Presidents end of year message


    Members, another Year nearing its end. It has been a year of ups and downs.
    The way we reach the public has been reviewed and progressed. The website has an improved structure that will better serve us for the future. This has not been without some glitches, but with ongoing tweaking has readied us for the future. The newsletter has been established as a regular feature. More articles from branches would be welcome, there are some great things happening out there to share. I feel we need to look at the timing for this monthly communication to be reconsidered to fit more closely to Branches’ own monthly newsletters.
    We had a great conference, thank you Hamilton. A number of branches have shown great initiative in exchanges with China, with a strong focus on youth. The ‘Explore China-the Centre’ Tour was a great event, with yet a further confirmation that NZCFS tours are exceptional, in both quality and value, even if I say so myself. Don’t overlook the much promoted SE Tour here And that Christmas parade in Christchurch (where is the report for the national newsletter?) Chris, you looked great as a Qing dynasty emperor, but should you have been walking? On the street? Not in a sedan chair?!

    On the down side, China has continued to be targeted with negative reporting and allegations that are unsubstantiated with evidence. It is unfortunate that the standard media has been very pro- active in repeatedly promoting the views of anti-China think tanks without critical evaluation, and with a tardiness to present a balanced view of China.

    The response given a year ago to the foundation of this negativity, the paper of Anne Marie Brady, is still relevant Today I may best illustrate the kind of statement that lie within with one of her comments on NZCFS. “(NZCFS) has also used the (Deng and RAFE) donations to subsidize New Zealand journalist and youth visits to China, as well as art exhibitions, book publications and other activities that promote a non-critical view of China in New Zealand.”

    Non-critical? Those who have been involved in the activities may argue that one. Are we not making effort to increase mutual understanding, not misrepresent China with unbalanced standpoints? We are a non-political organisation, but the continued attacks in the media challenge the outcomes of what we work for.
    I could go on, but…. Stay strong everybody! Do not get side-tracked by all that you read in the papers. Think what it must have been like for Rewi Alley on his visits home! I tried to capture an alternative perspective of China in my address understanding China to the Symposium of Chinese Studies, Beijing July 25 2018, here.

    On a personal level, a bit of a hiccup with a wee accident on the ‘Centre’ tour in China, where the tendons of my quadriceps were torn from my right kneecap, requiring surgery and a long recovery. It has stopped me in my tracks, so to speak, but looking forward to slowly getting my stride back next year.

    Thank you to everybody for your work and support. I wish everybody a relaxed and enjoyable break through Western Christmas / New Year holidays, with Chinese New Year following on closely. A time to refresh for a new year of friendship with China, and new friendships made in New Zealand.