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Chinese imperialism and future Australian sovereignty

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2020 11:21 pm
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David wrote:
For anyone who doesn't know, for several years they were publishing an eight-page lift-out every month directly regurgitating CCP propaganda. They made it clear that it didn't reflect their editorial view and that it was more like an advertorial, for what it's worth, but they still chose to run it in their newspaper. Apparently The Washington Post, The New York Times and other newspapers have done the same. You can find out more about it here: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/dec/07/china-plan-for-global-media-dominance-propaganda-xi-jinping

Media Watch also did a segment on it at the time: https://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/episodes/fairfax-prints-chinese-propaganda/9972966

Stui, what do you think lol

Why you would publish overt propaganda like that even in a lift-out defies belief.

If heads don't roll/haven't rolled over that any moral high ground they claim is a farce. That's as shameless as any handout Murdoch would take, and totally undermines the critique of these rags versus the Murdoch media and its support of environmental destruction, climate denial, billionaire tax cuts, Brexit, Johnson, Trump, etc.

I still haven't forgiven the NYT for its support of the invasion of Iraq or The Guardian for its mollycoddling of Lexiters and Corbyn the Clueless, and I trust Jeff Bezos about as much as I trust Trump, so I'm not entirely surprised. But you still need them to be as above-board as possible to counteract the fist-waving 'lamestream media' hysteria of the Khmer Rouge Hats.

We already know anyone can be bought. But this is particularly brazen and hypocritical. How you would let a reference to the South China Sea or the cult worship of Xi slip through is beyond comprehension.

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 3:05 am
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stui magpie wrote:
Nah, fuckem.

Their idea of diplomacy is everyone has to kiss their arse, or else. Nope from me.

Give the pricks some of their own back:
reduce iron ore and coal exports and increase the price of what we do send.
aquire or nationalise with no financial compensation all property with a priority on agriculture, owned by Chinese nationals or companies
find new markets to sell stuff to.

1.5 million people are dead because of China. #fuckchina

Unless that's just forum venting, it's a complete marshmallow test failure. Only the long game of mutual benefit will deliver a positive outcome here.

First, the most powerful and sustainable asset in international relations beyond raw economic and military power is credibility. Chinese bullying looks a heck of a lot like US bullying, and everyone knows it. You can't get all upset about China flexing its muscle even as you toady to the US. Australia desperately needs to maintain credibility as part of a principled international alliance, not as a lapdog in an anachronistic Anglo-American embarrassment that ought to have ended with Little Johnny's disgraceful support of Iraq.

On what planet was Trump's unilateral suppression of global, Asian region and Australian growth through an idiotic trade war somehow preferable to Chinese bullying? Why the anger at China and the kowtowing to Trump? Trump smashed your economy and that of your trading partners, making you billions of dollars worse off, and crushing the development prospects of poor countries. This sort of selective and unprincipled indignation reeks of racial preferentialism and nationalist bias. If you want to set standards, set them fairly and consistently.

Second, Australia had the chance to reduce mining exports starting back in the 00s on the basis of (a) environmental protection, (b) economic diversification and (c) political capture. However, the country was notorious for its climate denial, didn't give a shite about the environment, loved the mining capital and free kick to pension funds, refused to even tax mining properly for the national good, and couldn't resist inflated temporary jobs that relieved people of the responsibility of preparing for the global information economy. Even worse, the very people who drove that irresponsible short-termism have been rewarded with government after government.

Third, way back in the 80s and 90s people were crying and moaning about Japanese money in real estate, so there have been decades to deal with that, too. But we all know the real enemy here is not China or Japan, but politicians being in the pockets of the real estate industry, including all of the mum and dad negative gearing worshippers who love the overseas capital pushing up the value of their investments. The hysteria that ensues whenever a politician puts real estate under the microscope shows that such a policy will never ever win an election in Australia.

Fourth, China's responsibility where Covid-19 is concerned centres on its initial cover-up, which indeed was a major crime against the world. But the full equation goes much further and is more like this:

*total death and economic loss [-]
*preventable death and economic loss morons elsewhere are responsible for beyond the initial delay (including the dismantling of the Coronavirus pandemic early warning system in China by Trump; the denial and dithering PR campaign by Trump; the undermining of the WHO by Trump; the disastrous ripple effects of the collapse of the global superpower economy containing the de facto global reserve currency by Trump; science denial, liberty idiocy and conspiracy nuttery in the US and elsewhere fuelled by Trump and his whacko fan club; the incompetence of clueless leaders like Johnson with no business being anywhere near serious leadership; the ill-discipline and self-entitlement of populations like that of the UK which simply refused to take the matter seriously and minimise the spread of the disease; and the feckless unpreparedness of wealthy countries for an extremely high-risk event such as a global pandemic on a crowded planet) [where]
*preventable deaths [≈] the difference in outcomes between responsible, diligent countries, and negligent, reckless disasters like the US, UK, Spain and Belgium

There are many more fingers to point to maintain any semblance of credibility on this matter. The 200M world-leading Coronavirus pandemic early warning system within China, dismantled by world-class narcissist and halfwit Trump, would have circumvented initial Chinese obfuscation, so in that sense the malignant creep's responsibility goes back much further in the causal chain than you would have people believe.

