Norman and Chinese fallout could benefit China[Saturday, June 19, 2010 12:27]
By Charlotte Tonkin

The fall out from the scuffle between Greens co-leader Russel Norman and Chinese security protecting their vice president could end up benefitting China, according to a leading former UN ambassador.

Xi Jinping's last official duty on his New Zealand tour was cancelled because of security concerns and Dr Norman says it should be New Zealand police who are primarily responsible when any foreign dignitary is on our soil.

The only problem for police outside the vice president's hotel was from pro-Chinese Government supporters who were trying to block rival protestors banners.

There were plenty of police on hand and Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says that's how it should be when foreign officials are here.

“I think we need to make it very clear that it will be the New Zealand police in control of the situation rather then the Chinese security services,” Dr Norman says.

Yesterday Dr Norman says Chinese security battered him with umbrellas for waving a Tibetan flag on Parliament's grounds.

Former UN ambassador Terence O'Brien says it was unnecessary, calling it “heavy-handed”.

Anti-communist protestor Joan Zhang says Xi Jinping has been protected from protestors.

“They never have a different voice come out so they get used to having one voice and that's their voice and once they saw the different voice they just so scared,” Ms Zhang says.

But Mr O'Brien says the scuffle will, in the long run, teach China lessons which it will use to its advantage.

“Our value to China is the fact that we are what we are – a small, modern, mature democracy. China has tended to see New Zealand as a testing ground for initiatives it wants to take in the wider world,” Mr O’Brien says.

Mr O'Brien says now China will be armed with better ways to deal with larger and more important democratic countries as it continues its global dominance.

Police say there isn't enough evidence to charge anyone over the incident because those involved from the Chinese delegation refused to talk to police and have now left the country.