Now more than ever it is important that Australians understand the diverse perspectives within the Australian Chinese community. ‘Views in Chinese’ translates key articles from a range of Chinese-language media outlets in Australia on issues regarding the Australia-China relationship, and noteworthy articles about the People’s Republic of China (PRC). These are not the views of China Matters. Until January 2018, ‘What does China say about…’ pointed out articles from China’s state media and sources close to the PRC in both Chinese and English to draw attention to PRC positions on a range of issues.

VIEWS IN CHINESE

The following is a translation of an article published by Vision Times Australia (看中国). It discusses the presentations of several commentators on Confucius Institutes in Australia.

Western Scholars’ Forum: Why are Confucius Institutes unwelcome?

The Social & Political Sciences Program of the University of Technology Sydney and the Australian Values Alliance co-hosted a seminar on Confucius Institutes on 15 November. Professor Feng Chongyi presided over the seminar. Four distinguished guests were invited to participate and give remarks. Mobo Gao, the head of the Confucius Institute at the University of Adelaide, who had promised to attend, announced his withdrawal for unknown reasons. More than 100 people attended, including reporters from Australia’s mainstream media Fairfax and The Australian.

The Confucius Institute is an educational institution under the Ministry of Education of the Communist Party of China (CPC) which was established in 2004. It developed rapidly after its establishment, promoting Chinese language to the world. There are now more than 500 Confucius Institutes and 1,000 Confucius Classrooms around the world.

Confucius Institutes have been very controversial ever since they went abroad. Academics and local governments have expressed doubts about the motives of the CPC in promoting and funding them. Some Confucius Institutes in the US, Canada and Europe have been closed due to recent concerns about academic freedom. In the larger discussion on how Australia should deal with intrusion and interference by foreign countries, the existential value of Confucius Institutes has attracted the attention of Australian academics.

Professor John Fitzgerald, an expert on China issues from Swinburne University of Technology, said that society’s criticism of Confucius Institutes is not on language and culture, but because it is feared that Beijing is using the position and power of Confucius Institutes in overseas academic institutions to promote Beijing’s geopolitical strategy. Their actions go beyond Chinese culture and language education. “For example, Confucius Institutes around the world must promote the ‘Belt and Road Initiative.’ This has led to the CPC’s Belt and Road Initiative being promoted by all universities with Confucius Institutes, including the University of Adelaide, Darwin University, University of New South Wales, etc,” said Professor Fitzgerald.

Ms. Zhao Yan, a lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland, said that discussion of the Confucius Institutes cannot stop with the institutes themselves, but rather the purposes behind them. She said: “We are studying why the CPC spends so much money promoting Confucius Institutes. How can a CPC-sponsored organisation teach traditional Chinese culture when the CPC has eradicated it?”

Confucius Institutes are widely recognised as the means by which the CPC promotes its soft power. Ms. Sheng Xue, a Canadian author and journalist who was a distinguished guest, said that we must be clear about where the CPC’s hard power is.

“More than 1 million Uyghurs are being held in concentration camps. Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted and their organs harvested. Promoters of some democratic movements have been abducted (such as Wang Bingzhang, etc.), more than 130 Tibetans have self-immolated, etc. An unprecedented level of repression is occurring in China today.” Ms. Sheng asked the audience, “as expatriates, do we really want to understand China through such a Chinese government?”

The contract between the Confucius Institutes and the Australian educational institutions states that they must comply with Chinese law. Kevin Carrico, a professor at Macquarie University, thinks this provision is ridiculous because the Chinese government does not comply with its own laws. “We can see that the government has arrested a large number of human rights lawyers and prohibited discussion of topics related to Falun Gong and Taiwan in the classroom. So, when you cooperate with a Confucius Institute, it is the same as cooperating with this government,” Carrico said.

John Garnaut, Fairfax’s former Beijing-based correspondent and former adviser to the prime minister, said the Australian government has enacted laws against foreign powers interfering with Australia to counter any actions that could undermine Australia’s democratic values and principles.

“There is enough evidence to show that Confucius Institutes pose definite risks to Australian academia and values. Therefore, the NSW government has begun to re-examine the value of Confucius Classrooms,” Mr. Garnaut said.

A review of Confucius Institutes is in progress and is expected to be completed soon, according to a notice issued by the NSW Ministry of Education on November 14.

But Professor Feng Chongyi revealed reliable information from NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes that Confucius Classrooms will be suspended indefinitely. However, there are no signs of Confucius Classrooms being pulled out of the NSW Department of Education. A Vision Times reporter asked the Minister of Education about the indefinite suspension, but has not received a reply.

When a reporter at the seminar asked if Australian educational institutions would face an economic or political backlash if they cancelled their relationship with Confucius Institutes, Professor Fitzgerald replied, “There will be no impact on the number of overseas students. The problem may be that universities will lose funds for some research cooperation contracts.”

 

Translation by: Chris Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of Translation: 28 November 2018

Reviewed by Dr. Graeme Ford (NAATI No. 5046) and Chris Lanzit

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The following is a translation of an article published by China Nanhai News Network (中国南海新闻网) which analyses the Australia-China diplomatic thaw from a PRC-based perspective.

Australia’s recent attitude towards China is subtle: What are the mysteries behind it?

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne visited China from the 7th to the 9th November at the invitation of State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Wang held a new round of the Australia-China Foreign and Strategic Dialogue with Payne during her visit.

When asked whether the Australian foreign minister’s visit to China means that the one or two years of “frozen” China-Australia relations are warming up, MFA spokesperson Hua Chunying pointed out at a regular press conference that we have repeatedly stated China’s principled stance on the development of relations between the two countries. We are willing to work together with Australia to expand exchanges and cooperation in various fields on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and make progress in promoting China-Australia relations.

Positive Signals

Just recently, during the period of the Turnbull government, there was a high level of mistrust between Australia and its largest trading partner China. Australian officials repeatedly accused China of “infiltrating” and “interfering in Australia’s internal affairs.” Australian advocates of friendly relations with China were attacked. There was no shortage of slander in public opinion. Threats and harassment of Chinese students occurred occasionally and China-Australia relations were seriously affected.

Although Turnbull signalled a wish to ease and improve relations with China at the end of his term, the chaotic relationship was still deadlocked when he was forced to step down in a “forced abdication.”

When Morrison, the new Prime Minister, took office, he sent a number of positive signals on China policy. For example, he visited a Chinese community in Sydney and greeting them with the words “Ni Hao” (hello in Chinese). He said the Australian government cherishes the contribution of Chinese-Australians and it welcomes Chinese students, investors and tourists. For example, he stated that Australia and China should manage differences constructively. Establishing a strong relationship is in the interest of and benefits both countries. As another example, in his first foreign policy speech, he stressed that Australia is willing to seek a “strong and positive agenda” with China, saying that relations with China are crucial, and trade, tourism and educational exchanges are at a historic high. Even when talking about US-China economic and trade frictions, he did not line up with Australia’s ally, the United States, as a matter of course. He stressed that Australia does not favour either side. This was also considered by the rest of the world to be an expression of the Morrison government’s intention to ease relations with China.

Speaking of economics and trade, Australia has in fact benefited a lot from the process of interacting with China. The data shows that since 2007, China has been Australia’s largest source of imports for 10 consecutive years and has been Australia’s largest destination for exports for eight consecutive years. Economist Saul Eslake pointed out that “in the course of China’s rapid economic growth and industrialisation over the past 30 years, no country has made more profit than Australia.”

Steven Ciobo, the Turnbull government’s Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment, visited Shanghai on May 17th. In the past few days, the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment of the Morrison Government, Simon Birmingham, also came to Shanghai to participate in the first China International Import Expo. Birmingham praised the Expo, saying, “It is not only good for China, but also beneficial to the Asia-Pacific region and the whole world. Australia has been looking forward to this Expo.”

Birmingham is the second Australian federal minister to visit China in 2018. Australian media analysts believe that this is the latest sign of improvement in diplomatic relations between Beijing and Canberra. However, experts believe that the crux of China-Australia relations lies in politics, not in economics and trade. Whether relations can return to the right track and to normalcy depends on the performance of the third Australian Federal Minister who visited China today.

Domestic Reasons

Objectively speaking, Morrison has indeed sent a signal easing relations with China since he took office, but it does not mean there has been a major change in attitude. We are happy to see an improvement in relations, but at the same time we still need to remain rational and determined.

The Morrison government will promote a warming of relations with China, in line with Australia’s consistent policy direction this year and in line with its economic and diplomatic interests. Australia does not want to see tension with China, nor should it become too Americanised. In either case, there are factors causing Australia concern that its own interests could be affected.

Finding a balance between China and the US is actually Australia’s long-standing foreign policy. As US-China tensions on trade, Taiwan and the South China Sea intensify, Australia’s ability to maintain its high wire act will become more and more difficult, but this strategic pattern will not change immediately.

For the current Morrison government, internal politics is actually the main problem it faces and on which discussion is focused. He faces huge and difficult problems maintaining his leadership of the ruling coalition and winning the 2019 general election.

The final electoral result of the vacancy in the Wentworth constituency in Australia was declared on November 5th. The Liberal Party candidate Dave Sharma was defeated. This vacancy was triggered by Turnbull’s ouster from the prime ministership and his subsequent voluntary resignation from the House of Representatives. Sharma’s defeat has turned the Liberal and National parties ruling coalition into a minority government, meaning that the weak, one seat ruling advantage has been lost. This also means that if he encounters a no-confidence motion, it may lead to the general election being held before its scheduled date of May 2019.

From an intra-party perspective, Morrison and Turnbull have been entangled in constant squabbling, from the coup to mutual hostility and there are disorderly voices within the Liberal Party. The leadership has changed frequently and there has been non-stop in-fighting. And even in the Wentworth constituency, which traditionally had been a safe seat for Liberal Party, the voters have been wounded to the core. From an inter-party perspective, the latest polls show that the Australian opposition Labor Party is receiving 54% support, higher than the ruling coalition’s 46%. The position of the ruling coalition in the 2019 general election is uncertain.

The Morrison government is under serious pressure and needs to find a breakthrough to improve and stabilise its ruling status. Perhaps, at a time when raging internal problems are difficult to resolve, Morrison, who is in the early days of his administration, will be eager to catch his breath by improving relations with China. According to some analysis, this visit by the Australian Foreign Minister may have been in order to pave the way for the meeting between the Prime Minister and President Xi Jinping during the upcoming 2018 APEC meeting.

Future Prospects

Among the many factors affecting China-Australia relations, those in the South Pacific region can’t be avoided. Australia, which regards the South Pacific as its backyard, is still wary of China. In his speech on November 1, Morrison called it Australia’s “top priority for foreign policy,” and said that he hopes to establish a more effective relationship with the South Pacific region because they are a big family. Earlier, some other Australian officials discredited China’s aid to the South Pacific, but South Pacific countries quickly struck back saying, “it is up to the recipient governments and peoples to say whether China’s aid is good or bad.”

According to an Australian Broadcasting Corporation report, during his visit to Papua New Guinea on October 31, Wang Yi said, “Doing more to actually benefit Pacific island nations is better than the charitable gestures made by others. In its assistance, China never interferes in the internal affairs of other countries, it never attaches any political conditions, it never targets any third party, and it does not seek to change the desires of any country.”

Earlier, Wang Yi also stressed that if the Australian side really wishes relations between the two countries to get back on the right track and achieve sustained and healthy development, it must get rid of traditional thinking, take off its coloured glasses, and look at China’s development from a positive perspective. This would provide forward momentum rather than a backlash.

Looking back, Australian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham pointed out that although China and Australia have not always agreed on everything, the two countries overcame differences in order to be more closely linked over the past 40 years. Looking to the future, he said that with mutual trust and respect, China and Australia can continue to transcend their differences and seize opportunities for complementary growth to ensure that future generations can also look back on the next 40 years, and be proud of their achievements.

 

Translation by: Chris Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of Translation: 21 November 2018

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The following is a translation of a Global Times (环球时报) editorial on the Australia-China diplomatic thaw.

Editorial: It is more difficult for China and Australia to repair people-to-people relations than to restore political relations

Australian Foreign Minister Payne visited China on Wednesday. This is the first time that an Australian Foreign Minister has visited China in more than two years. Before Payne came to Beijing, Australian Trade Minister Birmingham participated in the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai, marking a thaw of relations between the two countries.

It will be easier to resume high-level visits between China and Australia than it will to bring the two peoples’ feelings closer together. Australia has given a bad impression on Chinese people over the past two years. It is probably the worst among western countries. Trump launched an unprecedented trade war against China and Chinese people can at least grasp the logic of the US. But up to now, Chinese public opinion does not understand why Australia has been so tough toward China in the past two years.

In Chinese public opinion analysis, Australia is an example of being close to China economically and attached to the United States politically and militarily. Not only that, but Australia has actively stood at the front line in resisting so-called “infiltration” of China’s South China Sea. Not long ago, Australia was one of the first Western countries to announce that Huawei was excluded from constructing its 5G network. This was the latest spreading of salt on the wounds of China-Australia relations.

