China's New Zealand representatives may complain to the New Zealand Government about a planned screening of a documentary about a Uighur activist Beijing has accused of inciting ethnic riots, an official said.
A Maori Television spokeswoman says the film about the life of exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer, called 10 Conditions of Love, will screen on September 1.
"It will be brought to the attention of the ambassador, who will decide if a complaint will be made," a Chinese embassy spokeswoman said. (1)
The report also contains a gob-smacking comment from the chairman of United Chinese Association, Jim He:
"We are surprised that the Melbourne Film Festival decided to use the event to make a political statement by inviting a terrorist leader, but there is no reason for us to spread the untruths here" (2)
One wonders on what authority He brands Kadeer a 'terrorist leader' and the film as a monstrous lie?
Thuten Kesang, chairman of the New Zealand Friends of Tibet - admittedly, not exactly an unbiased source - described the members of the United Chinese Association as "heavily involved in the import/export business ... [who] ... feel they need to be the mouthpiece of the Chinese government in order to get favours and good business relations with China" (3). It is the organisation that initially opposed the planned visit by that other renowned terrorist, the Dalai Lama (3).
Jim He is also the chairman of the Pacific Culture and Arts Exchange Centre,an organisation that "has been taking New Zealand films to China since 2002" (5).
So he might be sensitive to the PRC's fondness for collective punishment, especially in the realm of the visual arts. Earlier this year, he was negotiating a deal to have a series of Chinese films made in New Zealand (6).
Given how the PRC pulled all Chinese films from the Melbourne Film Festival when they decided to screen the Kaader film, he might be feeling a bit vulnerable.
Intruigingly, all but one of the strories referenced are by the same journalist, Lincoln Tan. I wonder if he's making any connections?
1 - "China upset at NZ plan to screen ethnic film," by Lincoln Tan, published in The NewsZealand Herald, 3rd of August, 2009. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10588291)
2 - ibid.
3 -"Chinese community leaders split on Dalai Lama's planned visit to NZ," by Christopher Adams, published by Pacific Media Centre, 26th of May, 2009. (http://pacificmediacentre.blogspot.com/2009/05/chinese-leaders-split-on-dalai-lamas.html)
4 -"Chinese seek to ban Dalai Lama from NZ," by Lincoln Tan, published in The New Zealand Herald, 2nd of April, 2009. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10564785)
5 - "Festival group sees NZ films in China as bright new dawn," by Lincoln Tan, published by The New Zealand Herald, 26th of April, 2008. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/trade-deal-with-china/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501819&objectid=10506262)
6 - "China stars set for $20m local film," by Lincoln Tan, published in The New Zealand Herald, 18th of February, 2009. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/movies/news/article.cfm?c_id=200&objectid=10557275)