Bridges opens up foreign policy divide on China

Hon Simon Bridges. Photo: New Zealand Parliament

SAM SACHDEVA OF NEWSROOM
07:34, Sep 11 2019

National leader Simon Bridges’ enthusiastic praise of the Chinese regime during a recent visit, and subsequent irritable defence of them, sits uneasily with growing concern about the Asian superpower, Sam Sachdeva writes.

Praise for the role of the communist regime in China’s “amazing story” would seem an unlikely line for a right-wing leader to take in an interview, let alone with a state-run television network in the country.

Yet National leader Simon Bridges’ glowing remarks at the tailend of a visit to the Asian superpower were not the most puzzling thing about his interview with a CGTV journalist.

Bridges offered up a paraphrase of an alleged Xi Jinping quote that New Zealand was the cherry to China’s watermelon but that both were delicious - a line he shamelessly reused about the relationship with India, the other country he visited during his week-long tour.

Some watchers suggested an answer to a question regarding the unrest in Hong Kong appeared to have been altered; a spokeswoman for Bridges confirmed only half of his response had been used, but denied there had been any tampering and equated the editing with standard practice in New Zealand media.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE AT newsroom.

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