China

Any minute now a taniwha is going to turn up

A Whangarei hapū are angry over sale of Porotī spring water to China:

While the ownership of water is yet to be determined, local government is allowing it to be sold commercially overseas.

That is why local hapū are up in arms over an Auckland-based company selling water from Poroti Springs to China.

Poroti hapū are angry that Auckland-based Company Zodiac Holdings Limited has been given the go ahead to sell their water supply.

So a New Zealand company, owned by a New Zealander (see company office), is exporting to China and local Maori are angry.

“Now Zodiac have up to two and a half cubic metres a day and they want to sell it to China so we don’t get ten cents and there’s no revenue whatsoever for our hapū.  Not that we want to sell the water but we just want to participate and share.  We actually have to pay for our own water,” says Ruka.

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Key gets grilled in China

Newshub Political Reporter Lloyd Burr was travelling with the Prime Minister and when he sat down with him in Xi’an, started by asking how worried he is about China’s economy hitting a Great Wall…

John Key: We can see issues in the Chinese economy, particularly around some of the loans they’ve got, some of the regional banks and some of the lending overall, but we tend to be on the slightly more optimistic side. I mean, the Chinese leadership have been telling us they expect to grow at about 6.5 percent. They grew at 6.7 percent for the first quarter. And we certainly still continue to see, as I say, demand on the consumer side for what we’re selling, so, look, let’s wait and see, but in the best assessment we’ve got, it’s still tracking along reasonably okay.

Lloyd Burr: That downturn must be worrying, especially since the high in 2014, and when President Xi came to visit in New Zealand, he said, I think his quote was, ‘There’s more Chinese demand than you can possibly supply,’ but that sort of hasn’t run true, has it?

Well, no, I think he’s actually right if you think about the fact they’ve probably got about two or three hundred million middle-income consumers. They have 1.4 billion people, and the big challenge for the Chinese administration is to take that billion-plus people out of very low levels of income and put them into middle-income consumers. That will happen. The question is just how long it takes to happen.

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Builders and Wreckers: Key and Little

Last week could not have provided a more obvious contrast between the choice that voters face.  Key worked hard to earn money for us all by charming the pants off existing and new trading partners in China. Little, on the other hand, ran smear after smear.

Prime Minister John Key is due to arrive back from his trip to China [today], but it is already being hailed as a success in terms of trade.

China looks likely to allow New Zealand chilled meat into its market, opening up valuable trade opportunities.

It could be worth hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars to our economy. Experts say exporting chilled meat to China will open a whole new market.

On his last day of a week-long visit to China, Mr Key said the first shipments could be on the way within a couple of months.

That’s a huge win for beef and lamb farmers. Read more »

John Key pleases at least one voter

Donghua-Liu-John-Key

Whaleoil stalwart Aucky wrote

I’m enjoying JK’s trip to China.

The Panama Papers have blown up in Little’s face.

The sniggers regarding Jack Ma’s presence at the PM’s reception have suddenly died away as Jack Ma announces that Ali Baba will be holding a New Zealand Month promotion on Ali Baba featuring NZ products. Read more »

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Brave Gay people in China pledge to not enter into sham marriages with straight people

When you live in a conservative country like China it must take real bravery to come out of the closet. The gay people who have taken part in a social media campaign #I’m gay and won’t marry a straight person# have taken this bravery one step further. It is their hope that it will  gain them support for marriage equality. It is a powerful way of making a very good point. If you won’t accept gay people and expect them to stay in the closet, you are responsible for dooming not only them but other innocent straight men and women to miserable sham marriages.

…Since last week, a number of users on popular microblogging network Sina Weibo have been posting selfies of themselves with the hashtag #I’m gay and won’t marry a straight person#.

Several parents of LGBT people have also posted pictures of themselves with signs declaring they would not pressure their children into marriage.

Picture of Chinese parent holding up a sign declaring they would not pressure their children into marriage.

This Chinese parent is holding up one such sign, which also states her support for gay marriage

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John Key heading overseas to talk about the Free Trade Agreement

And there won’t be a peep from the left about it. Weird eh?

