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acacia alba View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acacia alba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2018 at 9:21pm
Feral cats kill animals because they are hungry and need to eat, just like we do.
And why are they feral ?  Because numbskulls are too stupid to desex their cats, and contain them and care for them.
Blame the idiots not the cats.  And add idiots to the above list of Tiaz,s .  They are like cockroaches and can survive nuclear holocausts.
animals before people.
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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 10:59pm
A pet cat never brought a native bird to the back door and dropped it on it's owners doormat and walked away ... ever!Ermm
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: 31 May 2018 at 10:34am

What’s behind Beijing’s drive to control the South China Sea?

On 26 May, CNN broadcast an unusual clip of a US navy intelligence flight over the South China Sea. The P-8A Poseidon surveillance plane – one of the newest weapons in the Pentagon’s arsenal – had taken off, with a CNN reporter on board, from Clark airbase in the Philippines, once part of America’s largest overseas base complex during the cold war. After about 45 minutes, the plane reached its first target – which had, until recently, been an obscure, almost entirely submerged feature in the Spratly Island group.

Fifteen thousand feet below, dozens of Chinese ships tossed at anchor. Their crews had been working day and night for weeks, dredging sand and rock from the ocean floor to fill in a stunning blue lagoon – turning a 3.7-mile-long reef that had only partially revealed itself to the daylight at low tide into a sizable man-made island nearly 1,000 miles away from the Chinese mainland.

At the approach of the American aircraft, a Chinese radio operator can be heard addressing the pilot: “This is the Chinese navy. This is the Chinese navy … Please leave immediately to avoid misunderstanding.” When the plane, which was busily photographing the land-reclamation effort, failed to heed these instructions, the operator grew exasperated, and the recording ends as abruptly as it had begun, with him shouting the words: “You go!”

< height="339" ="https://interactive.guim.co.uk/uploader//2015/07/china_land_grab/giv-30080hZktscePsKnW/" style="width: 380px; border-width: initial; border-style: none;">China’s land grab in the South China Sea

For many people who viewed this clip, it might have almost passed for entertainment, but the plane continued on to a place called Fiery Cross, whose history and recent development point to how deadly serious the struggle over the South China Sea has become. Fiery Cross came under Chinese control in 1988, following a confrontation with Vietnam at a nearby site, Johnson Reef, where Chinese troops opened fire from a ship on a contingent of Vietnamese soldiers who stood in knee-deep seas after having planted their country’s flag in the coral. A YouTube video of the incident shows dozens of Vietnamese being cut down in the water under a hail of machine-gun fire.

China had come late to the game of laying claim to parts of the Spratly archipelago, which comprises hundreds of uninhabited coral reefs and sandbars flung across a vast area between the coasts of the Philippines and southern Vietnam, each of which has long controlled numerous positions in the area. But in this bloody way, China announced that it was fully committed. Its position on Fiery Cross Reef, staked out back in the 1980s, was initially justified under the auspices of Unesco, which had called on the nations of the world to cooperate in collectively surveying the oceans for meteorological and navigation purposes. Fast-forward 28 years, though, and as seen from the American surveillance flight, what had begun as an innocuous “ocean observation station”, has now mushroomed in less than a year of dredging into the most important of Beijing’s seven newly created positions in the South China Sea.

China had come late to the game of laying claim to parts of the Spratly archipelago, which comprises hundreds of uninhabited coral reefs and sandbars flung across a vast area between the coasts of the Philippines and southern Vietnam, each of which has long controlled numerous positions in the area. But in this bloody way, China announced that it was fully committed. Its position on Fiery Cross Reef, staked out back in the 1980s, was initially justified under the auspices of Unesco, which had called on the nations of the world to cooperate in collectively surveying the oceans for meteorological and navigation purposes. Fast-forward 28 years, though, and as seen from the American surveillance flight, what had begun as an innocuous “ocean observation station”, has now mushroomed in less than a year of dredging into the most important of Beijing’s seven newly created positions in the South China Sea.


www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/28/whats-behind-beijings-drive-control-south-china-sea-hainan

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South China Sea Map
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South China Sea Map
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2018 at 11:13am
Considering aus now imports most of its fuel, and 

Almost Half of Australia’s Petrol, Diesel and Jet Fuel Imports come from South Korea and Japan


and china is laying claim , to those shipping routes....

