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"Canada can, within a positive friendly atmosphere, ask the Chinese government to resolve the Tibetan situation."

Security review after Norman protest

June 22, 2010

National Business Review (New Zealand)
June 22, 2010

Parliament's security is likely to be tightened
after the scuffle on Friday when Chinese vice-president Xi Jinping arrived.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman was pushed by
Chinese officials who tried to put an umbrella
over him to hide a Tibetan flag he was waving.

It was pulled from his hands, although he managed
to retrieve it and accuse the Chinese of trying
to suppress freedom of speech in New Zealand.

Prime Minister John Key apologised to the
delegation for the incident, and last night told
NZPA the issue had nothing to do with freedom of speech.

He said he apologised for the failure to provide
proper security for the vice-president.

"It's my intention, when I return to New Zealand,
to take the matter up with Diplomatic Protection,
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and
with the Speaker's office because I think it's
unacceptable that a dignitary of that level can't
enter the building without their integrity being compromised," he said.

"In my view we will need to go and review our procedures and protocols."

Mr Key said a balance had to be found so visiting
leaders could enter and leave the building
without their "close space and their integrity" being challenged.

Dr Norman yesterday accused Mr Key of making a
"degrading" apology and called on him to stand up
for democracy and free speech.

Mr Key said he would always fight to protect
those rights for all New Zealanders.

He said the Chinese Falun Gong movement had
protested continuously outside the vice-president's hotel in Auckland.
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