Audrey Young on the NZ China relationship

April 11th, 2013 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Audrey Young writes:

Why does the world biggest country pay so much attention to such a small country as ?

Before the changing of the guard in the Beijing leadership last month, of the nine former members of the powerful group Standing committee of the Politburo, seven had visited New Zealand.

The only other country to receive such a concentration high-level visits is said to be Singapore.

The new Standing Committee has been reduced to seven and only two have been to New Zealand, but the most important two, the President Xi Jinping (three times) and the Premier Li Leqiang in 2009 both in former capacities.

New Zealand has had annual talks with Beijing for some time. Australia has just got them this week.

Prime Minister John Key is being accorded time with both the Premier and President this trip.

So why does one of the smallest countries in the world have such a good relationship with the largest country in the world?

New Zealand is also small enough for to test out ideas without complications, such as the joint aid project to provide Rarotonga with clean water. …

China is usually secretive and defensive about its aid budget. The Cook Islands joint aid venture is a first for them.

I wasn’t aware of that. The Pacific was in danger of becoming an arena for competing aid diplomacy. A co-operative approach is in fact much better for the Pacific.

One of the least recognised reasons China is so well disposed to New Zealand is the late Rewi Alley, the New Zealander who lived in China for 60 years helping to establish co-operatives -though these day the most famous Kiwi is probably Sir .

No Hobbit or Jackson haters in China.

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22 Responses to “Audrey Young on the NZ China relationship”

  1. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    No Hobbit or Jackson haters in China.

    But are there any Rewi Alley haters in New Zealand? Discuss with reference to his strong support for Mao’s regime and opposition to the US. Then consider that he stands to make us a lot of money. Confusion follows.

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  2. CameronFoxton (28 comments) says:

    I had no real idea who Rewi Alley was beyond a vague memory of a visit to the Springfield memorial a few years back. So a staunch supporter of communism has laid the foundation for the relationship between two essentially capitalist nations. Who needs fiction when history is so interesting

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  3. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    “No Hobbit or Jackson haters in China.”

    I’ll chip in to send them some of ours. Anyone else?

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  4. Ross12 (1,432 comments) says:

    It is good to see the PM and his entourage getting such high profile attention on his visit to China. It must be a welcome change to all the negativity he faces at home. , from the MSM.

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  5. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    China has been buying Pacific Island votes at the UN for ages. Their interest in New Zealand will, in part, be designed to help continue this.

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  6. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    So why does one of the smallest countries in the world have such a good relationship with the largest country in the world?

    New Zealand is not one of the smallest countries in the world.

    In population, we’re pretty close to bang in the middle.

    In geographic size, we’re close to the top third, depending on what you count as a country.

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  7. kowtow (8,524 comments) says:

    When the Chinese communists fall ,as they must,will their successors be so appreciative of our efforts in relation to the communists?

    We should not become overly dependant on the Chinese market because when the state apparatus collapses there so will our export market at least in the short to medium term.

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  8. Dean Papa (784 comments) says:

    No doubt the Chinese leadership have great admiration for Sir Peter. They are able to appreciate the cunning way in which he was able to manipulate the Kiwi populace to achieve a desired end. The manipulated included the media, politicians, hysterical bloggers, and of course it all culminated in the now hilarious march of the patsies. The Chinese clearly recognise the work of a genius tactician, and the true beauty of it all is that Sir Peter’s patsies are still in relentless denial mode about it. They got well and truly played like a deck of cards, but are too ashamed to admit it. If only I’d not sent off those abusive and threatening emails to Robyn Malcolm, they think to themselves. What a tool I am, they further ponder …

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  9. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    “and of course it all culminated in NZ’s film industry being worth $3 billion in 2012″

    There you go pap, fixed it for ya. You’re welcome :)

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  10. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    I can’t find the post online, but the Lowy Institute in Australia recently talked about how NZ can engage with other countries in a way that Australia or the US can’t. NZ is seen as relaxed and unthreatening, and can be seen as a partner rather than a competitor. Lowy’s conclusion was that this could help Australia’s foreign policy… Australia sometimes has to take a pragmatic hard line on some foreign policy issues, but NZ can complement this approach by working in a relaxed manner behind the scenes. NZ can get away saying things that Australia can’t.

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  11. Amelia (25 comments) says:

    John Key is a real ‘pushover’ when it comes to ‘economic’ relations with Australia and China. Chinese are just using New Zealand as a guinea pigs to test whatever. The broadband provider HuaWei had already been rejected by USA and Australia but New Zealand is embracing with wide open arms. What a shame!
    Also, with the fast tracking of the Chinese Visas, the good and bad will all have the chance to come to New Zealand regardless of their motives. They do not have to pose as ‘students’ to get Visas now.

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  12. Silly Will Bunions (143 comments) says:

    And (audrey young aside) all our nitwit journalists want to talk about is which spy agency is authorised to fight crime. Fucktards. Why do we tolerate this nitwit journalism?

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  13. Aredhel777 (290 comments) says:

    Are you KIDDING me? Rewi Alley? The man who molested a whole load of little boys in China while endorsing the Maoist regime that killed tens of millions of people? Why the heck is anyone praising him?

