criticism? almost

Geez, even an article attributed to Global Times and headlined “New Zealand government approval of Chinese company’s purchase of farms criticised by opposition parties” can manage only the most painfully tepid attempt at criticism:


China’s Shanghai Pengxin Group’s purchase of the New Zealand farms could be said to have been full of twists and turns. In January this year the NZ government approved the purchase the first time, sparking intense controversy in New Zealand. Opponents were worried that foreign investment in New Zealand would lead to important NZ farmland being sold off. In February, the New Zealand Supreme Court overturned the purchase and required the government to reconsider.

  1. Weren’t they far more worried about Chinese investment than foreign investment more generally? I mean, compare with the lukewarm response to James Cameron’s purchase of two Wairarapa farms very soon after the initial approval of Shanghai Pengxin’s bid. Not even Global Times can mention that aspect of the case?
  2. I really don’t know what to make of “屡屡“抢购”” here. It’s not ‘repeatedly’ or ‘time and again’, but the prospect of gradually, inexorably becoming ‘tenants in our own land’ as rich foreigners gobble up all the land. And it’s not the ‘panic buying’ that the dictionary says “抢购” means. No, it’s buying that is causing some Kiwis to panic. Different phenomenon.
  3. Supreme Court? I thought it was the High Court, and every other Chinese article on the subject I’ve seen has said “高等法院”.
  4. Funny how it “集团购买” mis-parses “团购” as one word, “group buying”, rather than parts of two separate words “集团” “group” and “购买” “buy”. Careless or hasty subediting? Or yet another example of how automation is still very, very far from linguistic competence?

Oh well, never mind, the deal is done and dusted…


About the Author


A Kiwi teaching English to oil workers in Beijing, studying Chinese in my spare time, married to a beautiful Beijing lass, consuming vast quantities of green tea (usually Xihu Longjing/西湖龙井, if that means anything to you), eating good food (except for when I cook), missing good Kiwi ale, breathing smog, generally living as best I can outside Godzone and having a good time of it.

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