The Chinese people understand that we must make friends with the outside world and try our best to make fewer enemies. Therefore, it is rationally acceptable to improve relations between China and Australia. However, changing people’s understanding in a short time frame is difficult.

We believe that the terrible policies toward China by the Turnbull government during most of its time were based upon Australian public opinion. And it can’t easily be changed.

Therefore, we think the recovery of China-Australian relations is on the rebound, but it is uncertain how high it can go.

At the United Nations Human Rights Council country review meeting in Geneva on Tuesday, Australia and other Western countries accused China of setting up education and training centres in Xinjiang. Before her visit to China, Payne said in an interview that she would “talk about human rights” in Beijing. This shows that China-Australia relations will not be very calm in the future.

The process of warming up today from coldness of two years ago shows that neither country can change the other. Australia doesn’t have the strength to budge China, and China also faces a “stubborn Australia.” Avoiding confrontation and expanding cooperation between the two countries depends upon political will on both sides. This is the only way that shaking hands can become the chosen option for the relationship.

The example of Australia tells us that developing cooperation does not necessarily mean that countries will be friends with each other. You can still pull together if you have mutual doubts and major differences. As a big country, China faces a variety of countries in the world. We need to maintain cooperative relations with countries that are not very friendly without losing face and still gather as much national interest as possible from them.

Of course, we have to build greater leverage to drive this complex relationship. It doesn’t matter if Australia said a few disrespectful words to China, but if it takes actions that harm China’s actual interests, discriminating against and harming the interests of Chinese companies, such as excluding Huawei from participating in the country’s 5G network construction, we should respond. Let it pay a price and struggle to maintain cooperation.

If you look at public opinion in Western countries, you will find that none of them have reached the standard of “countries friendly to China” that we usually imagine. This raises a question for us. Are we too trusting in our friendliness, whether or not there are too few measures for public diplomacy that can express the pluralism of Chinese society?

Many opinions have always existed about Australia in Chinese society. They should be allowed or even encouraged to be expressed in various ways as a constraint on Australia’s complicated attitudes toward China.

Australia, a Western middle power country which is neither far from or near to China. Is neither important or unimportant to China. China should regard relations with Australia as a sand table for testing China’s relationships with western nations.


 

Translation by: Chris Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of Translation: 16 November 2018

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The following is Part 2 of a translation of NSW upper house Labor MP Ernest Kwok Chung Wong’s (王国忠) article on the role of Chinese community associations in Australia. He has previously been listed as an “adviser” to the Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China.

Ernest Wong’s Weekly Commentary: Another look at Chinese associations in Australia today (Part 2)

As mentioned above, there are many organisers in the Chinese community who are competing to establish associations for complex purposes. In addition to political purposes, they also promote their so-called “social status” in their own eyes, but in fact they are counterproductive. Objectively speaking, as these association spread, their status, influence and prestige greatly decrease. It has caused a strange phenomenon in which the number of associations is increasing, but their influence is declining.

Through this article I hope to express my expectations for the future development of Chinese community associations.

Associations should be a standard for ethnic groups

In Australia, Chinese communities, community associations, and ethnic groups are representatives of the entire descendant community and a microcosm of our nationality. As Chinese immigrants, we always hope that Chinese people and that the motherland will be respected, so we want others to see how virtuous we are.

When we make our views known, seeking to raise the status of the Chinese and for them to be respected, we should consider associations as representatives of the community. Are their conduct and reactions all worthy of respect?

From each individually to every association, all are a bridge for the Australian public to know Chinese people as well as Chinese culture; but I have always believed that it is not possible to achieve this goal by loudly proclaiming how “rich and strong” China has become.

I have mentioned many times in previous articles that the dignity and status of Chinese people do not only come from the rapid economic rise of modern China, but from the traditional virtues shaped by Chinese culture over the past millennia. They are passed on through ourselves and by community associations.

Denial itself does not help

When our associations boast and the sing praises of the powerful, they will only be counterproductive and cause people to look upon them with fear, indignation and even disgust. And it doesn’t get them any status or respect.

When it comes to China, besides television, newspapers and various media, Australians’ understanding comes from us and the impressions we give them with our words and deeds.

To sum up, whether you are from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam or Malaysia, as long as you are ethnically Chinese, you will be viewed in the same way because of your yellow skin and black hair. You will not get any respect by denying your Chinese identity.

Our neighbours, classmates, and colleagues see the Chinese ethnic group through us; our politicians see it by participating in the activities of different associations. Now politicians of different political parties first come to know community association and then the ethnic group. When they say that they support the Chinese, how deeply do they know them? What they do know, mostly comes from associations.

My experience has convinced me that the diplomatic envoys of our countries of origin also expect overseas Chinese to stand up and set an example. This is so that people of other ethnicities can innately recognise, understand and respect the fine traditions of our people, rather than blindly seeking benefits and recognition through envy and flattery.

When associations no longer shine

What our associations really should show those in power is not boasting or singing praises, but the righteousness and virtue that we admire.

Association leaders should no longer simply pursue their personal status, but should ask governments to treat and benefit the entire group fairly, and should clearly say that only justice and goodwill can win our respect. This is the attitude that our Chinese associations should have and the strength that they should show.

However, I have noticed that in the past 10 years, the power of the Chinese community has decreased, and I despair.

Work together to create new achievements

People may say that in writing this article I am making indirect accusations or that I am putting people their place, but in fact I am only talking about a common phenomenon. I can sincerely say that this article is not directed at any organisation or group. I am only indicating a major trend, a bad trend that we can’t get rid of no matter how hard we work.

Over the years, my enthusiasm, support and feelings for associations has been obvious. Therefore, I can’t get over the pain I feel for them and I often express my anxiety about them.

Over the years, I have hoped that Chinese community voices will receive greater attention, making Australia proud of our existence rather than ashamed. I sincerely hope that we will keep working with associations to achieve this ultimate goal.

 

Translation by: Chris Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of Translation: 1 November 2018

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The following is a translation of an article published by the state-owned People’s Daily Overseas Edition (人民日报海外版) on the diplomatic reset between Australia and the PRC.

How can Australia mend relations with China?

Jia Pingfan

Since October, Australia has frequently shown its goodwill toward China and there have been clear signs of warming in the relationship. The Australian-Chinese Relations Institute (ACRI) of the University of Technology, Sydney, released a new research report on Australia-China relations on October 29th. The report points out that some Australian scholars and policy makers should view China’s rise more calmly and rationally, and make objective judgements based on facts and evidence.


Since last year, anti-China rhetoric such as the “China Infiltration Theory” and “China Threat Theory” have spread throughout Australian political circles and some media, casting a shadow over the healthy development of China-Australia relations. Calls for changes in Australia’s China policy are now becoming louder. What course will China-Australia relations follow?

Sending friendly signals

“Ni Hao!” (Hello there!) Australian Prime Minister Morrison used Chinese in his opening remarks.

This took place at the beginning of October. According to an Australian “Sing Tao Daily” report, Morrison visited the Hurstville high street in the South Sydney Chinese community in early October and delivered a speech affirming the contribution of Chinese-Australians and the importance of China-Australia relations.

The report said that this is the first comprehensive statement on China made by Morrison since he took office. Morrison said, “China is very important to Australia. We are committed to developing long-term and constructive partnerships with China based on our shared values and mutual respect.”

Former Australian diplomat and commentator John Maynard praised Morrison for providing a basis for “a vibrant and mutually beneficial relationship between the two governments and people.”

The Australian newspaper reported Australian opposition Labor Party leader Bill Shorten saying in a speech at the Lowy Institute think tank, that if the Labor Party wins power, it will not follow the US in viewing China as a strategic threat. Instead, a more independent foreign policy will be adopted to balance US-China relations. Australia’s election next year is just around the corner and in the latest polls the Labor Party has received 54% support compared to 46% for the ruling coalition, the article said.

“China-Australia relations are clearly warming up. The Australian government has officially stopped publishing some criticisms of China and has expressed understanding and support for a series of China’s international strategic policies. This is an important symbol of the recovery of China-Australia relations.” Fei Cheng, Assistant Director, Oceania Research Center, Sun Yat-Sen University said that although China-Australia relations may move towards a positive recovery in the future, the relationship between the two countries may continue to have repeated twists and turns.

“Australia has sent a friendly signal of its intent to warm relations between the two countries, but as it stands it is far from reaching the level of ‘breaking the ice'”, said Guo Chunmei, an associate researcher at the South Pacific Research Office of the Institute of South and Southeast Asia and Oceania of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations. In the interview, she also said that a series of Australian actions did have the intention of repairing China-Australia relations, but the short-term gestures of goodwill [from the Australian side] were more due to the pursuit of economic and trade interests.

Cooperating is better than blocking

According to the Australian Financial Review, the State of Victoria has bypassed the Australian Federal Government and has reached an agreement on China’s “Belt and Road,” becoming Australia’s first state government to officially support the initiative.

“The signing of the memorandum is a milestone in the development of Victoria’s relations with China,” said State Premier Andrews at the signing ceremony. He also said that China is Victoria’s largest trading partner and its government is committed to making the state an important “gateway” for Australia-China cooperation.

The Australian Financial Review commented that the Victorian move was a landmark event, indicating that local governments should go their own ways in seeking closer economic relations with China. The newspaper quoted Andrews as saying, “China has more than tripled its investment in Victoria and our exports to China have almost doubled in the past four years. We have said that we will restart relations with China. We are completing this task.”

Recently, The Australian published an article entitled “Working wisely with China will trump any veto”, saying that China is Australia’s largest trading partner and cooperation with China serves Australian national interests better than shutting it out.

“At a time when the contest between China and the US is intensifying, Australia cannot do without the security guarantee of the US, and it also needs China’s huge market,” Fei Cheng said. Further he said that “although the United States is a military ally of Australia, it has always openly opposed US trade protectionism, supported trade liberalisation, maintained multilateral trade mechanisms, and pursued common interests with China.”

The Lowy Institute published an annual poll on Australian attitudes towards other countries on June 20, 2018. According to the survey, 82% of Australians believe that China is more an economic partner than a military threat.

“China is not an enemy on the road of Australia’s development. On the contrary, our belief in China-Australia relations is in line with the principles adhered to at the beginning of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia in 1972,” said James Laurenceson of the Australian-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology Sydney. “China’s rise has provided Australia with unparalleled opportunities for development. At present, with China’s gradual transition to a high-income country, there is no brighter prospect for Australia’s overall economic development than this trend. This requires Australia to view China’s rise on the basis of facts and evidence,” he said.

The problem of understanding must first be solved

According to the Australian Financial Review, Morrison recently launched a “charm offensive” towards China to improve Australia-China relations. But the problem is that any goodwill that Australia shows towards China will be “upstaged” by sudden changes in US-China relations. Australia is caught between China and the US and is finding it difficult to manoeuvre.

According to Russia’s Sputnik satellite news agency, Australia recently excluded Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE from the construction of its 5G network on the grounds of national security, triggering Chinese protests. However, experts believe that national security is only an excuse. The real reason is commercial competition between the United States and China in the 5G market. Australia is just choosing sides in this competition.

“There are structural problems in China-Australia relations. The deeper reason is the mismatch between Australia’s security policy and economic policy,” Guo Chunmei said. “Australia still depends and relies on the US and the West for its security. Its sensitive security concerns are determined by its special geopolitical situation. On the other hand, with the development of China-Australia relations in recent years, Australia is economically very dependent on China,” she said. For Australia, there is a mismatch between the foreign policies for its political security and its economic policy, which in turn is triggering different voices in the country. Is the former or the latter more important? How can the two be balanced? Australia must make a choice.

In fact, State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi clearly pointed out the prerequisites for the improvement of China-Australia relations in the future as early as May 21 when then-Foreign Minister Bishop was at a meeting of the G20 Foreign Ministers. He said, “If the Australian side really wants this relationship to get back on the right track and achieve healthy and sustainable development, we must get rid of traditional thinking, take off our coloured glasses, look at China’s development from a more positive perspective, and provide more impetus for cooperation rather than ‘pulling back’.”

“Although there are major differences in history, culture and values, the economies of China and Australia are highly complementary. Seeking common ground while accepting differences, pursuing mutual benefits and mutual respect are directions for the future development of the relationship,” Guo Chunmei said.

 

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 6 November 2018

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The following is a translation of an article by NSW upper house Labor MP Ernest Kwok Chung Wong (王国忠) on the role of Chinese community associations in Australia. He has previously been listed as an “adviser” to the Australian Council for the Promotion of Peaceful Reunification of China.

Ernest Wong’s Weekly Commentary: Another look at Chinese associations in Australia today (Part 1)

There is a long history of Chinese associations, and I have always thought their foundation and operation are important for society and for our ethnic group itself. I’ve learned a lot about associations in the past several decades, and as well as uniting the community, they also enable our ethnic group to exert its proper influence.

