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NZ Must Protest Chinese Embassy's Actions

New Zealand Must Protest To China Over Chinese Embassy's Actions

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, is calling on the New Zealand Government to lodge an official protest with the Chinese Government over the Chinese Embassy's actions in writing to New Zealand MPs warning them against visiting Taiwan.

Mr Dunne recently led a delegation of five New Zealand MPs to Taiwan as guests of the Taiwan Government, and has written today to the Minister of Foreign Affairs requesting a formal protest be made to China over the matter.

"The Chinese Embassy's reaction is utterly intolerable in a democratic and open society like ours, although I appreciate that the notion of people having rights in a free and open society will be quite alien to the Chinese."

"As New Zealand citizens we have the rights of free association and movement and the reasonable expectation to be protected by our Government against such abuse and harassment from a foreign power."

"I am therefore calling on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to lodge a formal protest with the Chinese over this matter and to demand that they cease the practice forthwith."

"What New Zealanders do or think about Taiwan is their business, not China's," Mr Dunne said.

Mr Dunne has previously criticised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for "timidity bordering on abject cowardice" in dealing with China/Taiwan issues, and believes it will be strongly against upsetting China in any way at all.

"If the Foreign Minister declines to act, it will send the clearest signal yet that as far as the New Zealand Government is concerned, the rights of our citizens are secondary to not getting offside with China."

"And totalitarian China will be able to laugh smugly to itself that it can continue to click it fingers and watch New Zealand dance to its tune," Mr Dunne says.

Ends


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