The government signed an FTA with ASEAN, which includes Burma. So, we rightly isolate Fiji for being a dictatorship, while we sign up to trade with an even worse dictatorship, murderous regime which massacres its own people (to the extent that they use chemical weapons against rebels). So much for consistent (let alone moral) foreign policy. (1)This can not be allowed to go unanswered.
The government has been very consistent here. Having already concluded free trade agreements with the violent thug government of Beijing, there is nothing at all inconsistent about reaching out a slimy tendril of hypocrisy to Burma's junta. Despicable, contemptable, hypocritical and wrong, perhaps, but not inconsistent.
"The ASEAN economies represent a market of more than 575 million people and are an increasingly important destination for New Zealand goods, service suppliers and outward investment.Bottom line (literally): Fiji isn't valuable enough for our government to ignore the fact it is ruled by a military dictator. We can afford to take offense at its crimes.
"When you consider that the ASEAN market for New Zealand merchandise has grown at 24 per cent per year over the past three years you appreciate the scale of opportunity this FTA represents for us.
"Last year ASEAN was New Zealand’s third largest merchandise export market worth NZ$4.6 billion." (2)
Soon, perhaps, Mugabe will be offered the tendril of an FTA.
[Hat tip: No Right Turn (3)]
1 - "Escaping the Winston Bubble," posted by Idiot/Savant on No Right Turn, 30th of August, 2008. (http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2008/08/escaping-winston-bubble.html)
2 - "Conclusion of ASEAN FTA negotiations," press release by the New Zealand Government, 29th of August, 2008. Reprodced on Scoop.co.nz. (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0808/S00500.htm)
3 - "Escaping the Winston Bubble," posted by Idiot/Savant on No Right Turn,
30th of August, 2008. (http://norightturn.blogspot.com/2008/08/escaping-winston-bubble.html)