China response to Defence Policy Statement criticisms

A Strategic Defence Policy Statement released on Friday by Minister of Defence Ron Mark stated the threat it believes China poses to the international community.China has responded.

Stuff: China fires back at NZ, calls remarks on South China Sea and Pacific politics wrong

Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have often been careful not to specifically call out the country when talking about international tensions in the South China Sea, or over development spending in the Pacific.

But the defence statement explicitly listed what the Government saw as potential threats posed by China.

Mark’s paper said “both domestically and as a basis for international engagement, China holds views on human rights and freedom of information that stand in contrast to those that prevail in New Zealand”.

It went on to say “not all major powers’ aspirations can be shaped in accordance with the rules-based order, in the way that had been hoped until recently”.

On Friday, Mark said the statement would come as no surprise to China.

But on Monday, Peters said the Chinese Government had made clear its concern over the paper, both through its ambassador in Wellington and New Zealand’s ambassador in Beijing, but played down the significance of this.

China’s foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said China had “lodged stern representations with New Zealand on the wrong remarks it has made on China”.

“We urge New Zealand to view the relevant issue in an objective way, correct its wrong words and deeds and contribute more to the mutual trust and cooperation between our two countries,” she said.

The Global Times, one of the official newspapers of the Communist Party of China, says similar: Australia, New Zealand should avoid misrepresenting China’s role

While acknowledging China’s contributions to the international order, New Zealand accused China of having not “consistently adopted the governance and values championed by the order’s traditional leaders” in its Strategic Defense Policy Statement 2018. It also alleged that “China’s more confident assertion” of interests in Asia has “raised tensions” with neighboring countries.

The Washington-led international policy pattern has gradually turned out to be inadaptable to today’s development. Worse still, Washington, unwilling to accept China’s rise, has been working to drive a wedge between China and Asia-Pacific countries, further destabilizing the region. As a result, China has been seeking every opportunity to cooperate with regional countries for fairer orders.

It would be a strategic mistake if the security pact is clinched to target China. To begin with, China has risen to the second largest economy in the world. Its economic might is being gradually transformed into a locomotive for regional cooperation.

A hint of a warning in trade, which is always a factor in international relations. New Zealand has a growing reliance on trade with China.

More importantly, China’s role in the South Pacific is actually welcomed by a majority of countries there. China has emerged as a major donor in the South Pacific, including in Forum countries Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, instilling momentum to the region’s development. China provided $1.8 billion in aid and loans to South Pacific nations between 2006 and 2016, according to media reports.

That’s a lot of aid, far more than New Zealand (or Australia) could give.

How to share the developmental dividends of China’s rise is a subject that the international community should ponder on. China’s emergence is an irreversible trend, and any attempt to contain the country’s growth runs contrary to the trend of the times.

Instead of being overly cautious about China’s rise, Australia and New Zealand should avoid misleading the region on China’s role, and other regional countries should be clear about the consequences of being misled. The region will only suffer more losses from containing China.

Dealing with China is a tricky balance.

Ardern and peters have to deal with diplomacy and consider trade far more than Mark who is more removed from the overall realities of international relationships in his defence role.

Leave a comment


  1. Blazer

     /  11th July 2018

    China knows the best way to influence regional spheres is by buying them ,not by military intervention.The change of Govt in NZ has moderately slowed that up.
    China is not for sale,however.

    • Corky

       /  11th July 2018

      As i have said before…Brazil and India are what we should be concentrating on. They are emerging superpowers. They are more culturally aligned to our ways of doing things. And I don’t think they have plans to bribe our Island Bros.

  2. David

     /  11th July 2018

    What is the point of Mark deliberately annoying one of our biggest trading partners, literally none except annoying a country that in all fairness has been a friend of NZ since we signed our FTA with them.
    Winston annoyed the Poms and most of Europe, Ardern annoyed the Phillipines, America and Australia and now Mark is going after China…what is wrong with these idiots and what is the end goal.

    • Blazer

       /  11th July 2018

      Maybe this Govt does not know its place as defined by the Key administration…fawning sycophantic ,kowtowing to the U.S and obediently toeing the 5 eyes line,while spying on trade partners like Germany.

  3. Gezza

     /  11th July 2018

    It’s a clear warning to moderate & modulate our language. Trump has declared economic war on China & many other countries. He is taking a buiness risk in a diplomatic & international arena. When his business gambits fail he personally cuts his losses or profits from it. This is not business.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  11th July 2018

      China is in an autocratic expansionist mode. Trump is confronting it. I’m unconvinced that appeasement is a good option for the US although it may be for NZ. This is about what the future rules will be and managing expectations.

  4. sorethumb

     /  11th July 2018

    Samoa’s Prime Minister believes that if people stopped looking at Chinese as people buying into Samoa and more at the positive and collective benefits to the economy, then it would be clear that they are only in the country to help.

    doesn’t he realise Samoans would rather be shirtless than just another subaltern in multicultural Samoa?

    Samoa: Don’t hate the Chinese, learn from them
    3 March, 2011

    Accompanying the warning from the chamber on the front page of the local daily were pictures of car-burning, looting and hooded thugs rampaging the streets of Nuku’alofa and Honiara.

    It was very suggestive.

    Now this column would like to think that, as a people, we are a much more intelligent bunch than our neighbours. After all, we’ve always been accommodating of foreigners and our culture is inclusive in nature, accepting of those with a genuine intent to embrace it.

    Besides, there are far too many level heads out there that do not give in – even oppose – the destructive pack mentality that riot and loot in numbers as we’ve seen elsewhere in the Pacific region.

    Making money
    In saying that, let’s not kid ourselves. Asians are here to make money just as anyone who goes into business does.

    The key is to learn from how they do business. And the Chinese are the best.

    It’ll be good for our business people – and those who aspire to go into business – to observe them closely.

    The long hours they put in, the prices they offer and their spending habits.

    If the Chinese store opens 24 hours-a-day then yours should too. Your prices have to be competitive and you should be spending less on yourself.

    And who benefits in the end? The general consumer certainly does. He will have access to services at all hours, buy at fair prices and will no longer have to foot the shop owner’s excesses.

    Who pays that journalist?

    • sorethumb

       /  11th July 2018

      Labours Third World Solution – Gareth Morgan 

      “Ireland’s economic miracle was driven by Germany. Under Labour, ours is being gifted by Communist China. The Germans sent money, the Chinese are sending people. 
      “By far the greatest challenge to a government that rejects policies that promote competition and economically efficient resource allocation, is how to keep growth going in the face of taxation, regulatory and ownership impediments that a socialist programme sponsors. In this regard Helen Clark’s Labour government has been singularly successful in promoting an alternative stimulant for growth. 
      That impetus has come from getting immigration up to record levels, notwithstanding the squeals from Winston Peters’ constituency. Just as Ireland found a sugar daddy to give its economy a boost in the 1980’s, Miss Clark has discovered the dividend from unfettered people inflows.

      Did she think about the consequences (or maybe she did. She’s a globalist after all)?

      Herman Daly -Steady State economist.

      First, there are differing visions of world community. Some people think that a world without borders is the key to universal peace. Others think that it is the short road to post-national corporate feudalism in a global commons. Count me as sympathetic to the latter view, with the stipulation that the road to true global community is through the UN model of a federation of interdependent nations.


      You can see nascent post-national corporate feudalism in a global commons in the way prominent national Party people are hanging their hats on their lucrative business associations with China?

  1. China response to Defence Policy Statement criticisms — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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