Mike Hosking: Can we still rely on China when everyone else is shunning them?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 21 Jul 2020, 5:22PM
(Photo / Getty)

Mike Hosking: Can we still rely on China when everyone else is shunning them?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tue, 21 Jul 2020, 5:22PM

It seems a little bit ironic that we are busy this week dealing with the Chinese and trade when so much of the world wants to shun them.

The extradition treaty between Hong Kong and Britain is gone. Sanctions are coming the Chinese way from the Americans over Hong Kong

Britain has changed its mind on Huawei, no doubt because of the unrelenting pressure of the Americans.

The Australians are in an openly hostile on going exchange of insults and tariffs over the way the Chinese claim they are being treated

And don’t even scratch the surface on US relations in general and yet here we are at the annual NZ China business summit working out how we do ever more business with them.

The ambassador put it perfectly: stay out of our politics and we will get on fine. Which I think, if we were being honest about things, would be exactly what we’d like to do.

But we have an earnest if not slightly xenophobic government that likes to mix business with politics and ultimately the only loser will be us.

We are of course far too reliant on China. The trade deal done all those years ago has turned out to be spectacularly good for us, but at what prices?

The same questions and scenarios are applicable to a lot of other countries, so it’s not like we are in this by ourselves.

We apparently are still looking to sign up to part of the Belt and Road Vision. We openly look to expand opportunities, and yet the mess we currently find ourselves in is directly on the doorstep of China and I just don’t know how you can hide from it despite the fact they may want us to.

You get the British response to Hong Kong. That doesn’t have to be our issue, nor the plight of the Uighurs, but Covid came from China, and there seems little doubt they weren’t exactly ringing the alarm bells on day 1

Can we let them get away with that? Can anyone let them get away with that?

There are countries in Europe changing laws to prevent the Chinese takeover of strategic companies, now that the Chinese are out the other side of covid and cashed up and set to buy big.

The Chinese are increasingly a global concern for a growing number of countries. Is it really as easy as looking the other way as they ask? Or because we are so small are we so stuck now, no longer have a choice.