Joining social organisations since I was young

I have taken part in various organisations and activities since middle school, including student associations and different study groups. Later when I came to study in Australia I looked after various recreation activities for a culture club, and ran an English class, teaching seniors to cope with everyday English. I already had close relations with the community before I entered politics; and it was because of them that I finally did it.

I have had indelible relationships with different community groups in my political career. Over the years, I have been involved in and supported their activities. I have also assisted aspiring people to form groups, so that different groups can increase communication and even combine together to achieve greater success.

Sometimes, I would also assist groups to register and meet legal requirements. From city councils to the State Parliament, I have assisted different associations to apply, and to make reports regularly according to the rules. I remember some media once questioned why I assisted a group to get their registration done, but in fact, it’s something I’ve always done.

A new look for associations

There has always been a strong demand in society for associations and organisations, and there have been great changes in associations over the years. I wrote about the history of the rise and fall of Chinese associations in Australia, which was quite short due to space limitations. We can now see a new look for some new associations, compared with the past, but are they in fact beneficial to our Chinese community? And do they conform to the structure and spirit Chinese associations should have?

When we look back at Chinese associations, some of them have a long history and are more than 100 years old. Most of them are from twenty or thirty to forty or fifty years old.

Of course, more different types of groups have appeared in the past ten years.

The establishment of an association must have a clear purpose. For example, in history, various associations have mainly served fellow countrymen; therefore, the early ones were mostly people from the same villages, and later people in various professions and industry groups. The first to appear were agricultural help associations and food and drink industry unions (the industries in which Chinese were mainly engaged at that time). Later, there were more professional groups, such as doctors, Chinese medicine practitioners, dentists, lawyers, etc., to strengthen industry communications and be a voice on behalf of the industry.

A third type serves the community and provides different services for Chinese people, such as Chinese service agencies, special children’s service centres, rehabilitation clubs and senior citizens’ accommodation. In this category, there are also groups that focus on raising funds, such as the Chinese Community Chest, the Huijian Club and the Lions Clubs. As well as these, clubs with Chinese history and culture as their core, such as the Australian Chinese Historical Society, should not be overlooked.

The most common organisations in recent years include those which promote friendship between two countries, which are springing up like shoots after rain. In fact, organisations that aim at political or international relations have a definite value. Various countries also have similar organisations overseas.

Chinese associations have a history of merit

Groups based on village fellow-feeling have a long history, such as the Hung Men Society, the Yaoming Townsfolk Association, the Sze Yup Townsfolk Association, the Dongguan Townsfolk Association, the Zengcheng Townsfolk Association and the Zhongshan Association. When these associations were founded information and transportation were not as developed as today. The Chinese who came to Australia to make a living or settle down lacked channels to send money home, and there was no way to communicate with their families. Therefore, Chinese people had to combine their forces in township associations to deal with various matters, including weddings and funerals.

These groups established an Australian Chinese cultural history and an irreplaceable status for Chinese in Australian society. They built temples and accommodation, preserved festival traditions, and sent remittances to their hometowns (especially in the years when China was poor and weak), and were a foundation for multiculturalism in Australia.

These groups in turn pushed Australian governments to change their policy-making. For example, in those years the government intended to increase agricultural taxes. Consequently, Chinese farmers held a general strike to force the government to abandon the tax increase, in conjunction with the Yaoming and Sze Yup Associations and the Agricultural Association.

These groups have even affected the international situation. For example, when the Chinese Revolution of 1911 abolished thousands of years of empire, history shows that Australia’s Hung Men Society spared no effort in contributing money and forces.

I have a lot of admiration for the contributions these village associations have made to the Chinese community over the years.

As for professional associations and organisations that intend to serve society, they have only begun in recent times, because their organisers are mostly professional people, who are ethically, organisationally and financially rigorous, and serve those in need according to government requirements, for example the organisation of nursing homes is very worthy of our support and assistance.

Associations striving for official approval: a good or bad thing?

In fact, it is understandable that associations strive for recognition from all sectors. If they spend comprehensively for their members, use the results to gain recognition, and strive for more resources to serve a wider public, I support and encourage them 100%.

What I want to discuss in this article is the tendency of some communities to seek official recognition (including domestic and foreign), to promote their so-called “social status” and “influence” in the eyes of some people, and to attach themselves to official trends.

From the early Taiwan economic take-off, to the opening of China’s economy in recent years, both sides of the Taiwan Strait have competed to win over the associations. The “leaders” of various groups are often invited to go back for visits. Because they have government support, groups receive a lot of subsidies and are received at a high-level, which has made many associations rush after these benefits, making something good into something bad, with a lot of community infighting and strife within associations. This has had a far-reaching impact on their reputation.

In fact, this phenomenon also occurs in all ethnic descendant communities, but in the extent of proliferation and exaggeration, the Chinese community is definitely second to none. Whether getting local government dignitaries to attend events or getting the recognition of a foreign government (this situation is seen as a show of strength, completely ignoring the indicators that target service effectiveness), some associations spare no effort, try every means, fight openly and secretly and turn things upside down to get it.

Slowly, many organisers have been vying to form associations for impure purposes, intended to enhance the “social status” of individuals and promote their interests.

In fact there is an original intention for the establishment of all associations, and it’s hard for us to say critically that one is better than another, but objectively speaking this proliferation just greatly diminishes their status, influence and prestige, producing the strange phenomenon where although associations are many in number, yet their influence is gradually decreasing.

Between virtual and real

This is the difference between virtual and real.

It doesn’t really mean financial resources. Of course, I don’t deny that a society’s sound finances is a kind of strength, but more importantly, a lot of the meaningful activities and work of community organisations themselves are not built up by money alone. To really make a difference, there has to be long-term, untiring commitment from organisers and volunteers.

Lacking a stable foundation from harmony and resolution, then only virtual things remain: bluffing, bluster, singing praises and superficiality have had a very bad effect on society and politics.

To be continued in Part 2.

 

Translation by: Graeme Ford, NAATI No. 5046

Date of translation: 27 October 2018

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The following is a translation of an article published in Vision Times Australia on Red songs and dances in Australia. The author, He Weilian / William Ho  (何威廉), is a master of Tai Chi and a member of various martial arts associations in Australia.

Red songs and dances are not welcome in Australia

By He Weilian

When young Sydney dragon and lion dance troupes took part in Mid-Autumn Festival activities in Eastwood on the 22nd of September, there were about 300 performers altogether. A lot of government officials, state MPs, city councillors and the mayor attended, however the audience was very small.

The performances started properly, and colourful lions started off the proceedings, but only twenty or thirty children and parents followed them, and not a lot of audience watched them. In almost an hour of items it was all older men and women performing songs from “The White-Haired Girl”* and red dances, and more than twenty people did a Tai Chi performance. Hardly any of the audience wanted to watch to the end.

This was really a worry for the organisers. When the red songs and dances were done, how could it be represented as a success to the sponsors and the city council? An amount of funds was spent to carry out the activity, but if there were more performers than audience, it shows that it was a failure. At the Parramatta Council Chinese New Year celebrations back at the beginning of the year, I took just one pupil to perform there, and a thousand people crowded round to watch. The dragon and lion dances and performance items had thousands of people watching and applauding that day.

I saw online a few months ago that at a Burwood Council Chinese cultural performance for New Year in March, a troupe of several hundred older ladies performed, but hardly anyone came to watch. I didn’t believe it at first, and thought I hadn’t read it properly. Now I’ve attended the Eastwood Mid-Autumn celebrations and seen for myself that it is so. Carrying out Chinese cultural performances only serves the Chinese Communist Party’s infiltration of Australian society. Singing songs from “The White-Haired Girl”, and doing red dances is meant to keep control of people using the Chinese Communist Party’s Mao the Bandit ideology.

These activities dupe Australian government officials who don’t understand recent Chinese history, and haven’t lived and worked in China, and they misuse government resources and cheat sponsors of their money. International politics and the social situation in mainland China show clearly that Chinese communism and Maoism are not popular, but they have been abandoned, and they are resisted and reviled. Red songs and dances aren’t welcome in Australia, and performers should realise that.

 

*Editor’s note: “The White-Haired Girl” (白毛女) is a Chinese revolutionary opera first performed in 1945.

Translation by: Graeme Ford, NAATI No. 5046

Date of translation: 19 October 2018

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The following is a translation of an article published on social media platform Weixin (微信) by the account ‘Sydney ClownNet’ (悉尼活宝网) about the potential implications of the PRC’s social credit system.

Attention all Chinese people! These people will find it hard to travel and they won’t be able to take a train. They shouldn’t even consider going abroad! In serious cases they will find themselves in prison!

“An episode of the British sci-fi drama “Black Mirror”, which has been popular for the past two years, describes a scene in which there is a super realistic social network in the future, where everyone has their own score. Their social status is based on their score: small things like social interactions, booking flights, taking taxis and big things like buying or renting a house, getting married… the score determines everything. Everyone is scored by and scores others constantly…”[i]

Although we are reluctant to admit it, science fiction becomes reality.

The scenes in these films and television dramas are not complete fantasy. This system has quietly come about in real life.

There has been a lot of news about people refusing to give up their seats on trains lately. A male passenger named Sun drew a lot of debate online recently. However, just last week, a female offender became the next hot internet search topic.

Besides the pressure from public accusations, they have also been subject to legal sanctions and placed on a blacklist.

Railway officials have micro-blogged how to deal with it:

The Railway Passenger Transport Department recorded details about a certain passenger Zhou on train G6078 on September 19 on the railway credit information system and restricted him from buying tickets or riding on trains for a specified period of time. This was done in accordance with the provisions of the rules in the “Opinion on appropriately restricting travel of certain serious untrustworthy persons by train for a specified period of time in accordance with the social credit system” promulgated by the National Development and Reform Commission and eight other departments. The passenger will not be able to purchase train tickets for 180 days from the date of the public notice unless there is a valid objection.

This sort of situation is not unusual.

The first list of those who have lost credit and were restricted from taking trains and airplanes was posted on the “Credit China” website on June 1, 2017. The list included a total of 169 people, among them Jia Yueting, the founder of LeTV.[ii]

There are information displays at Beijing subway stations showing people who have lost their credit.

“Deadbeat” used to be a name for useless, despised people. But “Deadbeats” today cannot take flights or trains, or go to high-end consumer malls. They may not even be able to take the subway in future.

Social credit is updated in real time.

If you don’t pay your debts, if your business is not honest…

If your plagiarise and cheat in your studies….

Do you think there is no cost for acting recklessly?

Social credit scoring is coming,

Are you prepared?

Those who have lost credit are not only restricted in their consumption of luxury goods, they cannot get loans, and cannot leave home. And they are openly exposed in newspapers, on television, on radio, on the internet and in new media. Restricting the movements of the untrustworthy is really great!

How is your credit score calculated?

The whole social credit system is made up of the combined functions of a business user system, a personal credit system and a public system. China will establish a basic public credit information system by 2020.

The mechanism of the existing national credit system

  1. A People’s Bank of China personal credit record. If a personal credit card or loan fails to be repaid in time, it will leave a bad record on the credit report of the People’s Bank of China, thus affecting future loan applications, etc.
  2. People who are deemed to have lost credit. The Supreme People’s Court promulgated “Some Provisions on the Publication of the Information List of Persons Who Are Deemed to Have Lost Credit” and opened a public platform for the “National Courts Publication and Enquiry List of Persons Deemed to Have Lost Credit” on October 8, 2013.

If the person is a “natural person” on whom measures to restrict consumption have been imposed, the following high-consumption, non-livelihood and work mandated actions shall not be allowed: (1) for transportation, choosing flights, soft sleeper trains, and berths on ships in second class or above; (2) high-end consumption in superior hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, golf courses, etc.; (3) purchasing real estate or new construction, expansion, and high-end decoration; (4) for offices, leasing high-end office buildings, hotels, apartments and other places; (5) purchase of non-business essential vehicles (6) leisure travel and vacation; (7) children attending high-fee private schools; (8) paying high premiums to purchase insurance and wealth management products; (9) taking any G-series high-speed trains and first class seating on any other trains, etc.; and other non-living and work-required consumption activities. If the person subject to restriction is a work unit, after the measures to restrict consumption have been imposed, the person subject to restriction and his legal representative, principal responsible person, the person directly responsible for affecting the discharge of the debt, and the actual person in control shall not implement the foregoing acts. If the foregoing actions are carried out for personal consumption on personal property, an application may be filed with the enforcement court.

  1. People who have seriously lost social credit in other fields. The National Development and Reform Commission, the Railway Corporation, the Civil Aviation Administration and other departments jointly issued the “Opinions on promoting the establishment of a social credit system in order to appropriately restrict the train travel of certain seriously not creditworthy persons for a specified period of time” and “Opinions on promoting the establishment of a social credit system in order to appropriately restrict the airline travel of certain seriously not creditworthy persons for a specified period of time” on 3 May this year. These opinions will be implemented from May 1.
  2. Business credit information. Businesses or individual industrial and commercial entities will also have existing illegal activities recorded. This not only directly affects their reputation in business dealings, but also relevant departments can jointly carry out punishments according to law.