North korea is a diversion whilst china sets up its bases in the south china seas.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 May 2018 at 11:18am
How the West got China wrong

Decades of optimism about China’s rise have been discarded

Clear thinking and a united front are needed, but they may not be forthcoming

| HONG KONG

IN MARCH 2000 Bill Clinton divided American opinion on China into two camps. First came optimists with an eye on the future, who could see China becoming “the next great capitalist tiger, with the biggest market in the world.” Then came hawks and pessimists, stuck in the past, who saw China stubbornly remaining “the world’s last great communist dragon and a threat to stability in Asia.” A generation later, those words have the poignancy of a message from a lost world.

Like many either/ors, this one turned out to be a both/and. The China of Xi Jinping is a great mercantilist dragon under strict Communist Party control, using the power of its vast markets to cow and co-opt capitalist rivals, to bend and break the rules-based order and to push America to the periphery of the Asia-Pacific region. It is confident of its strength—since the financial crisis of 2008 it has touted state-guided capitalism as superior to free markets—and newly willing to show its teeth, deploying military might to redraw maps in the South China Sea. It punishes foreign businesses for the actions of their home governments. It is engirdling Eurasia with the contracts and rules that come along with the roads, railways and fibre-optic cables of its Belt and Road Initiative.

his has led to the starkest reversal in modern geopolitics. Political leaders and China-watchers across the West—most notably in America, but also in Europe, Australia and Japan—have come to believe that they were wrong about China’s rise. From cabinets to boardrooms to book-lined studies, voices which once argued that a growing middle class would drive China towards Western values have fallen silent. Hopes for reform were dealt a fresh blow when the Communist Party announced the scrapping of term limits for China’s presidency, allowing Xi Jinping to remain head of state indefinitely (see article).

Greatest good, greatest number

Instead debate divides those who think that it was naive to try engaging with China on the basis of such optimism and those who believe it was rational to make the attempt. Defenders of engagement have a point. China decided to rejoin the world after decades of Maoist isolation of its own accord; thinking that it was better to manage the process than not, as successive American governments did, made sense. Few were entirely Panglossian on the subject. Even in the headiest times America paired engagement with a need for “balancing” China’s rise, strengthening American forces in the Asia-Pacific and deepening security and trading alliances. The benefits were real. Cheaper goods have been a boon for American consumers; many American companies have done well out of China. And the simple fact that hundreds of millions of Chinese were raised from poverty counted for something with some Westerners.

But the China sceptics had a point. The West was too confident that a prosperous China would inevitably see its liberal democracies as a model. In hindsight, a lot of clever predictions about China look like wishes in disguise.

There is nothing dreamy about the National Security Strategy America published late last year. A general statement of the administration’s worldview, it says that China “challenge[s] American power, influence, and interests”. For decades, it goes on, American policy was “rooted in the belief that support for China’s rise and for its integration into the post-war international order would liberalise China.” This is deemed a mistake: “Contrary to our hopes, China expanded its power at the expense of the sovereignty of others.”

In consequence, though the strategy stops short of urging a return to cold-war containment, it proposes tougher curbs on Chinese spying and theft of intellectual property, especially from the most innovative American firms. In January an American business delegation warned Chinese officials of Politburo rank that aggressive trade actions by America are more likely than not. Mr Trump’s administration announced tariffs on aluminium foil on February 28th. It is soon to decide on steep tariffs against steel imports and the merits of a trade complaint punishing China for forced transfers of technology; that may allege close to $1trn in total damages.

Even those on the free-trade side of these debates worry about such showcase policies as “Made in China 2025”, a technology strategy aiming to create national champions in robotics, biomedicine, electric vehicles and more. When asked if they worry that China-curbing measures might disrupt global supply chains, nationalists on Team Trump reply that they want to reroute such chains back into America, while there is still time. In the Senate Republican free-traders like John Cornyn of Texas and Democratic champions of openness like Dianne Feinstein of California are co-sponsoring a bill to tighten the screening of Chinese and other foreign investments for national security.

https://www.economist.com/briefing/2018/03/01/decades-of-optimism-about-chinas-rise-have-been-discarded

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2018 at 2:32pm

Chinese interference in New Zealand at 'critical' stage, says Canada spy reportA report released by Canada’s spy agency has warned that New Zealand, one of its closest allies, has been influenced at every level of society by the Chinese government, and that the situation has reached a “critical” stage.

The report states that New Zealand is viewed as “the soft underbelly” of its western big brothers such as the UK and US.The report states that New Zealand is viewed as “the soft underbelly” of its western big brothers such as the UK and US.

“President Xi Jinping is driving a multi-dimensional strategy to lift China to global dominance,” it stated, and New Zealand was a key pawn in its strategy, with the government regarding its relations with the island nation as “an exemplar” of how it would like to steer future relations with other states.

