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Chinese imperialism and future Australian sovereignty

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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Escaping Danistan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 1:24 pm
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Good read, quoted in full.

Quote:
Just over a year has gone by since the novel coronavirus first emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan and the world still has many questions about where and how it originated.

The World Health Organisation is sending a team to China, who arrive today, to investigate the origins of the virus — which has now claimed nearly 2 million lives globally — but one health expert warns expectations for the visit should be set "very low".

The Chinese Government has greatly restrained any attempts to investigate the origins of COVID-19 — both internally and by foreign experts — while at the same time advocating alternate theories that the pandemic originated elsewhere.

The top leadership sees control over this narrative as vital to its hold over the Chinese population and the boosting of its international reputation.

The stakes could not be higher because Beijing has presented the Communist Party's strong, centralised rule as the key to the country's success at controlling the pandemic and reviving its economy.

This has been contrasted with disastrous efforts to control the disease in the US under the Trump administration. The state-run Global Times has called the US a "living hell".

Against this backdrop, Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, says the WHO investigation team:

will have to be politically savvy and draw conclusions that are acceptable to all the major parties.

Citizen journalists disappear after reporting the truth
Part of controlling the Communist Party narrative has entailed the detention of many citizen journalists who sounded the alarm about the virus in its early days, exposed the Government's attempts to cover it up and criticised its early response to control it.

In late December, one of these independent journalists, Zhang Zhan, was sentenced to four years imprisonment for the crime of "picking quarrels and provoking trouble".

A former lawyer, Zhang travelled to Wuhan in February to talk to people about how they were coping in lockdown. She shared videos and talked about what she observed, at one point noting the fear people felt toward the government was actually greater than their fear of the virus.

In an interview before her detention, she said

Maybe I have a rebellious soul … I'm just documenting the truth. Why can't I show the truth?

Zhang is just one of many critics whom the government has attempted to silence.

Chinese law professor Xu Zhangrun was detained by police for a week after writing articles critical of Chinese President Xi Jinping, and then fired from his position at a university.

He remains under surveillance and has been banned from leaving Beijing, but he continues to write.

Others have simply disappeared.

The outspoken lawyer and citizen journalist Chen Qiushi went missing in February after reporting from Wuhan and didn't reappear until late September. He also remained under "strict supervision" by the authorities.

And Wuhan businessman Fang Bin, who was detained in early February after posting videos purporting to show COVID victims inside hospitals, hasn't been heard from since.

Using the security system and courts to target civil society
Under Xi's leadership, the Communist Party has become increasingly vigorous in guarding the official propaganda around party ideology and Xi's rule from any form of criticism.

While Xi emphasised in a 2013 speech the importance of the propaganda and "ideological leadership" to the country, the pandemic has allowed China's party-state to extend its ideological control over the courts, eliminating any pretence of judicial autonomy.

This manipulation of rule-of-law institutions can be seen in the prosecution of citizen journalists like Zhang Zhan and anyone else who questions or criticises the official party line.

Marxist scholars and party propagandists argue there are no contradictions between party ideology and "rule of law". In China, they say, there is no need for a legal separation of powers to ensure justice because the party is the ultimate expression of the people's will when it comes to law and order.

In essence, the Communist Party is the rule of law, with Chinese characteristics.

The party has long used the security system and courts in this way to "kill chickens to scare monkeys" (a Chinese idiom meaning to punish an individual as an example to others).

In the past, the targets have typically been prominent political dissidents, such as Liu Xiaobo and Wei Jingsheng, and human rights lawyers.

What is new and disturbing is the use of this tactic to eradicate all dissent and perceived threats to the party's rule from civil society.

Those targeted in recent years include Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun, Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai and Chinese-Australian journalist Cheng Lei, as well as many foreigners.

This domestic political context makes it unlikely the WHO researchers will be allowed to fully investigate all hypotheses as to the origins of the coronavirus, such as the claim it could have been caused by a leak at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Although China's so-called "Bat Woman", virologist Shi Zhengli, has said she'd welcome a visit by the WHO team to the lab, leaked government documents tell another story.

According to the documents, published by the Associated Press this month, the Government is monitoring scientists' findings and requiring any research to be approved by a new task force under Xi's direct command before publication.

Zhang's case reveals how challenges to official narratives are now being dealt with in China. It also shows that Chinese citizens do not always find official narratives convincing and propagandists cannot force them to believe in ideology. The forced silencing of critics does not equate to people believing in the official party line.

With the origins of COVID-19, China's citizens — and the world — deserve truth, not politically convenient spin.

John Garrick is is University Fellow in Law at Charles Darwin University and Yan Bennett is the Assistant Director for the Paul and Marcia Wythes Center on Contemporary China at Princeton University. This article first appeared on The Conversation.


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-14/china-control-covid-origin-message-detention-zhang-zhan/13056420

Bit of other reading, good but 2 year old article about how China makes people disappear
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-06/the-people-who-china-disappeared-in-2018-and-where-they-are-now/10676016

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think positive Libra

Side By Side


Joined: 30 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 4:25 pm
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Yes we do deserve the truth, Chinas government is an absolute criminal disgrace that makes Donald look good.

Just as an aside another post like that I’m calling you Stuitid

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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Escaping Danistan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:18 pm
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think positive wrote:
Yes we do deserve the truth, Chinas government is an absolute criminal disgrace that makes Donald look good.

Just as an aside another post like that I’m calling you Stuitid


Oi, I didn't type all that, just quoted it so people would actually look at it rather than not clicking on the link.

But you're right, I will be Stui till I die. Razz Wink

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:36 pm
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^Yeah, I feel cheated; I waste hours of my life fruitlessly typing my screeds!

