China calls meeting with NZ over 'Cold War' mentality

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. Photo: RNZ
Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. Photo: RNZ
China's embassy has summoned New Zealand foreign officials to a meeting after the Government voiced criticism of Chinese state-funded hacking, raising industry concerns over trade implications.

The meeting came after the embassy issued a statement yesterday saying accusations from the minister of New Zealand's spy agencies, Andrew Little, were "totally groundless and irresponsible".

The statement said such accusations should be backed by clear evidence, and doing so without was a malicious smear.

Sir Don McKinnon. Photo: Wikipedia
Sir Don McKinnon. Photo: Wikipedia
"We urge the New Zealand side to abandon the Cold War mentality, adopt a professional and responsible attitude when dealing with cyber incidents, and work with others to jointly tackle the challenge through dialogue and cooperation, rather than manipulating political issues under the pretext of cyber security and mudslinging at others."

In a statement this afternoon, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta's office said officials had met with representatives of the embassy at their request.

"Areas of difference need not define our relationship, but we will continue to promote the things that we believe in, and support the international rules-based system," she said.

"Our relationship with China is one of our most significant, impacting a wide range of sectors and groups across Aotearoa New Zealand."

Kiwi exporters have been concerned that the escalation of rhetoric could lead to a trade backlash from China, urging both countries to keep trade and politics separate.

New Zealand China Council chair Sir Don McKinnon said the country had to be prepared after calling China out.

"Once you reach a stage where you feel you have to criticise China publicly - which is what's happened more recently - well, that escalates it to a new level and you've got to be prepared for the consequences of that," he said.

"Trade with China means money in people's pockets in New Zealand from one end of the country to the other."

Sir Don, who is also a former deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister for New Zealand, said it was a natural commercial decision make the most of a good opportunity but some of the vulnerability of New Zealand's trade with China came down to individual exporters and companies.

"They've got to make the ultimate judgment how ... vulnerable do they wish to be given the nature of whatever they are producing," he said.

"Let's accept the fact that the last 20 years the consumption of dairy products and red meat in China has grown tremendously strongly.

"They may look back in a couple of years time and say 'well, we were pretty smart', on the other hand they may look back and say 'well we might have got it wrong for a while'."

University of Auckland economics lecturer Robert Scollay said it was up to such companies to assess risk, but the Government also had a huge and difficult role to play in managing the trade relationship.

"The major players are not necessarily always acting in a reasonable way so navigating a path through those tensions is actually a really major task for the government and you need to rely on them to manage that extremely competently and carefully."

"In general, I think they need to avoid taking actions which can be seen as gratuitously taking sides."

He questioned the Government's pro-US move to express support for a "rules-based Indo-Pacific", after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and United States President Joe Biden's phone conversation leading up to the APEC Covid-19 leaders' meeting.

"I just wonder whether that's really a prudent thing to do in the circumstances."

Sir Don was more hopeful, saying he saw no signs of real retaliation yet.

"The consumption market in China's not going to change and, yes, there might be a bump - but you wait it through.

"The main thing is New Zealand's policies overall with China should always be straightforward, be transparent, be open and honest. It's when you deviate from that you get into bigger problems."

He said the Government's role was to create the environment for producers, manufacturers and service providers to maximise their returns, and there were other opportunities to explore including trade deals with the European Union and United Kingdom, difficult as those might be to achieve.

"We've clearly got to work very very hard at getting good deals - even with the United Kingdom."

 

Comments

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Of course Microsoft and the USA government hire penetration testers for their servers using the same tools as "Hackers" do then they must have known about the problem, but have not done anything to secure their data.

Seems Labour's paymasters and mentors are upset with them

Really? Labours Paymasters?tell me again, Which party has a chinese spy? Which party has a high majority of its former mps sitting on boards of major chinese companies and banks? Which party was caught out providing mps for donations and saying chinese mps better indian? Which party was caught in multiple scandals involving chinese companies? Which party invested an 1/8 of the asset sale fund , supposedly for schools health and roads, in an Asian investment bank run by china? Which parties former leader claims Xi as a personal friend? Which party actively invited chinese companies to come and bottle our water for almost no cost? Which party claimed it was impossible to ban chinese, and other, purchases of housing and land? Which party completely ignored protocol and bypassed MFAT and went to china to meet high level officials incl their spy chief? And so on.
More tellingly which party recieves significantly more donations from china and actively tries to disguise it?
Hint! Not Labour.

Why anyone thought that the leopard would change it's spots, is beyond me.
Just goes to show how delusional we are willing to be for an easy $ and cheap power tools.
Now the world's second largest economy, our largest trading partner, which is ruled by the CCP, that has a leader for life, demands obedience to itself above all else.
That demand for obedience extends beyond its own membership, beyond its cultural group, beyond its ethnic group, beyond its 1921 borders, beyond maritime law, beyond commercial law and beyond the rules-based systems our livelihood, our way of life, depends on.
We must stand with the Indo-Pacific rules-based system or become subservient to one man that heads the CCP.
It's NOT about standing with the US or the UK or Australia. It's about standing up for our sovereignty as a nation. Of course we all have opinions on the status of our own personal sovereign rights within our nation, the balance between personal and public good but I think we can all agree the CCP has no right to tell us what our attitude should be on personal freedom issues, especially at the treat to our nation's well being, yet that is what they do, without batting an eyelid.

OTT. Within the diplomatic service, disagreement is not an attack on Sovereignty. It would be extremist to suggest otherwise.

Have you seen its demands of aussie? If that's not an "attack on sovereignty" I don't know what is. Or any of the many attacks on its neighbors, the encroaching of its military into surrounding Territories, or the actions of its fishing fleets and coast guard, or its threats to nuke japan , and many more examples of chine 'attacking sovereignty' of other countries.

Not a bad thing to reduce our trade with China and the sooner the better.

Go tell our primary producers.

I like the Wolf warriors they call their "Ambassadors" knowledge of "diplomacy" is to call us racists and threaten to end trade. We are 5 million folk. They are 1.6 billion. A small city maybe. The Pacific nations which we support sold themselves wholesale. The purchase of NZ is on going but you may have to ask Judith and John all about that. Not sure what answer you will get while their mouths are stuffed with money.

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