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Isaac soloman View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 May 2018 at 1:17pm
females more than get their own back nowadays.

is a shame it even has to be an issue.

i learn a lot form "The Good Fight". thoroughly recommend it, very topical, and current. gee one of the main characters last night was not going to go back to her husband if he had voted trump! and a piece on a feminist web site, with the defendants of the bloke being a feminist and a lesbian and older women, both African american and white.

i dont see gender or colour.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 May 2018 at 12:27am
Nor do I.
In reference to every post in the Trump thread ... "There may have been a tiny bit of license taken there" ... Ok, Thanks for the "heads up" PT!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2018 at 1:10pm
Australia wide Telstra outage again today Isaac, the second in a month. 

China, you reckon?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 8:30am

While Australia watched a wedding, China was making its next move

When not busy with a celebrity wedding in a far-off land, Australia and the US have spent recent days preoccupied with problems of trade with China. But have you noticed what the Chinese government has been busy with over the last few days?

For the first time, the People's Liberation Army Air Force on Friday landed heavy bombers on an island in the South China Sea. Three weeks ago it installed anti-ship and anti-aircraft cruise missiles on some of the islands.Meaning what, exactly? "The gloves are off, in layman's terms," says the Lowy Institute's director of international security studies, Euan Graham. "The Chinese have abandoned the fiction of a non-militarised presence in the South China Sea."

All the islands that China is arming are claimed by other countries in the region. But isn't China in negotiations with those countries over a code of conduct to prevent any such escalation? Indeed it is. "This is a very overt slap in the face to be doing things that are overtly military and offensively military while there's a diplomatic activity designed to prevent exactly this sort of thing from happening," Graham tells me.

But it's ultimately something much bigger than a slap in the face of the nations of South East Asia. "These are things that, a decade ago, the US would have been prepared to take military action to stop," suggests Hugh White, professor of strategic studies at ANU and former head of strategy at the Defence Department.  Today, they produce nothing more than standard talking points from the public relations desk at the Pentagon. "The US remains committed to a free and open Indo-Pacific," said a spokesman.

Barack Obama wasn't any more effective. Beijing simply ignored Obama's warnings it had to stop seizing disputed marine territories. There were no consequences. And Beijing brushed aside The Hague's ruling that there was "no legal basis" to its claim on the Spratley island group. Again, there were no consequences."The art of Chinese strategy," says Hugh White, "is to slice the salami pretty thinly" taking small, incremental steps in gradual accumulation of territory and power. "But every few months they do something to show there's nothing the US can do or will do to stop them."

"China is demonstrating to its own people, to its neighbours, to the world that the US can no longer dictate what goes on," he tells me. "As they do, they demonstrate that the US is no longer the power it once was."White prophesied in 2010 that, if sustained, China's rise "may mark the passing of the epoch of Western dominance of Asia that began five centuries ago, in 1498, when Vasco da Gama brought Portuguese naval power to India".

And today? "We are not there yet, but we are clearly heading in that direction and we will keep heading in that direction unless the US does something decisive to change the state of play. I certainly don't see that from Donald Trump, or from any credible successor he might have."part from anything else, the US President is busy trying to cut a trade deal with China. And he's also relying on Chinese help as he tries to negotiate a nuclear arms deal with North Korea.

The Lowy Institute's Graham says that Beijing is "rolling out the capability while it has the political window".

And what does this mean for Australia? Most political and media discussion of China in recent weeks has been devoted to discerning whether Australia has a problem in its relations with China. Peak hysteria was a newspaper column demanding that Malcolm Turnbull sack Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop because China relations were "now in the freezer". The author, Geoff Raby, a former Australian ambassador to Beijing, is now on the board of a Chinese state-controlled coal company and runs his own China-based consultancy.There are some signs of Beijing's displeasure with Australia - a go-slow on holding some high-level meetings, a go-slow in customs processing of Australian wine imports, some cranky lines in a hyper-nationalist Chinese newspaper - but it's hardly a crisis.

< ="https://e.infogr.am/south-cina-sea-competing-claims-1hd12ydvlo8m2km?=" scrolling="no" border="0" allowfullscreen="" style="-sizing: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; font-family: inherit; margin: 0px; padding: 0px; vertical-align: line; border-width: initial; border-style: none; width: 803px; height: 478px;">

Why might the Chinese be cross? Because the government criticised the Chinese Communist Party's covert foreign influence operations in Australia. Two points here. First, if the Chinese regime were seriously trying to punish Australia, we wouldn't have to guess. They'd impose real economic pain, as they did in boycotting South Korean music and movies, as they did in cutting off a key Philippines export, bananas.