Can credit scores be cashed in?

The shared economy based upon a personal credit system is gradually changing China. The “invisible” and “intangible” personal credit is gradually becoming “reality”. The credit that you have accumulated can really be spent as cash now.

For example, in Hangzhou, those with good credit can also enjoy the service of “boarding now and paying later” on nearly 5,000 buses. With the “good faith card” carried on their citizen card they can go into campus fitness centres, stay at hotels without paying a deposit and they can leave hotels without checking out. This has already become reality…

If you want to apply for a bank loan and the record in your credit report indicates that you are a person who pays back on time and honours your agreements, the bank can not only lend money quickly but also give you a lower interest rate.

With the rapid development of China’s credit system, it is particularly important to manage your personal credit. People who are considered to have “credit”, not only can enjoy all kinds of convenience, but also accumulate and improve their credit score in the performance of repeated actions. As their score gets better, they enjoy more preferential services.

There is also a credit score blacklist in Australia.

A new policy which has been instituted by the Australian government is also really wonderful! In order to strike at tax and welfare cheaters, they will be prevented from going abroad for the following:

– Tax evasion

– Tax fraud

– Welfare fraud and submitting false claims

– Tax and welfare related liabilities

These can all land you on the government blacklist and in serious cases you will be fined severely. You could even face the threat of being put in jail and be prevented from going abroad. These new regulations are the most serious travel restrictions in Australian history! It is estimated that over 150,000 people have been prevented from leaving the country!

At the same time, the four major banks in Australia are sharing the complete credit records of customers, which will completely change the national lending activities and crack down on untrustworthy behaviour. Needless to say that you will pay a fine if you don’t obey and you may even be deported directly!

Construction of a social credit scoring system is no longer just talk. The credit scoring system does not only exist in the world of the “Black Mirror”. It is an institution that covers China’s social system and links together the various types of social welfare.

All personal data from bank accounts to criminal records to Internet search history will receive unprecedented attention. Not just affecting normal daily life, but in serious situations the threat of high fines and even jail time.

Imagine the future when your social status is really in accordance with your score: from small things like social interaction, boarding an aircraft, taking a taxi, to big things like buying a house, getting married… In order to achieve a better score, what will our social life become?

[i]       Black Mirror is a British science fiction anthology television series created by Charlie Brooker, with Brooker and Annabel Jones serving as the program showrunners. It examines modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies. Episodes are standalone, usually set in an alternative present or the near future, often with a dark and satirical tone, though some are more experimental and lighter.

[ii]      Jia Yueting or YT is a Chinese entrepreneur and businessman. He was the chairman and CEO of Le.com, as well as chairman both Coolpad Group and Sinotel Technologies. He also founded LeEco, the Le.com subsidiary LeSports. He has been called “China’s Steve Jobs”.

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 12 October 2018

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The following is a synopsis of Chinese-language news articles, compiled by China Matters Junior Fellow Intern, Jessie Ding.

This article was first published on the Australia-based Chinese-language news site, ACB News, and was republished by Guancha on 9 October 2018.

ACB News – Aohua Finance Online

by Zhang Zhisen

Synopsis

On Thursday 4 October 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister for Immigration David Coleman travelled to Hurstville to attend a Chinese-Australian community event. They met with local businesses and had lunch with Chinese community representatives. During the event, Morrison delivered a speech. His speech emphasised the importance of keeping Australians together, recognised the many contributions the Chinese Australian community has made, and affirmed his commitment to strengthening Australia-China relations. Whilst some people in attendance remarked that Morrison’s words appeared to be superficial and characteristic of a new Prime Minister, the author, Zhang, felt that Morrison’s speech was rational, frank and sincere. Zhang is hopeful that the new Prime Minister will prioritise Australia’s interests over party factionalism.

 

Who hosted the PM?

Local businesses and Chinese community representatives in Hurstville.

Key points in the article

  • PM Morrison’s comments demonstrate his political courage and sense of responsibility amid a climate of criticism regarding the Chinese Australian community
  • Current political and global climate has allowed PM Morrison to deliver his Australia-China sentiments with clarity
  • The author is hopeful that Morrison’s ‘deeds’ will align with his ‘words’, and that the present government will prioritise Australia’s interests above party factionalism

What points of the speech were highlighted?

  • Goal of governance of the Morrison government: to build a stronger Australia by keeping Australians together. This means acknowledging that Chinese Australians are a vital asset to Australia.
  • Expressing appreciation and gratitude to the Australian Chinese community for their practical contributions to Australian society throughout the years (including involvement in war and in sports)
  • The importance of maintaining good Australia-China relations and promoting the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and increased intergovernmental dialogue at upcoming global summits
  • Differences between Australia and China should be approached constructively, according to principles of equality and mutual respect
  • Potential to further the relationship in many industries and sectors
  • Reaffirming the role and contribution of immigrants

Zhang Zhisen is the Editor-in-Chief of Aohua Finance Online Review and Research Fellow at the Australian Studies Centre, East China Normal University.

See further commentary:

By Wanning Sun FAHA, Professor of Media and Communication Studies at UTS  

By Anthony PunOAM current President of the Chinese Community Council of Australia Inc.

In Sydney Today surrounding an open letter written originally in Pearls and Irritations.

By Jieh-Yung Loa Chinese-Australian Writer, Researcher and Commentator.

In the Australian Financial Review.

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The following is an article published by the PRC state-owned tabloid Global Times (环球时报) that comments on the recent ABC board scandal:

Chairman of Australia’s avowedly independent news media organization resigns over suspected government manipulation

Justin Milne, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), announced his resignation on the 27th (of September) because of the alleged order to dismiss a reporter to please the government. Three days earlier, he had dismissed Michelle Guthrie, the general manager and editor-in-chief of ABC and then revealed that the company had been pressured by the government to do so. Suspicion of government manipulation of the avowedly independent media organisation has caused dissatisfaction among ABC employees and the Australian public.

Guthrie’s dismissal was announced on the 24th. Subsequently, Australia’s Fairfax Media revealed that in May this year, Milne asked for the dismissal of two reporters in an email to Guthrie because the Australian government did not like their reports. Milne reportedly cited economics correspondent Emma Alberici and said “they hate her… Get rid of her. We need to save the Australian Broadcasting Corporation… We can’t be sure that they (the ruling coalition) will lose in the next election.” The incident caused widespread protests from ABC employees. The media organisation is Australia’s national broadcasting corporation which is operated by public funds, but should be independent and not involved in party politics. The Australian government also announced that it will investigate political interference.

However, Milne denied the existence of government intervention and denied that he had written to Guthrie to ask for the dismissals. But Milne admitted that he had a confidential conversation with Guthrie. Milne believes that his resignation at this time will serve as a “decompression valve” in the current storm, dispelling criticism of the ABC. Now there are vacancies in two major positions in the ABC and the company is in an unprecedented crisis.

Turnbull, who had been a business partner of Milne, also made clear that he had not asked for any reporters to be dismissed, saying that he only worried about the accuracy and fairness of the report. Australian Prime Minister Morrison then issued a tweet welcoming Milne’s resignation, saying that “it is time for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation to resume normal broadcasting”. However, the Australian opposition Labour Party will still launch an independent parliamentary investigation to find out whether there was government intervention behind this serious incident.

At present, the two journalists who are unpopular with the government have not been fired, but the impact of this incident on the ABC is very bad. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) stated that ABC is regarded as Australia’s most respected media and has an important place in all aspects of the country. But its “independence” has provoked controversy for some time. Conservative politicians and commentators believe that it has left-wing tendencies and want to cut its budget. CNN said that the current government has often criticised ABC’s reporting as “inaccurate” and biased.

The ABC has previously done a lot of anti-China reports. In June last year, it broadcast a large-scale program accusing China of infiltrating Australia, interfering in its domestic affairs and jeopardising its national security through Chinese-Australian businessmen and international students. However, Turnbull then went so far as to pander to this misleading report, saying that it “educated” China to respect Australian sovereignty.

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 2 October 2018

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This article was first published in The New York Times in Chinese. SupChina also made mention of it in their daily newsletter.

The author, Deng Yuwen 邓聿文, is currently a visiting scholar at the University of Nottingham. He was formerly Deputy Editor of the Central Party School’s journal, Study Times (学习时报) in the PRC.

Why the theories that the Party is rapidly decaying and that Xi Jinping is incompetent are wrong

By Deng Yuwen

It is essential for all who are concerned about China’s future direction and democratic institutions to discuss these matters in a calm, objective, neutral and serious manner.

But unfortunately, most people start from the extremity of their own stance, values, emotions and individual experiences. They cannot objectively regard, analyse, and judge what they themselves observe or examine. This is a frequent phenomenon strongly affecting Chinese liberals including overseas democracy activists in the time of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Xi Jinping. This situation is clearly evident in the lead-up to and beginning of the US-China trade war, with pessimism and taunts all around about China and the CPC. It seems that for the Chinese economy to collapse, the CPC vulnerable to attack and for Xi Jinping’s position to be untenable, there only needed to be the first shots fired in a trade war. Rumours of a coup d’état ran rampant, stunning everyone, particularly during the first phase of the Beidaihe meetings when Xi was missing from the headlines of official journals. It’s not that you can’t have your own position and feeling when discussing issues, but one must try to avoid preconceptions because it is easy to have a distorted view. In particular, it is necessary to avoid going to extremes in order to attract attention. Democratisation is a serious matter. To make China democratic as quickly as possible, the premise is to understand the objective or opponent of your consideration, understanding even more clearly their strengths and weaknesses.

However, there are two misconceptions in the observation and study of the CPC and Xi Jinping by the liberal democratic forces at home and abroad. The first is the theory that the CPC is in rapid decay and the other that Xi Jinping is incompetent. Observing the political programs of overseas Chinese, or in the words of critics published on social media such as Twitter, you will see that it is difficult to find anything of consequence on the topic of the CPC and Xi Jinping other than abuse, cursing, ranting, passing along gossip, conspiracy theories and that which runs counter to common sense. Not to put too fine a point on it, this is one of the reasons for the decline of the democracy movement overseas.

This phenomenon also exists inside China. At gatherings such as private parties or dinners, the criticism of the CPC and Xi Jinping is very intense. For some liberal intellectuals the currently perceived political situation is difficult to praise. For example, before the 19th Party Congress some scholars eloquently said that the congress would not be held or that the CPC would certainly fall from power after the congress, or that Xi Jinping would be overthrown at the congress. A few people have even bet with me on this. Why is the theory that the CPC is in rapid decay incorrect? Because it only addresses one point, not the rest. It turns a blind eye to the fact of their antipathy or their inability to prove their point. In the view of “rapid decay theory”, the CPC seems to be a paper house which will fall with a single push. But the truth is not so simple.

On the surface, many of China’s realities are braced for “rapid decay”: internally the CPC has dissatisfaction and resistance among the masses; and externally the West led by the US is strongly containing it. In particular, the US-China trade war has led to economic depression and recession, affecting people’s lives and triggering strong dissatisfaction with the CPC’s and Xi Jinping’s dictatorship. The middle class who supported the CPC in the past has also displayed disloyalty to Xi Jinping. Coupled with the intensification of the high-level power struggle caused by the anti-corruption campaign, it can be said that the conditions for the people’s “uprising” are already in place and only a call to action for a peasant uprising is lacking.

This view seems to have been confirmed by the “70-year limit theory” for a one-party autocracy. The theory says that the vast majority of the world’s autocratic countries or governments will collapse or step down when they have been in power for 70 years. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union and Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party are two examples. So it will also be difficult for the CPC to escape this historical pattern.

However, it is very problematic to regard the people’s complaints and the strong dissatisfaction of various classes and levels against Xi Jinping as a prelude to the CPC’s collapse. It may lead to overall social unrest only if the economic situation deteriorates to the point of being out of control, with large-scale unemployment and hyperinflation. But even so, it is difficult to assert that the CPC will collapse tomorrow or anytime soon.

The reason is that the complexities of China itself and the changes in the international community are not entirely unfavourable to the CPC. China is a country with great internal differences, which makes it extremely problematic and magnifies the seriousness of problems. However, it also means that China has a strong tolerance for problems and has a lot of room for manoeuvre.

It should also be noted that although the CPC’s ability to adjust and adapt was weakened with the strengthening of Xi Jinping’s totalitarian rule, the speed of this weakening has not caused the CPC to be completely indifferent to changes in the outside world. Overall, the CPC’s resilience is still very strong and a relatively effective governance mechanism has been developed. In order to alleviate the dissatisfaction of the masses, Xi Jinping is also strengthening the accountability of officials. In addition, although Xi Jinping’s “China Dream” has been widely ridiculed, its nationalist sentiment and value of strengthening China is still attractive to Chinese society; his “precise poverty alleviation” to improve the welfare of the lowest levels of the masses has also been useful as a cohesive force in bringing them closer to the party. At the same time, the CPC’s strengthening of social regulation and the opportunistic attitudes and behavioural strategies of the people in the face of political pressure are also extending its rule.

