 of what it had been in 1949, and life expectancy had been doubled.
    http://www.globalgeografia.it/temi/Population%20Growth%20in%20China.pdf

    If you compare, say India’s performance, during the same period, while India did not have the spike in mortality that China had during the GLF period, India’s ‘democratic’ system has killed far more people than socialism in China.

    Amatyra Sen has calculated that every year, India’s excess deaths relative to China’s is about 4 million.

    This trend continues up to today of course (India’s life expectancy now is still not at China’s level in 1976, the year of Mao’s death). That means of course ‘democracy’ relative to socialism has killed about 200 million people.

    Therefore bourgeois ‘democracy’, at least for developing countries, sux.

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  165. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Answers:….

    Nothing but a bunch of propaganda there Zhumao…

    1. China still invaded a sovereign country, suck it up princess.

    2. Way to go mate, thats the worst case of a revision of history I’ve ever read.

    3. Oh so war is OK to you as long as its only a civil war! Right…

    4. Yet your troops remain and your occupation is enforced through the barrel of a gun…

    5. And a 2/4 want the status quo to remain – IE: Fuck off PRC.

    6. So I gather from you view is that it is OK for a totalitarian dictatorship to invade another country to enslave the population? Hint: South Koreans and South Vietnamese didn’t want your slavery.

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  166. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    And even if it was. So what? China is a big country. China has been invaded many times in the past. She deserves and needs a strong national defense.

    Then why do you need a carrier program if it is for national defense?

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  167. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    “Of course that was ridiculous. And there was a lot of fanatical zeal, and misreporting of harvests – with the well known disatrous results.”

    Careful Zhumao. You are straying far from the Party line on that. You wouldn’t want to find yourself corrected with a short leash (noose-shaped) or a 9mm lead ‘happy’ pill now would you?

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  168. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    Seriously, Western colonialism in China was but a butterfly’s kiss compared …..

    No it was not. Look at this presentation of Hans Rosling, posted earlier on Kiwiblog.

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2010/06/gaps_over_time.html

    Note how China only began to improved in income and life expectancy post 1949 – of course the GLF was a massive setback. As Rosling says: “it was not until modern China emerged, 1950, that China really started to improve”.

    That is only after we had kicked out the imperialists.

    Note how China actually went backwards for a time because of Western imperialism. Refer Roslings comments at 2:53. That is when you people were draining us of silver by selling us narcotics.

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  169. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    2. Way to go mate, thats the worst case of a revision of history I’ve ever read.

    Really? You really so ignorant of such a basic and established fact of modern history?

    It was actually Zhou Enlain who went to Geneva after Dien Bian Phu and persuaded the Vietnamese to not go for immediate reunification, but rather hold an election in 1956 to decide the country’s fate.

    About the cancelled election, here in Eisenhower’s own words:
    “It was generally conceded that had an election been held, Ho Chi Minh would have been elected Premier.”
    http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/vietnam/55election.htm

    To find out more google “1956 vietnam elections”

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  170. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    And a 2/4 want the status quo to remain – IE: Fuck off PRC.

    Which in fact, is EXACTLY what the PRC wants. The status quo.

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  171. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    More about democracy: I was talking with a South African colleague earlier today – he says things there are still fucked, 16 years after the fall of apartheid. Apparently a woman is raped every 12 seconds, it has the highest murder rate in the world, and materially speaking the black population has not gone forward one iota since 1994.

    In fact life 10 years has been shaved off life expectancy since 1994. Some interesting comparisons -China, India, South Africa:
    http://tinyurl.com/2346wbv

    If you look at the sudden drop after 1994 – one could say ‘democracy’ is a killer?

    Of course they had to get rid of apartheid, but just getting rid of apartheid and doing nothing about the structural reasons for poverty and blindly implementing one man one vote as demanded of them by the West means absolute shit.

    Similar problems have emerged in Russia during the 1990s (although things getting better under Putin).

    And yet the West demands China adopt its system lock stock and barrel. Fuck off.

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  172. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Which in fact, is EXACTLY what the PRC wants. The status quo.

    Pull the other one guv. You lot have always wanted to rule over them. Guess what – you don’t!

    Your beloved commie leaders don’t rule Taiwan and it burns you to no end.

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  173. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Really? You really so ignorant of such a basic and established fact of modern history?

    Yeah mate, like I said – great revision. One example – it wasn’t the Yanks in South Vietnam during the 50′s, it was the French. The Yanks didn’t get invited to the party, until the French hoisted the white flag.