The report was published by the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) but does not reflect the spy agency’s official views, and was based on reports to CSIS during an academic workshop.

The report claimed New Zealand’s business, political and intellectual elite had all been targeted by the Chinese Communist party, and that business tie-ups with companies, universities and research centres had been used to “influence activities and to provide access to military technology, commercial secrets and other strategic information”.

“Massive efforts” had also been made to bring Chinese-language media and Chinese community groups under the party’s control, and political donations have been made, it said.


New Zealand provides a vivid case study of China’s willingness to use economic ties to interfere with the political life of a partner country,” the report stated, warning that smaller states were “particularly vulnerable” to Chinese influence. New Zealand is home to just 4.7 million people.

“An aggressive strategy has sought to influence political decision-making, pursue unfair advantages in trade and business, suppress criticism of China, facilitate espionage opportunities, and influence overseas Chinese communities.”

New Zealand appealed to China as a strategic ally for numerous reasons, the report said. New Zealand administers the defence and foreign affairs of the neighbouring Pacific Island territories of Niue, Tokelau, and the Cook Islands, which means “four potential votes for China at international forums”.

Legislative change in 2011 has also made New Zealand “a hotspot for global money laundering”, a reputation shared by its territories, and the country is also a claimant in Antarctica and geographically one of the closest countries to it.

New Zealand has “cheap arable land and a sparse population”, a thriving dairy sector in which China is the largest foreign investor, a burgeoning space programme allowing rockets to be launched from the Mahia peninsula, unexplored petroleum reserves as well as expertise in multilateral trade negotiations, Pacific affairs, Antarctic science, and horticultural science which is “useful” for China, it said.

The country’s membership of the Five Eyes (an intelligence sharing network between Australia, the US, England, Canada and New Zealand) as well as Nato and other important military partnerships is also appealing.

“New Zealand’s economic, political and military relationship with the PRC [People’s Republic of China] is seen by Beijing as a model for relations with Australia, the small island nations in the south Pacific, and more broadly other western states” the report said.

“Some of these activities endanger New Zealand’s national security directly, while others have a more long-term corrosive effect.”

New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, said New Zealand had a “very strong” relationship with Canada, particularly with its prime minister, Justin Trudeau. “I have had no indication that our Five Eyes membership is under question, from Canada or any other of our partners, nor have I heard that it has been raised with any of my colleagues,” she said.

“New Zealand is vigilant against any interference that is intended to harm our values, institutions and economy.”

Last week, New Zealand’s foreign affairs minister travelled to China for a three-day visit, and met “high-ranking Chinese officials” including foreign minister Wang Yi, Politburo member and former minister of foreign affairs Yang Jiechi and the head of the Communist party’s international department, Song Tao.

“Our discussions were wide-ranging, covering all aspects of our bilateral relationship,” said Peters in a statement, including expansion of trade and economic ties, upcoming FTA discussions, and peace and security in the Asia-Pacific.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jun/01/chinese-interference-in-new-zealand-at-critical-stage-says-canada-spy-report
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 8:33am
the chinese will do any thing for a buck. 

'Kidnap' scam ends with Melbourne students tied up and money extorted

An 18-year-old private school girl goes missing in Melbourne. Her parents, in China, are sent photos which show their daughter with her wrists and ankles bound.

Her kidnappers demand $100,000 for her safe return, which her parents transfer to a Chinese bank account.t the same time a friend of the teenager’s, unable to find her, reports her missing to Victoria Police. The investigation quickly morphs from a missing persons case to a potential kidnap when detectives speak to her parents.

Police later find the teenager in a hotel room in Melbourne’s east. She is alone, sitting on a bed and watching television.But the girl was the victim of a scam. She had been coerced into taking part in the elaborate ruse involving an organised crime syndicate, an offshore call centre and a cast of actors targeting, mostly, the many thousands of Chinese in Australia.IDCARE, a national cyber security support service, has had more than 700 calls for help since October.In Melbourne, there have been 32 victims since December that police know of. That’s more than one a week. Twenty-two of them have sent money and about $3 million has been extorted in total. Most of them are students who are threatened with deportation or some kind of criminal punishment.“It sounds outrageous. But it’s happening all the time,” Victoria Police Detective Superintendent Pat Boyle said.

“The absolute fear they cause is incredible.”

