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National Dances to China’s Tune

Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader

Member of Parliament for Northland
20 OCTOBER 2016

National Dances to China’s Tune

The National government is bending to the will of China in its refusal to discuss democracy in Hong Kong with advocates.

“In Parliament today Minister Gerry Brownlee, standing in for Deputy Prime Minister Bill English, had no reasonable answer on the cancellation of a meeting with pro-democracy campaigners Anson Chan and Martin Lee.

“It’s embarrassing for New Zealand that this country’s government denied them a hearing when both US Vice-President Joe Biden and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met them.

“It does not sit well with New Zealand First that the government has not been open to at least listening to their views.

“This is an insult to our closer economic relationship with Hong Kong. New Zealand was the first foreign country to sign a bilateral free trade agreement with Hong Kong in March 2010, which at the time National said was a priority.

“National is bowing down to Chinese officials who do not want a bar of a push for democracy gaining support on the world stage.

“We suspect the meeting cancellation had much to do with the amount of money coming into National Party coffers from wealthy Chinese.

“National is doing its utmost not to upset China. National has done nothing about dodgy plumbing products and steel from China. It has allowed Chinese nationals in their thousands to immigrate here and speculate on housing and buy land. National did nothing when China moved against infant formula exporters and drove them out of business. National actively supported the take over our biggest meat exporter.”


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