    About the cancelled election, here in Eisenhower’s own words:
    “It was generally conceded that had an election been held, Ho Chi Minh would have been elected Premier.”

    Whoop-dee-fucken-doo… Who cares, both sides were as corrupt as the other and committing vast election fraud.

    Ho Chi would probably have won – especially from all those votes from dead people.

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  174. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    If you look at the sudden drop after 1994 – one could say ‘democracy’ is a killer?

    So your only looking at the shit holes of the world?

    What about:

    Czech Republic
    Slovakia
    Poland
    Romania
    Estonia
    Bulgaria
    East Germany

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  175. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    it wasn’t the Yanks in South Vietnam during the 50′s, it was the French. The Yanks didn’t get invited to the party, until the French hoisted the white flag.

    Oh for god’s sake, go back to primer school. The French got the shit kicked out of them at Dien Bien Phu, and then the Geneva accords in 1954, with elections planned for 1956.

    The US while not having a direct military involvment at the time (they had some airmen helping the French), backed Ngo Dinh Diem when he cancelled the elections.

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  176. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    ***If you compare, say India’s performance, during the same period, while India did not have the spike in mortality that China had during the GLF period, India’s ‘democratic’ system has killed far more people than socialism in China.

    Amatyra Sen has calculated that every year, India’s excess deaths relative to China’s is about 4 million.

    This trend continues up to today of course (India’s life expectancy now is still not at China’s level in 1976, the year of Mao’s death). That means of course ‘democracy’ relative to socialism has killed about 200 million people.

    Therefore bourgeois ‘democracy’, at least for developing countries, sux.***

    Zhumao,

    What about South Korea compared to North Korea? Presumably the issue isn’t simply whether a place is a democracy or not.

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  177. RRM (9,445 comments) says:

    The appearance of “freedom” in western democracy is pretty thin and (IMHO) the freedom is not really a direct product of the electoral system.

    FFS If Hillary had beaten Obama for the Dem nomination, then right now agitators in the Muslim world could point to the USA and say look, their past 4 leaders have been Bush, then Clinton, then Bush’s son, then Clinton’s wife… it’s obvious that whole country is an autocracy masquerading as democracy.

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  178. Bob R (1,336 comments) says:

    ***More about democracy: I was talking with a South African colleague earlier today – he says things there are still fucked, 16 years after the fall of apartheid. Apparently a woman is raped every 12 seconds, it has the highest murder rate in the world, and materially speaking the black population has not gone forward one iota since 1994.

    In fact life 10 years has been shaved off life expectancy since 1994. Some interesting comparisons -China, India, South Africa:
    http://tinyurl.com/2346wbv

    If you look at the sudden drop after 1994 – one could say ‘democracy’ is a killer?***

    Are the statistics any different in ‘non-democratic’ sub-saharan African countries? For instance, Zimbabwe?

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  179. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Oh for god’s sake, go back to primer school. The French got the shit kicked out of them at Dien Bien Phu, and then the Geneva accords in 1954, with elections planned for 1956.

    The US while not having a direct military involvment at the time (they had some airmen helping the French), backed Ngo Dinh Diem when he cancelled the elections.

    Some times I wonder if we are even talking the same language here – are you using Google translator by any chance?

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  180. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    What about South Korea compared to North Korea? Presumably the issue isn’t simply whether a place is a democracy or not.

    Are the statistics any different in ‘non-democratic’ sub-saharan African countries? For instance, Zimbabwe?

    That’s true. I would agree that just observing a correlation between ‘authoritarian’ and success and ‘democracy’ and non-success, does not imply some sort of direct causal relationship.

    But my point is that simply adopting the type of ‘democracy’ which seems to work in the West, and grafting it onto developing countries, is no guarantee that the well-being of the people in those developing countries will be improved. And if a different political system can be seen to do the job, why attack it?

    The west seems to say that only democracy as practised in the West is an acceptable form of government for all countries. This is clearly bs. Perhaps in some cases it will produce good results, in others a different form of government would be better.

    So in China’s case, their system, at least for the past 30 years has worked well. And as long as that system continues to work well, and is successfully hauling people out of poverty, why try and fix something that ain’t broke?

    So my point of difference with you guys is I will be happy with any system as long as it works, including ‘democracy.’

    But you people say only ‘democracy’ in the Western sense is acceptable – and shut out all other alternatives, even in those cases where ‘democracy’ is clearly failing.

    So you see. I’m the open-minded one here.