In another case, a student was told his credit card owed $400,000 and he was linked to Chinese criminals. Someone purporting to be a policeman, who seemingly called from a Chinese police department on a spoofed number, told him he needed to get a new phone as his was no longer secure.

The student was then told to check in to a Frankston hotel room and, because he had no money, he needed to send photos in which he looked like he had been kidnapped.The scheme was building to a point where his parents would have been sent the photos if the young man hadn’t "broken the rules" and contacted his father himself, who told him it was a scam.

Henry Foo, a 24-year-old IT graduate living in Melbourne, received a call like this last Thursday from what he was told was the Chinese embassy in Sydney. He was told a package with his name on it had been intercepted and 70 fake credit cards were inside.

They transferred him to a police department in China who started to mine him for information, such as his passport number, before he was informed he was caught-up in a criminal banking case and sent him a phoney warrant.

“They kept on saying if I don’t co-operate with them they are going to take me back to Beijing and lock me up,” Mr Foo told The Age.I thought this was real. I was terrified. They told me I couldn’t tell anyone, not even my parents.”

To verify his bank account to the court so he could prove he wasn't involved, Mr Foo was told he must send $100,000 in Chinese yuan. But because he didn’t have the money, he started asking his friends and his uncle before they assured him it was a scam.

“I feel stupid,” Mr Foo said.

“But I wanted to tell people so they can be aware of this kind of thing.”

Superintedent Boyle said it's likely the calls originate from China or Taiwan, from a call centre run by organised crime groups.

He said the callers sit in a room with a script that they pass around as the scam escalates and the call is “transferred” from the Chinese embassy, to Chinese police, to Chinese prosecutors.

“The victims are vulnerable. They’re not with their family. They’re naive, in fear of authorities in their own country and also, enough facts are put behind it to make it sound so believable,” Superintendent Boyle said.

It’s hard to say how the syndicate has the phone numbers. In some cases, the scammers already have the name of the person they’re ringing but it’s more likely they are calling random mobiles in the hope of striking a Chinese or Mandarin-speaking victim.IDCARE's David Lacey said a similar scam hit Singapore in 2016-17, and it is now in Australia and New Zealand. Most of the calls, he said, begin with a pre-recorded message that asks them to press a number to continue.

“They want to scare people, they want to create a sense of absolute fear that you feel like there is no other option,” Mr Lacey said.

“Don’t respond. That’s how we’ll win. We cannot arrest our way out of this one, so it’s going to be getting that message through ... Here’s what’s going on, don’t be scared into responding.”

Talking points

  • 32 victims that police know of in Victoria.
  • 22 of them have been extorted of money.
  • $3 million has been extorted in total.
  • The scammers start off pretending to be from Chinese embassy.
  • It ends with photos of victims tied-up and sent to parents with a ransom. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 9:14am

Great powers stepping up on China

One nation after another at a weekend conference lined up to denounce China for breaking international law and to reassert "the rules-based order", but a curious pattern quickly emerged.
The further a country from the front line of China's relentless expansion into the South China Sea, the tougher it talked.The countries who are actually losing their claimed territories to China's military forces were much more diplomatic. So diplomatic, in fact, that they tiptoed carefully around the subject and had little or nothing to say.

One of the striking new responses to China's unchecked gains in the region is the rising protest from Europe. The annual Shangri-la security dialogue in Singapore heard stern words from the defence ministers of Britain, France and Germany on the weekend. All three declared that they will uphold "the rule of law" in the South China Sea.

France and Britain said that they were stepping up naval movements through the zone: "No less than five French ships sailed in this area in 2017," said French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly. "European ships are mobilising more widely."

Britain's Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson quipped: "We have been pleased to commit three Royal Navy ships to this region in the last year, although hearing France committed five, I think I have to commit to six" this year.Parly said that Britain and France, both permanent members of the UN Security Council, were sending naval ships to visit Singapore next week and then into "territorial waters" in the South China Sea. They would also be carrying German naval observers.While not naming China, she said that the French vessels expected to come under challenge, just as the US navy was challenged by China's navy last week when they sailed within 12 nautical miles of Woody Island in the Paracels group. This is the island, also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, where China landed heavy bombers last month."At some point a stern voice intrudes into the transponder and tells us to sail away from supposedly ‘territorial waters’,” said Parly. “But our commander then calmly replies that he will sail forth, because these, under international law, are indeed international waters.”

Why does Europe care? Because, said Britain's Williamson, the commercial shipping artery that runs through the South China Sea is incredibly important: "If there's a problem there, there's a problem for the whole world."