Second, if the party were "punishing" Australia for standing up for itself, is it really the right reaction to self-flagellate? Is Australia that craven? White puts it this way: "The Chinese have only cleared their throat, and they've got us running around like chooks with our heads cut off."
Would China sack its foreign affairs minister for defending its national interests?

While Raby and friends indulge in a cringing myopia, the Chinese Communist Party is using what White calls "brute power politics" to restructure the regional order.  By landing its H-6K heavy bombers on Woody Island in the Paracel group, by putting anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles on three of the islands of the Spratly group, China's regime was asserting its intention to dominate the sea and air across the South China Sea, the world's most valuable commercial artery and Australia's chief trade lifeline.There's no conceivable defensive rationale for putting these things on these islands," says Lowy's Graham. "It speaks very powerfully to power projection. They are literally putting markers down."

And he says the touchdown of a heavy bomber in the Paracel group is likely "a prequel to combat aircraft deployments to the Spratlys", where Beijing has already built runways and hangars capable of taking large military craft.

The Chinese bomber has a range of 3520 kilometres. Meaning that if deployed to the Spratlys, "the H-6Ks could reach northern Australia or US defence facilities on Guam", a key US Pacific base, according to the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative.

White argues that a new regional order of Chinese dominance is closer by the day, but not yet upon us. However, "it's certainly well past the point of the old order based on uncontested US primacy".

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 8:37am
Meanwhile, instead of addressing the dangers of China to the world, the so called leader of the free world is doing deals with them for $500m business loans, caving to them on trade and doing deal with them to get Kim Jong Un to agree to anything that will get Trump a Nobel Peace Prize. 

We are screwed. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2018 at 9:43pm
pt has a a new name, panda hugger.Image result for panda hugger
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 7:57am
Hey Isaac, they now say that a panda is genetically closer to a bear than to the previously believed position of being closer to a raccoon.

What do you think?

Do you think pandas spy on behalf of the Chinese Govt?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 10:05am
mmm panda hugger. are we getting closer to the truth about your good self?LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 11:26am
He does look very huggable. Not sure about a couple of years time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stayer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 5:24pm
Originally posted by Passing Through Passing Through wrote:

He does look very huggable. Not sure about a couple of years time.

Pay that one.

Genuine question, PT, if you can get over Trump for a second. And to Shammy too, who seems to understand US politics/ patterns better than anyone here. From what you guys know, do you think the US is in an inevitable new phase of having to cede ground to China over the next few decades? (I'm obviously asking because that's my opinion, but I know very little about it all apart from reading opinion pieces from all kinds of biases on the net.)

And what would it take to provoke a strong US reaction (i.e. military) to China's incremental take-over of parts of the globe?

Probably pretty important questions re the future of Oz.
"She's going through a growth phase." - GW
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 5:32pm
Too late, if it was ever a possibility. You can't stop countries freely cooperating with each other, and 75 are now cooperating with China.

The TPP was seen as the counter to Belt and Road but Trump scuttled it as one of his first actions in power. Now he wants back in, but nobody will trust him. He is the best thing that could have happened for China. The next President will renegotiate a place in it, but China has momentum.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 5:36pm
Art of The Deal - Chapter 5.

China, U.S. near deal on ZTE reprieve; Beijing cuts auto tariffs

Washington neared a deal to lift its ban on U.S. firms supplying Chinese telecoms gear maker ZTE Corp, sources tell Reuters, and Beijing announced tariff cuts on car imports, further easing trade tensions between the world's two largest economies.

The reprieve for ZTE , hit by a seven-year ban in April that had crippled its operations, could include China removing tariffs on imported U.S. agricultural products, as well as buying more American farm goods, two people briefed on the matter told Reuters.

https://www.acbr.com.au/china-us-near-deal-zte-reprieve-beijing-cuts-auto-tariffs

In reference to every post in the Trump thread ... "There may have been a tiny bit of license taken there" ... Ok, Thanks for the "heads up" PT!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 5:38pm
Making China Great Again 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Second Chance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 5:48pm
Steve Ciobo was on ABC Radio lauding what was a truly appalling "TPP" between Oz and China, as overseen by Andrew "Thanks for the $700k for doing absolutely F-all" Robb.