From the economic point of view, although China has suffered a lot of pressure and difficulties this year, it must also be noted that the opening up to the outside world is the biggest in recent years. There are many examples, such as the Central Government’s Hainan Freeport, expanding the opening of the financial services industry, allowing banks and securities companies among others to hold more than half of the foreign-owned shares, and the expansion of opening up measures in Shanghai, Guangzhou and other places.

This of course is not to say that the impact of the trade war on the Chinese economy does not exist, but it is very likely that after the next tariffs on Chinese goods of US$200 billion or even more than US$500 billion, the impact is not as serious as expected when the trade war began. Foreign capital continues to flow into China. Elon Musk’s Tesla not long ago registered a wholly-owned company in Shanghai, and recently increased its registered capital from 100 million yuan to 4.67 billion yuan. As some economists in China have said, the US-China trade war mainly affects market sentiment and does not necessarily have a big impact on the real economy. Although market sentiment will also exacerbate economic recession, we must also see that the Chinese government is working hard to resolve it, although the effect has not yet become apparent. From the perspective of international politics and geostrategy, in view of the rise of global populism, the emergence of strongman politics, crises and internal contradictions within the West and an emphasis on the Chinese market, the degree of acceptance of the CPC in non-Western countries has increased. The overall environment around China has improved significantly from last year, especially with India, North Korea and Myanmar. China’s containment by the West (excluding the United States) is difficult to maintain over a long period of time.

In fact, the “rapid decay theory” is just a replica of the already existing “China collapse theory”, which has been popular for 20 or 30 years. The difference is that the “rapid decay theory” is mainly supported by the antagonistic anti-communist Chinese people at home and abroad, and the “collapse theory” is principally supported by research by overseas experts and scholars who analyse China, including some ethnic Chinese scholars. But the two are remarkably similar in their view of the rapid collapse of China and the Communist Party of China. Both believe that political infighting, corruption and economic recession will lead to the fall of the CPC and collapse of China.

If the judgement on the CPC’s “rapid decay” is wrong, then the judgement on Xi Jinping’s “incompetence” is not accurate because the two are closely related. Since he came to power nearly six years ago, when considering Xi Jinping as a person and his thoughts and policy lines, a view that seems to be universally recognised by the liberals is that Xi is a leader who is grandiose, head-strong, ambitious but lacking talent, and opinionated. Unable to bear responsibility, the CPC pushed him to the highest position and chose the wrong person.

Many of the liberals ridiculed Xi Jinping as an incompetent person. The common example is that although Xi is a doctor of law from Tsinghua University, his true level is only a that of a junior high school student. After he took office, he was left by Hu Jintao with a good hand (not referring to China’s reform process, but that the national strength continued to improve and the international environment rose correspondingly in a vacuum) which he squandered. Domestic affairs and international diplomacy are in a mess, domestic grievances have raged, and in the international arena we have fallen into unprecedented isolation. Particularly, by making an enemy of the United States, which will eventually lead to a US-China trade war and a comprehensive stifling by the US.

Xi created confusion in domestic and international affairs after coming to power, releasing many contradictory signals. In particular, he did not continue Deng Xiaoping’s reform line. On the contrary, he modelled himself after Mao Zedong and turned in a completely leftward direction, returning to orthodox socialism, superstitious spiritual power, promoting high-handed rule, and economically strengthening the state-owned system. This led to extreme disappointment by Party reformers and socially moderate forces. This seems to prove that he is not good enough to accomplish anything, but more than good enough at creating a mess.

However, this view cannot explain how Xi took control of power shortly after he took office and changed the leadership system of “Nine Dragons Controlling the Water” during the Hu Jintao period. For a person who had no military power and political achievements before coming to power, it is a miracle that he achieved such power and authority. It is important to realize that the strongman status of Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping was achieved under heavy fire and through long-term leadership positions. How did Xi Jinping alone get the whole party to be obedient? Is it because the leading cadres of this party are no good, or is it the result of the intentional choice of the CPC’s top leadership? Many people mention anti-corruption. But the problem is that Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin also pursued anti-corruption. Why did it not work?

Judging from the governance situation of Xi Jinping’s six years in office, the haphazard view that Xi Jinping is a fool, that he only had a junior high school level education, that he had no governing principles, is absolutely wrong. It underestimates him. Xi Jinping has a set of designs for China’s future. They are collected in the report of the 19thNational Congress. Although it does not satisfy the appetite of liberals, Trump’s former chief adviser Steve Bannon extracted the “hidden meaning”. In a December 2017 speech in Tokyo, Bannon warned the free world to be wary of China’s power. Before the 18th National Congress, Li Weidong, the former president of China Reformmagazine, referred to the strategy of the powerful country as the “Red Empire” strategy, and summarised its main points. This shows that there are some people who can anticipate or read Xi Jinping. In short, Xi not only has a set of methods in the struggle for power with which he can defeat political enemies, he also has a whole set of ideas and strategies for governing the nation and the party. Not only that, but in comparison to Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, Xi also has very strong executive powers. He wants to turn this set of things that he thinks are “right” into reality.

One of the biggest mistakes made by the liberal democratic forces to date is to belittle Xi Jinping’s ability and regard him as rash. It should be noted that Xi is a dictator with finesse, ideas, a mission and a will. He may be the last leader of true communism. Maoist communist education and its intellectual structure and the seven years of youth education in Liangjiahe village have determined his mode of thinking, making him superstitious, full of antipathy toward corruption, and sympathetic with the people. He believes that in the open environment of globalisation, the CPC and China can be transformed into a purely political party and state, but the cruel political struggle has also made him ruthless. He adopted a two-handed strategy of governing the Party and the rule of democracy with the purpose of practising his ideas in China and returning to orthodox socialism. In this regard, Xi is also an idealist. Of course, under the one-person leadership system, his idealism and sense of mission, without sufficient opposition, are bound to bring China to a dead end.

I am not here to sing the praises of Xi Jinping and the CPC, to extend the prestige of the political dictatorship, to end the ambition for freedom and democracy, but to call attention to the fact that the liberal democratic forces at home and abroad think that they are standing on the moral high ground by being dismissive of Xi Jinping and the CPC. By just staring at the shortcomings and weaknesses of others they will make irreparable historical mistakes. For the free democratic forces, we should always remember that to defeat the opponents, we must, as the CPC itself said, strategically despise our enemies, but tactically take them seriously, learn more about opponents, and learn the strengths of opponents. Only in this way can we formulate realistic strategies. Otherwise, when historical opportunities come, they will be wasted.

Read the original article in Chinese at: https://cn.nytimes.com/opinion/20180919/why-the-liberals-get-it-wrong/

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 25 September 2018

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The People’s Republic of China has pressured foreign airline companies, including Australia’s Qantas, to remove any public information that suggests Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau are part of different countries to the PRC.

The following are two translated articles from Chinese-language outlets in Australia which offer different opinions on the controversy. The first is an article published by YeeYi.com (澳洲亿忆网), and the second by Vision Times (看中国):

Australia’s civil airlines’ websites, with Hong Kong and Taiwan as separate entities, might face a complete block from China!

You think this is over, but it’s not! Australia has gone further and further out of the way to challenge China. With the Australian Prime Minister’s visa to visit China being rejected, and Australia continuing to do things, China-Australia relations have been very tense recently. But we did not think that at this critical juncture, Australia’s airline companies would suddenly be “doing things”!

In its international interactions, China has always maintained that Taiwan is a component part. Every country considers its territory to be sacred and inviolable. Recently, some Australian airlines have totally ignored China’s attitude and rashly listed Taiwan as an independent country! The separate listing of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, rather than in the category of other cities in China, is going too far! At this point, the editor of this piece was indignant and wanted to pick up a Chinese history book and explain the history of China to these Australian bumpkins!!!

Such an approach is entirely a sort of provocation of China. For this reason, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) sent letters directly to several Australian airlines demanding in tough language that they remove any public indication that Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau are subordinate to countries other than mainland China.

The letter stressed that if Australian airlines obstinately persists, their official websites and all types of information in China will be completely blocked!

A spokesman for Qantas said that the letter is true and that it will make an adjustment accordingly. The letter was sent in April and is now in May, but this adjustment has not yet been implemented.

CAAC also sent an identical letter to American Airlines and United Airlines at the same time.

The same words firmly warned them that their official websites will be closed in China if they do not delete the information that divides China’s territory.

The shutting down of official websites is not merely idle talk. According to an investigation, the official website of Marriott International was blocked by the Chinese authorities and the server was closed for a week in January 2018.

Because it lists Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and Tibet as independent countries in the questionnaire for customers. This is a contempt for the integrity of China’s territorial sovereignty!

Although Qantas continues to avoid responsibility, other Australian airlines have a good attitude. Among them, Virgin Atlantic quickly committed itself. While the company did not receive a warning from CAAC, it still re-checked whether there was still anything incorrect in the official ticket sales information!

That CAAC issued a letter warning to Qantas is only an example. As China has become stronger, any divisive action with regard to its sovereignty and territorial integrity will receive a serious warning. Especially the issue of the separate affiliation of Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, etc.

After the Global Times article was published, many foreign companies automatically altered the territorial labels of these regions to “Taiwan, China” or “Hong Kong, China”.

The “One China” principle is one that we will always defend and it absolutely cannot be challenged!

Link to the article

Australia bravely says “No” to the Communist Party of China’s threat about changing Taiwan’s name

The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) recently issued a letter to 36 foreign airlines requesting them to change the names of “Taiwan”, “Hong Kong” and “Macau” on their company websites and in advertisements in accordance with PRC standards. The move sparked the resentment of the countries concerned. After the United States denounced Beijing for its “nonsense”, the Australian foreign minister also publicly warned China not to attempt to meddle with Australia’s aviation industry in this coercive manner.

According to an article in the “Sydney Morning Herald”, the Australian aviation industry received a threatening letter from  CAAC last week.  It said the names of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau should be changed on their websites and in advertisements because Beijing believes that the names used by some foreign airlines indicate that they view them as independent countries.

In response to this, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop publicly announced a few days ago to the Chinese side that it should not use coercive methods to force the Australian aviation industry to adopt the “political opinion” of the Communist Party. The Communist Party of China should not think it can meddle in the Australian aviation industry in a coercive manner.

Bishop said that for Australia the name of the destinations listed by the domestic aviation industry should be determined by the airlines themselves. The government certainly cannot exert pressure on the companies or it could affect their normal operations. Moreover, these things belong to Australia’s own domestic affairs and other countries need not intervene.

On April 25, CAAC issued a public letter to 36 foreign airlines requesting that these operators must change their position on Taiwan and Hong Kong in order to meet the political standards of the Chinese Communist Party. At the same time, it also threatened that if these companies do not comply with the above requirements, they will be handed over to the cyber security department to be dealt with. In this regard, the outside world believes that these foreign airlines’ websites will be subject to control in China and may even be blocked.

In fact, the United States has taken the lead in issuing a public statement denouncing the CPC for this demand, referring to it as “Orwellian nonsense,” and emphasising that Americans will resist the “political correctness” that the CPC imposes on U.S. companies and citizens.

Link to the article

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 14 May 2018

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The following is a translated article published on 1688.com.au (澳洲新闻网) by Weibo user Omnipotent Pudding (万能的布丁). It covers a recent warning issued by Scamwatch about a fraudulent scheme which targets Chinese-Australians:

Australian officials warn all ethnic Chinese for the first time! Unprecedented fraud has occurred widely among ethnic Chinese! The money obtained by cheats basically can’t be recovered!

Those in Australia, please note!!

For the first time, the Australian government has issued a warning to the Australian Chinese community!

At present, a type of unprecedented fraud is happening widely among ethnic Chinese!!

Their target is the Australian Chinese community!! Everyone may have seen the news before. Some fraudsters posing as Chinese embassy staff have called Chinese-Australians to perpetrate fraud.

Now, thanks to impressive publicity by the Australian media and the Embassy, everyone has been warned not to believe this fraud. So, the swindlers have invented new schemes! A brand new scam against ethnic Chinese has emerged in Australia now. Fraudsters have falsely assumed the identity of employees of DHL International Express.

That’s right, the DHL courier that often delivers important documents.

There are also swindlers who pretend to be Chinese police or “special investigators”. Whatever they claim to be, the content of what they tell you is the same:

“We have a package of yours here with your name and address on it (they will repeat your name and address accurately, enhancing credibility). And a lot of fake passports have been found in your package!”

We all know that DHL is one of the few international courier companies that can send important identification documents such as passports. Overseas Chinese are very likely to be anxious when they receive a phone call from DHL Express on such an important issue as passports, and they just listen to what the other person says.

