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China’s Charm Offensive Start Of Buy Up Says Peters

EMBARGOED AGAINST DELIVERY until 1.30pm



Rt. Hon Winston Peters
Leader NZ First

August 6 2011

PRESS RELEASE

China’s Charm Offensive Start Of Buy Up Says Peters

China has started its big public relations campaign to smooth the way for a massive buy up of New Zealand state assets and chunks of the dairy industry, Rt. Hon Winston Peters has told a meeting in South Auckland today (Papukura 1.30pm Old School Hall cnr Wood St and Gt. South Rd).

He pointed out the media were invited to a rare briefing and press conference at China's Wellington embassy this week as part of a wider "green tea" charm offensive through Western media.
Reporters were told New Zealand was an attractive place for Chinese investors and without being specific a spokesman said dairy farms and mining "at least" would be of interest.
Mr Peters said international trade and diplomatic relations with China were good for both parties but that relationship should not extend to free trade or allowing ownership of New Zealand state assets, mineral wealth or the dairy industry.

NZ First has always respected that the Chinese are smart and says that NZ is being naive in its dealings on such issues with China to our immediate and long term detriment.

“We have always maintained that this country has the resources and capability of successfully making its own way in the world if we educate and train our own people and give them a stake in society.

Mr Peters said that it was wrong to interpret his comments about investment from China’s state companies as “xenophobic”.

“New Zealand First is not a racist party and anyone who attended our annual convention last week will attest to that.

“We do not want any foreign power to own or control us but we get especially nervous about those with political systems that consist of a one party state.

“Although China is a military super power it is spending billions on a charm offensive to increase what is known as its ‘soft power’ around the world and that extends to New Zealand.

“We have to remember that at the heart of the soft power is a core of communist steel which shows no mercy to dissent and does not abide democracy or share our view on human rights.

“There is also an alarming flow of reports from China about issues like the milk powder scandal and we should not get caught up with companies prepared to do anything for profit,” he said.


ENDS


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