Aardvark DailyNew Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.
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New Zealand has always pitched itself as a country where freedoms, rights and egalitarianism matter.
We even had an ex-PM working at the United Nations for goodness sake!
In these oppressively WOKE times you'd think that our emphasis on equality and rights would be even more obvious and it is... unless money is involved.
What am I talking about?
Well in a word: China.
China's human rights record is "patchy" at best and there would appear to be significant evidence suggesting that the Chinese Communist Party is the very antithesis of everything NZ claims to be in this regard.
China has allegedly done some very bad things in places such as Tibet and the Falun Gong have been harshly persecuted for their beliefs.
There are many reports of slave labour being used to assist in the production of exports, most recently in the manufacture of face-marks to service the demand created by the CV19 pandemic.
New laws aimed at suppressing free speech are now in effect in Hong Kong with incredibly punitive consequences for anyone that dares challenge the beliefs and principles of the CCP.
And, most recently, we're discovering that China has ordered that symbols representing the Christian faith be replaced with portraits of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping.
Even a devout athiest I find it disturbing that yet another freedom has been removed and replaced by diktats of the state.
Another recent allegation surrounds video footage that supposedly shows a specific group of people (the Uighurs) being rounded up for internment and sterilization.
So, given the way in which human rights and freedoms are almost certainly being abused, you would think that New Zealand would be expressing its outrage and dissatisfaction in a very clear and obvious manner. Surely our country, a country that prides itself on its own human rights record and as a champion for equality, would not endorse by way of silence, the actions of the CCP.
In fact, when such outrageous human rights abuses happen in smaller countries we tend to get all righteous and use trade and travel sanctions as a tangible way of expressing our concern and outrage.
Well you might think this would be the case with China as well but there's one single thing that seems to have muted our outrage.
Now imagine if a country came to our government and said "we'll give you $20 billion if you ignore the human rights violations being undertaken right under your nose". Do you think any sane government would allow it's silence to be bought in this way -- for a hand-full of gold?
Of course not.
However, that is effectively exactly what we're doing with China.
It seems that we have decided that *MONEY* (in the form of trade) is far more important than our principles. We're not prepared to jeopardise trade with China simply to try and protect the lives, rights and freedoms of groups and individuals being oppressed, sterilized or even euthenased by the Chinese ruling party.
Sadly, as seems to be happening everywhere else in the world, money trumps *EVERYTHING*.
Yes, we'd send our soldiers and our young men off to fight a war and give their lives to protect the freedoms and rights of others (as we have done in numerous wars) but we won't risk a single dollar in foreign trade for the same cause.
That's kind of sad. No, it's incredibly sad.
We have zero moral high ground :-(
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