Parly said: "We do it because under international law we know that practice can become accepted. If a fait accompli is not questioned it can be opened. We place ourselves in the position of persistent objector to any claim of de facto sovereignty."ndia, a fast-rising power, is a lot closer to the hot zone than Europe, and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi set out a policy that brings it even closer.

Modi described India's interests as defined by the Indo-Pacific, "from the shores of Africa to that of the Americas". A vast span that includes, of course, the South China Sea, which he mentioned specifically.

When Modi spoke of the problems in the region, he didn't name China but told the conference that "above all, we see assertion of power over recourse to international norms". He called for a "free, open, inclusive region". He noted the importance of freedom of navigation.

In competition with China's narrative of its history and values, Modi spelled out India's own historical relationship to the ocean over thousands of years and asserted the "foundation of our civilisational ethos – of pluralism, co-existence, openness and dialogue. The ideals of democracy that define us as a nation also shape the way we engage the world".And in a departure from India's long passivity, the Indian leader described an active military outreach: "Indian Armed Forces, especially our navy, are building partnerships in the Indo-Pacific region for peace and security, as well as humanitarian assistance and disaster relief."

While the great powers stepped forward to decry the breakdown of the rules-based order, the front-line casualties were very quiet. China's island-building and militarisation has hit the Philippines and Vietnam harder than any other countries, and in past years they were outspoken about it.

The defence ministers of both countries spoke at the conference. Both avoided any mention of their territorial claims. They avoided touching on China's forcible island-building and militarisation of the disputed maritime space.

One of their fellow ASEAN members, Indonesia's Defence Minister, Ryamizard Ryacudu, even went so far as to say that there was no problem. Indonesia makes no claim to the island groups claimed by the Philippines and Vietnam. But it has had its own clash with China over the Natuna Islands at the southern end of the South China Sea.Ryamizard dismissed any possibility of armed conflict in the region. "I talked about factual threats," he said in response to a question on the subject. As for conventional war or strategic threat, "I don't see any potential threat. Indonesia sees the most factual threat as terrorism."And the traditional leading power in the Pacific? Speaking at the same conference, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis was blunt on China's recent deployment of cruise missiles to the disputed territories of the South China Sea: "Despite China’s claims to the contrary, the placement of these weapons systems is tied directly to military use for the purposes of intimidation and coercion.”

It seems to have worked. It seems that the Philippines and Vietnam have been intimidated into quiescence. And while Mattis talked tough and threatened China with unspecified "consequences", the force of his message was soon undercut by his President.

When the hundreds of military chiefs and defence officials who'd heard Mattis' words on the Saturday woke on the Sunday, they saw an overnight tweet from Donald Trump. The US President noted Mattis' charge that China had deployed "coercion and intimidation" and he added: "Very surprised that China would be doing this?"

The US has suffered a loss of credibility and, with antics like this, why would anyone take it seriously? South East Asia is giving up on America and yielding to China.

More distant great powers have noticed. They are worried but none is prepared to stand in China's way. China has launched more tonnage of new warships in just the last four years than the entire French navy can boast in totality, according to the International Institute of International Affairs. Beijing continues to get its way.

Peter Hartcher is international editor.4 June 2018 — 10:05pm

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 9:23am
Don't worry Isaac, Donald will take care of them as soon as he has denuclearized North Korea, taken care of Iran and settled the Middle East crisis, sorted out NAFTA, NATO and the TPP, won his trade war, built his wall and seen off Mr Mueller's investigation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 9:38am

Chinese strategy in full force in Australia

Don’t be fooled by last week's China Zhejiang–Australia Trade and Investment Symposium in Sydney. For all the positive spin put on the event, Canberra is increasingly wary of the influence Beijing reaps from its investments.

But China’s influence doesn’t flow solely from this. It uses a combination of diplomatic and political pressure, manipulation of its diaspora, illicit financing of political parties, and propaganda. According to some, Beijing spends up to US$10 billion ($13 billion) a year on its overseas operations. If this sounds familiar, it is because these are tactics taken straight from the KGB playbook Russia has followed for well over a decade.

Russia’s aim has been to portray itself as a great power on the world stage. Its tactics are often crude and short-term. China’s, by contrast, are slow-burning and systemic. Beijing’s ultimate ambition is to create a Sino-centric regional order, based around tianxia – an imperial concept that puts China at the centre of nations. This strategy is in full force in Australia.