All in the context of suggesting our awaited TPP with the European Union would be truly great for Oz, without of course addressing or explaining any cost benefit analysis.

Thing is, every agreement is painted as being to Oz advantage and a real coup for the Government of the day. History suggests otherwise.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2018 at 5:50pm
Good work by Trump? 

... or another CATASTROPHY!!!Cry ... you know, like a booming US economy, record low unemployment, stopping illegal immigrants, enabling the 20+ year promise to Israel, imminent World Peace ...Wacko
In reference to every post in the Trump thread ... "There may have been a tiny bit of license taken there" ... Ok, Thanks for the "heads up" PT!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2018 at 9:30am

Why the China tiger is a force that just can’t be ignored

Paul MurrayThe West Australian

We can choose to throw stones at the Chinese tiger and hope it goes away. It won’t. We are going to have to deal with it. And it’s going to be a really big bugger.

In a speech to the Australia-China Research Institute in Sydney on Wednesday, Philip Lowe laid out the entrails of a recent RBA board briefing, what he called “a deep dive” into the Chinese financial system.

onsider this: it took about 40 years for Deng Xiaoping’s reform of the Chinese economy to see it equal America’s even though it has a population base four times greater.

But in another 12 years, China Inc. is expected to be twice the size of the US system.

Pauline Hanson warned about Australia being “swamped by Asians” but the ability of the Chinese economy to smother ours — or leave us hanging out to dry if it falters — is what keeps Lowe up at night.

But we haven’t seen anything yet.

“Currently, Chinese investment accounts for only a small share of the total stock of outstanding foreign investment in Australia — just 3 per cent,” Lowe said. “In contrast, the US accounts for the largest share, at around 30 per cent.”

The RBA Governor said foreign investment had been unequivocally good for Australian prosperity, as had the relationship with China.

ACRI head, former foreign minister Bob Carr, got Lowe to look into the future during a Q&A period and he landed on one simple, but highly controversial measure, housing:

“If Chinese citizens can buy and sell foreign assets just like you and I can, that could have really profound implications for global capital markets and we are still coming to grips with that.

“The sheer scale of financial wealth that will exist there and the desire of Chinese nationals to hold assets in other countries will be strong and we should find ways of accommodating that. But it should be managed because the flows could be very, very large.

“But a genuine opening of the Chinese capital account could be really transformational for global capital markets and it will also put political stresses in countries as well.”

For example, Lowe noted that as China became the biggest economy, the veto powers that the US holds over the International Monetary Fund would have to go. For many people, such a transformation represents a new world order.

And it will be. Lowe’s speech sparked front-page media reports that cherry-picked the alarming risks that vulnerabilities in the Chinese financial system, principally its high debt, might pose for Australians. That’s news.

But behind those genuinely chilling realities is another story Lowe told about the maturing of the Asian giant’s economy. Sensible commentary like his is what will be needed for us to find the right balance in our relationship.

“Among the largest economic risks that Australia faces is something going wrong in China,” Lowe said. “And perhaps the single biggest risk to the Chinese economy at the moment lies in the financial sector and the big run-up in debt there over the past decade.”

However, while Lowe is cautious about China’s exposure, there was an undercurrent of optimism in how he saw their leadership dealing with it which was not reflected in the news reporting.

Most of that debt had built productive capacity, rather than be diverted into consumption. And the Chinese economy was rapidly transforming to a service base, which is now driving sustainable growth.

Lowe made some telling points about Australia’s strong links to China that often get lost in the xenophobia about the Middle Kingdom. Please explain? Well, given his role, he unusually chose a socio-economic argument about human contacts dictating the future relationship:

“Last year there were 1.4 million visitors from China to Australia, up from around 400,000 a decade ago. In 2009, just four passenger airlines flew between China and Australia. Today, there are 15 airlines and last year there were more than 15,000 direct flights between our two countries.

“On average, Chinese visitors tend to stay longer in Australia and spend more money than other visitors. As a result, they now account for around 25 per cent of total visitor expenditure in Australia, a considerably larger share than any other country.”

And then there was this: “Over the past decade, the Chinese-born resident population in Australia has grown at an average rate of around 8 per cent per year. People born in mainland China account for two per cent of Australia’s population (around 510,000 people), and there are more than one million people who identify themselves as having some Chinese ancestry.”

