Chinese VP visit - why only 48 hours notice?
I had no idea. Did anyone? Friday afternoon the Deputy PM announces that the Vice Premier of China (No.7 in the leadership [W]) will be arriving on Sunday for an official state visit with a 50-strong entourage.
At 48 hours notice - and buried in the Friday news dump.
Is this an attempt to short-circuit and pre-empt any protest activity from local activists? I query the announcement because the extraordinary lengths the NZ government - and the NZ Police - have gone through in the past to avoid any official Chinese delegation coming into contact with, or even being in a position to possibly be aware of, local protests about the nature and methods of the authoritarian and often brutal Chinese government. In Christchurch (I recall) buses were driven in and lined up outside a venue to prevent the protesters being seen, and there was much controversy over the Green MPs being ordered by police (in turn ordered by Chinese security) to take down a Tibetan flag they were holding in parliament grounds. There have also been incidents were some Chinese journalists suspected of being anti-Beijing have been turfed out of press conferences. Their hyper-sensitivity and the all too readily compliant NZ authorities is well known.
Meanwhile tonight in Auckland the usual suspects - the ones who most likely would protest the Chinese leadership's visit - will be zombie marching in town for a $15/hr minimum wage.It takes a lot of organisation and time to put together these rallies which is why I suspect the NZ government has given the public such short notice when it comes to the Chinese visit.