Moreover, forgery or participation in passport fraud in China is a felony!!

According to Article 320 of the Criminal Procedure Law of the People’s Republic of China:

Those who provide forged or altered passports, visas or other entry and exit documents or sell these types of documents shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of not more than five years and fined in accordance with the severity of the crime. If the circumstances of the crime is severe, they shall be sentenced to fixed-term imprisonment of more than five years and fined accordingly.

On being told that you are suspected of participating in the fraud of a large number of passports and that you may be put in jail, many people would be anxious! Then, a fraudster posing as a DHL staff member or a police officer tells the victim that “we suspect you of money laundering or property transfer”.

Then he proposes that if you pay bail or pay a “priority investigation fee,” you can avoid going to jail…

If the fraudsters find out that you may not give them money, they will try to find a way to gather some valuable personal information when you panic.

For example, your passport number, bank account number, current address, etc.

Finally, Australian officials warned that Chinese victims who have been cheated are rarely able to recover their money at present!! In other words, once you have incautiously transferred money to a fraudster, the police may not be able to do anything about it!

The money you have been cheated of will probably not be recovered!

Today’s fraudsters know very well where the weaknesses are of us overseas Chinese. Embassies, passports, visas, family safety, and other issues we care about most often are the places where they begin!  [Emphasis added]

Therefore, if you receive a call about problems with your passport or visa, please hang up immediately.  If you do not feel comfortable, you can call DHL headquarters or the embassy for verification.

In short, it takes constant vigilance to ward off evil. If everyone read this Pudding article and raised their awareness, after receiving such a fraudulent call they would remember how to deal better with fraudsters.

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 30 April 2018

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The following is a translated excerpt of an article by Xia Feiyan (夏飞岩) published in Vision Times (看中国). It covers the two open letters by scholars of China and the Chinese diaspora to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security:

Xia Feiyan: An Unequal Academic Debate

The legislative proposal of the “Anti-Foreign Interference Law” by the Turnbull government and the publication of Prof. Clive Hamilton’s new book “Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia”, has set off a controversy among the elite in the Chinese-Australian community. The focus of the debate is whether the Communist Party of China’s (CPC’s) influence has interfered with Australia’s free and democratic society. Will exposing it and adopting legal measures arouse racial discrimination in our multiculturalism?

In fact, when two separate groups of academics, which included ethnic Chinese experts and professors, took part in the debate in open letters, the allegation of “racial discrimination” became nonsense. Regardless of the language used by each, the real target was not the ethnic Chinese, but to prevent the CPC’s influence on Australian society from spreading, or continuing to allow the CPC to fully control the Chinese community and spread to all areas in Australia.

The most successful aspect of the CPC’s penetration of Australia is to allow the vast majority of Chinese to acquiesce in their lies and to give up the courage to challenge the CPC’s bottom line. Because acquiescence means personal safety, it is what the CPC is most pleased to see. When the CPC cracks down on the calls and warnings for countering infiltration under the guise of “racial discrimination against China,” it can indeed allow a group of Chinese to follow up. If even the so-called Chinese experts and scholars jointly sign an endorsement of the Chinese Communist Party, it only shows the Chinese Communist Party’s deep penetration of this group of scholars.

In December last year, Australian Prime Minister Turnbull expressed his determination that Australians have begun to counter the strong penetration by the CPC by saying the “Australian people have stood up.” Many Chinese expressed their gratitude for the courage of the Australian government. Strangely enough, it was mocked by the former Prime Minister of Australia.

The slogan “The Chinese people have stood up” was in a speech delivered by Mao Zedong at the first plenary session of the CPPCC National People’s Congress on September 21, 1949. The concept of “stand up” means that the communist ideology formally replaced the Western civilizational culture of the United States and United Kingdom and the traditional Chinese Confucian culture adhered to by the Nationalist government.

Must the comparison of Turnbull’s determination to use “Australian values” to drive away the “infiltration of the red forces” with “the Australian people have stood up” be challenged? Still we can see that Rudd’s article was reprinted and held in respect by numerous red media. Turnbull’s resolve was ridiculed by countless red media.

Thinking of Kevin Rudd’s letting slip on Weibo of “learning from the Nineteenth Party Congress”, one could not help but ask: “Comrade Rudd, can you stand up and speak?”

Some politicians and scholars who have lived off of others have always claimed that they often criticise the CPC’s actions, etc. I remind you that it is called “kneeling and pleading”. As long as you walk along the line drawn by the master, you will be esteemed.

In a democratic and open society, when it comes to disputes related to the dictatorial regime of the Communist Party of China, or when the subject of an argument touches the CPC’s bottom line, the situation is different. We can see that some Australian politicians and scholars will “consciously” integrate with the mouthpiece of the CPC, allowing public opinion to show a wide range of irrational disparities. This shows that the CPC’s influence in Australia is enormous. In such an environment, can we use the strength of sound to distinguish whether or not it is just? Of course not.

In retrospect, the open letters of the two groups of scholars seem to be equal in a society of free speech and mutually express the theory of support and opposition. But if you see the difference in the environment between the two, the state of the disparity is very great. Many signatures come from the same institution, but they express different opinions.

An open letter against the legislation said that “alarmist talk” would make “Australian Chinese not even dare to participate in this open debate.” Ask these scholars, don’t you feel ashamed to write such words? In the current environment, the reality is that “alarmist talk” makes the Chinese frightened not to openly tell the truth. Chinese who are willing to provide real proof to Clive Hamilton hardly dare to leave their real names.

At a press conference for the publication of the new book, “The Silent Invasion,” at the New South Wales State Capitol, I met John Hugh, a former Parramatta City Council member who supported the publication of the new book. I asked him with concern: “You will soon visit China. Won’t supporting this activity cause trouble?” John laughed. “I just think that everyone has the right to express their opinions. I often go back and there should be no problem.” As a result, he was forcibly repatriated at the Shanghai airport on the grounds that “you know what you did”. Obviously, the optimistic Mr. Hugh still underestimates the degree of evil in the Communist Party of China. The Party has issued an unequivocal warning to Chinese around the world. As long as you are Chinese, no matter where you live or what nationality you take, you do not have the right to freedom of speech and you must always conduct a “self-examination.”

An unequal debate is enough to show that the current measures of the Australian government have touched on the CPC’s sensitive nerves and caused it to come out fighting on all fronts. This is the naked expression of influence.

When Mao Zedong’s uttered the phrase “the Chinese people have stood up,” it left all the kneeling people of the mainland under their control. Now Turnbull also said that “the Australian people have stood up.” He is trying to get those who are still living in the free world to stand up.

I would like to ask those scholars and professors who bamboozle while signing their names, “Can you ask yourself first whether you are standing or still kneeling.”

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 7 April 2018

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The following is a translated excerpt of an article published by Australian Financial News (澳洲财经见闻) on the recent immigration debate in Australia:

Resisting immigration? I’m afraid Australia is just ‘firing blanks’

For a country established primarily by new immigrants, immigration is certainly a continuing topic of discussion.

In the last decade (as of 2016/17), with overseas students and mining investment boosting employment over the long term, net overseas immigration in Australia hit a new high, reaching an average annual 217,400 people.

Wage growth has stagnated while property prices have risen rapidly in Sydney and Melbourne. The clamour of anti-immigration rises day by day. Increasingly, some populists also refer collectively to immigrants as “non-Australians” and make difficulties for the latter. But in fact Australia is a multicultural country and 28% of Australians were born abroad.

Those who oppose immigrants tend to simply attribute the economic downturn to immigration which has led to an increase in population. In fact, this view is too one-sided. Many people who oppose immigration see the competition for housing and jobs as having been brought about by it and overlook the immigrants’ contribution to employment. They have also ignored the synergy of the whole being more than the sum of the parts. In fact, Australian immigration and development is not a zero-sum game.

The federal government’s mode of thinking has changed significantly in the recent past. The abolition of the 457 visa indicates immigration policies have been tightened. The motive for this move seems to be once again aimed at obtaining votes. Stabilising the economy or protecting the environment are being used as excuses for prejudice.

Aside from its political stance, Australia seems to have unwittingly exposed a bigger problem.

Without immigration, what will the Australian economy rely on in the future?

Most of the economic growth forecasts are based on a population increase of 400,000 people per year. The scale of the former amounts to one new city.

With mine production reaching full capacity, a decline in resource prices, and the end of the boom in housing in the eastern coastal area, immigration will fall. And the secret weapon of Australia’s economic miracle will no longer exist.

An even more complicated problem is: if you want to increase productivity, you must make major expenditures on infrastructure. These expenditures should have been made in order to cope with the influx of immigrants.

If the Australian government really wants to control the budget deficit, it cannot simply rely on countless new immigrants to promote the economy and increase the tax base. Otherwise, the government will have to face serious financial problems.

Maybe they will seriously consider a resource rent tax instead of looking at the national wealth as inexhaustible and do nothing. Tax cuts on foreign companies may give way to corporate taxation. Furthermore, it raises the question: can we afford tax incentives for rich people’s pension funds and property investment? The answer is perhaps. However, doing so will inevitably come at the cost of a recession.

There is a very simple relationship between immigration and economic growth. The bigger the population, the bigger the economy. The greater the population, the more products and services are consumed.

There is nothing wrong with promoting economic growth through immigration. But in the past 20 years in Australia the mistake that the government has made is: on the one hand, they are happy to see the good economic growth; on the other hand, they are completely unwilling to make necessary expenditures to ensure that the economy can cope with the demand from large for immigration inflows.

As a result, many of our large cities are overwhelmed. The infrastructure is outdated. Public utilities cannot meet demand. This situation in turn adversely affects our productivity, leading to further distortion of our distribution of wealth.

With the economic achievements we are about to achieve, leaving aside the original GDP data, we have just advanced one small step.

If Australia’s economic performance is assessed in terms of per capita GDP growth, we will find that our economic growth has not been so brilliant.

In terms of its annual growth rate, our per capita GDP growth is only 2% higher than during the recession 25 years ago. And this 2% only lasts for a few years into the new millennium. It has remained at 1.5% and 1% for most of the time.

Immigration should be viewed as an optimistic opportunity for development. On the contrary, political decision-makers should not bow to narrow-mindedness, ignorance and intolerance.

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 5 April 2018

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The following is a translation of an article published by the People’s Daily (人民日报), an official newspaper of the Communist Party of China. The article was also circulated on Australian Chinese-language outlet Melbourne Today (今日墨尔本) :

Australia denies helping ASEAN countries engage in infrastructure to counter China’s influence

During Australian Prime Minister Turnbull’s visit to the United States in February, news that Australia, the United States, Japan and India will cooperate in the launch of a “four-nation regional joint infrastructure plan” to help Asian countries engage in infrastructure and counterbalance the rising influence from China’s “Belt and Road Initiative” was revealed in major media. At that time, the countries involved were secretive and did not disclose any information on it to the outside world. On March 18th, at the Australia-ASEAN summit in Sydney, the host country Australia announced the “ASEAN-Australian Infrastructure Cooperation Initiative.” The Australian Financial Reviewreported that this is Australia’s first public announcement that it will strengthen cooperation with Southeast Asian countries in infrastructure construction.

The initiative stated that Australia will play a role in the design, feasibility and planning of infrastructure projects which would then be funded by regional institutions such as the Asian Development Bank. Australia’s Foreign Minister Bishop said in a statement on the 18th that the Sydney-based G20 Global Infrastructure Center will establish contact with ASEAN and “strengthen cooperation between the public sector and private investors to fund ASEAN infrastructure projects.”

The Australian government did not disclose how much capital it would invest in this capital construction project, nor did it clearly specify what kinds of projects it was targeting. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation said that this plan is actually the focus of Australia’s efforts to respond more effectively to China’s influence. It is also the first time that Australia has taken specific actions to challenge China’s dominant position in infrastructure construction.

Japan has taken the lead in discussing how to use the four-nation dialogue mechanism as a fund-raising agency to provide assistance to Southeast Asia and the Pacific region. In January this year, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan said in an interview with the Australian Financial Review: “Ensuring international standards for the construction of infrastructure such as ports is very important, and infrastructure investment must be open and transparent, and it must not endanger financial security.” In response to the enormous enthusiasm of China and Asian countries for infrastructure, President Trump has promised in the recently announced budget to establish a specialised financial institution. At the East Asia conference held in Manila last year, the United States, Australia, Japan, and India discussed the issue of regional infrastructure cooperation for the first time. Also during that meeting, the four nations agreed to resume the so-called “quadrilateral security dialogue.”

Reuters reported on the 19th that a senior U.S. government official disclosed that the four-nation regional joint infrastructure plan is still in its embryonic stage and has not yet reached a level of maturity which allows it to be announced. But it is seriously being discussed. He tended to describe the plan as an alternative to the “Belt and Road” rather than a “competitor.” Bishop’s spokesperson said on the 19th that the agreement was purely an ASEAN initiative and “is not meant to counter China.”

