Well said. The spam + Chongqing hotpot combo is strangely delicious..
This place resembles an echo chamber at times.
I think the main damage to Fonterra's and NZ's reputation will be outside China.
Will be interesting to see how the Chinese government treats Fonterra in the aftermath of the thing though.
All good points Sam.
I'm not predicting CCP influence in NZ is going to be changed in any way by the outcome of the comming election.
Of course the survey is small and unscientific. That said, the interview comments were interesting, and the findings gel with my experiences of the PRC community in New Zealand.
I merely thought the matter worth commenting on.
The most important issue to me is how people (and this includes westerners as well as Chinese) censor themselves to avoid 'offending China', 'offending the CCP' and so on. We're seeing more and more of this and it is not good.
Keeping silent to save CCP face has just hospitalized thousands of babies. The world needs less of this, not more.
I've heard it said before that New Zealand firms should be getting stuck in and helping clean up China's environment. Sounds great in principle. A few years ago I had a look around for some NZ firms that might have this kind of expertise and found nothing much (from memory maybe one company specialized in cleaning up polluted water). Are there NZ firms with this type of environmental clean up expertise?
It seems to me that China's pollution problems are unlike anything in New Zealand. I guess we could help them clean up agricultural pollution, but we probably need to learn how to do that ourselves first. We seem to be doing a crap job in our own backyard.
Clean energy technologies? We just might have a real world leading technology in that firm doing bio-diesel from algae (last I checked the technology still had to be proven economic though). Other than that what do we have? The Chinese piss all over us in terms of wind power. Seen the huge wind farms out in Xinjiang? They are about to become a major force in solar panels (in fact they will no doubt be the ones who make solar panels an economic technology). Maybe there is some minor contribution we could make. But I hardly see clean energy as a New Zealand strength. I see us as lagging miles behind the rest of the world.
I mentioned Labor because it is the only other large party in New Zealand. Personally I see voting Green as the most useful thing I can do with my vote. They annoy me with some of their policies, but at least they have a fresh take on things and realize that in the big picture the environmental challenges are the largest ones we face.
I would not characterize China as having a passive foreign policy. It certainly doesn't feel that way if you are Taiwanese. The Vietnamese, and others, might also be scratching their heads. Not invading countries is simply NOT a feature of CCP policy. The oft repeated idea that China has a history of pacifism is laughable. Chinese empires were. . . surprise surprise. . . imperialistic and expansionist. Its hard for most people to get their head around (after all they were not white and didn't wear pith helmets) but in many cases they were colonialist (e.g. the Yuan, Ming and Qing colonization of Yunnan, the Qing colonization of Xinjiang, and so on). CCP policy is essentially to restore the borders of the Qing Empire. Calling this policy passive is a joke.
I never said Chinese New Zealanders were going to take over New Zealand. They don't need to though. We are already so deluded by dreams of gold and nightmares of 'offending China' that China has been calling the shots for some time.
It's embarrassing. Like every other nation in the world we are selling out our principles in the hope of making a buck. The joke is that Chinese state meddling to protect Chinese industries, criminal behavior on the part of our Chinese 'business partners', obstruction and persecution of foreign business in China by local authorities, the basic Chinese xenophobia that sees ripping off foreigners as patriotism, and much more, mean we will be lucky to come out with more than we would have had if we had acted with a little integrity.
Indeed, it would be an awful lot of work to try identifying all parts of the electorate who have inexplicable personal biases.
That said, we are not talking about some nebulous fringe element here. We are talking about the majority of PRC-born New Zealanders. Moreover, the inexplicable personal bias in question is completely external to New Zealand.
Seems remarkable enough to be worth commenting on.
Alas I'm in no position to organize a flying squad. Even if I was I'd clean up some other problems before this one. Distasteful as it is, I don't find it nearly so bad as, for example, pay-to-work immigration scams, paying restaurant staff well below minimum wage, and so on.
I'd think that a non-Chinese New Zealander who considered supporting China was the most important thing they could do with their vote had a major screw loose.
That said, a non-Chinese NZ voter who thought this way would (presumably) be in New Zealand by accident of birth rather than by active choice. I would thus be a little less inclined to question why that hypothetical voter was participating in a New Zealand democracy given New Zealand's marginal position in their world view.
In the case of the Chinese NZ voter with such feelings I have to question why they even participate. At best their participation as New Zealanders is insincere; at worst they are a negative influence.
Your reference to National is silly. I doubt many National voters are motivated primarily by the fact that National leans closer to the USA than Labor does. Loyalty to the USA is just one among numerous features of National Party policy. In any case, Labor is not exactly an enemy of the USA.
A few of thoughts on the issue of separation of government/country in Chinese thinking. . .
- The commonly used Chinese word for 'country' ('guojia') is a little ambiguous. It means state, country, land and nation, all at the same time.
- You have decades of CCP propaganda telling people that China=CCP, that the CCP saved China, that only the CCP can run a country like China, and so on.
Chris, I ended up writing a little piece on the issue of loyalty to China/CCP among Chinese voters in New Zealand on my own website.
I see it as a little odd. I think it also raises a few moral issues.
I think your comparison to New Zealander's in Beijing who vote in New Zealand elections is odd and not very relevant. The same thought crossed my mind while I was writing but I discarded it as a dead end. It makes for a glib little analogy, but there is no real comparison between the two situations.
How are NZers in Beijing who vote in the NZ election displaying a nationalistic mindset? Surely they are just exercising their democratic rights as NZ citizens?
In contrast, Chinese NZers who see supporting China and the CCP as the single most important thing they can do with their vote in a NZ election appear to be subordinating their interest in NZ to their interest in China and the CCP. If that's how they feel I'd question whether they deserve a vote in the first place, and whether it is morally right for them to to use that vote.
Of course lots of people, probably the majority, cast votes for stupid and counterproductive reasons. That said, I think my questions are still valid.
Of course the larger issue here is why are Chinese from the PRC so nationalistic, and what are the implications of their nationalism for New Zealand?