Face of the Day

Prof. Anne-Marie Brady is a specialist in Chinese and polar politics based at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. She is editor-in-chief of The Polar Journal, and has written nine books and over forty scholarly articles on topics ranging from China’s modern propaganda system, foreigner-management in China and competing foreign policy interests in Antarctica. 

University of Canterbury professor Anne-Marie Brady is urging the Government to act to protect the country against foreign interference.

In a policy brief published [yesterday], Ms Brady warns: “New Zealand – along with other nations – is being targeted by a concerted interference campaign by the People’s Republic of China (PRC). The campaign aims to gain support for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by co-opting political and economic elites.”

She claimed China has had a “profound” influence on New Zealand’s democracy including: “a curtailing of freedom of speech, religion, and association for the ethnic Chinese community, a silencing of debates on China in the wider public sphere, and a corrupting influence on the political system through the blurring of personal, political and economic interests.”

Ms Brady says the new Government should instruct the SIS to engage in an in-depth investigation into what she says is China’s subversion and espionage activities in New Zealand and that the Prime Minister and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) should engage in an in-depth inquiry into China’s political influence in New Zealand.

The conclusion of her policy brief?  

It has often been said that New Zealand is not important to China and that if we offend the Chinese government we risk our trade with them. It is simply not true that New Zealand is not important to China. And when our national interests may be threatened, the government should be prepared to weather temporary short-term blow back, for long-term political and economic gains.

It is time to face up to some of the political differences and challenges in the New Zealand-China relationship, including the impact on our democracy of Chinese political interference, and make a re-adjustment in the relationship so that New Zealand’s interests come first. Chinese diplomacy has a saying from the PRC’s first Foreign Minister, Zhou Enlai, which provides a model for this new approach: “seek common points while facing up to differences”.

And when it comes to dealing with China or indeed our other major partners, while we must continue to look for common points with which we can partner on, we must never be afraid to face up to differences—most especially when they concern matters of national interest such as our democracy, our security, and our sovereignty.

Chicken Little?  Or are we indeed slowly manipulated to become compliant with Chinese interests lest this would interfere with our trade?

Turns out that Jacinda Ardern has no qualms telling Australia how to run its country.  Can we expect her to do the same with China?

Will Prof. Anne-Marie Brady’s Call to Arms be taken up by our newly minted Saviour of our Planet?

 

– Newshub

 


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