Monday, March 31, 2008

European leaders more hardline than Helen re Tibet

According to the Guardian the German Chancellor is boycotting attendance at the Olympics because of "the crackdown" by China in Tibet. The polish and Czech state leaders are also refusing to attend. This may mean France follows suit and makes the British intention to attend a more difficult one politically. Angela Merkel has has also recently met with the Dalai Lama, which has "enraged" China's leaders. An EU boycott of the games has been suggested but is not currently likely.

When compared to the stance being taken within the EU, New Zealand's hands-off approach to the situation is looking increasingly influenced by our pending freetrade agreement with China. I'd like to see a clearer position on China's human rights issues being taken by the government, even though we have limited political leverage, and even if it affects the deal. To compromise ethics over money is something I'm deeply ambivalent about.

9 comments:

Andrew is getting fit said...

I personally think we should be boycotting the Olympics in China.

It's been rather disgusting watching our PM toady up to the Chinese but I doubt National would have done much different.

One can't help but compare the approaches towards Fiji and China. Where it is economically safe to do so we are principled...sigh.

Lyn said...

Yep. I still rate Helen as a leader but I can't approve this current postion. And it's for sure that National would be even less likely to rock the boat.

The ex-expat said...

New Zealand's approach to China can be summed up in three letters: F T A. Because we are about to sign a free trade agreement, the first western country to do so, there is no way that we are going to be kicking sand in the chinese faces over this.

The ex-expat said...

New Zealand's approach to China can be summed up in three letters: F T A. Because we are about to sign a free trade agreement, the first western country to do so, there is no way that we are going to be kicking sand in the chinese faces over this.

Lyn said...

I know - it's just depressing.

lduncalfe said...

How long after the ink dries will it be before we can stick our head out again? I hope China hasn't bought a lasting silence for a million plastic toys.

lduncalfe said...

And we shouldn't boycott the Olympics, and neither should any other country. Having the world's media in Beijing is exactly what Tibet needs. Snubbing the opening ceremony however is absolutely perfect.

I'm hoping while thousands of foreign tourists are in Beijing that there will planned or spontaneous free Tibet demonstrations happening in the steets. I really don't think China would know what to do if that happened. These Olympics potentially could be the best thing to happen for Tibetan autonomy/independence in years.

TRIMAN said...

I think Helen should quit the HRT and just show some balls on this one! Her stance is transparent enough to ensure the view!

Lyn said...

Hey - enough with the comments on HRT, matey. I view this as something the whole government needs to change position on, and I've got no truck with comments that allude in any way to Helen's femininity or your views thereof.....