How far is the government willing to go in order to gain a free trade deal with China? All the way, apparently. Last night a New Zealand journalist was evicted from a Beehive signing ceremony involving Chinese Deputy Premier Zeng Peiyan because the Chinese delegation objected to his presence. His "crime"? He published stories about the 15th anniversary of the Tiannamen Square Massacre. His past refusal to follow the party line of a human rights-abusing dictatorship was enough for the Chinese delagation to demand his removal. And predictably, the government and New Zealand police complied. They did not say "sorry, but this is a democracy", they did not say "we have free speech and a free press here" - instead they willingly suppressed the New Zealand media so that things would go "smoothly". And this remember from a government whose leader raised hell over National's treatment of protestors during Jiang Zemin's visit in 1999.
This is absolutely disgraceful, and if it is the price of a free trade agreement or even better diplomatic relations with China, that price is simply too high.