The effects are striking. Former Labor foreign affairs minister and one-time NSW premier Bob Carr is facing demands that he be expelled from the party because of his deep links to China; he directs a think tank founded with a donation from a Chinese billionaire with close Communist Party links and is alleged to have enlisted Labor senator Kristina Keneally to use estimate hearings to ask pro-China questions. Last December, Sam Dastyari resigned from the party over his dealings with a Chinese billionaire.

Other opportunities to exert influence abound. China is Australia’s biggest export market, and Beijing is currently hampering imports of Australian wine and delaying a big meat-export deal. One-third of all foreign students at Australian universities are Chinese, and the families of Chinese students who have criticised their country while studying here have received warnings. China is now using lawfare and illegal occupation of the South China Sea in order to exert pressure on Australia and other countries who depend on its sea lanes.Speaking last year, Malcolm Turnbull said that “our system as a whole had not grasped the nature and magnitude of the threat”. He was talking about the Chinese threat in Australia, but he could just as easily have been talking about the West as a whole.

In New Zealand, Jian Yang, a Chinese-born sitting MP, was investigated last year by the national intelligence agency in connection with the decade he spent teaching in military and intelligence academies in China – a fact missing from his CV. In Britain, China has developed arrangements with two major British newspapers, The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail, and pressured Cambridge University Press into censorship. Elsewhere, it has leant on a number of Western capitals to conform to its view of Taiwan as a province of China.On the face of it, the threats posed by Beijing should be manageable; each relates to a particular issue that falls under the responsibility of a particular ministry of government. In reality, however, they are difficult to deal with. For the Communist Party, there is no distinction between its business executives, spies, police chiefs, media stars, crime bosses and its politicians. The same people play multiple roles. Everyone, ultimately, is on the same team.

The similarities between China and Russia are obvious. In a report released last week by The Henry Jackson Society, a London think tank, Robert Seely, a British Conservative MP, argues that the Kremlin is waging a “new kind of conflict ... in which military and non-military tools are combined in a dynamic, efficient, and integrated way to achieve political aims”. In this conflict, Russia “makes use of at least 50 tools of state power”, ranging from assassinations and blackmail to cyberattacks and disinformation.

Although Seely calls this "contemporary Russian conflict", he notes that the tools are also being used by other authoritarian states – including China.Highlighting the threat is a start; the real question is how to deal with it. Unlike elsewhere, the debate about Chinese influence is at full blast in Australia. Duncan Lewis, the head of ASIO, recently told lawmakers in Canberra: “Hostile foreign spies are currently conducting harmful activity ... on an unprecedented scale.” In response, Canberra is mulling tough counter-measures, which would require anyone acting on behalf of a foreign state to publically register their activities – akin to the Foreign Agents Registration Act in the US.But, as Seely’s report makes clear, the questions raised by the behaviour of China and Russia are much broader. They relate to how Western states collectively defend themselves in an age when authoritarian states turn the freedoms of open societies against those same societies.

China is playing a game of divide-and-rule between Western countries as well as inside Australia. Its aim is to weaken individual countries – and, in doing so, make them vulnerable to Beijing’s influence. But as a member of the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance and a NATO partner, Australia should remember that it has powerful friends.

Dr Andrew Foxall is director of the Russia and Eurasia Studies Centre at The Henry Jackson Society in London. Dr John Hemmings is director of the Asia Studies Centre.3 June 2018 — 3:10pm

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2018 at 10:44am

Tiananmen Square: Australian artist leads #Tankmen2018 global protest to remember 1989 massacre

une 4 is a date all of China remembers, even if the state would rather they forget.

Key points:

  • Badiucao began the #Tankmen2018 global campaign to remember the Tiananmen massacre
  • The student leader urges young Chinese people to use new forms to protest
  • Tankwomen hold global protest aligned with #MeToo movement

It marks the anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre where Beijing used force to suppress student protesters at Tiananmen Square.

The Tiananmen massacre, also known as the Tiananmen incident, was the Chinese Government's violent suppression of pro-democracy protests, which lasted for several months in 1989.

The "Tankman", a mysterious man who challenged 18 tanks, became one of the most symbolic images of the 20th century, after photographer Jeff Widener captured the scene from the balcony of a hotel room in Beijing.

This year marks the 29th anniversary, and Australian-Chinese artist Badiucao — who disguises himself out of fear of reprisals from the Chinese Government — has called on people all over the world to recreate the image using #tankmen2018.

"After all these years, we still need to bypass the censorship through various means to talk about this matter," Badiucao told the ABC's The World program."It is a shame for the country and a sin for the government."

A young child standing in the front of Sydney Harbour while protesting.

