Books written by Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping are being sold at an excellent spot in the airport bookstore in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital.
Multiple copies of “Xi Jinping: The Governance of China Volume Four” are on prominent display at the forefront shelf of a bookstore, a photo circulating on social media shows.
Mark H. Leo, the Twitter user who posted the picture, told The Epoch Times that he saw the photo and another explanation picture from a group chat on WeChat, a popular Chinese social media platform, by a poster who goes by the name Ma Xiaojun.
A translation of the Wechat post states that: “Someone was travelling in a tiny city in New Zealand. After entering the airport bookstore, [he/she] was greeted head-on with an aura of leading the world. [They] asked the staff in the bookstore, who said it is a prime location that the [Chinese] embassy paid to occupy. It’s truly worthy of [the title of a] great nation,” reads the explanation in Chinese.
The Epoch Times notes that in recent years, the Chinese term “great nation (强国),” when referring to communist China, has been used in an ironic manner due to the CCP’s ubiquitous propaganda, including using a “Study the Great Nation” app which is promoted by the CCP to indoctrinate young Chinese into Xi Jingping thought.
Studying a CCP leaders thought and writings has become a convention in China under the CCP rule, where leaders like Mao Zedong and Deng Xioaping have both had there own schools of thought enshrined into the CCP’s “guiding principles” for citizens who are driven to study them daily. Xi Jinping Thought was first added to the guiding doctrines in 2017.
Additionally, while The Epoch Times also notes that many only use the term “great” when it comes to the CCP crack down on its citizens.
Bookstore Denies Chinese Paid for the Prominent Placement
A supervisor of the Relay bookstore at Wellington airport, who declined to give his name, confirmed that the bookstore is selling Xi’s books in a prominent position.
“There is a standard set up for the books, specifically for those books, I believe,” he told The Epoch Times in a call on Jan. 23.
However, the supervisor said he highly doubted the accusation that the Chinese embassy paid for the prominent place.
“Because it seems unusual for a foreign government to be able to be involved in, when I just run a retail business, where we placed the books,” he said. “It seems unlikely to me.”
He gave his own conjectures of why the communist leader’s books are being placed in that conspicuous position.
“In terms of the placement as to why it’s near the top 50, I think it’s just because it has been a slow seller for us for quite a long time, so we’ve just got some titles that are leftover that we’re trying to get rid of.”
The Volume Four of Xi’s books and the preceding ones, which were published in 2014, 2017, 2020, and 2022, respectively, and have been in the bookstore for a while and have not been a popular according to the supervisor.
“The book is definitely a few years old,” he said. “I remember seeing it on the shelf for a while.”
He added that the boohadave not been put on the forefront shelf for a long time.
“It’s relatively recent. It hasn’t beenemphasized too long… probably a couple of weeks.”
The supervisor repeatedly emphasized that he was not clear about why the decision was made.
“You have to speak to a manager or someone above that,” he said.
The Epoch Times reached out to the site manager and was notified that the inquiry had been passed to the company’s communications manager.
The Epoch Times reached out to the Chinese embassy in Wellington but has not received a reply at the time of publication.
CCP Active In New Zealand’s Chinese Community
The incident comes after it was revealed that Beijing’s overseas police station in New Zealand is linked to a Chinese businessman who is active in the country’s political circles and connected to the CCP’s United Front department.
The “overspublicized service station,” among 102 CCP-operated illegal police outputs in 53 countries that have been recently publicised by the Spainish human rights NGO Safeguard Defenders, can be used by the communist regime to monitor overseas Chinese community, as well as “harass, threaten, intimidate, and force targets to return to China for persecution.
According to New Zealand’s Companies Register records, the site in Auckland is tied to Zhou Jiexiang, the owner of a business located at the address. The location also remains the registered address of Golden Key Development (NZ) Limited, a company co-shared by Zhou and Nantong Jinshi, a Chinese business.
New Zealand has been accused of being the “soft underbelly” of the Five Eyes network, with critics panning the former Ardern government for avoiding offending Beijing to maintain its trade relationship.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping and New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern shake hands before the meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on April 1, 2019. (Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool/Getty Images)
“New Zealand will find that their policy framework collides with their values and interests, even if its purpose is to protect New Zealand’s China trade,” Michael Shoebridge, the Director of Strategic Analysis Australia, previously told The Epoch Times.
“Quietly assuring Five Eyes partners everything is fine, while also assuring Beijing of the same thing, is not sustainable unless China radically changes direction under Chinese leader Xi.”