The Australian Financial Review stated that due to its hesitation in joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Australia lost its chance to be vice president of the bank.  Because of the alarmist speculation about China’s true intentions, Australia’s attitude towards the “Belt and Road” is ambiguous. Australia’s Minister responsible for foreign aid to the Asia-Pacific region even went as far as launching a random attack on China’s infrastructure projects in the South Pacific. Some Asian scholars said at the meeting last week that the Australian government should work hard to help ASEAN countries design better infrastructure projects rather than trying to encourage them to remain vigilant about Chinese funds. Moreover, where the funding for the ASEAN-Australia Infrastructure Cooperation Initiative will come from is also questionable because Australia has already cut infrastructure spending in its aid budget.

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 21 March 2018

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The following is a translated excerpt of a WeChat (微信) post by Australian Red Scarf (澳洲红领巾), a media platform which covers Australian life style issues and interesting topics for international students:

Urgently revealed! Personal Prospective Of Students: The Australian government is destroying the future of China’s top talent!

Since May last year, hundreds of doctoral students and visiting scholars who received state sponsorship or scholarships have immediately applied to go to Australia, where they have received admission notices and invitations from many prestigious schools. They go there to continue their doctoral studies and research projects with well-known instructors and research teams, so that they can make greater contributions to the development of their home country when they return.

It is unimaginable that in March of 2018, half a year later, these outstanding students who have worked hard to win state funding and scholarship awards through their strenuous efforts have not only failed to travel to Australia, but also that their state funding is threatened…

Abnormal Delays

Why has this strange visa delay problem arisen on the Australian side?

One thing worth noting is that the students and scholars who are caught in this visa trap are all engaged in research in the fields of science and engineering.  These include electronics engineering, materials, machinery, robotics, microbiology, biochemistry, optics, lasers, physics, computers (oriented toward machine learning), chemistry, chemical engineering, thermoelectric refrigeration, metallurgy, and immunology.

However, being able to obtain national sponsorship or “full scholarships” from Australian schools naturally proves the strength of these students in these fields. Therefore, the admission by many of Australia’s most famous universities—in contrast to the indifference and delays by their national government—is very much concerned with whether these outstanding Chinese people will be able to further their studies.

In the past half a year, these Australian schools have applied for an extension of time for the students and scholars to start school. On the one hand, they have also continued to communicate with their national government and asked Australian officials to approve Chinese students’ visas as soon as possible.

Oddly enough, the official answers received by these Australian universities are almost exactly the same as the responses received by Chinese students. They are a single word: “wait” and there is no “timetable”.

This also left the school without any alternative. One student who was ensnared by the visa problem told Yan Zhige that the Australian school even ridiculed on the Australian government in an email sent to him. He said that there are about 20 doctoral students in the schools’ engineering department who are still facing visa issues…

Some students also suspect that the Australian government is interested in the suppression of doctoral and masters degree students in science and engineering, because students who went to study non-science and engineering majors, especially those studying for undergraduate and masters degrees at their own expense, were at the same time quickly granted a visa. Those having a problem are those studying for a Ph.D. or Master’s degree in science and engineering who have a full scholarship or are funded by the Chinese government.

Students’ suspicions are not without reason. After all, in the past two or three years, Australia’s mainstream media, such as Australian Radio Television, Australian News Corporation  and Australia’s Fairfax Media Group, have been constantly making remarks on the “China threat theory.” Some extremely irresponsible persons have repeatedly labelled overseas Chinese students as “spies”, accusing them of “stealing Australian technology” without any evidence, and saying that this is “China’s infiltration of agents into Australian”.

Hopefully, more media exposure will allow everyone to recognise some of the government’s actual actions and it is hoped that the Australian government will not further waste the time of Chinese students!

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 19 March 2018

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The following is a translated excerpt of an article by Xia Feiyan (夏飞岩) in Vision Times (看中国):

Silent Invasion: A book which has jolted the Australia-China relationship

After the Turnbull government introduced the anti-espionage bill in Australia late last year, the CPC claimed that anti-China forces were at work. However, Turnbull responded that the “Australian people had stood up” and  bombastically warned that we will severely crack down on foreign infiltration, vowing that “Australia will not give in.” As a result, Australia-China relations have cooled off precipitously. On the other hand, the degree of warmth in Australia’s Chinese New Year celebrations was even greater than in previous years, with gongs and drums proclaiming “May you have a prosperous New Year” again and again. Greetings to ethnic Chinese during the New Year came from the Prime Minister and ministers as well as from local officials and mayors. The Turnbull couple personally attended the grand New Year celebration held by the Chinese community in Melbourne.

However, in the midst of the New Year celebrations, the Australian media hurled an explosive piece of news. The book, “Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia” written by Prof. Clive Hamilton, which will eliminate all of the CPC’s obstruction in Australia, will officially be launched in early March. At the same time, the Commonwealth Parliament said that if the book passes its review, it will also obtain special immunity granted by the government to eliminate any defamation or fraud allegations it may engender.

The book appeared like a bomb, agitating the entire community and placing the ambiguous relationship between Australia and China at the forefront of public opinion.

Many people have asked when an expert who focuses on environmental and climate research began to observe politics. Professor Hamilton said many countries are watching Australia’s attitude and plan to follow its example. “People who have been bullied are now unwilling to accept it and have begun to start fighting back,” he said. “We only want long-term peace as well as sustainable relations between the two countries. If it wants this, Beijing must immediately stop its political and social interference.”

Conclusion

The Australian government turned a blind eye to the infiltration of the CPC and just began to wake up today and start to fight back. Although it has hit the so-called overseas Chinese who treat the CPC as supreme, it is definitely a good thing for the greater part of the ethnic Chinese population.

The New Year’s lion dance and the storm over the new book shows the attitude of the Australian government. In Australia, ethnic Chinese, including Chinese traditions and culture, are cared for and  respected. However, it is absolutely unacceptable that the CPC infiltrate and interfere with Australia and commit any act that violates Australian values. From now on, the Australian government will not compromise.

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 23 February 2018

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The following is a translation of a WeChat (微信) post by Australian Red Scarf (澳洲红领巾), a media platform which covers Australian life style issues and interesting topics for international students:

“The consulates of China in Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth) issued a letter of warning to all Chinese students studying abroad in Australia just yesterday!

The complete name is [2018 Warning No. 1 for Study Abroad ] and the entire text is as follows:

There have been numerous incidents of attacks on the persons and property of Chinese students studying abroad throughout Australia recently. All Chinese students studying abroad in Australia should be vigilant, strengthen risk prevention, and pay attention to their personal protection. If you encounter a dangerous situation please report it to the police immediately and promptly contact the Chinese embassy in Australia for assistance.

Pu Xiaojun, consul of the Chinese Consulate General in Sydney, also gave a speech on the frequent recent incidents of attacks on ethnic Chinese saying: “Australia has always given the impression of peace and democracy. However, the recent frequent series of violent incidents have seriously discredited this image. As a host country, Australia should provide effective protection and assistance to international students and Chinese ethnic groups.  It should effectively guarantee the protection of the persons and property of overseas students and ethnic Chinese.”

At the same time Pu Xiaojun also said that the Chinese government has always attached importance to the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens overseas and will provide Chinese citizens with consular protection. We hope that when anyone is in danger, they will first report to the police and promptly seek help from the consulate.

It is not without reason that the Embassy is so anxious!

First of all, the recent attacks overseas are really frequent.  As of today’s Chinese New Year’s Eve, a horrible shootout took place at a school in the northern hemisphere! It was directly aimed at student groups …..

Let’s take a closer look at the scene:

Today is Chinese New Year’s Eve, which should have been celebrated all over the whole world.  But instead there was a violent attack that shocked the world: a U.S. high school was wildly shot by a masked gunmen and 17 people were killed!”

Following this was a recap of several examples of violent or racist incidents involving Chinese international students in Australia.

[Note: There were copies of the embassy warning on the websites of each of the PRC consulates in Australia – Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Perth – as well as on the embassy website itself.  There were slight differences on each of the websites, some attributing the warning to the PRC Ministry of Education with an effective date for the warning until 14 May 2018. At time of publication, no official English translation of the warning had been posted on the websites of the PRC embassy or consulates].

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 16 February 2018

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The following is a translated excerpt from an article published in the Vision Times (看中国) on PRC government interference in Australia. This article represents the author’s personal views alone and is not endorsed by China Matters in any way:

Title: Australian counter-attack starts with Prime Minister Turnbull saying “We stand up!”

“In the past two or three decades, democracies like the United States and Australia have been tempted by the huge economic opportunities inherent in “the rise of China.” They have been led on by the seemingly rational idea of “political correctness” to give up their adherence to basic western values and ignore the long-term interests of the state. They have blurred the line between right and wrong, foolishly playing by gentleman’s rules in dealing with untrustworthy scoundrels. In order to be politically correct, politicians in the West do not say what they should say and do not dare to do what they should do. They have patiently given way despite the loss of dignity to their countries by sucking up to the CPC’s dictatorship.”


Over the years, the mainstream media in Australia have not been asleep and they have noticed the infiltration by the CPC. For example, when on the eve of the 2008 Olympics, they reported that thousands of Chinese, mainly overseas students, displayed red-character posters [of Maoist sayings] in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra. For example, in 2009, when Joel Fitzgibbon, the then Australian Defence Minister, was trapped with Chinese businesswoman Helen Liu, who had a deep relationship with the Chinese military and the Foreign Affairs Development Department, for accepting $20,000 Australian dollars in election funding, two trips in First Class to China, staying in five-star hotels and so on. Also, when it reported several times on the arrest of Liu Xiaobo for Charter 08, his winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Liu Xia’s [his wife’s] placement under house arrest and Liu Xiaobo’s death; when Ai Weiwei held an exhibit in Melbourne, but a well-known toy manufacturer caused public anger in Australia by refusing to accept his order. And when thousands of Chinese people in Melbourne last year ( ABC reported over 2,000 but they claimed 5,000) went to the streets to protest an international ruling from the Côte d’Ivoire – for which the Australian Foreign Minister had publicly expressed support – which was against China’s island building activities in the South China Sea, etc, etc.

However, fragmented reports achieve nothing. Australians open their mouths in fragments but nothing comes out, so peace is restored in fragments.

Malcolm Davis, Defence Research Specialist at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, said: “Beijing is trying to threaten us and wants us to recognise that it is reasonable and lawful that the Chinese government infiltrate and deliberately play at controlling Australia’s politics and political debate. Beijing’s goal is to make good the relationship between Australia and China. In the long term to eventually end the alliance with the United States. Everyone has long seen what China is, except that we are now starting to fight back against them.”

The difference is that now we are starting to fight them back!

Australia has many loopholes in areas such as academic freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of publication, the identification of basic values, and the legal system. It faces severe challenges. However, it’s never too late. Now that the bacterial source has been discovered, can a cure be that difficult?”

[Note on the source: Vision Times (看中国) is a Chinese language weekly newspaper. It was founded in 2001 as a website, www.secretchina.com. It began publishing weekly print versions in major US cities and Australia. Each local edition is published independently by a local affiliate.]

[Note on the author: Qi Jiazhen is a Chinese-Australian author whose publications include ‘The Blue Sun’ and ‘The Black Wall’. She was sentenced to prison for 13 years during the Mao era].

Translation by: Chris R. Lanzit, NAATI Certified Professional Translator (Chinese-English), NAATI Practitioner ID: CPN0BC84W

Date of translation: 20 February 2018

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WHAT DOES CHINA SAY ABOUT...

This article published in the People’s Daily (人民日报) reported that the U.S Warship USS Hopper was recently confronted by the PLA Navy as it conducted a freedom of navigation operation in the waters near Huangyan Island (Scarborough Shoal). The writer warns that repeated interference in the South China Sea by the U.S will lead to increased enforcement and construction of the PRC’s capabilities in the region.

“The PRC has undisputable sovereignty over Huangyan Island (Scarborough Shoal) and its surrounding waters. The related acts by the U.S warship damage the PRC’s sovereignty and security interests, pose a serious threat to the safety of Chinese vessels and personnel engaged in normal business operations in these areas, violate the basic norms of international relations and runs counter to the steady development of relations between the two countries and their respective militaries.”

“In the context of current stability in the South China Sea, the U.S vessel’s foolish and ignorant actions have made it clear to the world just who exactly wants to see the South China Sea remain stable, and just who is the biggest factor pushing for the “militarisation” of the South China Sea. Currently, the PRC has established a consultation mechanism with the Philippines, and is actively discussing further maritime cooperation. This year, the maritime cooperation between China and ASEAN are expected to further expand. Just as Singapore’s Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen emphasised last October, China has already agreed with ASEAN members to hold the first joint maritime exercise in 2018. In this scene of peace and cooperation, for U.S warships to run amok and pick quarrels really is to ‘run up against a wall before turning back’.”