Prime Minister John Key is to visit China this month to discuss upgrading the free trade agreement between the two countries that was signed almost eight years ago.

Mr Key will meet President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing but will also visit Xi’an and Shanghai. He said the FTA had been a success for both parties – “two-way trade between New Zealand and China has more than doubled, reaching almost $19 billion. An FTA upgrade would allow us to modernise the agreement and ensure it continues to drive our relationship forward.”

Last month Mr Key told the Platinum Primary Producers annual conference in Wellington that the renegotiation of the agreement was a “massive opportunity”.

New Zealand is expected to focus on the removal of special safeguards that were put in place by China against New Zealand agricultural products, safeguards that were not included under the Australia-China free trade agreement which is a year old.

This is, of course, the agreement that was negotiated by the Helen Clark government. Negotiated in ‘secret’. Signed without any public consultation and passed into law without getting parliament to debate its merits in detail.   Read more »

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Amazing! Argentina manages to sink something other than their own ships

The Argentinians have achieved something notable, other than challenging France for the world champion of marching backwards title: they’ve managed to sink a ship other than their own.

Argentina’s coast guard says it sank a Chinese fishing vessel that was fishing in a restricted area off the South American country’s coast.

The Argentine Naval Prefecture chased and eventually sank the andvessel after detecting it illegally fishing within the country’s exclusive economic zone, officials said Tuesday.

First, according to a statement from the coast guard, warning shots were fired. The Chinese vessel, Argentine authorities said, responded by turning off its lights and deliberately trying to crash.

“On distinct occasions, the offending boat realized maneuvers aimed at colliding with the coast guard, putting not only its own crew at risk, but also the personnel of the coast guard,” the statement said.

That’s why the coast guard opened fire, Argentine officials said.   Read more »

A disturbing development for freedom in China

In the latest sign that China’s long-touted “opening up” is reversing into a “closing down,” a Chinese ministry has issued new rules that ban any foreign-invested company from publishing anything online in China, effective next month.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s new rules (link in Chinese) could, if they were enforced as written, essentially shut down China as a market for foreign news outlets, publishers, gaming companies, information providers, and entertainment companies starting on March 10. Issued in conjunction with the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), they set strict new guidelines for what can be published online, and how that publisher should conduct business in China.

“Sino-foreign joint ventures, Sino-foreign cooperative ventures, and foreign business units shall not engage in online publishing services,” the rules state. Any publisher of online content, including “texts, pictures, maps, games, animations, audios, and videos,” will also be required to store their “necessary technical equipment, related servers, and storage devices” in China, the directive says.

They’re basically shutting down all foreign press on the Internet.  And somewhat worse (if possible), domestic agencies need to apply for a licence.  Read more »

Will Labour withdraw from NZ-China Free Trade Agreement?

Andrew Little is still banging on about his bottom-lines and the TPPA.

One of these is banning foreigners (except Australians) from buying residential property in New Zealand (unless the foreigners built it themselves). There will be no compromise. The National government-negotiated option of a stamp duty (Annex II) is not enough for Andrew Little.

He has however forgotten that, even if the TPPA is rejected, there is still the issue of the NZ-China Free Trade Agreement that his party signed in 2008.

Since Labour’s main interest is banning foreign buyers with chinky-sounding names, it is inconvenient to remember that the NZ-China FTA does not allow New Zealand to ban Chinese from buying homes here (see Articles 138 and 139).   Read more »

Chinese economic jitters and the Auckland housing market

Lately there have been some worry warts out there who are certain that the housing market is about to turn.

The key to it has been a minor downturn in sales in December, which doesn’t mean anything at all.

But speculation also exists that the Chinese have been turned off since the Brightline rules came into effect post-October 2015.

Now it’s jitters about China.

The New Year has started with renewed jitters about the state of the Chinese economy. Commodity prices – particularly oil – have fallen. Global share markets have continued their dance macabre to the alternate beats of pessimism and optimism. Some commentators have raised the spectre of another global financial crisis which further spooks the financial markets. The truth is that no one really knows and much of what is written is noise.

But one thing is certain. Governments have learned a lesson from the global financial crisis of 2007/8.