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  14. SPC (5,643 comments) says:

    I wonder if China discussed with us, the 200 mile economic zones in the region and the situation on the Korean peninsular and reform of the UNSC?

    We do after all aspire to a seat on the UNSC and it is seems apparent that China sees itself having a geo-political role in the Asia-Pacific region. They, Russia and the USA are 3 of the Big 5 on the UNSC, where new permanent candidates from the region, such as Japan and India have been proposed.

    Personally I favour more serious reform, where the African Union, ASEAN and the Arab League are also permanently represented on the UNSC (as well as Brazil and Germany). That would leave only 3 elected temporary members, unless the EU took over the UK, France and Germany positions – however the UK has a role as a Commonwealth nation, similarly the French have a geo-political tradition outside of Europe.

    On the 200 mile economic zones, we should propose that no uninhabited rock is part of a nations territorial claim for 200 mile economic zone purposes. And that where there is genuine overlap of economic zone areas then the two nations share the resource according to agreed international determination standards.

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  15. freemark (581 comments) says:

    kowtow (4,082) Says:
    April 11th, 2013 at 2:56 pm
    When the Chinese communists fall ,as they must,will their successors be so appreciative of our efforts in relation to the communists?

    Are the Chinese still communists? I don’t think so.. they are catch up capitalists, they know how to deal with riff raff, and I see our position as being advantageous in terms of being a counterpoint to the excesses of China & USA. We have a lot to gain here, JK knows well how to play the game, to the advantage of most Kiwis.. (except the lefty fuckwits, about whom none of us should give a shit)

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  16. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    I have always thought that Russia was the biggest country.. Eleven time zones and all that..

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  17. tvb (4,432 comments) says:

    My dear Grandmother visited China in the mid 70s and was one of the first NZers to go after we opened up our Diplomatic relationship. She was red to the core and would be highly bemused at how far things have gone today. Rewi Alley was much admired and was visited by my Grandmother when she went to China. She dined out on her trip for the rest of her life.

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  18. Jack5 (5,137 comments) says:

    What is the real truth about the Chinese economy?

    China’s foreign currency reserves have just reached 3.4 trillion US dollars (3,400 billion US dollars or about 4000 billion NZ dollars).

    But Fitch has just downgraded China credit rating from A+ to AA-. onthe ground that local authorities and Chinese companies have run up too much debt. (Fitch cut NZ’s rating from AA+ to AA in September and this month warned that high household debt and a low savings could pose a risk to the NZ financial system if asset prices decline or if the unemployment rate increases).

    Here’s what Fitch said:

    …“Risks over China’s financial stability have grown. Credit has grown significantly faster than GDP since 2009. China experienced the second-fastest expansion of credit in real terms, behind only Qatar, between end-2009 and end-June 2012. The stock of bank credit to the private sector was worth 135.7 percent of GDP at end-2012, the third-highest of any Fitch-rated emerging market. Fitch believes total credit in the economy including various forms of “shadow banking” activity may have reached 198 percent of GDP at end-2012, up from 125 percent at end-2008.

    ABOUT REWI ALLEY: He was widely helped with finance from the churches in NZ in the earlier years, though he later was in close cahoots with China’s communists, and as a homosexual running boys’ homes raised a few eyebrows, probably unfairly.

    The link on the Fitch downgrade:

    http://www.china-briefing.com/news/2013/04/11/fitch-downgrades-chinas-credit-rating.html

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  19. NeutralObserver (95 comments) says:

    So Audrey you really mean we have an FTA with China not just because they wanted access to our massive 4 million person moderately wealthy market? But because we have also over the 30 years engaged with them on a range of political and security issues of importance to them?. God who would have thought it – bet not those short term, next 12 month focussed Chinese. Bet those useless back office bureaucrats at MFAT didn’t think of any of this when they were advising on recognition of china, recognition as a market economy, working for their WTO accession, joining KEDO in the 90’s and non productive crap like that.

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  20. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    NeutralObserver (73)

    Audrey says… They are the BIGGEST country in the World.. How can we resist them ??

    BULLSHIT from go to whoa…

    They are on the pay role… NOVAPAY… All bullshit…

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  21. adam2314 (377 comments) says:

    Adam 2314 said ..

    Audrey claims that China is the biggest country in the world.. Adam says that Audrey is wrong
    So whom ever is disagreeing wih this… Cliick .. Here..

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  22. lastmanstanding (1,297 comments) says:

    Like it or nor China is going to be the biggest economy in a few years and India will follow as will Indonesia later in the 21st century. NZ is lucky that our pollies and diplomats and Rewi Alley served us well in establishing good working relationships with China. The same is happening with India and hopefully will happen with Indonesia.
    As the old saying goes “better to be inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent trying to piss in”

    As others have posted NZ has always be seen as an honest broker. NZers were involved in broking deals with the change of regime in Sth Africa and have been involved in many other countries on the QT off the radar quietly but effectively bringing different sides together to sort out problems.

    In fact if any country could broker a deal with the Nth Koreans it would be NZ. We are non threatening seen to keep our word and our mouths shut on a diplomatic basis when necessary.

    That’s why NZ pollies and diplomats get far more attention from the big guys than our size would suggest.

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