The state has one legitimate role and no other. That is the protection of its citizens from force or fraud by internal or external criminal elements.
If the state fulfils this role efficiently, the citizenry will be secure and able to trade their way to prosperity.
The state has no right to interfere with this trade, unless such trade conflicts with the state’s ability to protect its citizen’s from their enemies.
There is no doubt that free trade with China is economically beneficial to the people of both countries. There is no doubt that investment by Hutchison Whampoa in local port infrastructure would also be economically beneficial.
Why do I then, a free trader to the core, strongly oppose trade with China and particularly, Chinese ownership of our port infrastructure?
The answer is simple. Because economic benefit means nothing in the long term, if it comes at the cost of national security.
I’ll be blunt. I regard China as an enemy nation. It has a large and growing military, huge economic wealth and is ruled by ideologues with a well known contempt for liberty and Western values.
I do not fear invasion by China (though I might if I lived in Taiwan). I fear that NZ is well on the way to “Finlandisation”. This term refers to the fact that the old Soviet Union could not conquer Finland militarily, but turned that country into a compliant lap dog, through a combination of diplomatic and economic pressure and a process of organised internal subversion.
Hutchison Whampoa linked companies have been used for arms smuggling, money laundering and the channeling of funds to the US Democratic Party. The company is part owned by one of the most destructive and murderous regime ever to exist on this planet. It is directly linked to one of the most powerful armies in the world.
Are we naive enough to think we can outsmart this company, the Chinese government, their military and their very active intelligence services?
Lil ol NZ can just milk these suckers and send them packing when we see fit?
If this was 1937, would we allow a Nazi controlled company to take over some our most strategic infrastructure?
If we allow Hutchison Whampoa to gain a foothold in this country, we are opening a door that will be almost impossible to close.
My freedom is worth more than any amount of money. I hope others think the same way.