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New Zealand business, officialdom and Government view New Zealand’s relationship with China in terms of export markets and as the panacea for New Zealand’s economic issues. China sees New Zealand in geopolitical terms, which also happens to coincide with U.S. policy since the days of the Cold War. Russia remains the issue for U.S. and Chinese hegemony, and New Zealand has naively placed itself in the middle of super-power global politics of which it understands nothing. Recently Prof. David Shambaugh visited and warned that New Zealand was being “naïve” in its relations with China.
New Zealand’s official relationship with China began under the Labour Government of Norman Kirk when diplomatic relations were established in 1972, the same year as the Kissinger-Nixon ‘ping pong diplomacy.’ Although Kirk aimed to establish an independent direction for New Zealand’s foreign policy, it cannot be a coincidence that New Zealand’s official relationship began in the same year as the American initiative, which might more properly be regarded as the plutocratic initiative to finally begin the integration of China into the “world community.” At the very least, the U.S. initiative was the beginning of China’s entry into the “new world order” as it is now termed.
In 1976, the New Zealand relationship with China as part of a broader U.S. Cold War agenda to “contain the USSR” was formalized with the visit to Peking of the National Government’s Prime Minister Robert Muldoon. Muldoon was avidly anti-Soviet, made a name for himself as a populist opponent of “communist influence in the trade unions,” an anti-communism that was nonetheless compromised in the services of the USA’s pro-China, anti-Soviet policy.
It was under Muldoon’s regime that Soviet Ambassador Vsevolod Sofinsky was expelled in 1980 for allegedly passing $10,000 to George Jackson, National Secretary of the Moscow-aligned Socialist Unity Party in 1979. Diplomatic relations were not fully re-established until 1984.
When Muldoon travelled to Peking in 1976 to meet Mao Zedong the agenda was plainly stated. China was eager for New Zealand to maintain its alliance with the USA and Muldoon as an anti-Soviet Cold Warrior was eager to oblige. Muldoon reported that:
Mr Hua supported New Zealand and Australian moves to strengthen their defences and hoped that the U.S. would join the two countries on the basis of equality to deal with the “polar bear” [USSR]. In other words, he supports the ANZUS concept we have explained to him
Since the implosion of the USSR, Russia is attempting to regain its former authority; the USA is playing the same Cold War game, and China is continuing on the same course, albeit its relationship with Russia in the guise of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is as durable as it was under the cynically named 1950 Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance which reduced China to colonial status and which was dramatically repudiated by China’s invasion of Vietnam in 1979. The crucial difference between the two treaties today, however, is that it is China that is getting everything its own way. The situation will not last, any more than the Hitler-Stalin Pact was designed to endure.
The USA has not relented in its antagonism towards Russia because that is the geopolitical bloc that has the potential to challenge U.S. hegemony, whereas China has long been seen as a de facto partner that certain influential interests want to see become de jure in a “new world order.”
Hence we have seen in recent years Soros/NED subversion in the former Soviet bloc states, in particular the “color revolutions.” The U.S. has pursued a policy of bringing the former Soviet bloc states into the NATO orbit in quick succession with plans to establish a missile system in Poland. The containing Cold War partnership with China makes the encirclement of Russia almost complete, the problematic factors being Central Asian Republics, and others such as the Ukraine, all targets of the Soros/NED network.
There is a place for hapless, banana-republic-in-the-making New Zealand in this world geopolitical scenario — and it is as a pawn for China.
China has been presented for several decades as being the panacea for New Zealand’s economic situation. This can ultimately be traced back to the scuttling of Empire after World War II, reiterated by Britain’s entry into the European Common Market in 1973, after which New Zealand was obliged to look for other export markets for its agricultural produce.
In the year 2000, New Zealand Governor General Michael Hardie Boys’ went to China to “set a seal on high-level contact” and reciprocate the visit by Chinese President Jiang Zemin to New Zealand in September 1999. “He added that the visit will cement bilateral relations at the highest level between the two governments.”
New Zealand’s ambassador to China, Peter Adams, stated at the time:
The two countries have regular consultations on security, disarmament and trade and economy, and will extend a similar mechanism to the agricultural sector. The two countries have also increased cooperation in regional and global forums, including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) regional forums and the United Nations.
“New Zealand is a practitioner of the one-China policy, and it shares many common perspectives on regional security issues and on the need for economic integration through APEC and the World Trade Organization (WTO),” he said.
New Zealand was the first Western country to commence bilateral negotiations with China on China’s WTO entry, and also the first Western country to conclude such talks in 1997. Therefore, New Zealand is keen to see China join the WTO as soon as possible, he said.
New Zealanders only really became aware of New Zealand’s rapidly developing relationship with China in the several years of negotiations preceding the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement of 2008. Yet official bilateral, high level contacts between the two, including military contact, has been what the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs describes as “frequent” since 1972. The Ministry lists these contacts up until 2003. 
In July 2008, New Zealand and Chinese army chiefs met in Beijing. China reported on this high level meeting, which doesn’t seem to have been mentioned by New Zealand media:
China and New Zealand vowed here on Friday to further army exchanges to push forward military relations between the two countries. “The Chinese armed forces advocate expanding contact and substantial cooperation with their New Zealand counterparts to upgrade military relations in the long run,” said Chen Bingde, Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.