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Caution Needed Over Chinese Trade

Caution Needed Over Chinese Trade

Wednesday 3 Mar 2004 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

While trade with the People's Republic of China is important and should be fostered, it would be a mistake for New Zealand to be the first and only country in the world to formally recognise PRC's status as a market economy, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs and Trade Spokesman Ken Shirley said today.

"The PRC politburo are clearly playing a shrewd game with Prime Minister Helen Clark, and want to use New Zealand endorsement as a bargaining chip against WTO pressures to wind back the anti-dumping protocols they are under pressure to comply with," Mr Shirley said.

"It is ironic that Helen Clark's Government invoked multi-lateralism as a reason to oppose intervention against Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq, and yet is prepared to engage in a unilateral act to recognise the Communist regime of PRC as an open market economy.

"Having blown our prospects of joining Australia in a Free Trade Agreement with the US, Miss Clark is desperate to get some runs on the board.

"While it is true that PRC is advancing spectacularly towards a more open economy, it still has a long way to go. As a single party Communist state that suppresses dissension and persecutes those who oppose the central regime, PRC does not meet the standard required for formal recognition as a market economy.

"Freedom and choice are the principles that underpin market economies - PRC falls well short of that mark," Mr Shirley said.

ENDS


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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