The obvious test of Biden is to see how broad and successful an alliance, and sustainable a new agreement, he can put together here. Unfortunately, the usual set of far-right crazies will make anything to do with China a matter of apocalyptic hysteria, but he took the job.

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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Escaping Danistan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:08 pm
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^

We have different training.

Working with Deloitte consultants for 12 months, everything needs a 100 page PowerPoint pack full of graphics.

Me, if I can't put a business case on 1 A4 piece of paper (2 sides) in a word doc there's something wrong.

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:40 pm
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^Short is definitely the goal. It just takes me ages to get to the final draft!
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think positive Libra

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:47 am
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pietillidie wrote:
^Short is definitely the goal. It just takes me ages to get to the final draft!
godhelp is all if you go long
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think positive Libra

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 9:06 am
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https://9now.nine.com.au/today/china-coronavirus-matt-canavan-says-country-has-to-be-held-to-account-after-itv-documentary-claims/505fe244-4bca-4e61-9776-1caad9eacb7b?ocid=edm-nine.com.au-ninedaily--210120&mktg_scr=edm-ninedaily
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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
Location: Escaping Danistan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 5:39 pm
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^

SNAFU. (Situation Normal All F'd Up)

China has been in damage control since day 1, now they're trying to airbrush history and deny it even started in China.

They've let the mask slip, the world now knows what they're dealing with and as our exporters find alternative markets they will find their leverage dramatically reduced.

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think positive Libra

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:20 pm
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I $$%^%%$ hope so, because I really don’t think the backlash has been enough, and seriously the world needs a kick up the bum when it comes to cheap shit on the market that lasts 10 min and gets replaced and the shit just adds to the pile of rubbish polluting the earth. Make it better, make it last. Pay a living wage.
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roar 



Joined: 01 Sep 2004


PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 6:53 pm
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Agree, TP. I do hope it's clever bureaucracy and politics that is the reason for not holding them to account but I fear it's simply greed and self interest.
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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 8:22 pm
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roar wrote:
Agree, TP. I do hope it's clever bureaucracy and politics that is the reason for not holding them to account but I fear it's simply greed and self interest.

It's a mix of things. Incentive to buy and sell things at a better price is a central driver of economic activity (we talk of 'better, faster, cheaper', but 'value' always involves price even where 'better and faster' are the material advantages).

You can't attack a communist regime on the basis of the very economic motivation that built and indeed maintains your own economy. So, I know what you both mean about consumerism and its junk, but that shouldn't be confused with the fundamental economic incentive.

Similarly, a 'buy local' message is mostly (but not always) nonsense, because in far more cases than people are willing to admit it means 'buy worse' (i.e., worse value).

The right approach is to force the cost of production to include externalities, such as pollution, and to set minimum labour standards. Not disingenuously and mischievously to price the developing nation out of the game, because that again is a violence. But standards done right don't undermine incentives, but instead makes them more realistic and sustainable. There is always some play in incentive (which is why we know we can tax the very wealthy more and they won't simply 'quit' in a huff).

Along the same lines, the idea that you would want to protect your industry from bright and talented Chinese kids, or hard-working peasants trying to make good, is an egregious communism-like violence against others, as is discounting the hundreds of millions who have escaped from dire poverty to zero, as if it were a bad thing. Forgetting how we became wealthy usually goes hand-in-hand, as we discount the ills and realities of our own inglorious rise to zero.

The solution is to accept that everything outside war and violence is negotiation, and to set standards without differentially applying ethics and principle and becoming a mirror authoritarian regime. To deal with an entity as large and powerful as China means dealing with it as a block, and that implies a broad-based multilateral agreement.

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:19 am
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^Here's an example of a (massive) company committing to only dealing with suppliers who pay a living wage by 2030 (which is a genius way of getting PR mileage from not committing to do it for another nine years Laughing).

Even so, imagine scaling this to the level of a multilateral TPP across a range of important quality measures:

Quote:
We will work with our suppliers, other businesses, governments and NGOs - through purchasing practices, collaboration and advocacy - to create systemic change and global adoption of living wage practices," it added.

It has more than 60,000 direct suppliers worldwide, from smallholder farmers to major companies.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-55735108

Of course, countries can cut their noses to spite their faces, but then they would be penalised accordingly, like the fist-waving idiots of Brexit (and every other poor sod they dragged down by them). There's no other way to avert the pitfalls of fasco-protectionism, whether in its imperialist, nationalist, communist, or populist Trumpist guise. The push and pull of treaties, negotiations and agreements, genuinely pursued, are democracy, decency, wealth and stability genuinely pursued. This also gives a world grappling with shrinking government revenues a shot at properly taxing capital.

Alternatively, we could join another creepy conman in pursuit of a wealth-destroying, opportunity-wrecking, resentment-stoking, runaway trade war that soon evolves into a world war.

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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:53 pm
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pietillidie wrote:
^Here's an example of a (massive) company committing to only dealing with suppliers who pay a living wage by 2030 (which is a genius way of getting PR mileage from not committing to do it for another nine years Laughing).

As an aside, here's another company riding a similar 2030 PR stunt:
Quote:
Boeing says it will make planes able to fly on 100% biofuel by 2030
Laughing
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/jan/23/boeing-says-it-will-make-planes-able-to-fly-on-100-biofuel-by-2030

Again, it happening is better than it not happening, I'm just amused at the stunt element.

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Tannin 

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 28, 2021 9:17 pm
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China just went seriously over the top, uttering explicit threats against Taiwan. Make no mistake, China intends war. They need to be smacked down hard when they cross the line - and cross the line they will.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-28/china-tells-taiwan-that-independence-means-war/13100738

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