Deal­ing with a to­tal­i­tar­ian regime

The Dominion Post - - Opinion -

I never thought I would see the day when New Zealand’s for­eign min­is­ter would give his or her bless­ing to China’s in­sti­tu­tion­alised abuse of hu­man rights (West too hard on China, says Peters, Dec 5).

Yet this is what Win­ston Peters did in his key­note speech to Vic­to­ria Uni­ver­sity’s Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute on Tues­day. He sug­gested West­ern com­men­ta­tors should have more re­gard for eco­nomic out­comes rather than ‘‘con­stantly harp­ing on about the ro­mance of free­dom’’.

Is this the Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment’s policy? Have we sunk so low in our pur­suit of op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Chi­nese mar­ket that we try to in­gra­ti­ate our­selves in this way with that to­tal­i­tar­ian regime?

Is it, as Vladimir Lenin wrote a hun­dred years ago af­ter the Bol­she­vik Revo­lu­tion, ‘‘the whole world’s gov­ern­ments and cap­i­tal­ists, as they pant to win the Soviet mar­ket, will close their eyes ... and trans­form them­selves into men who are deaf, dumb and blind ... they will toil to pre­pare their own sui­cide’’?

I hope not. TREVOR HUGHES Karaka Bays

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