September 2023 Issue: Something in the water this September

Something in the water this September

Welcome to the NZCTA Young Associates Newsletter: a monthly-ish digest of happenings and articles for young people interested in the NZ-China space.

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Welcome to the YA's newsletter, September edition!

September has absolutely flown by, and we feel like the end of the year is fast approaching! The world has been a-buzz with news, and we’re excited to bring you some highlights! Read on to learn about how China is restricting imports from Japan due to concerns around radioactive water; plus, check out the phenomenon that is Chinese tea houses and how they’ve evolved. We’re also taking the chance this month to highlight one of our outgoing committee members, Wesley, who was recently accepted into the Asia New Zealand Foundation’s Leadership Network - congratulations! Read more below!

#1. China restricts all Japanese seafood imports following release of Fukushima radioactive waste into Pacific Ocean


Chinese authorities have issued a blanket ban on seafood imports from Japan, citing concerns that the radioactive water released from the latter’s Fukushima power plant could contaminate food products and threaten human health.

Since an earthquake destroyed the Fukushima nuclear reactor in 2011, Japanese power company TEPCO has been pumping water into the wreck to cool its radioactive fuel rods.

This process has produced enough contaminated water to fill 500 Olympic swimming pools. With approval from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Japanese authorities made the call on 23rd August 2023 to release wastewater into the Pacific Ocean.

Fewer than 24 hours later, Chinese authorities banned the import of Japanese seafood, with discussions set to occur around banning further non-food products. Japan has argued that the treated and diluted wastewater will have negligible effect on people and wildlife, and that urgent action was needed before the damaged plant’s containment systems were overwhelmed. China was previously Japan’s largest consumer of seafood, so the conflict has only served to compound longstanding and historic tensions between the two countries.

Check out this link if you’re interested in finding out more!

#2. Congratulations to Wesley Harfield!


We have amazing news! We’re thrilled to extend a massive congratulations to Wesley Harfield, an outgoing committee member of the Young Associates’ Technology team, for being accepted into the Asia New Zealand Foundation Leadership Network! We’re stoked and can’t wait to see what’s next for Wesley! Hear from him below:

"I'm genuinely thrilled about becoming a part of this network, where I'll have the fantastic opportunity to connect with Kiwis from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences. It's amazing how vast Asia is, but what's truly remarkable is how the network's diversity creates a sense of belonging to virtually every corner of this diverse region. I look forward to participating in the various network events and sharing my experiences, especially those related to China and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The prospect of connecting with fellow members, gaining insights, and learning from their experiences within the network is truly exciting." — Wesley.

For more information on the Leadership Network — and to see the other successful candidates in 2023 — take a look here!

#3. An invitation to join us at Da Vinci Talk 2023!

Some of our YA Executive Committee are planning to attend Da Vinci Talk 2023, an art exhibition currently on show at the Aotea Centre. The initiative, which is a free annual art show that aims to articulate the thoughts and feelings of young Chinese artists to New Zealand audiences, seeks to encourage local audiences to acquire a deeper understanding of contemporary China. Forty artworks will be on show from Chinese art students from universities around the world!

We’re extending the offer to our members on Patreon should they like to attend the exhibition with us, grab a bite of dinner afterwards, and, of course, get the chance to meet a few of our committee — basically, some like-minded individuals!

Date: Wednesday 4th October
Time: 4:30pm at the exhibition’s venue (Aotea Centre, Auckland City Centre), with the plan to grab a drink/bite to eat afterwards!

Email us at, and we’ll send through some contact details for the evening, plus details on where to meet!

For more information, go to:

Have a piece you'd like us to feature or share? Or an idea/opportunity you would like us to offer? Do you have general questions/comments? Let us know through our socials below!

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Editors: Josie, Melanie and David

Disclaimer: opinions expressed in this newsletter are solely the views of the NZCTA Young Associates and do not represent the opinions of the wider New Zealand China Trade Association or any of its executive committee.

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