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 PRC 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 opinion piece by Adam Ni (Ni Lingchao, 倪凌超) published by Vision Times Australia (看中国). Adam Ni is a researcher on China-related issues and a visiting scholar at the Australian National University. Linda Jakobson, CEO and Founding Director of China Matters, also took part in the ‘Choose China’ panel discussion. For more information, visit: https://festivalofdangerousideas.com/ideas/choose-china/

Scholar: Should Australia choose China?

Author: Ni Lingchao

I participated in the debate on “Choosing China?” at the “Festival of Dangerous Ideas” in early November. The debate focused on whether Australia should consider shifting the consistent direction of its diplomatic and security strategy policy from its traditional ally the United States to China.

I am firmly opposed to this dangerous idea. This practice is reckless and contrary to Australia’s national interests in my opinion.

The triangular relationship between Canberra, Beijing and Washington is crucial to Australia’s future development, economic prosperity, national security and our position in the world. In the years to come, we will have to navigate in a more complex world and survive in an Asian world and a domestic situation where the US-China competitive relationship is intensifying.

The strategic competition between China and the US will gradually expand in the coming decades. Because any changes are quantitative and qualitative, we don’t have to rush to change our strategic direction today. In many ways, the framework of this debate (i.e. whether or not China should be chosen) is itself misleading. The Australian decision, whether at the government level, by companies or individuals, is critical to the direction of our country. The choice between the US and China is not a one-time formal official choice, but gradually formed by millions of small decisions made each day.

Only if you believe the following points will you feel that choosing China is the correct decision for Australia:

The benefits of our alliance with China outweigh the costs of abandoning the alliance with the US;

In terms of Australia’s national interests, China is a more moderate force than the US today;

We are willing to transform our democratic and free lifestyle into an illiberal lifestyle closer to the Chinese system.

First of all, it is against the interests of Australia to choose China now because China is not as strong as the US and it will not be for decades to come. China’s economic, diplomatic, military and soft power lag behind that of the US. Even if it really turns out as predicted, it will be the middle of this century when China’s comprehensive national strength catches up with the US. While we often overestimate China, we underestimate the strength of the US. It is in our interest to stick with the stronger of the two. There is no doubt that the best option for many years to come is the US.

In fact, our US ally also offers many benefits which people today are indifferent to: the alliance strengthens Australia’s defence security. Despite President Trump’s behaviour which is eccentric and difficult to grasp, Australia has received military, intelligence and other US assistance and cooperation. Canberra has also strengthened its international influence by establishing close ties with the US. And Australia has gained a better position in negotiations with China. Therefore, it is still necessary to ally with the US in order to be in the best position to confront China.

Whatever happens, jumping ship, when geopolitics is full of turmoil and uncertainty, from a good ship with only a few problems to another with less favourable conditions and only untested potential, is immature. Why should we put ourselves in a worse position before entering the coming storm?

Second, China is not a benign power for Australia, but the United States has proven to be and will continue to prove to be one. China’s way of exercising power is increasingly arbitrary and authoritarian. It exerts influence in the South China Sea and the Taiwan Strait and hopes to change the current balance of power and change the international order and rules. If China can scare others and achieve its goals through powerful means, it will undoubtedly do so. We should be alert to this rising power. The day of its emergence has come. History shows that when arrogance transcends caution and reason, tragedy is not far away. I believe that China under Xi Jinping’s rule is too confident about its strength and future destiny.

Thirdly, speaking about values. The political values of the People’s Republic of China under the Communist Party of China (CPC) are completely different from the liberal values of Australia. Some of their ideas will be extremely abhorrent to those of us living in a free society. The CPC is the world’s biggest human rights violator. The human rights disaster that is happening in Xinjiang is a good example. More than one million Muslims are currently being held in concentration camps. The Party conducts large-scale surveillance, brainwashing and speech censorship of the Chinese population, as well as other social controls. As long as people dare to dissent, they will be suppressed by the Party because it thinks it is a challenge to its political power.

Therefore, if we do not agree with the actions of the Chinese Communist regime within its own country, then we should be alert to its intentions abroad. What it does in its own country also shapes its international image. For example, China does not care about human rights as much as liberal democracies do. The CPC carries out unscrupulous large-scale surveillance and suppression within China, and now they have even begun to export this sort of expertise, equipment and technology to authoritarian countries in the Middle East and Africa, among others.

