Major parties set to further “Sino-ise” Australia

The recent diplomatic visit to China by a high-powered delegation of Australia’s government and business leaders, and subsequent signings of agreements, including a “strategic partnership” between Australia and China, was largely welcomed by most Australian media commentators.

Clearly, the two nations have mutual interests. China wants to grow and develop, and Australia has ample natural resources which we can provide to China, thus providing massive export markets. If Australia was not a willing provider, it is likely that there would be plenty of other nations who would willingly supply the resource-hungry Chinese.

China wants a great deal from Australia. And let’s not be in any doubt, they don’t just want our exports. They want to own, control and influence Australia as much as they can. Chinese majority state-owned enterprises have been very busy buying up Australian mining assets and farmland, and most of Australia’s politicians have barely raised any concerns or objections.

There’d be no doubt that during their meetings with Australia’s leaders, the Chinese would have provided their guests with the finest in five-star hospitality, and turned on the charm for them. No doubt there would have been many assurances of China’s good intentions, and much mention of the apparent mutual benefits of the two nations in expanding business with one another. The Chinese well know how to use flattery when it suits them. By contrast, they wouldn’t have talked about the widespread slavery, torture and corruption rampant throughout China. Or the 130,000 forced abortions in China every year.

Few commentators questioned why Australia should award such a diplomatic standing to a totalitarian regime with such an appalling record on human and civil rights. (Compare it to how the Australian government treated South Africa, whom was viewed as being so oppressive, during the Apartheid years).

People often forget that it was only a few short decades ago that the Chinese killed tens of millions of their own people in their “Cultural Revolution”. A recently released documentary by filmmaker and human rights activist Du Bin will hopefully expose to a worldwide audience some of the shocking realities about modern China.

Amongst the negotiations between the two countries’ leaders, there would no doubt have been assurances from our government that large numbers of Chinese would be welcomed into Australia as immigrants every year, and this would no doubt have pleased the Chinese, who would very much like the idea of having a sizeable ethnic kinfolk population in Australia, that might be quite influential in assuring that China gets plenty of business done Down Under. And amongst the immigration mix, the Chinese could certainly throw in a few spies and informants.

Tony Abbott and the federal coalition also welcomed the Gillard government’s “strategic partnership” with China, which would see yearly face-to-face meetings between the countries’ leaders, and the opportunity for “frank talk”.

But the differences in mindsets between Australia and China are probably quite stark. For Australia negotiations will mean being open, transparent, well-meaning and well-intentioned; with our desire for trade and economic growth given the highest priority. But for China, it will mean being crafty, cunning, selective with information, and probably eventually quite demanding; and with whose highest priority remains establishing and maintaining Chinese supremacy, as the most powerful nation in the Asia-Pacific, and ultimately, on the planet.

And this epitomises the mentality of Australia’s managerial class of politicians; believing that “dialogue” will persuade the Chinese into seeing things our way. They of course, overestimate their own capacity to influence the Chinese, whilst underestimating the capacity and intentions of the totalitarian and power-hungry Chinese.

Instead, what thrives amongst Australia’s Establishment, is a naively optimistic viewpoint of China; that insists that with greater economic liberalisation, trade and technological development, will automatically come greater freedoms, civil rights, and an embracing of democratic principles by the Chinese.

But there are those who dispute this view. It should be remembered that China has 2500 years of authoritarian government, and a very long history of bullying its neighbours; and this is precisely why so many of China’s Asian neighbours are very wary of the emerging China.

In a 2011 speech, Wu Bangguo, Chairman and Party secretary of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, vowed that China would never embrace multiparty democracy, Western-style reforms, carry out formal privatization, or “diversify our guiding thought”.

Wu Bangguo stated that “Different countries have different systems of laws, and we do not copy the systems of laws of certain Western countries when enacting the socialist system of laws with Chinese characteristics”.

Straight from the horse’s mouth.