After outlining a worrying lack of transparency that still exists in the Chinese financial system, including what is known as “shadow banking” which leads to a build-up of private debt outside central controls, Lowe offered support for what had been achieved in reforms.

“A decade ago, many outside observers were sceptical that the Chinese authorities would undertake reforms across many of these fronts,” he said. “Yet they have made significant progress.

“Interest rate controls have been relaxed, although there is still ‘guidance’. A deposit insurance system has been introduced and the regulatory system has been strengthened.

“The capital markets are playing a more prominent role in the financial system. The large state-owned banks are now listed on stock exchanges in China and Hong Kong.

“It is also now somewhat easier for private firms to obtain equity finance. Controls on capital flows have also been relaxed somewhat over the last decade.” Lowe’s measured commentary and optimism about the Chinese relationship was in stark contrast to the often febrile political debate in Australia.“It is also now somewhat easier for private firms to obtain equity finance. Controls on capital flows have also been relaxed somewhat over the last decade.” Lowe’s measured commentary and optimism about the Chinese relationship was in stark contrast to the often febrile political debate in Australia.

Click here for a transcript of his speech and an audio recording which includes the informative Q&A.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2018 at 1:04pm
Hey Isaac, what do you think of this?

Feral donkeys eyed for dinner plates and Chinese medicine

Posted Sat at 5:26am

At Packsaddle north of Broken Hill, Joe Baty and his family are chasing feral donkeys on motorbikes.

The often unpredictable ass can be a handful even for Mr Baty, who has grown up handling wild animals.

"Donkeys just keep trying you and trying you," he said.

"They're definitely the hardest thing to muster that I've mustered — I'd be pretty sure about that."

Mr Baty, who lives at Muella Station north-west of Bourke, makes most of his money from goats.

On the side he sells donkeys as guardian animals to protect livestock mainly from wild dogs.

"Donkeys are very vicious animals," he said.

"Even though they look dopey and sleepy, when the time is right they are a powerhouse."

From pest to profit

Donkeys were originally brought to Australia to cart loads as pack animals.

These days the wild leftovers are known more as environmental pests, causing erosion and damaging vegetation.

But there is growing interest in turning that pest into a profit.

As well as selling them as guardian animals, donkey meat and hide are in big demand in China.

Gelatine in the animals' skin is used to make a popular traditional Chinese medicine called ejiao.

"It pulls between $500 to $1000 a kilo and the top grade ejiao brings in up to $2,000 per kilo so it's a real opportunity," said Northern Territory Agriculture Minister Ken Vowles.

"One of the companies we met with has a profit of nearly half a billion dollars per year."

The Northern Territory Government is looking at using feral animals as a foundation for a farmed donkey industry.

More than 50 potential Chinese investors have already visited the Territory and the Government has invested in a small herd of feral donkeys for research purposes.

"Times have changed," Mr Vowles said.

"We've seen many circumstances and instances where pests have become something we can look at making money out of and a real industry, so why not have a look at it."

While the success of any future donkey industry will rely on exports to China, local markets are starting to be explored.

Xue Wang moved to Australia from China two years ago and now serves donkey burgers at his Manly Vale restaurant near Sydney.

"In my home town the donkey burger is really popular," Mr Wang said.

"So I want to bring this culture, this delicious food, to Australia.

"Also, there is a large Chinese population here."

Is there a future in farming a feral?

Mr Wang also wants to start farming donkeys because he says the meat from the feral animals is tougher than what he is used to in China.

But Jed Goodfellow from the RSPCA says wild donkeys do not fare well in farms and believes it is kinder to cull them rather than catch them for processing.

"So long as culling in the field is conducted effectively and there's a single instant kill, that is probably better from an animal welfare perspective than the stress caused to animals from the mustering, the capture and the transport process," Mr Goodfellow said.

Mr Baty says the notoriously stubborn animals are sometimes hard to handle and difficult to load, but believes the outcome is better than the alternative.

"You're better off to cart them away and putting them to some use than to have them shot," he said.

"There's an end product, they go to feed people, they go for the medicine side of it in China.

"They go to a use instead of just being left on the ground to breed blowflies."

