Thursday, June 29, 2023

Heather du Plessis-Allan: China may need New Zealand more than we realise

I’ll tell you what was clear from Chris Hipkins’ meeting with Xi Jinping last night and the Chinese media coverage afterwards. And that was that China actually needs us more than perhaps many Kiwis realise.

Of all the countries visiting Beijing at the moment, and there were quite a few, Barbados, Mongolia, and Vietnam- it was New Zealand that was singled out in the local press for special mention.

The global times had the picture of Hipkins meeting Xi as the lead photo, it praised New Zealand’s “independent policymaking” and said that: “Compared with other members of the Five Eyes Alliance, New Zealand is a country that is able to maintain equal and pragmatic relations and mutual respect with China." 

And of course, you know that local press over there carries a bit more weight than just a commentator having a thought. The global times is basically a mouth piece for the Chinese  Government, so that is what the Chinese Government thinks. 

We are the favourite little friend in the West.

We are the country China stays close to, to make an example of. To show the rest of the West the respect they should also be offering to China

Let’s be clear-eyed about it though, that could change in a flash if China truly got the pip with us. But for now, it’s working for us

We escaped the kind of punishment meted out to others, because we are the special little friend. The worst we’re enduring at the moment is an hour-long epic haranguing of our foreign minister.

Which I would take any day over the sanctions Australia had to suffer.

Still, the fawning coverage from China and Xi Jinping calling us a friend and a partner is hiding the uncomfortable truth.

Which is that our relationship is rockier than it's been in years.

Now that's not our fault, it's China’s. They’re the ones flexing as a global superpower and we're just trying manage that

But we are managing it, and Hipkins managed it quite well last night. There is reason to hope, at least for now, that we can carry on managing it for a while.

Because China clearly still needs us to western-wash them.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.


Martin Hanson said...

Of course, our media don't tell us of Hipkins' Bejing meeting with Klaus Schwab, of the World Economic Forum, any more than we were allowed to know of Ardern's close links with the WEF.

CXH said...

China needs us more than we need them - really? We are a pet and will be treated like one. A nice pat on the head as long as we behave. A vicious beating if we don't.

Anonymous said...

Chyna owns us.