    You guys are almost like the old communists, who thought that every single country in the world only needed to adopt a socialist system, and it would work for them and be good for them. Internationalism has actually been adopted by the West.

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  181. lofty (1,303 comments) says:

    Having spent a fair amount of time in China, I find myself agreeing with Zhumao a bit.
    Sure it is a country still under totalitarian control, but it has performed a sort of miracle in bringing it’s citizens into the present economic reality.
    There are more opportunities now for the average citizen to have a stab at ‘real’ financial independance than ever before, and they are doing so in an unfettered and enthusiastic way.

    While I absolutely abhor communism, the precepts of communism in China are quickly disappearing, how and what will arise I am not sure, but I do know by 1st hand experience that the “average” chinese has more of a chance now than they ever did.

    I suggest a visit to Shanghai to see the very real business atmosphere.

    Disclaimer: I am not Chinese, but I sure like ‘em as a peoples. Hard working, non bludgers, polite, and generally pleasant people. Yes I know about the restrictions etc and the lack of human rights in some areas, and I don’t like it, but to be fair it is getting less, and the country is becoming more acceptable of “western” ways and thought.
    These things take time.

    Right I sit back and wait for my shellacking.

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  182. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    But you people say only ‘democracy’ in the Western sense is acceptable – and shut out all other alternatives, even in those cases where ‘democracy’ is clearly failing.

    Are you even able to name the countries where democracy is failing – you’ve made this statement numerous times, and I think its time you backed this up.

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  183. dad4justice (7,763 comments) says:

    lofty I to have respect for the giant panda China, but I can’t get my head around their ever increasing body parts growth industry? Never eat Chinese garlic mate.

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  184. lofty (1,303 comments) says:

    Ah yes dad..one of the mysteries of the east.

    Snake is good but. along with a myriad of critters that we would never think of as food.

    You know what they say..if it has eyes or grows in any way at all..it is edible.

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  185. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Zhumao,

    “…why try and fix something that ain’t broke?”

    So who determines that it ain’t broke Zhumao? When did China last offer free and open multi-party elections so that the people could exercise their voice to vote if the Chinese ‘democracy’ was right for them???

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  186. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    When did China last offer free and open multi-party elections so that the people could exercise their voice to vote if the Chinese ‘democracy’ was right for them

    That’s only one way of finding out public opinion – not necessarily the best way. Often it is a recipe for chaos for many developing countries.

    And then Hong Kong has never had free and open multi-party elections – the people there are not exactly groaning about it. Most simply do not care.

    Finally, why do Westerners get so pissed off and angry about what another country does within its own borders?

    It is not as if China is asking New Zealand to adopt China’s political system, and do things China’s way. If that was the case then there would be cause for outrage. But it simply is not the case.

    But how China runs China is about as much New Zealand’s business as how New Zealand handles the anti-smacking bill, say, to the average Nepalese.

    Or is it Westerners can’t stand the rise of a non-white power for the first time in living memory, and feel that their reign as uncontested master of the world is coming to an end? Perhaps that is the reason for the extraordinary angst of some here about the rise of China.

    Remember China has never invaded the West. The West has China. That is enough reason for the West to shut the fuck up.

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  187. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Remember China has never invaded the West. The West has China. That is enough reason for the West to shut the fuck up.

    Next time we must remember to keep our noses out and let Japan finish the job.

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  188. Zhumao (401 comments) says:

    keep our noses out and let Japan finish the job.

    The West were partnered up with the Japanese in attacking China. The Japanese and US, Britain and others fought the Boxers at the beginning of the 20th century.

    In fact the genesis of the communist movement and the event that caused patriots to look to the Soviet Union, was the Versaille treaty in which Britain and the US, wanted to hand over German owned territory in China to the Japanese as a reward for Japan being an ally in WWI. That is China was just booty for these Western and Japanese imperialism (Lenin was right – WWI was an imperialist war –both sides were as bad as each other). This sparked massive protests called the May 4 movement.

    You joined in when Pearl Harbour, and Hong Kong, and Malaya were attacked. China was fighting from 1937. It was the communists who forced Chiang Kaishek to form a united front to fight the Japanese.

    You guys were fighting not for China, but for to to retain your colonies. For example, Ho Chi Minh fought the Japanese. Immediately after the war the British handed over arms to Japanese POWs and used them to suppress Vietnamese patriots who wanted independences.

    The West had been cooperating with Japan all along to try and carve up China. We don’t need to thank you for anything.

