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NZ diplomats should take a stroll to Tiananmen Sq.

NZ diplomats should take a stroll to Tiananmen Square

The Green Party has urged the New Zealand diplomats who are in Beijing to negotiate a free-trade deal to take a stroll through Tiananmen Square to consult with the local people.

A delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade [MFAT] began talks in Beijing today on a free trade agreement between New Zealand and China with the blessing of Prime Minister Helen Clark and Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton.

“Our diplomats ought to make the symbolically significant walk to Tiananmen Square, where thousands of students protesting for democracy were massacred in 1989” Green Co-Leader Rod Donald said.

“It would allow them to ask the Chinese people whether New Zealand should be turning a blind eye to human rights abuses and appalling wages and working conditions in pursuit of a free-trade deal.”

Mr Donald said the Government’s trade policy, which allowed for dealing with any regime, no matter how odious, was unethical and unacceptable.

“We should not be giving China preferential trade access to New Zealand when its government refuses to ratify core ILO standards, holds the people of Tibet hostage, doesn’t respect the environment, and runs tanks over its own citizens merely because they called for democracy in their own country.

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