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Are we understanding China right?


The Auckland Branch is hosting a special event to discuss whether China is being demonised by media and academics. 

Mark Jennings of Newsroom has called for a full inquiry into the influence of the Chinese government in New Zealand and its impact on the democratic process in this country.

But are we overreacting and failing to fully understand China? 

University of Canterbury academic Anne-Marie Brady has said about the New Zealand China Friendship Society that thanks to significant support from the Chinese and New Zealand governments, we are again promoting China’s interests – but this time it is an economic agenda: One Belt, One Road. 

This is statement is false, but Mark Jennings and other journalists relied heavily on Brady’s findings in their coverage of the the National Party MP Jian Yang last year. 

Perhaps many of our journalists are failing to understand China? Certainly China is having a bigger influence in New Zealand, but is its government really as pernicious as some claim?

Guest speakers:

  • Dave Bromwich – NZCFS National President
  • Fran O’Sullivan  – New Zealand Herald columnist
  • Paul Buchanan  – Security analyst & former academic   

Date: 3pm, Sunday 25 February 2018

Venue: Mount Eden Village Centre, 449 Mt Eden Rd (corner of Ngauruhoe St and Mt Eden Rd).

This is a free event open to the public. Please RSVP to: [email protected]

The speakers will discuss recent assertions about China’s influence by University of Canterbury academic Anne-Marie Brady. National MP Jian Yang had to publicly defend his background in China as a result of her claims. But were her claims fair and accurate? 

Anne-Marie declined our invitation to talk due to her busy work schedule and family commitments. She did however say the following: 

“I am very glad however that your members want to discuss this issue. My definitive statement on this matter appears in my conference paper “Magic Weapons: China’s influence activities under Xi Jinping”, which was posted on the website of the think tank I am affiliated with, the Wilson Center last year: My paper, in case you have not read it, does mention your organisation briefly. I further discussed China’s influence activities in NZ in my policy advice to our new government
It would be good if you could share these links with the NZCFS members.”