Chinese media says problem with New Zealand economy is that it isn’t ruthless dictatorship

Chinese media are outraged that the New Zealand Government would allow companies to put children at risk for non-political reasons.

Chinese media are outraged that the New Zealand Government would allow companies to put children at risk for non-political reasons.

Chinese media have lashed out at New Zealand this week following the potential contamination of thousands of tins of baby formula by dairy giant Fonterra, saying that it was only able to happen because the country’s economy was not governed by a ruthless authoritarian state willing to terrify its citizens and companies into compliance.

Writing in the China Daily, columnist Huan Bai blamed the recent contamination scare on New Zealand’s “individualist philosophy” which “puts emphasis on personal freedoms ahead of efficiency,” and a laissez-faire economic system that allowed human beings to make choices for themselves, pursue their dreams and be content in their own fallibility without living in continual fear of execution if something goes wrong.

Bai said it was “deeply” troubling that Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings was “still alive.”

These sentiments were reflected in several other Chinese newspapers, with one suggesting the real slogan of New Zealand’s tourism campaign be “100% pure festering sore.”

Another newspaper said the country’s reputation may be “severely damaged” when compared with other countries which have a relatively clean health, safety and environmental record, such as China.

Prime Minister John Key today acknowledged the commentary in Chinese media, saying that he understood that China was “widely respected” as a role model for progressive, forward-thinking nations with an eye on improving quality of life for everyone. He said it was therefore “unfortunate” that the Chinese were “disappointed in us”, and that he would be working hard to ensure that New Zealand better reflected the standards China expected of it.

Fonterra boss Theo Spierings agreed with the Prime Minister’s sentiments this afternoon, issuing the first official apology for the scare.

“We are deeply and sincerely sorry to China,” read the apology, “for harming the environment of a younger generation through the mismanagement of biological and chemical matter.”

Writing further in his column, Huan Bai said that it was “utterly unacceptable” for New Zealand to have put children at risk in this way, and that Chinese citizens should be allowed to die “for political reasons only.”

“The whole problem with the New Zealand economy that has led to such an economic disaster for their country, is that they are not a ruthless dictatorship that strikes fear into the hearts of their CEOs and restricts access to Facebook and YouTube,” he said.

Bai argued that if New Zealanders did not have access to YouTube, they might spend more time cleaning their pipes and less time watching videos of outrageous things that happened on TV six years ago.

He told his Chinese readers that some in New Zealand would smugly joke to one another that they already had what amounted to a dictatorship, and that this only went to show “just how painfully stupid they are.”

But despite his scathing words, Bai did not believed that New Zealand was beyond redemption, saying that it had to learn from its mistakes like China once had when it realised it “should’ve run over that man at Tiananmen Square.”

Responding to a question about the botulism scare earlier today, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Tibet was – and always had been – part of China.