There’s a bit of history of this sort of thing. 11 years ago in Christchurch it was the New Zealand police who tried to protect the Chinese premier from the horrifying sight of pro-Tibetan protesters, the cops pushed the protesters back and parked a bus in front of them. They were later found to have abused their powers.
Oddly enough I’ve been thinking and reading a bit about China and Tibet recently, although not because of the VP’s trade delegation.
A recent report on New Zealand agribusiness says Chinese demand saved the economy from the worst of the (first round of) the global economic crisis. How long will this last?
Meanwhile, strikes by Chinese workers have been making the news and prompting debate among socialist bloggers in the UK. UNITYblog readers might be interested in this post by Lenin’s Tomb and this response from sympathetic to China Andy Newman at Socialist Unity.
And on the topic of Tibet, this article in the latest Austrian Green Left Weekly (a paper Mr Norman used to sell) responding to a report in the May 22 Sydney Morning Herald, that the Dalai Lama has declared himself “half Marxist half Buddhist”
Incident outside Parliament – Russel Norman’s statement
The mistreatment of Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman on the grounds of Parliament by Chinese security personnel shows how important it is to stand up for democracy and human rights, the Green Party said today.
Dr Norman was assaulted by Chinese security personnel outside Parliament as he was making a stand against China’s human rights record in Tibet.
“Because John Key’s Government let Chinese security control our Parliament, it stopped being a safe place for democracy,” Dr Norman said.
“I’ve laid a complaint with the Police because New Zealanders need to know they are free to speak without fear of violence or recrimination.”
Dr Norman said the Government needs to defend the right of its citizens to free speech because it is one of the cornerstones of democracy.
“I’m asking that John Key make a clear statement that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable in New Zealand,” Dr Norman said.