Saturday, June 19, 2010

Official photo of Russel Norman, Co-leader of ...Image via Wikipedia
Brutal truth behind China's pleasant smiles and New Zealand lawmaker finds out the hard way ...

"Russel Norman has done us all a favour. He got roughed up for flying the Tibetan flag in front of he visiting Chinese vice-president, but he leaves us an image and a symbol of great value. He showed the real face of the Chinese police state, not the smiling one it wears at cocktail parties and diplomatic ceremonies. The goons who pushed and shoved him and tore the flag out of his hands also tore off China's mask. The Chinese state oppresses not only the Tibetans but its own people. It does to protesters what it did, astonishingly, to an elected MP in a foreign land: trampled on his rights and treated him with brickfaced contempt. And all in front of TV cameras. This will remain as aa glowing reminder of brutal truths and as a counterpoint to the vapidities of official ritual. Vice-President Xi raises his wine glass and gives a pleasant smile. He shakes hands with John key, carefully angled for the cameras. He has a pleasant talk with Phil Goff, another "great friend" of China. Inside the gilded halls,Xi is surrounded by fawning smiles. Outside, his guards smear our sovereignty and spit on on our democratic values.

Everybody knows, of course,that New Zealand needs China's money. Politicians of both main parties have worked for years to win a free-trade deal with the emerging Chineses super-state. Without China as a market, New Zealand would be much poorer than it is. Without the growing Chinese markets in future,New Zealand's economic prospects would be much dimmer. New Zealand cannot restrict its trade to democracies. We must sell  in the real world, which contains more despots than elected leaders. And this presents a problem."

The opening paragraphs in the New Zealand Sunday Times editorial of June 20, 2010.

Russell Norman the young co-leader of the New Zealand Greens Party had protested on the grounds of New Zealand's Parliament against Chinese policies regarding Tibet and had waved a Tibetan flag.  He was then manhandled by Chinese security guards and had his flag taken off him and trampled into the ground. Russel Norman is an elected member of New Zealand's Parliament and should not have been physically manhandled. That was offensive and is actually assault under New Zealand law. NZ police provide all official security and protection for visiting dignatories such as the Chinese vice-president and his entourage. His security guards should have remained at his side and not become involved in any fracas. Also under New Zealand law foreign security guards cannot be armed. The NZ Diplomatic Protection Squad provides armed protection for foreigners. These security guards breached New Zealand law and could have been liable for prosecution. Of course they won't and not much will be said by those who govern New Zealand at present. They will bend over backwards not to offend Vice-president Xi, who could become the next president of China. This action offended not only members of New Zealand's parliament, but the New Zealand people who are represented by members of parliament such as Russel Norman.

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