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2018 at 1:59pm
have the chinese exhausted the donkey supply in Africa?

typical of them to strip the source of supply, so that there is nothing left, and then they start breeding their own.

pt, or is it panda hugger, tell the chinese aus has an oversupply of camels. is there any thing medicinal about a camel the chinese can get stuck into? or maybe we should create the beliefLOL

just make sure we charge the s##t out of it....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carioca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2018 at 2:01pm
Lotta truth in that Isaac,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2018 at 6:02pm
Originally posted by Isaac soloman Isaac soloman wrote:

have the chinese exhausted the donkey supply in Africa?

typical of them to strip the source of supply, so that there is nothing left, and then they start breeding their own.

pt, or is it panda hugger, tell the chinese aus has an oversupply of camels. is there any thing medicinal about a camel the chinese can get stuck into? or maybe we should create the beliefLOL

just make sure we charge the s##t out of it....
Thought they would have wanted our cats ... they can have all of our cats!Angry
In reference to every post in the Trump thread ... "There may have been a tiny bit of license taken there" ... Ok, Thanks for the "heads up" PT!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gay3 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 May 2018 at 6:21pm
Cue....................acacia LOL
Experience is something you gain a few minutes after you could have used it!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2018 at 9:49am

Revealed: Why the sale of Ausgrid to Chinese buyers was vetoed

A number of countries around the world, from Canada and the US to Malaysia, are starting to take a more sceptical view of foreign investments from China, especially when they're from state-controlled firms.

But an Australian mystery remains - why did the federal government veto the $10 billion sale of Ausgrid to a Chinese-dominated partnership two years ago?

The NSW government was furious at the disruption of its planned part-privatisation of its electricity distributor. And why did the Turnbull government intrude into the sale process just 10 days before the deal's deadline?

Treasurer Scott Morrison said only that the sudden veto was was on the basis the sale was "contrary to the national interest, in accordance with the required provision on the grounds of national security".

And because the decision was never properly explained, the Chinese government accused Canberra of "discrimination" and "protectionism". One of Beijing's cheerleaders in Australia, Bob Carr, got quite worked up, calling it the decision a "sacrifice to the witches' sabbath of xenophobia and economic nationalism".

t was a puzzle because the federal government had allowed the same Chinese state-owned firm to buy control of a big power distributor in South Australia, ElectraNet. Morrison said that Ausgrid was different, but experts were baffled.

There was speculation among tech security experts at the time that it was because Ausgrid operates secure fibre cables to NSW police headquarters and a number of major private firms.

But, in fact, it is vastly more sensitive than anything that had been guessed at. The failure of proper scrutiny was considered so serious that the federal government has since set up a new Critical Infrastructure Centre to make sure it never happens again.

The federal government has long maintained a national list of critical infrastructure, and Ausgrid was on it. But NSW's sale process went on for month after month without any red flags going up in Canberra.

ventually, it was Australian Signals Directorate, Australia's electronic spy agency, that raised the alarm within the government. "It was half a minute to midnight when people in ASD realised that they had information relating to the extreme criticality and sensitivity of Ausgrid," says an official who was involved in the process.

In fact, Ausgrid hosts a piece of infrastructure that is a critical support to the Joint Facilities at Pine Gap, near Alice Springs. Pine Gap is the top secret centrepiece of the Australia-US alliance and central to US nuclear war-fighting capability.

The US network of satellites that "stares" at the Eurasian land mass looking for the tell-tale flare of a nuclear missile launch sends its findings to the Pine Gap base.

It's the indispensable communication conduit that the US depends on in the event that North Korea, Russia, China or Iran should decide to strike. It was switched on in the 1970s but its existence was only disclosed publicly by an Australian academic, the late Des Ball, in 1980.

The US had been livid at Canberra when the federal government allowed a Chinese firm, Landbridge, to buy operational control of the Port of Darwin, merely because it put the Chinese company in a position where it could perhaps monitor American military movements throughout the port.

How would the US react if Australia handed to the Chinese state-owned State Grid consortium 50.4 per cent of a critical support to Pine Gap? It was a deeply unsettling moment when the top officials of Australia’s national security system realised that this was exactly what was about to happen.

In the inner sanctum of the cabinet's national security committee, there were some terse exchanges. The then secretary of the Defence Department, Dennis Richardson, emphatically rejected any suggestion that it was his department’s responsibility to police the critical infrastructure list.
The Treasury hosts the body that has to consider foreign buy-ins of any scale or sensitivity, the Foreign Investment Review Board, but the Treasury doesn’t manage the list of critical infrastructure. “Well,” Scott Morrison asked at one point, “Who is responsible for managing the critical infrastructure list?” He looked around the table, according to multiple people present at the time. It was not a secret. In fact, the public website of the Attorney-General’s Department stated that it was responsible for managing the list.

