TPP - China wants in, says its man in Wellington

Chinese embassy political counsellor Cheng Lee

New Zealand had largely got itself out of the 2008 global financial crisis because of its growing trade with China, the country's political counsellor in Wellington, Cheng Lei, told TV3’s The Nation.

Asked how China then regarded the opposition to its companies investing here, he said that both countries wanted to develop their economy and that the “fruitful” economic relationship with China was "an open secret that I think many New Zealanders have acknowledged, whether they agree with the Chinese investment or not. That’s the simple fact”.

Mr Cheng was recently in the news after making a veiled threat, on the eve of the Crafar Farms sale decision that future Chinese investment in New Zealand, and Fonterra's access to the Chinese market, hinged on the outcome.

Now, the counsellor says China is looking at joining the controversial Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement.

His country was “actively studying the relevant clauses of the TPP and actively studying and I don’t want to exclude the possibility of China's entry into this kind of arrangement in the future“.

The TPP is a nine-nation trade agreement being negotiated by countries including New Zealand, the United States, Australia and Chile, with Japan, South Korea and Taiwan among a list of nations proposing to join.

Among Pacific countries, China has been the notable exclusion.

But Mr Cheng described his country’s absence as ironic.

“To be honest, any kind of Free Trade Agreement arrangement in Asia Pacific region would be simply incomplete with the exclusion of China,” he said.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully told the programme he thought there was a question in China’s mind as to whether they would be asked to join the agreement.

"I've made it very clear publically that it's not a matter of an invitation to join the TPP,” he said.

“Anyone who can meet the high standards can apply.

“I would certainly welcome China's interests in the TPP.

“It is going to be a comprehensive and high-quality agreement, and some might say that’s a test that’s too tough for China.

"But then some also would have said that China would never complete a comprehensive and high-quality Free Trade Agreement with a developed nation like New Zealand, and together we proved that wrong as well.

“So I say the door is open.”

Goff opposes farm sales to China
But on the same programme, Opposition Foreign Affairs spokesman Phil Goff said while his party welcomed foreign investment in New Zealand it remained opposed to farmland sales to China.

“We don’t buy their farmland they don’t sell their farmland,” he said.

“It's wrong e to argue that we're discriminating against China.

“China doesn’t sell land, therefore that’s excluded from our ability to invest in their country.

“There's nothing wrong with countries saying we welcome foreign investment but there are certain areas that we will exclude.

“Farmland, traditionally, has been one of those, and there's not much benefit for New Zealand, that is expert in farming, to have others invest in our farmland.

"It just forces up the price of land and makes it harder for New Zealanders to get on to the land.” 

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12 Comments & Questions

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No, Mr Phil Goff - it's New Zealanders who force up the price of farmlands, not foreigners.

Property prices are driven up relentlessly by all that overseas borrowings you New Zealanders do to buy farms, properties and the dumbest of all, holiday homes in Fiji, Queenstown, Coromandel, Gold Coast and Northland.

Didn't your late Mr Allan Hubbard (who was offered a knighthood when your government was in power, Mr Goffy) who systematically drove up dairy farm prices in the South Island by using South Canterbury Finance's balance sheet to accumulate farms?

No wonder NZ is going down the gurgle with your young generation fleeing the country to Australia and overseas.

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$40 billion plus borrowed by New Zealanders to buy farms.

And New Zealanders think it's foreigners' fault for farm prices being so high that farmers get 3% to 5% return on them?

Next, the Christchurch earthquake will be blamed on Australians digging too much out of the ground in this part of the world, shipping it to China and so upset the geographic soil balance?

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What a joke your politicians are! We Australians have been buying up NZ assets for years, farms, banks, companies, railways and there is never a whisper about foreigners buying up NZ.

Your Mr Phil Goff is a racist to the core.

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No wonder he is no longer the Labour Party Leader....

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I see the Peoples Party Commisar is hard at it on duty this Sunday.

Be a dear and go off and think of some more original monikers when you plan to have a conversation with yourself.

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Just keeping an eye here on the racists and white trash losers in NZ.

Keep borrowing our money and we will take over your farms anyway.

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woof.

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How arrogant of Mr Cheng.

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Like hell do I thank commie clowned arrogant clones from 'Red Dust' (China), for any jolly thing.

I would rather be broke then ever hop into bed with a corrupt regime that weilds their red axe over the heads of a people who are humble and spiritual (Tibetans).

Mr Cheng Chang Chump is a classic example of what is wrong with his ugly country...arrogant and they think that the world at large needs them and that it is a given right that they should have a position on the TPP.

I have also read that China is on a quest to for Arctic access and resources due to the melting of the polar ice-cap, and its own desperate need for energy resources and raw materials for its growing economy.

China is not an Arctic littoral state, has no Arctic coast, and as such neither sovereign rights over region’s continental shelves nor the resources that lay beneath them.

I can't stand Chinese people. and yes I'm a racist and a bigot...Just like those who are bigotted towards my people the tangata whenua of this land.

We are not that damn country's feeding ground.

Damn! that Helen Clark, Damn her to Hell!

Damn Key's blue-nosed brigade as well!

@Dragon Stick you worthless crap yenyen where the sun don't shine You and Billy Yin Yang Gong Wong!

Those dumb assed Maori (Sharples & Co)will rue the day when they will be kissing the asses as their servants, of those corrupt chinks - Money comes and goes, the land (as long as there's no more earthquakes), is forever.

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Hehe.

I LOVE IT!

The sheer desperation of your postings comes through loud and clear.

Stop buying all things from China and stop borrowing from overseas.

Can you do it, loser?

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Stop killing your children and babies first.

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Nice one Siena, can I have your babies?

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