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China Letter-News and Human Rights

China human rights news with focus on the Uygur of Xinjiang, Tibetans and Tibet, Chinese mining workers, religion, corruption and censorship.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

World first for NZ in China trade pledge

New Zealand News - NZ - World first for NZ in China trade pledge

Foreign Investment ChinaTibetan Nuns and Monks imprisoned for years, Uygurs having been executed as recently as October last year for a riot back in 1997, freedoms of association and religion straightjacketed, house churches bulldozed, religious rights inspectors refused visiting rights and our friends, the New Zealenders, are crowing over the possibility of being the "first Developed country" to strike a free trade deal with China.

The linked article effectively brags that New Zealand is on track to become the first Western nation to strike a free-trade deal with China after the Government told Beijing it recognised its "market economy" status.

I am all for China's increasing integration into the world economy, it will be good for China and her citizens.

But this god almighty rush by developed nations to put their snouts in the trough is almost sickening to watch.

Here we have a nation in New Zealand, that has always prided itself on it's independence and steadfastness in the face of international political pressure over such things as it's nuclear and anti-war policies, forgetting totally the human rights record of China and gloating as to it's coming change in relationship.

I am not saying do not do it New Zealand or all the other countries lined up but be a little circumspect about it.

At least try to put a bit of "caring spin" on it.

When the backslapping is happening and the champagne corks are popping, just for a second, I hope you stop and consider the situation of the likes of the Uygur people and the scores of Uygur political prisoners, many prisoners of conscience, languishing in goals like Urumqi's Xinjiang Number 1 prison.

Yes, hopefully China is changing for the good, but the proof of the pudding has not been tested by the eating. Let's remember that in our headlong rush for the almighty dollar and try to at least temper our enthusiasm. Remember Munich pre WW11? There was a lot of enthusiasm then too.