After a silence, when the attorney-general George Brandis said nothing, the secretary of his department, Chris Moraitis, spoke up: “We are.” No longer. The new Critical Infrastructure Centre is in the newly created Home Affairs ministry. Indeed, some ministers said that this episode demonstrated why a single co-ordinating agency was needed.

They said that Brandis was not specially culpable in the oversight; in the final analysis, officials and ministers said that it was a debacle with enough blame to go all round. Including, they said, to the NSW government, which, although it was not informed of the super-sensitive nature of Ausgrid, should have taken earlier precautions to co-ordinate with Canberra.

In hindsight it seems to have been a moment of wakening from an official torpor, a realisation that Australia was now in a world demanding more alertness. Other governments around the world are now experiencing the same wakening.

Peter Hartcher is international editor.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2018 at 10:55am

China's 'brazen' and 'aggressive' political interference outlined in top-secret report

Updated about an hour ago

A top-secret report has raised concerns that the Chinese Government has attempted to influence Australia's political parties for the past decade.

Key points:

  • Malcolm Turnbull ordered an investigation into foreign interference in 2016
  • China is the main concern and an intelligence source says there has been infiltration at every layer of Government
  • The top-secret report was the main driver for the foreign interference laws introduced into Parliament in 2017

One intelligence source told the ABC there had been infiltration at every layer of Australian Government, right down to local councils.

An investigation into the extent of foreign interference in Australia was ordered by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2016 and he indicated what the report found last year.

"Our system as a whole had not grasped the nature and magnitude of the threat," he said.

But Mr Turnbull told Parliament he could not provide extensive details about the report.

"The findings of the report are necessarily classified."

Some of the details are now starting to emerge, with Nine News reporting that the document lists China as the country of most concern.

It also states that the Communist Party has attempted to compromise Australia's major political parties for the past decade.

ne of the report's contributors is John Garnaut, a former Turnbull advisor who now runs a consultancy firm, and while he would not comment on the details of the investigation he has previously warned about China's influence in Australia.

"Under the uncompromising leadership of President Xi Jinping, China's activities have become so brazen and so aggressive that we can't ignore it any longer," he told the US House Armed Services Committee in March.

The top-secret report was the main driver for the foreign interference laws introduced into Parliament last year.

One person involved in the process has described it as "playing catch up" but added Australia was ahead of the game and they expected other countries to follow suit.

Just last week, ASIO'S director general Duncan Lewis again described the scale of foreign intelligent activity against Australia as unprecedented.

"Foreign actors covertly attempt to influence and shape the views of members of the Australian public, the Australian media, officials in the Australian government," he said.


John Garnaut and Bob Carr thrust into the spotlight

There has been further scrutiny on Beijing's influence because of questions asked about Mr Garnaut's working history.

AM has been told that former Labor Foreign Minister Bob Carr asked a Labor Senator to put forward questions on his behalf during Senate Estimates in relation to John Garnaut.

A source said Mr Carr, who heads up the Australia China Relations Institute, had a "pattern of writing questions" and was well known for doing so.

Mr Carr told the ABC he emphatically denies drafting questions for "either two of the Labor Senators".

It is claimed that Mr Carr suggested Labor Senator Kristina Keneally ask questions about Mr Garnaut's current employment status, but it was Labor's Kimberly Kitching who read them out last week.

"Has the Prime Minister's office or Department contracted Mr Garnaut's services as a consultant, adviser or speechwriter since June 2017?" she asked senior officials.

"We certainly have a contract with John Garnaut. That's a contract with the department as a specialist speechwriter, in effect," Stephanie Foster from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet said.

Mr Carr, who has previously accused the Government of being anti-China, has seized on the information by issuing a statement that said the answer showed there was a lack of transparency in the Prime Minister's staffing arrangements.

"Mr Garnaut [is] entitled to be at the extreme end of the China debate in Australia but he should not be carrying on the campaign whilst on the Prime Minister's payroll," the statement said.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2018 at 11:16am
Hey Isaac, what did you think of Andrew Hastie's stunt last week under parliamentary privilege? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2018 at 12:53pm
Originally posted by Gay3 Gay3 wrote:

Cue....................acacia LOL


They wont be getting my cats.Angry  How about you, Gay and Dizzy ???
animals before people.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2018 at 9:07am

Chinese security officials asked about Turnbull's adviser


Chinese security officials who detained a Sydney academic in 2017 spent a full day interrogating him about Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s hand-picked China adviser, according to information gathered by national security officials.

