Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Free Tibet before free-trade with China

9 March 2005

Free Tibet before free-trade with China

Helen Clark should use her keynote address at tomorrow’s trade summit to tell the Chinese Government that New Zealand won’t give it a free-trade deal until it ends its military occupation of Tibet, the Greens say.

“March 10 marks the 46th anniversary of the Tibetan people’s uprising against Chinese occupation,” said Green Co-Leader Rod Donald. “It’s totally insensitive for business and political leaders to discuss how to make big profits by trading with China on this solemn occasion.

“I fear the Prime Minister and the other leaders attending the summit will turn a blind eye to the human rights abuses in China and occupied Tibet and the fact that China’s economy is built on modern day slavery.”
China has an appalling record on labour standards, refusing to sign core International Labour Organisation conventions and to abolish forced labour, Mr Donald said.

“China operates prison labour camps believed to house seven million inmates, who are forced to work up to 16 hours a day, without health or safety protections or adequate food, producing a variety of products for export. Some of these slave-made products would receive preferential trade access to the New Zealand market were the Government to sign a free-trade agreement with China.”

Mr Donald has also challenged the organisers of the conference, the Auckland Rotary Club, to apply Rotary's own four-way test to free-trade with China.

“Free trade with China fails the Rotary four-way test on at least three counts: it isn't the truth, it certainly isn’t fair to all concerned; it may build goodwill and better friendships, but it won't be beneficial to all concerned.”
Mr Donald will be attending protests in Wellington and Auckland tomorrow (Thursday March 10) to highlight

China’s human rights abuses, particularly against the people of Tibet, as follows:

-Friends of Tibet protest, Chinese Embassy, Glenmore Street, Wellington, 7.30-8.30am. (Green Human Rights Spokesperson Keith Locke will also be in attendance.)

-Free-Trade Agreement Protest Rally, outside China trade forum, Hilton Hotel, Princes Wharf, off Quay Street, Auckland, 12.30pm-2pm. Available 2pm-3.30pm for interviews.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election