“A year and a half ago, when the situation in the South China Sea seemed more troubling, China did not have the slightest withdrawal or hesitation, today there is even less possibility that it will waver in its strategic focus. If the relevant party once more stirs up trouble in the region and causes tensions, it will only lead the PRC to conclude that in order to effectively safeguard peace in the South China Sea, it must strengthen and speed up the building of its capabilities in the South China Sea.”

Read the original commentary in Chinese: 破坏南海稳定是不识时务的妄动 [Undermining stability in the South China Sea is an ignorant and reckless action]

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This commentary posted on Australian Chinese-language news website 澳洲新闻网 (www.1688.com.au) discusses recent moves to promote military cooperation between Australia and Japan. The author argues that this cooperation aims to contain the PRC, and is therefore not conducive to regional stability.

“Australian Prime Minister Turnbull started his visit to Japan on January 18. According to reports by Japanese media earlier, this shows that the negotiation on the “military visit agreement” (Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement) between Japan and Australia will soon be completed and the cooperation between the two countries in the military field will be smoothed out even more. Japanese media coverage is worth pondering, especially the word “more” which is profoundly meaningful. In fact, under the Indo-Pacific strategy that has emerged as a replacement for the traditional “Asia-Pacific” strategy, the exchanges and cooperation between Japan and Australia in the military field have been quite frequent in recent years.”

“Since the purpose of military cooperation between Japan and Australia is to maintain regional peace, such cooperation should not be aimed at a third country so as to eliminate external doubts and truly help the peaceful development of the Asia-Pacific region. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. When Japan began promoting military cooperation with Australia in 2013, it repeatedly mentioned the issue of China in the South China Sea and the development of China’s maritime industry, and this posture has continued to this day. Japan’s Asahi Shimbun also pointed out in its article on 1 November 2017, that Japan, India and Australia should cooperate using the Japan-U.S. Alliance as a basis, with the focus on containing China.”

“China does not intend to interfere in the diplomatic and military policies of other sovereign countries, including Japan and Australia. However, if the military cooperation between Japan and Australia is based on the premise of setting a particular country as a hypothetical enemy, such cooperation will not help peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Japan in particular emphasises on one hand that amendment of the constitution does not mean that a war is to be waged, on the other hand, it constantly acts as a “one-stop-shop for one set of activities”. Such an act can only further deepen the doubts that neighbouring countries have about Japan and question whether or not it has sincerely reflected on the historical lessons of the war of aggression.”

Read the original commentary in Chinese: 针对中国的日澳军事合作无益地区稳定 [Japan-Australia military cooperation against China is not conducive to regional stability]

[Note on source: Daily Chinese Herald was established in 1987, and was initially operated by a non-PRC owner who then sold the business to PRC migrant operations. It started operation under its current title in 1998, and is now part of the Chinese Newspaper Group, which is owned by migrants from the PRC. The Group has nine publications in various parts of Australia, as well as online news (www.1688.com.au) and property websites. The current editor-in-chief of paper is Huang Fengyu, a native of Taiwan who was educated in the United States. (Taken from Professor Wanning Sun’s 2016 ACRI report, ‘Chinese-language Media in Australia: Developments, Challenges and Opportunities’)]

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This editorial published in the Global Times (环球时报) comments on French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent visit to the PRC. It presents the China-France relationship as a catalyst to furthering and promoting economic cooperation between the PRC and the European Union.

The author asserts that China-France cooperation should be based on “what can be achieved”, not “how it should be”. One area of cooperation is over Frances’ high-tech industry.

The article argues that developed countries are protective of their high-tech capabilities, and that their unwillingness to export these technologies has impeded the scale of economic and trade cooperation with the PRC.

The article urges France to become a pioneer by opening up their attractive areas of trade to the PRC. The writer believes that Western countries must “untie the knot” in order to increase their initiative and reverse the trade imbalance with the PRC.

The article concludes, that if France can take the lead in understanding and embracing core Chinese beliefs such as “win-win cooperation” and the “community of common destiny”, then “it will surely surpass the entire Western world”.

Read the original editorial in Chinese: 加强中法合作,法国大有可为 [France has bright prospects in strengthening China-France cooperation].

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This article published by Xinhua News Agency discusses the statements made by an Australian official on the PRC’s aid to Pacific island countries. During a regular press conference, PRC Foreign Ministry Spokesman Lu Kang rebuffed claims that the PRC’s aid to island nations increased their financial burden.

“There is a problem with the mentality of the people making these remarks” said Lu. During the press conference, Lu stated that the PRC has provided assistance to island countries to promote economic and social development without any political interference.

The article highlights the successful completion of two projects supported by the PRC Government in Fiji. Lu added that the completion of Stinson Bridge and Waitu Waka Bridge will greatly improve local transportation and increase the quality of life.

The writer further suggests that these two projects are a part of many grants provided to the Pacific island countries by the PRC government. The writer believes that these projects are widely welcomed by local governments and its citizens.

Read the original article in Chinese: ‘外交部评澳官员言论:心态有问题’ (Foreign ministry discusses Australian Officials’ comments: There is a problem with that mentality)

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In this interview with Xinhua News Agency, Jan Adams, Australia’s ambassador to China, discusses the progress of bilateral relationships between China and Australia. Since 1972, diplomatic relations between the two countries have fostered “huge progress in the field of people-to-people exchanges”, said Ambassador Adams.

In particular, the ambassador focused on the importance of education as a facilitator of understanding between the two countries. Students from China form the largest proportion of overseas students in Australia. Ambassador Adams highlights the importance of these students in making “a huge contribution to China-Australia bilateral links”.

The growing number of Chinese students in Australia could create “a lot of understanding between the two countries” Ambassador Adams added. Besides the access to a world-class education, the ambassador cites Australia’s multicultural society, China-friendly environment, and close geographical location as major factors in attracting Chinese students.

[This article has since been removed from Xinhua as of 22/12/17].

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This Xinhua News Agency report highlights the continued success of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), two years since the agreement entered into force on 20 December 2015. The removal of tariffs has strengthened trade and ChAFTA is “continuing to deliver great benefits to both nations” according to Trade Minister Steven Ciobo.

The positive results from the agreement will see further tariff reductions, with the fourth round of ChAFTA tariff cuts coming into effect on 1 January 2018. The agreement ultimately seeks to continue tariff cuts “each year for Australia until they reach zero”.

Furthermore, the article suggests that not only will this benefit and boost Australian exporters and suppliers, it will improve the bilateral relationship. The author writes “further improving these elements of ChAFTA will benefit Australia and China and reflect the growing importance of services to both economies”.

Read the article: China-Australia FTA continues to benefit both: official

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The backlash from the PRC media over Australia’s new foreign interference laws has continued following remarks from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull that sharply rejected Beijing’s retort. This article by the Global Times warns that the shift in Australia’s political attitude will be detrimental to PRC enterprises operating in Australia.

It projects the legislation as a precursor for deteriorating business conditions and urges PRC companies to ‘enhance their competitive competence’ and ‘prepare for possible changes in policy’.

The commentary warns of the reciprocal detriment of diminishing PRC business in Australia by reiterating Australia’s ‘dependence on economic and trade cooperation with China’.

Focusing specifically on the tourism sector, the piece states that many Chinese people would choose not to travel to Australia because of concerns they ‘may not be welcomed or get good service in the country’. Although it predicts these issues will not come to fruition for some time, it cites evidence of growing skepticism.

Read the original article: Firms warned over Australia tension

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This article published by the People’s Daily (人民日报) reinforces the PRC’s determination to build on cultural differences to achieve prosperity as a ‘community of common destiny’.

The article argues that many people believe that ‘when it comes to relations between states, interests are eternal, while friendship is only temporary’. However, at a deeper level, this can be seen as an opportunity to work beyond our differences to achieve prosperity. The article emphasises that ‘the path is still long to complete the great task of establishing a community of common destiny for all mankind’.

The author argues that a central part of the PRC’s vision is to develop and expand regional relationships to promote growth and economic prosperity. The article notes that Beijing has taken the initiative to construct regional infrastructure through the Belt and Road Initiative in order to foster linkages that extend across the world.

The article further emphasises the necessity for regional and international collaboration to enjoy peace, prosperity and growth as citizens of the world.

Read the original article: ‘路要去走才能开辟通途’ (Only the path we must tread can open up thoroughfares)

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Jackson Kwok examines how the PRC’s state-owned media reacted to Australia’s latest foreign policy white paper.

Read ‘What Does China Say About the Foreign Policy White Paper?

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This editorial published by the People’s Daily (人民日报) blames the Australian media and government for the declining state of the Australia-China relationship. It is published under the pen name ‘Zhong Sheng’ (钟声), a homophone for ‘Voice of China’ used to articulate the state media’s position on foreign policy issues.

The article accuses the Australian media of ‘maliciously slandering Chinese students, overseas Chinese, and ethnic-Chinese in Australia’. It accuses Australia’s media of overly ‘imaginative’ and incorrect coverage, and claims that ‘this type of hysterical paranoia has racist undertones and tarnishes Australia’s image as a multicultural society’.

It similarly criticises Australian politicians for being swayed by these media reports, leading to a mishandling of the bilateral relationship.

Importantly, the commentary attempts to draw a divide between the Australian-Chinese community – including students, overseas Chinese, and ethnically Chinese – and the Australian government and media.

The article concludes by advising the Australian government and media to ‘abandon political prejudice and bigotry’ and use only facts when handling the bilateral relationship. It claims this is the ‘only correct choice’ to protect the interests of both countries as well as the greater Asia-Pacific region.

Read the original editorial in Chinese: 澳方对华认知须从事实出发 [Australia’s perception of China must start with the facts]

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This article in Xinhua analyses the results of a survey regarding the underpayment of international students and foreign workers in Australia.

The study, undertaken by three reputable universities represented various statistics that showed the exploitation of many workers, including many who were being paid less than half of the legal minimum wage.

Xinhua points out that “Overall, students from Asian countries received lower wages on average than those from Europe or North America”, before proceeding to highlight the views of union and relevant legal requirements.

Beyond this, Xinhua highlights the reported 91 cases of employer passport confiscation, as well as 173 situations wherein international students or backpackers were forced to pay an upfront deposit of 750 US dollars to secure a job.

Xinhua supports the survey’s claim that these results reflected a “failure by governments and unions to address the scale of non-compliance” regarding employment law.

Read the article: ‘Temporary migrants systematically exploited by Australian employers: study’

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The editorial published by the Global Times (环球时报) emphasises the need for an “open mind” between the PRC and the West regarding their conflicting ideologies and systems on Internet freedom. The 4th World Internet Conference (WIC) was held in Wuzhen on December 3rd, which gathered various CEO’s and senior executives from major Internet companies in the US and the PRC with the aim of “building a community of common future in cyberspace”.

The author argues that Western mainstream media has shown prejudice and accused the PRC “of ranking low in Internet freedom”. However, the editorial highlights the fact that China’s Internet economy “is developing rapidly” with an increasingly optimistic outlook. Thus, the author stresses that the West must “wake up” and acknowledge that the PRC may “choose its own political system”, whilst exploring “relevant system and models”.

The article evidently demonstrates the difficulty present in coordinating ideologies towards Internet sovereignty and each country’s demand towards the issue. Rather than merely “attaching a label to the complicated area”, the author suggests the West and the PRC should become more open minded towards each other.

Read the article: ‘Internet sovereignty not against opening up’

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The op-ed published in the Global Times (环球时报) argues that finding a solution to the South China Sea dispute can be achieved more efficiently ‘without the intervention of the US’ as ASEAN nations hope to work collaboratively with one another instead of ‘being directed by the US’.

The author, a scholar from the China Foreign Affairs University, suggests that the US has chosen to interfere in the South China Sea issue to ‘maintain its dominance in the Asia- Pacific region’. However, the influence that the US can impose is limited as nations such as Vietnam and the Philippines ‘have disregarded an offer made by the US to mediate’.

Despite the chairman of the ASEAN summit concluding that all members are determined to settle this dispute peacefully and ‘promote the implementation of the South China Sea Code of Conduct’, the author indicates it is undeniable that obstacles remain and the ‘implementation and gradual promotion is still needed’.

Read the article: ‘A regional solution needed for South China Sea’

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This op-ed published by the Global Times outlines the responsibility and role of China’s military in “safeguarding Africa’s security and stability”. This is primarily due to the PRC’s economic ties with Africa as a whole, which requires protecting these important strategic shipping lanes from piracy and terrorism. As such, live-fire drills were conducted in Djibouti to validate the “capability of troops and their weapons”.

The author argues that these conducted drills are not necessarily shifting China’s defensive strategy. This is due to China’s military being directed under the UN framework with “high respect for sovereignty” of other nations, which contrasts to Western countries that support the “regime change of governments that don’t meet their demands”.

The article concludes that China is worthy of “support and less suspicion” as China has built a positive “image of neutrality” and become a “guardian of peace and stability” in this continent.

Read the article: ‘Military drill in Djibouti will not change China’s defensive strategy’

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