    In fact you should be thanking the Chinese for tying down and resisting and killing huge numbers of Japanese troops (over 1.5 million), for almost a decade who would otherwise have been released southward. And it was the communists who demanded and got national resistance to Japan.

    It was communist fighters in both European and Asian theatres who saved the ass of the Western bourgeois ‘democracies.’

    Now of course the West wants to make Taiwan a Japanese and US base in order to contain China. It’s the same old story.

    Note that the separatist minded Taiwanese are to a man, pro-japanese stooges. For example Lee Tenghui, the former president of Taiwan, who was an arch-traitor and Japanese running dog:

    “Growing up during the Japanese rule of Taiwan, he developed a strong affinity for Japan. His father was a middle-level Japanese police aide and his brother served and died in the Imperial Japanese Navy. Lee—one of only four Taiwanese students in his high school class—graduated with honors and was given a scholarship to Japan’s Kyoto Imperial University, then known as Kyoto Technical School. A lifelong collector of books, Lee was heavily influenced by Japanese thinkers like Nitobe Inazo and Nishida Kitaro in Kyoto. In 1944 he too volunteered for service in the Imperial Japanese Army and became a second lieutenant officer of an anti-aircraft gun in Taiwan. He was ordered back to Japan in 1945 and participated in the clean-up after the great Tokyo firebombing of March, 1945. Lee stayed in Japan after the surrender and graduated from Kyoto University in 1946.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Teng-hui

    So you fuckers hate the people who helped save your ass (the Chinese) but love the Taiwanese separatists (pro-Japanese who fought the allies in WWII).

    Is that not fucked up?

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  189. Kimble (4,379 comments) says:

    “Sure it is a country still under totalitarian control, but it has performed a sort of miracle in bringing it’s citizens into the present economic reality.”

    Heh, the only reason it looks like a miracle is because it was starting from a low base. China was poor and THEN got screwed up by the Communists for decades, in ways only a Communist government can think up. Fortunately they have systems in place to make sure it cant happen again. Wait, no they dont.

    “So you fuckers hate the people who helped save your ass (the Chinese) but love the Taiwanese separatists (pro-Japanese who fought the allies in WWII).”

    We also prefer the Germans to the French, and the Swiss to the Americans. What’s your point?

    “It is not as if China is asking New Zealand to adopt China’s political system, and do things China’s way.”

    Not yet, at least. Thats the funny thing about totalitarian states; they dont have many checks and balances on the desires of the state, or more accurately, the few people ruthless enough to worm their way to the top. And by funny I mean horrific.

    “But how China runs China is about as much New Zealand’s business as how New Zealand handles the anti-smacking bill, say, to the average Nepalese.”

    Yep, because human rights and economic freedom aren’t moral absolutes. Wait, I am wrong, of course they are.

    “Or is it Westerners can’t stand the rise of a non-white power for the first time in living memory”

    RACE CARD RACE CARD RACE CARD! The only thing anyone in the west can have against China is RACISM!!!! We didnt like the Russians either, and they are whiter than us! So go take a long walk down GOFUCKYOURSELF Boulevard!

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  190. Kimble (4,379 comments) says:

    Now, I am a big old fan of liberty. But I actually agree that the secret to economic success does not lie with a democratic electoral system. However, the things that I think rank ahead of ‘democracy’ (see below) are somewhat protected in a democratic country and at risk in an undemocratic one. Notice they are all about economic freedom? China hasnt gotten richer by reducing economic freedom.

    1. Property rights
    2. Freedom of speech and association and movement and exchange, and rule of law

    While China is not the poster child of any of these ideals, the changes they have made over the years have been in their general direction and away from a centrally planned economy. (This should not be interpreted as me saying that they arent planning at all, just that they arent planning in the traditional communist sense of the word.)

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  191. Kimble (4,379 comments) says:

    Oh and just on the racism thing again (because it really pisses me off when people call me a racist for disagreeing with them and upholding ideals on basic human rights), isnt it interesting how non-whites are so quick to assume that white people disagree with them because of their race?

    Is it because they dont want to live in a world where they arent able to dismiss another persons argument out of hand, just because that person is white?

    Maybe they just dont want to lose that feeling of innate superiority they get when they know they dont have to present white people with any coherent justification for their opinion.

    Sometimes I lie awake at night wondering how awesome it must be to feel morally superior, for no other reason than the colour of your skin.

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  192. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    The rhetoric of the orignal Zhumao was so much more enjoyable than this version.

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