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MP's pro-China blog appals Tibet's friends

July 5, 2010

By Lincoln Tan
New Zealand Herald
July 3, 2010

Labour's Chinese MP, Raymond Huo, is facing
fierce criticism for defending Chinese rule over
Tibet on a Labour Party website.

Criticising Green Party co-leader Russel Norman's
Tibetan flag protest in front of visiting Chinese
Vice-President Xi Jinping, Mr Huo wrote: "What
Westerners do not know, or do not want to know
... is what level of cruelty the theocratic
serfdom under the Dalai Lama had to offer."

(Read: Why I Was Attacked By Chinese Security Guards - Dr Russel Norman)

Mr Huo has come under strong criticism for his
blog, which appears on Labour's Red Alert
website. Two days after the posting, the blog had
received more than 70 responses.

"Reading this has made me feel sick to my stomach," wrote Velvetine.

Sprout said: "To think I spent all those years
supporting Labour. I can't believe this post appears under the Labour banner."

A Facebook user also gave Mr Huo a mock "community co puckered lips" award.

A set of puckered lips was placed over Mr Huo's
image on the Facebook site with the following
citation: "Awarded to Raymond Huo for making
Labour just that little more red for his defence of the indefensible.

For kissing Chinese ass."

Mr Huo said an exhibition in New Lynn last year
displayed Tibetan lamaism worship instruments
made from human body parts, a flute made from
human leg-bone and serfs' eyes gouged out for punishment.

"The problem Dr Norman has ... is that he wanted
to teach the visiting Chinese leader a lesson but
without understanding the history of the region," the MP said.

"It is true that for too long many Kiwis were
exposed to only one side of the story."

Mr Huo said if New Zealand was "an open court",
then New Zealanders should "hear what other party
or parties have to say on this issue".

Chinese troops entered Tibet in 1950, a move
Beijing said was to "liberate" it from feudal
rule. A failed uprising against Chinese rule
resulted in many Tibetans, including the Dalai Lama, fleeing into exile.

David Farrar said on Kiwiblog: "I am surprised
Raymond is not calling for [the Dalai Lama] to be
prosecuted in the International Court of Justice
... it is extraordinary to see a New Zealand MP repeat such propaganda."

Mr Huo said his blog was not meant to support
China or to put down the Dalai Lama, but rather
to "open up discussion" on the issue.

"My job as an MP is to promote harmony and
understanding, but based on these nasty and
unreasonable comments, you find how ignorant sometimes people are," he said.

"What I have done is no more than call for people
to listen to both sides of the story."

Thuten Kesang, spokesman for the local Tibetan
community, said it was "regrettable" a New
Zealand MP was "promoting communist China propaganda" on his party's website.

He said Tibetans would make a formal complaint to
Labour Party leader Phil Goff.
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