China

Looks like Winston’s, David’s and Grant’s nasty smears have backfired

Yesterday Winston Peters, Grant Robertson and David Cunliffe all accused Judith Collins of corruption without a shred of evidence to support their claims.

Now someone who was at the dinner has confirmed the minister’s account and their smears are in tatters.

A senior Beehive adviser has taken the unusual step of going public to back her minister, Judith Collins, over what took place at a dinner with Oravida executives and a senior Chinese Government official.

Margaret Malcolm was one of five guests at the dinner in Beijing which has embroiled Collins in allegations of corruption.

Malcolm, who travelled with Collins to China as her senior adviser, backed the minister’s claim that they did not discuss Oravida’s business over the dinner and that they talked mostly tourism.

“The dinner was very short and discussion was restricted due to some participants having limited English. The conversation centred around New Zealand as a tourist destination.”

She had not taken any notes in her capacity as adviser.

Like Collins, Malcolm also refused to name the Chinese official who Opposition MPs claim was in a position to help milk exporter Oravida overcome export issues following the botulism scare.

Collins has been under fire over allegations she used her ministerial position to benefit her husband’s business interests, though she told The Dominion Post last night that this was not true.

“[NZ First leader] Winston Peters . . . misled the media, he misled the public and actually there is no evidence of it and it’s utterly untrue.”

She had no influence over the $6000 received by Oravida from a pool of government funding for businesses which had been affected by the botulism scare, which turned out to be a false alarm.

Forty-one exporters had received advice and help from the Government relating to the incident and 39 of them received some form of payment, she said.  Read more »

Hong Kong, Macau and China are all China, yet you need a passport to travel between them

Perhaps Gareth Morgan should take note of this

Gareth Morgan famously rode his motorcycle through the Potemkin villages of NOrth Korea, proclaiming the whole country to be enlightened and not as reported outside of the country.

The man is an idiot. There is ample evidence of the lack of freedom and deprivations suffered by the people of North Korea under the Kim regime.

Yeonmi Park spoke to Australia’s SBS about her defection from North Korea.

I lived in North Korea for the first 15 years of my life, believing Kim Jong-il was a god. I never doubted it because I didn’t know anything else. I could not even imagine life outside of the regime.

It was like living in hell. There were constant power outages, so everything was dark. There was no transportation – everyone had to walk everywhere. It was very dirty and no one could eat anything.

It was not the right conditions for human life, but you couldn’t think about it, let alone complain about it. Even though you were suffering, you had to worship the regime every day.

I had to be careful of my thoughts because I believed Kim Jong-il could read my mind. Every couple of days someone would disappear. A classmate’s mother was punished in a public execution that I was made to attend. I had no choice – there were spies in the neighbourhood.

My father worked for the government, so for a while things were relatively OK for me compared with some others in North Korea. But my father was accused of doing something wrong and jailed for three years. He being guilty made me guilty too, so whatever future I had in North Korea completely disappeared. I could no longer go to university, and my family was forced to move out of Pyongyang to the countryside on the border close to China.

After a few years, my father became very sick with cancer and he came out of jail for treatment. During this time, we decided to leave North Korea.

We had to cross a frozen river in the middle of winter to sneak across the border into China. I was very scared – not of being caught but of being shot. If they see someone escaping, they don’t ask, they just shoot them.  Read more »

Flight MH370 and the Whaleoil connection

You wouldn’t think there was one, but look what the Internet spat up yesterday

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Where are you at on the MH370 issue?

It’s been a month now.

Look, some people lost family.  I’m not making light of that.  But the point is that this is one of those unique cases where we are all left with a feeling things are unresolved.   And we don’t even have to come to terms with losing a husband, wife, brother or sister.

So as the story was slowly winding down, and we all have accepted there are no survivors, it was time to start looking ahead again.

It is therefore that reading today’s MH370 story has left me with mixed feelings.

A Chinese patrol ship has detected an electronic pulse close to where the missing Malaysia Airlines plane is believed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean, state media announced late on Saturday.

Australian search authorities said such a signal would be “consistent” with a black box, but both they and China’s state news agency, Xinhua, stressed there was no conclusive evidence linking the “ping” to flight MH370 as the search entered its fifth week. Xinhua, which has a reporter on board the vessel, said the pulse had been detected by the patrol ship Haixun’s black box detector at around 25 degrees south and 101 degrees east, within the 84,000-sq-mile search zone.

The pulse had a frequency of 37.5kHz per second – the same as emitted by flight recorders. Dozens of ships and planes from 26 countries, including the British nuclear submarine HMS Tireless, are racing to find the black box recorders before their batteries run out. No wreckage has yet been found in the area, despite a massive international hunt.   Read more »

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Photo Of The Day

Unknown source

Unknown source

 

Homemade Bionic Hands

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The hypocrisy of the left over free trade

When Labour, supported by the Green party and Winston Peters were last in government they negotiated a free trade agreement with China. This was a good thing. They also negotiated it in secret until the deal was done and then let everyone know the results.

The FTA with China has been spectacular in its achievements for Kiwi business.

Move forward a few years and the TPPA is being negotiated and these same politicians are now calling for our negotiations to be conducted in public and are screaming and marching in the streets.

David Cunliffe, who professes on his CV at least to be a trade genius had this to say yesterday:

“We are demanding the Government release the text and the details,” he said. “This deal needs to be in the public domain so that New Zealanders can be informed and we can have a proper public debate … I can’t say today what our final position is going to be because we are going to wait until we see the details.”

The hypocrisy can be smelled over the internet such is the stench.  Read more »

Map of the Day

mapping-chinas-global-reach

 

China’s global reach.

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Fran O’Sullivan on China, National and Labour nasty tactics

Fran O’Sullivan writes about John Key’s China triumph:

John Key has firmly put his personal stamp on the New Zealand-China relationship by forging a “trusted partner” status with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Xi heralded the co-operation between China and New Zealand as “pioneering and exemplary”, saying he believed Key’s tour would instil new vitality into the bilateral relationship.

The Chinese President not only made sure New Zealand media were present for all of his reassuring opening remarks at the onset of the two leaders’ bilateral meeting at the Great Hall of the People, but he also welcomed Key and his officials “as family” to a rare private dinner.

This is no mean feat, given Beijing’s barely disguised anger over the Fonterra botulism scare that last year resulted in scathing editorials in official news organs over the New Zealand Government’s perceived failure to rigorously police food safety standards.

Chinese consumers were justifiably angry over the Fonterra fiasco. It not only diminished their confidence in the safety of New Zealand infant formula but resulted in significant collateral damage to the smaller Kiwi exporters that had the foresight and wit (which Fonterra at that stage lacked) to manufacture New Zealand-branded infant formula for the Chinese market.

Key’s visit has drawn a line under that episode.

Which is why Labour and their flunkies in MFaT wanted to rain on the parade.

But the Opposition has been determined to try to ensure Key does not get to politically bank the positives from the deepening bilateral relationship.

This is a mistake, especially given Labour’s own groundbreaking role in forging bilateral ties with China.    Read more »

Photo Of The Day

© Ngai-bun Wong, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

© Ngai-bun Wong, 2014 Sony World Photography Awards

Horse fighting in Rongshui, Guangxi, China

 

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