He also asked people to display images of Peppa Pig and Winnie the Pooh, which have been the subject of censorship in China.

He said these symbols had become the modern day image of the Tankman.

"A lot of people think this is something that happened a long time ago, but a lot of people don't even know if it is still relevant today," Badiucao said.

"So my temptation is engaging the Tankman figure with the most updated online resistance icons."

The challenge has been taken up by people all over the world, including in Toronto, Washington and Canberra.

Commemorations remain forbidden in ChinaBut, although he encourages the public to join the campaign, Badiucao suggested people living in mainland China don't perform the Tankman in public because commemorations are still completely forbidden there.

"Today, China is still the same regime that will oppress human rights like what they did in 1989," Badiucao said.

"So I think it's crucial for us to remember what happened and to continue this passion and the spirit of bringing change to the society to make it more free and [create] more democracy in China."

A few days ago, Guo Yi, Chen Siming and He Jiawei were reportedly imprisoned in Zhuzhou city detention centre for holding signs in front of a tank to commemorate the massacre.

Social media users are also not allowed to change headshots or their alias on WeChat, due to system maintenance — the same maintenance that reportedly happens every year.

In Beijing, the metro at Muxidi Station has been closed since 1:00pm on June 3, where the most violence happened, according to claims by many witnesses.

Although they can not commemorate the anniversary in public or online, the country has been deeply affected over the last 29 years.

One-hundred-and-twenty-eight Tiananmen Mothers, who lost their children in the massacre, published an open letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, detailing how their lives were torn apart.

"For over 29 years, no Government official has ever greeted the family members or said sorry to them," they wrote.

"The massacre that startled the world seemed never to have happened."

'A sip of freedom at that historical moment': Zhou

One of the 21 student leaders wanted by the Chinese Government after the massacre, Zhou Fengsuo, who is known as the founder of the student movement's radio station at Tiananmen Square, participated in this year's memorial in Washington.

Mr Zhou was a physics student at Tsinghua University but was exposed to the police unexpectedly while his sister tried to find him in the days after the massacre.

He was jailed for a year and went to the United States a few years after his release.

"The democratic movement in 1989 was a celebration of freedom because the Chinese enjoyed a sip of freedom at that historical moment," Mr Zhou said.

Twenty-nine years later, Mr Zhou said June 4 was the darkest day in modern Chinese history.

He said he hoped more people would commemorate the Tiananmen massacre in their own way, like Badiucao.

A symbol for more than just Tiananmen

However, the Chinese Government's brutal censorship means younger generations have no access to information about this part of history, while they are bombarded with propaganda and told about the development of society.

This has inspired Badiucao to try various ways to publicise the Tankman icon without being censored, including getting Tankwomen to support Liu Xia, the widow of activist Liu Xiaobo, China's unrecognised first Nobel Prize winner who died last year, and the Chinese #MeToo campaign.

Jade Dussart, 26, an activist who also works for a human rights NGO in Paris, performed as a "Tankwoman" on the streets of Paris on Monday.

She said she learnt about the Tankman in a history book in high school, and the image of Tankman immediately came to her mind when she visited Tiananmen Square in 2012.

"Women who dared to speak up about sexual harassment, assault, everyday sexism are modern day's Tankwomen … We also need to celebrate the figure of female activists around the world," Ms Dussart said.

She said she believed Tankmen 2018 was a non-violent way to fight for fairness and people should use all possible forms of pressure to force the Chinese Government to respect its international commitments to human rights.

This week, people performed in Canberra, Sydney, New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Washington, Auckland and Toronto in memory of the tragedy.

Tankmen and Tankwomen wore white shirts and black pants while holding two white bags to remind people of this iconic figure.

And various memes of political satire have been circulating on the internet in China.For example, it has been suggested that Winnie the Pooh and Peppa Pig are printed on the bags carried by the Tankmen performers.

In Hong Kong, as part of the memorial events, tens of thousands of people marched against the Chinese Government's actions.

In Taiwan, it was announced that a sculpture commemorating Liu Xiaobo would be unveiled in the Taipei 101 skyscraper next month.

With the 30th anniversary next year, Badiucao said he would be preparing another form of protest to keep his message about democracy and censorship in China alive.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jun 2018 at 5:27pm

Chinese Theft of US Navy’s Secrets Reveals DoD’s Lackadaisical Security

By  • 06/09/18 10:51am

Yesterday brought stunning news of yet another security lapse by our Navy. As reported by The Washington Post, Chinese hackers in the first two months of this year penetrated the computers of an unnamed defense contractor, “stealing massive amounts of highly sensitive data related to undersea warfare” from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island.