Fifth, a broad coalition of pressure can quietly change things without playing into Xi's hands. Xi is the Trump of China who lives off nationalist fist waving. Finger pointing and hysteria only give Xi and his fasco-nationalists excuses and social media fodder, and provide opportunities for 'clash of civilisation' nutters elsewhere.

Sixth, China is going nowhere, so the idea that Australia should lose the high ground and exacerbate hostility by being the puerile one in the relationship is ridiculous. Rough seas come and go, and Xi and his extremists will eventually pass. By keeping up the pressure through broad international consensus and agreement (such as a new TPP), and taking the moral high ground, Xi's liberal opponents will ultimately be strengthened as younger generations tire of the hostility and start feeling international cultural cringe.

Seventh, if Trump's trade wars and Covid choked the Australian economy, wait until you see what conflict with China will do. The threat and rumour of war alone will be enough to crash the Aussie economy. Have you seen what a single idiotic press release from Pyongyang does to the KOSPI and KOSDAQ? You'll be digging the beaches for pipis long before you even need to take up arms.

Eighth, all that aside, the simple fact is there will be no magical reset of China through horrendous war as happened with Germany, Japan and South Korea — unless we all want to die in the destitution and annihilation of another world war.

The long and sensible game is the only game worth playing here. The sooner all players involved grow up realise this, the better.

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Tannin 

Can't remember


Joined: 06 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 6:48 am
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pietillidie wrote:
Why you would publish overt propaganda like that even in a lift-out defies belief.


You don't get out much, do you.

Newspapers publish anything people pay them to publish. That goes triple for lift-outs. Every single week, every major Australian newspaper publishes page after page after page of glossy overt propaganda. The client can be anyone at all. (So long as they have plenty of money, of course.)

Walk down the street and pick up today's Financial Review. There will be a massive great glossy lift-out consisting entirely of propaganda pushing ridiculous wristwatches. Or "prestige" cars. Or real estate. Or very expensive restaurants. Or cruise ships. Or holidays in Alaska. Or furniture. Or stuff to smear on your face. Or ... well, practically anything someone is willing to spend enough money on.

Or pick up the Sydney Morning Herald. Or the Australian. Or the Age. They all come with fall-out supplements spruiking total bullshiite. Week after week after week. Nobody reads them, of course, let alone takes the content seriously. It's advertising. If you don't like advertising, move to China.

Oh wait ....

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David Libra

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Joined: 27 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 5:16 pm
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I thought of that too, but it is hard to deny that political editorialising and analysis is in a fundamentally different category to garden-variety advertising, as pernicious and morally grey as that may often be in its own right. To test this, ask yourself if you’d be okay with, say, the Liberal Party buying a similar supplement in The Age every month (as opposed to a standard ad buy around election time), or, for that matter, an unequivocally objectionable group like the KKK. Companies can exercise some discretion in who they take money from and for what, and it’s not unreasonable to expect them to do so.

There’s also the question of editorial independence. I’m sure the ex-Fairfax papers made a point of this supplement not influencing editorial decisions, and it’s clear that they were still publishing criticism of China over the course of this deal. But there would have been a large amount of money involved in the arrangement – which kind of goes without saying, because why else would you risk the credibility of your newspaper in this way? – and its sudden withdrawal would presumably be financially damaging, so I do wonder if there might be a bit of subconscious self-censorship, edge cases of stories (say, with debatable news value) that got spiked that would otherwise have been run, and pressure from management to not do anything too antagonistic. And the kicker for me is that all this is the explicit reason why this lift-out even exists to begin with, and why Chinese government agencies are willing to fund it: it is an exercise in soft power, and a tool of leverage. So there’s no need to mystify this by comparing it, say, to a McDonald’s ad: The Age and Sydney Morning Herald were aiding and abetting the dissemination of an authoritarian superpower’s political propaganda.

It’s exactly the same as corporate political donations. Nobody’s saying that ANZ are expecting immediate political outcomes when they drop $800,000 into the Liberal Party’s campaign funding accounts every election cycle. But they’re not paying for nothing, either, and anything that has the potential to create a conflict of interest is a problem.
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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2020 8:37 pm
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We even allow states to do it as a matter of routine through national branding and tourism campaigns. But it's about credibility to me. You can't go on about the Murdoch media taking all kinds of toxic handouts and then taint your own hand. Reputation is the self-policing force here, and this undermines their reputations.

