National Security Comes Before Free Trade

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.


Author: Admin

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7 thoughts on “National Security Comes Before Free Trade

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  2. Trevor, what is the worst that can happen? The port gets shut down and the assets sold off and the company sits on the land – so Toll NZ, Port of Timaru and Port Otago all make a killing instead?

    You say you don’t fear invasion by China, but talk about the military and intelligence, as if owning a Port makes a critical difference. It is not as if NZ competes with China in international trade.

    “Finlandisation” occurred because Finland DID fear invasion, and rightly so, as the USSR annexed nearly half of its territory after the war – the difference with China/NZ is stark.

    What is stopping Chinese investors buying up all of Telecom tomorrow? Do you want the Overseas Investment Commission to have a lot more teeth?

  3. A legitimate statement anonymous. I’m a libertarian, not an anarchist. I believe the state’s role is to protect us from criminals and enemy powers. If allowing an aggressive power to gain influence over key strategic infrastructure threatens our security, I believe the state has an obligation to stop it. I see that as perfectly libertarian. Where is the fault in this logic? I’m happy for you to point this out and am happy to acknowledge my mistake if I have made one.

  4. And Chinese employees would find out what that Chinese tourists couldn’t find out anyhow?

    For a free trader you come across more as a conservative in the guise of a libertarian.

  5. While China is nominally communist it is technically fascist, a point I have made before. I think China will use any port deal at Lyttelton any number of ways, including bringing some “technical and admin staff into NZ, some of whom will have intelligence connections. The main worry though is the economic leverage it will give them. The issue boils down to security and the long term strategic outlook in our region. If you believe China’s long term intentions are benign and that China will become more “civilised” the proposed deal is no problem. If you believe China is a malign power which will use its growing economic and military might to the detriment of the region (as I do) then the proposed deal is completely irresponsible. It comes down to which world view more accurately reflects reality.

  6. I know where you’re coming from in the theoretical sense, but in practical terms I see this as a non-issue. HWL may own the ports, but that’s a lot different from controlling them in a security sense. The on-site staff are going to be New Zealanders, and NZ border agencies will be present, as always. I can’t see any way that HWL can assert control over the port in a physical sense that effects national security simply by owning it. As such, it’s hard to accept your criticism and I have to therefore support it on the basis of economic rationalism.

    Of course, the PRC is a facist (not communist) state and should always be viewed with caution. So, you’re right to raise the issue. I just disagree.

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