But there was one commentator who did get something right. Rowan Callick, Asia-Pacific editor for ‘The Australian’, stated that China’s “long-term strategy” is “to start prising Canberra away from Washington on security matters”. This is, of course, correct. China feigned outrage when Australia agreed to station 2500 US marines in Darwin, as they did when Australia’s Defence White Paper was released in 2009, which made no secret of the fact that Australia viewed China as the major threat to our national security.

By contrast, Australia’s 2013 Defence White Paper is apparently much more conciliatory towards China; it doesn’t specifically mention China as the major threat (although we still view them in this way). Of course, much of this is about semantics and posturing, but it is very important to the Chinese that Australia is seen to treat them with respect. Such is the Chinese sense of pride and superiority; but it’s also about gaining a psychological edge.

Amongst the agreements Australia has signed, include one that will see a surprisingly bold move away from the USA on foreign policy. It has just recently been reported that Australian businesses will now be able to trade in the Chinese Yuan, and Australia and China will no longer use the US Dollar as the currency when trading with each other. For Australia, this will be breaking the long-standing practice of Australia trading internationally in the US Dollar, which has long been the world’s unofficial reserve currency. With a looming global currency war beckoning, this will have delighted the Chinese, who seek to further internationalise the Yuan, and weaken the rival US Dollar.

By contrast, it is very likely that the Americans would not be pleased. However, with the US Dollar expected by many to decline further in value in the longer term, it may be a smart move financially by Australia, if not diplomatically.

In reality, there is plenty for Australia and other nations to be suspicious of, in regard to China. Before the ink had barely dried on our new “Strategic Partnership”, it was revealed that a Chinese source, in a major cyber attack, had hacked into the plans for ASIO’s planned new headquarters.

Professor Des Ball from the Australian National University’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre claimed the theft of the ASIO building’s blueprints is particularly significant.

“Once you get those building plans you can start constructing your own wiring diagrams, where the linkages are through telephone connections, through wi-fi connections, which rooms are likely to be the ones that are used for sensitive conversations, how to surreptitiously put devices into the walls of those rooms,” he said.

Now, that wasn’t very friendly of our new “partners”, was it?

References:
Chen Guangcheng Shows Congress List of Chinese Officials ‘Responsible for 130,000 Forced Abortions’”, CNS News, 10 April 2013
30,000 Forced Abortions in China, Chen Guangcheng Tells Congress”, New American, 15 April 2013 (Dave Bohon)
Harrowing Documentary About Slavery and Torture in China Released”, Epoch Times, 2 May 2013 (Matthew Robertson)
China vows no Western-style political reforms”, The China Post, 10 March 2011
Beijing’s goal to wean Canberra off US”, The Australian, 12 April 2013 (Rowan Callick)
Australia to Abandon the U.S. Dollar”, The Trumpet, 11 April 2013 (Robert Morley)

Comments

  1. I’ve just returned form a holiday in North Queensland. After talking to many locals, a very sad picture emerged:

    The CanDo’s (Campbell Newman’s) government approach seems to be quite appalling: everything is for sale. Charter airplanes full of cashed-up Chinese come in, and they buy, buy and buy. Pristine land for building ugly resorts, farms for food supplies, land for potential mining and other resources… Everything! You won’t believe how much of Australian land is already owned by Chinese!

    What are we going to do when all our food, energy and water sources become Chinese-owned? Bright future, isn’t it?

  2. After living in China for two years and Hong Kong for nine years, I can tell you that the Chinese consider us a joke. They plan to populate Australia with Chinese to make sure we remain pliable. They are expansionist and threaten all their neighbours whom they bully all the time. They cannot believe their good fortune that they can buy anything they want in Australia, land and resources.

  3. The g Factor says:

    Another case of putting money before morals and our business classes and their politician cronies selling us out. As for the 2,500 US marines in Darwin – could this in part explain the big increase in homicides in Darwin last year or the massive increase in homicides among non-Aboriginals in the Northern Territory over the last five years?

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