If I noticed a giant spread in The Guardian extolling the environmental credentials of X fossil fuels giant (and those ads do exist elsewhere; not sure about in The Guardian), I would be annoyed not on the basis of it being different in principle to any other ad, but because The Guardian has made a song and dance about its commitment to reporting climate change.

The bits on the South Sea and Xi are no starters regardless. But even if they were an oversight, the Chinese government under Xi has been clearly oppressive for some time, so the line was already there. The principle here is not one of 'any propaganda' but 'recognised violators of human rights'. The contradiction is that that principle ought to take a lot of other companies and orgs down with it as well, but I think a lot of us agree on that already.

Credibility is the safety net here, though. You don't take money from China for overt propaganda because that taints everything else you write about, and boosts populist dismissal of the otherwise plain facts you report.

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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 4:00 pm
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https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-12-14/australia-has-to-look-beyond-china-as-relationship-breaks-down/12979900

Agree almost 100% with this article, the only place we differ is I'd really like to mess with their iron ore imports.

Diplomacy is useless with these cnuts unless we're prepared to just completely debase ourselves which we should not do under any circumstances. Morrison has done the right things but China don't want partners thet want vassals, and dictators dont react well to being spoken back to..

#fuckchina

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:02 am
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^No one is being 'debased' by playing the smart game. Reactionary, ill-considered fist waving that shoots oneself in the foot is debasement. Becoming the Karen meme of international relations is debasement. Exciting Xi and his fasco-nationalists with more evidence of self-entitlement is debasement. Triggering a cycle of increasing losses to yourself through a trade war is debasement.

Your exaggerated outrage is very reminiscent of the 'Muslims are taking over the world' hysteria of a decade ago. Nope, despite a trillion Facebook posts to the contrary, Muslims were never taking over the world because from Europe to Asia to Latin America, the vast proportion of people and power on earth were not fans in the slightest. Well, the same applies to China.

Apparently, though, the proper alternative is no longer within your grasp: rolling your sleeves up and working assiduously behind the scenes to form a global alliance that acts in concert to impose trade standards. Let Xi live by the sword and become despised like Trump and see where it gets him.

A new agreement with the Biden White House has the chance to pick up where the TPP left off. That Australia elected a rural school principal with the international gravitas of a limp lettuce leaf as PM won't help, but there must be someone in the Glib government who can do more than negotiate handouts from mining companies.

Without broad international consensus China will simply divide and conquer, and international scabs will keep crossing the line. Clear as day. And we already know how the mutually-assured destruction of trade wars work.

Recognising you're being pushed about is not a great achievement. Moreover, the less entitled parts of the world have endured far worse for far longer, so building relationships with them will require more than self-pity.

You seem to have thrown the towel in on being sensible.

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roar 



Joined: 01 Sep 2004


PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:09 am
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Softly, softly approach does not work with China. One just has to look at the takeover and militarisation of disputed islands to see the appeasement policy just works in their favour.
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Tannin 

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:41 am
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^ Precisely. China keeps on pushing, pushing, pushing, always looking for a moment of weakness it can take advantage of.

We need to scale back our trade with China ASAP, go looking for more reliable customers, and manufacture more stuff for ourselves.

We also need a federal government which acts more and mouths off less. Morrison's rabble have waved through any number of Chinese buy-outs of land and productive assets, and at the same time been obnoxiously loud-mouthed about being the first to call for a public with-hunt re the origin of the coronavirus (this was a stupid move made to crawl favour with Morrison's hero Trump) and in hysterical responding to that Twitter troll (because Morrison lacked the maturity to handle provocation in a measured, diplomatic way).

Where is the diplomatic action with PNG re the new spy base ... er ... sorry .. fishing port? Why is PNG in bed with China? Ans: because Morrison's scum have relentlessly cut our ties to Pacific nations to (a) save money out of the foreign aid budget, and (b) avoid having to do anything about sea levels and climate change.

Morrison is correct to stand up to China, but he is too childish and incompetent to make a decent job of it.

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David Libra

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:46 am
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The concern I have is that the unspoken implication here is that "standing up to China" means running even further into the arms of the US (which may involve, for instance, building more US military bases here or in the region). There are many reasons why we shouldn't be satisfied with that outcome either.

I would be the last person who wants Australia to become a vassal state of China. But not liking superpowers won't make them go away, and won't make us less dependent on them, so I wonder if the ideal situation remains to maintain an uneasy position between China and the US, working with both but constantly watching our back – and yes, we very much do need to do that with regard to America, too. (Another, perhaps more optimistic approach would be to build up our ties with the EU, India, Canada and others and do our best to extricate ourselves equally from the bonds of the crumbling US and belligerent China alike, as far as possible, but I don't know how realistic that is.)

