Views in Chinese
Open letters by Australian Scholars on CPC interference
Vision Times (看中国), 30 March 2018
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
Australia's Immigration Debate
Australian Financial News (澳洲财经见闻), 28 March 2018
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
ASEAN-Australia Infrastructure Cooperation Initiative
People's Daily (人民日报), 20 March 2018
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 Review reported 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
Student Visa Delays to Australia
Australian Red Scarf (澳洲红领巾), 10 March 2018
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…
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!
Date of translation: 19 March 2018
"Silent Invasion: China's Influence in Australia"
Vision Times（看中国）, 22 February 2018
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."
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.
Date of translation: 23 February 2018
PRC Embassy Warning to International Students
Australian Red Scarf (澳洲红领巾), 15 February 2018
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].
Date of translation: 16 February 2018
PRC government interference in Australia
Vision Times （看中国）, 10 February 2018
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].
Date of translation: 20 February 2018
What does China say about...
USS Hopper FONOP
人民日报（钟声）, 22 January 2018
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]
澳洲新闻网, 24 January 2018
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')]
China France relations
环球时报, 10 January 2018
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].
Xinhua News Agency, 15 January 2018
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)
Chinese students in Australia contribute to bilateral links
Xinhua News Agency, 20 December 2017
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].
Xinhua News Agency, 21 December 2017
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
PRC Firms in Australia
Global Times, 11 December 2017
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
Establishing a regional and global community
人民日报, 18 December 2017
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)
Australia's Foreign Policy White Paper
28 November 2017
人民日报, 11 December 2017
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]
Foreign Worker exploitation in Australia
Xinhua News Agency, 21 November 2017
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’
Global Times, 3 December 2017
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’
Solution for the South China Sea
Global Times, 23 November 2017
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'
Military Drill in Djibouti
Global Times, 26 November 2017
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’