If Australia chooses China, it would likely undermine our values, political system and freedom. Our alliance with Chinese power would change the values of our democratic society and move us in a more undemocratic direction. This is why we need to keep at least an arm’s length away from the CPC.

Australia’s national interests and the complex international environment require us to be smart, cautious and creative. It is illogical, stupid and unnecessary to choose China at this time. But “the time has not yet arrived” is also a dangerous idea. I hope that time will never come, at least not while China is still under its current authoritarian regime.

 

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

Date of Translation: 19 December 2018

Read More

The following is a translation of an article published by People’s Daily (人民日报), the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China. The article is a Zhongsheng (钟声) commentary, a homophone for ‘Voice of China’, which specifically covers foreign policy issues.

People’s Daily Zhongsheng Commentary: Promoting the Healthy and Stable Development of US-China Relations

History and reality prove that cooperation is the best choice for both sides, and only a win-win situation can lead to a better future.

Chinese President Xi Jinping was invited to dinner and to meet with American President Donald Trump in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires on the evening of December 1, local time. In a frank and friendly atmosphere, the two heads of state exchanged in-depth views on US-China relations and international issues of common concern. They reached important consensus, indicating the future direction of US-China relations.

During the meeting, President Xi pointed out that China and the US share important responsibilities in promoting world peace and prosperity. A good US-China relationship is in the fundamental interests of their peoples and is also a general expectation of the international community. President Trump agreed with this evaluation of relations between the two countries and considers the US-China relationship as very special and important. Both countries are globally influential. Maintaining good cooperative relations is beneficial to both sides and to the world. Consensus was reached by the two heads of state. Both will stop adding new tariffs on each other and will take steps toward cancelling all tariffs. They will intensify consultations and will reach a mutually beneficial concrete agreement as soon as possible. This will not only benefit the development and well-being of the peoples of China and the US, it is also conducive to the steady growth of the world economy and in the interest of all countries.

This was the first meeting of the two heads of state since their meeting in Beijing last November. Except for two telephone conversations, it is also the first time the two heads of state have met face-to-face since bilateral economic and trade frictions escalated in March this year. They agreed to maintain close contact through visits, meetings, calls, communications, and so forth, jointly leading the direction of the development of US-China relations. And they will resume exchange visits in due course. Diplomacy by the heads of state has a leading strategic role in the development of US-China relations. The benign interaction between the two heads of state has made clear the direction and plans for healthy and stable development of US-China relations.

The key to developing US-China relations is that both parties must have an accurate judgement of each other’s strategic intentions. Negative voices in the US about China have been increasing for some time and the overall relationship between them has attracted world attention. During this meeting, the two heads of state agreed that US-China relations must and certainly will be done well.  They agreed to promote fundamental relations through coordination, cooperation and stability. The important consensus reached by the heads of state in developing bilateral relations is conducive to bringing the two together from opposite directions and jointly safeguarding the overall health and stable development of US-China relations. It is also conducive to jointly promoting world peace and prosperity.

China and the US are the world’s top two economies, the largest developing country and the largest developed country. The two countries have broad common interests and huge space for cooperation, but it is inevitable that there will be differences in some areas. The problems are not terrible. The key is to solve them through dialogue and negotiation. As former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger pointed out: “Developing US-China relations requires strategic thinking and foresight. The US and China must better understand each other, strengthen strategic communication and continuously expand common interests. They must properly manage differences and show the world that their common interests are far greater than their differences.” On the basis of equality and mutual benefit, China and the US can properly resolve the problems arising in the development of bilateral relations through friendly consultation in the spirit of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation. They can continue to expand the basis for cooperation and make a cake of common interests. The results of the meeting of the heads of state again showed that the common interests between China and the US are greater than their differences, and the need for cooperation overcomes friction. The two countries have sufficient political wisdom to develop their bilateral relations on the basis of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

China and the US will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations on 1 January next year. US-China relations have experienced storms and bumps over the past 40 years, but the overall situation has remained stable. History and reality prove that cooperation is the best choice for both sides, and only a win-win situation can lead to a better future. In the face of a profound and complicated international situation, China and the US should proceed from the fundamental interests of the peoples of the two countries and the people of the world in accordance with the important consensus reached by the two heads of state. They should promote the healthy and stable development of US-China relations, giving the two peoples greater feelings of satisfaction and achievement.

 

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

Date of Translation: 13 December 2018

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More

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

Read More