Chongyi Feng, an Associate Professor in Chinese Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, was detained and questioned by Chinese officials during a visit to China in March last year about his links to liberal intellectuals in mainland China and contacts in Australia.

Fairfax Media can reveal that during the interrogation, Chinese state security officials demanded information about adviser John Garnaut, who at the time was working on an ASIO inquiry commissioned by Mr Turnbull.

The inquiry was aimed at assessing the extent of Beijing’s intelligence and interference operations in Australia.

According to a source who was unable to speak publicly, Dr Feng was asked dozens of questions about Mr Garnaut during the interrogation. His email account and mobile phone were searched for Mr Garnaut’s name as well as the word “DFAT,” an acronym for Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Dr Feng declined to comment to Fairfax Media, but he is understood to be a longstanding friend of Mr Garnaut, a former Fairfax Media China correspondent and now a consultant. Mr Garnaut refused to respond to reporters, aside from referring all questions to the government's media unit. Mr Turnbull's office declined to comment.

The revelation that the interrogation by the Ministry of State Security was concerned with the activities of one of Mr Turnbull’s hand picked advisers is likely to further inflame tensions between Beijing and Canberra.

Dr Feng was also asked what he knew about Huang Xiangmo, a Sydney billionaire with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party and who has given large donations to the major parties.

he revelation comes after Fairfax Media revealed former Labor foreign minister Bob Carr — who heads a China think-tank part founded by Mr Huang — recently urged Labor Senator Kristina Keneally to ask questionsof public servants in parliament about Mr Garnaut’s work. Mr Carr denied drafting the questions.

The inquiry into Beijing’s intelligence and interference operations, which Mr Garnaut headed for Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, produced what is known in national security circles as the Garnaut-ASIO report. Mr Garnaut's inquiry ran from August 2016 to September 2017.

The  inquiry looked at Mr Huang's activities and found that Beijing had for a decade sought to clandestinely interfere with Australian politics.

Dr Feng was detained by Chinese intelligence officers on March 20 in the city of Kunming after he had travelled to China to conduct academic field work about human rights lawyers.

Dr Feng was questioned at a hotel and released only to be detained again in the sprawling port city of Guangzhou. There he was told his interrogation would continue.

Security agents subjected Dr Feng to daily six-hour questioning sessions, all of it videotaped.

It has previously been reported that many of the questions were about his activities in Sydney, including the content of his lectures at UTS, the people in his Australian network of Communist Party critics, and his successful efforts to stop a concert glorifying the Communist Party founder Chairman Mao Zedong.

But it has never been revealed that Dr Feng’s interrogators were most interested in Mr Garnaut and his work for the prime minister.


In his final interrogation session, the state security agents presented Dr Feng with a document to sign that forbade him from publicly discussing his ordeal.

In response to the story on Monday about Mr Carr enlisting Labor senators to ask questions about Mr Garnaut, Labor MP Michael Danby hit out at the former minister, saying his "false-flag intervention gives chutzpah a new meaning.

"Bob Carr is a pro-Beijing extremist paid by the pro-Beijing think tank, Australia China Relations Institute (ACRI).

ACRI was largely funded by the Huang Xiangmo. ACRI is now financed by Australian and Chinese businesses arm-twisted into backing the Beijing line by financing Carr’s discredited outfit.”

Mr Carr responded that: "If Michael Danby had his way we’d be running a Cold War with China, the RAAF would be bombing Tehran and the Australian defence forces would be manning the Gaza fence".

with Nick O'Malley

y Nick McKenzie
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2018 at 2:07pm


Good pussy = dead pussy ... Dead

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In reference to every post in the Trump thread ... "There may have been a tiny bit of license taken there" ... Ok, Thanks for the "heads up" PT!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tlazolteotl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2018 at 4:13pm
There will be nothing left but cats, dogs, rats, mice, flies, mosquitoes, snakes, crocs and cockroaches.
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... and Radical Islamic Terrorists!Big smile
In reference to every post in the Trump thread ... "There may have been a tiny bit of license taken there" ... Ok, Thanks for the "heads up" PT!
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and sharks.
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