Amnesty International currently has a human rights campaign focussed on China, complete with a tour, whose slogan is “Human Rights: Not Made in China”. AI members had a run-in with DCC staff when they tried to meet with the Mayor Peter (Wing Ho) Chin yesterday.

As a DCC worker and someone who supports Amnesty and human rights I am disappointed that Chin is be shying away from making any stand or comment. But politics is clearly an issue here as ties between Dunedin and China are very close, with Shanghai, China having a meaningful relationship as a sister city of Dunedin. There is also the Chinese Garden development, which has central government support and involvement of Chinese experts.

I recently read a review of The China Fantasy: How Our Leaders Explain Away Chinese Repression, the basic thesis of which on the face rings true. China does abuse human rights and we hear little from our leaders condemning China. Will NZ boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics due to the human rights abuses in China? I doubt it, yet they are willing to call for sanctions on Fiji.

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