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Tannin 

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:05 am
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Agree with all of that, David. And yes, good ties with the Japan, Taiwan, Korea, India, the EU, the Pacific nations, all that helps. SE Asia too, though that's harder as there are so many poxhead governments in that region - Indonesia obviously, but also the Philippines is cranky; Brunei has become an Islamic fascist state .... it's not an easy area to find friends in.

Also, New Zealand needs to get of its arse and stop bludging on its friends. It is unbelievable that a nation with a strong economy and an outstanding military tradition has castrated itself and for all practical purposes has no air force at all, not much of an army, and a pretty useless navy. The Kiwis assume that Australia and the USA will do all the heavy lifting. That is not acceptable to anyone. (Except China.)

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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:04 am
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roar wrote:
Softly, softly approach does not work with China. One just has to look at the takeover and militarisation of disputed islands to see the appeasement policy just works in their favour.

Are you sure you've looked closely at the term 'softly, softly', who uses it, and what it sneakily excludes from the table of options? It's an empty weasel term.

No power anywhere — Chinese, American, Russian, industry, multinational corporation, religion, ideology, and so on — by definition can be dealt with 'softly'. The very notion is silly.

Sure, smiling at boulders won't break them, but neither will punching them with rage. Fortunately, in this case proper diplomacy can be incredibly powerful if you understand the options available.

China does not have many friends, so by the time you bring Japan, SK, India, North America, the EU and a share of the rest together, you are the one verging on bullying power, not treading softly. By writing standards into trade, and having that group of economies enforce them, China can be brought into line forcefully.

But if you chest beat, escalate tension, invite war talk, escalate arms build-ups, carry on like entitled pork chops, put other nations in awkward positions without agreement, and incite half-witted nationalist fist wavers who simply destabilise their own countries, you will isolate yourselves and China will divide and conquer like any intelligent power system worth its salt.

The demise of idiot Trump couldn't have come at a better time for Australia. Don't waste the opportunity Biden represents on a foolish, reckless lashing out. Do the proper hard yards and build the new agreement with haste.

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Tannin 

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 10:23 am
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A new agreement is indeed required, PTID. However, it does not lie within our power to forge an "agreement" with China as things stand. All we can do is bend over and drop our trousers, or else not bend over.

China is the only country able to fix the problems. China started the trade war, China is escalating the trade war, all we can do is wait, meanwhile behaving in as civilised a manner as possible given that we have a boorish clown instead of a Prime Minister.

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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:04 pm
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Speaking of new agreements post-Trump, the key will be credible allies like Australia and Canada helping Biden sell multilateralism at home while rebuilding the relationship with the EU. Pandemic control and climate change suggest themselves as immediate starting points while a new TPP is thrashed out.

Also, let's not fear being selfish here; we all do better when locked in a process of mutual benefit. We don't need still further GOP/Conservative/Glib catastrophes — another Iraq, GFC, Brexit, Trump, trade war, exacerbated natural disaster or mismanaged pandemic collapse — to know that a nationalist, self-entitled, isolationist, greedy, science-denying zero-sumism is entirely maladaptive and unfit for the times. I for one am sick of the bastards worsening our lives with a reckless, corrupt, reactionary nonsense.

Here's a US perspective: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/think/amp/ncna1251044

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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:21 pm
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Tannin wrote:
A new agreement is indeed required, PTID. However, it does not lie within our power to forge an "agreement" with China as things stand. All we can do is bend over and drop our trousers, or else not bend over.

China is the only country able to fix the problems. China started the trade war, China is escalating the trade war, all we can do is wait, meanwhile behaving in as civilised a manner as possible.


Point nailed, as per the article I posted this started with China, they want Australia to be an obedient little quarry and market garden, which means when they stamp their foot, we bend over, drop our pants and open our mouth. This trade bullshit is our punishment for not doing that. So be it

It's difficult to resolve things diplomatically when they won't respond to calls. Saying their actions is a response to Morrison calling for an inquiry is false. That's a red herring, this was going on before then and a significant number of countries signed up for an inquiry, which pissed China off even more.

They're the ones who are acting deranged, using their social media arms to insult us while Morrison and co are being quite restrained.

Basically, they've shown their cards, taken the mask off and shown the world their true face and I think they've seriously misjudged the mood in the room.

Trying to run the worlds largest dictatorship, strictly controlling all media access to the population internally, while allowing freedom of movement to other countries requires among other things, a massive amount of good will from the population, willing to trade prosperity for "freedom"

If their economy tanks and the rich people start taking a financial hit, the CCP leadership will start to sweat.

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