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Barry Soper: No love lost for China from the misguided

Barry Soper ,
Publish Date
Thursday, 14 February 2019, 11:35AM
Jacinda Ardern and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Asean Summit in November in Singapore. Photo / ASEAN
Jacinda Ardern and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang at the Asean Summit in November in Singapore. Photo / ASEAN


If my mail's anything to go by, the souring relations with China will do this Government no harm at all.

Since the story broke about Jacinda Ardern's trip to Beijing being put on hold by the Chinese, and next week's launch of the China-New Zealand Year of Tourism being postponed by Beijing, the hateful messages have been flowing in.

They're irrational, they're paranoid and they most certainly are xenophobic.

They all ignore the fact that this country has prospered over the past decade, while other economies have suffered.

The Key Government's management of the global financial crisis has been lauded but without the free trade agreement, signed in the Chinese capital as the final act of the Clark Government, this country wouldn't be where it is today.

The puerile keyboard warriors' bile is too vile to repeat but it seems to be based on envy, that the Chinese, after generations of deprivation, have shown the world they can compete and are a force to be reckoned with.

The reason why they're locked in an escalating trade war with the Trump administration is that they were better at doing business than the Americans.

No one would countenance China's human rights record but if that was the yardstick for not doing business, then we may as well raise the drawbridge.

But it's not just in this country that the mention of China sends fear into the minds of even the well educated.

Will they now relax after the police here, following a nine-month investigation using the most sophisticated of police resources including detailed forensic analysis and taking expert advice, finding nothing for the Chinese to answer?

The answer is not on your nelly.

China and suspicion go hand in hand, reminiscent in this country of reds under the bed and the dancing Cossack ads of the Muldoon error when it came to the Russians.

One of those keyboard warriors put it all into some sort of perspective though, particularly when it comes to our super spy agency the GCSB rejecting the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei's involvement in Spark's 5G broadband roll-out.

He said: "So we won't use Huawei equipment because the Americans say it has back doors for spying but presumably they would be fine with us using Cisco made in the USA because its back doors are safe!"

Fortunately my emails aren't anything to go by - hopefully.

ON AIR: The Devlin Radio Show

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