The big C word has been cropping up everywhere around the world and now little old N.Z. is leading the race to become the first country to sign a free trade agreement with them. Of course I'm referring to China, what did you think I meant? This gives us the opportunity to trade our wonderful home grown produce for the worst made goods in the history of mankind (which quickly find their way into our landfills) and with a country with a terrible human rights history as millions of dead Tibetians could testify if they were alive. The Dalai Lama is visiting our country at the moment and China has threatened our trade agreement if our Prime Minister meets him formally. What price do we put on our independence! Initially our free trade is only going to bring in $37 million which is a drop in the bucket.
It's difficult when our country is so dependent on trade and a lot of other countries have human rights abuses. We can't be black and white ( we aren't lily white ourselves) but we must make a stand as far as our economy can take it against anyone who is not even trying or is denying that abuses are taking place.
Remember our borders are open. We have no protectionism. Our farmers get no subsidies, they must stand on their own two feet in the world markets, so when we ask for a free trade agreement we are only asking for equality. The US won't give us one because of our no nuclear policy so I don't have to take a stand about the killing of innocent people in Iraq but Britain is a traditional and one of our largest trading partners and is just as culpable.
We are only a small country and don't make much difference in world affairs but it is important that we can live with ourselves. That if we treat people fairly in our own lives then it should spill over into our foreign affairs.