23 Nov 2014

Norman's warning over Chinese trade

11:22 am on 23 November 2014

The Green Party co-leader, Russel Norman has again raised concerns about human rights abuses in China, warning New Zealand shouldn't compromise its principles for trade with its biggest export market.

Russel Norman

Russel Norman Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Last week, New Zealand hosted a visit from the Chinese President, Xi Jinping who said New Zealand and China could see $30 billion in two-way trade by 2020.

Dr Norman told TVNZ's Q +A programme that New Zealand should diversify its exports, and that human rights issues were also important.

He said President Xi's government was directly involved in the imprisonment and torture of human rights activists, and it was important to speak out about such cases, as China's influence increased worldwide.

"Let's remember there's a 70-year-old journalist called Gao Yu who's locked up in China for spreading state secrets - which was that the Chinese Communist Party doesn't like free speech.

"She was tortured in jail, President Xi's government took her son, locked him up too and said if you don't give a false confession we'll keep him in jail."

State welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping at Government House Wellington.

State welcome for Chinese President Xi Jinping at Government House Wellington. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski / Pool

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