NUWC (“new-ick”), as it’s called by sailors, handles sensitive and classified projects for the Navy’s submarine force, which just happens to be one of the few areas where the U.S. Navy still holds important advantages over its Chinese rival. As China’s rapidly expanding navy increasingly contests American naval dominance in the Western Pacific, our submarine force retains an important technological and tactical edge over Beijing—one that may just have been fatally compromised.

The hackers, who belonged to the Ministry of State Security, cleared out an astonishing amount of defense information such as “secret plan. more....

http://observer.com/2018/06/china-steals-of-department-of-defense-navy-secrets-security-breach/


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2018 at 9:31pm
hey pt , this topic is getting plenty of views, considering its virtually only you and me posting.

i consider it my patriotic duty to keep readers informedLOL

pt, can you run it by me, again, just why china feels the need to their military build up in the South china Seas? who was threatening them, that they saw the need to build over the islands and put in naval bases? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2018 at 12:18am
Julie Bishop?
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: 14 Jun 2018 at 3:12am
Image result for us military asia
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2018 at 3:12am
Other than that, I guess they are just paranoid.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2018 at 8:51am
wow! have they proliferated during Trumps time?

I think not PT.

Therefor it was under that democrat person, obama. What would have hilary done? is looking like the democrats are the warlike mob.

Have china wasted a lot o time, effort and money? 

for a person who purports to know how american politics is going, you are very vague on china politics. Why is that?

china wants to control the sea lanes, for trade. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2018 at 9:06am
Errrm, I have posted many times about the failures of the Obama pivot to Asia(Military buildup and change of focus there over the ME) and China's reaction to it in the Trump thread Isaac, but I think you know that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2018 at 10:42am
well, no pt.

havnt really followed the trump thread closely;  a lot of the postings in there were sensationalist and titillating and made it irrelevant.

500 odd pages....Wacko

you know, tune out timeLOL

did obama become a quasi dictator with an adoring populace, but didnt really do much, and is now making millions. how grose.

 i think you know that 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: 14 Jun 2018 at 11:18am
What has that got to do with US military encirclement of China?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2018 at 11:47am
Here you are Isaac, just for you. This article is very similar to one I posted in Trump. It was part of a several person debate on Obama/Clinton's pivot to Asia.This was the against case.

Washington’s ‘Pivot to Asia’: A Debacle Unfolding

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jun 2018 at 5:52pm

China's economic growth slows to multi-decade lows across industrial, infrastructure and retail

By business reporter Stephen Letts

China's economy appears to have hit a significant speed hump, with a number of key indicators across the industrial, construction and retail sectors slowing to either multi-year, multi-decade or record lows.

Key points:

  • Urban infrastructure investment growth at the slowest growth since data started being collected in 1996
  • Industrial production and retail sales growth at 22 and 15-year lows respectively.
  • Tougher lending standards could slow growth more heading into the second half of 2018

Fixed asset investment — a proxy for infrastructure spending — fell to 6.1 per cent growth in the first five months of the year, down from 7 per cent in April and below market forecasts.

It is the slowest pace of expansion since the National Bureau of Statistics started the series in 1996.

Industrial production slowed to a 22-year low, growing by 6.8 per cent over the year to May.

Retail sales also disappointed, tumbling from almost 10 per cent growth in April to 8.5 per cent in May, its slowest pace in around 15 years.

Rates kept on hold as economy cools

The slower than expected growth is reflected in the surprise decision from China's central bank not raise its key interest rates in the wake of the US Federal Reserve's move overnight.

Traditionally the People's Bank of China has moved its rates roughly in line with the US to keep pressure of the yuan and head-off capital outflows.

However, after a brighter than expected start to the year, China's second quarter appears to be losing momentum.

Economists at global investment bank Rabobank said investment growth, "was all shockingly weak by Chinese standards."

"Get ready for headlines talking about Chinese deleveraging hitting the economy — except it isn't even deleveraging yet!" the Rabobank team was quoted by Reuters.

"China is walking more of a tightrope than markets believe — and the data underline that issue clearly."

ikely to slow further

Capital Economics' Chang Liu the figures point to a softening of domestic demand in coming months.

"The boost to industrial output growth from the removal of the government's pollution controls at the end of March has now faded," Mr Liu said.

"With headwinds from slower credit growth increasing, economic growth looks set to continue to weaken in the second half of 2018."

Property investment growth slowed to 9.8 per cent in May from 10.2 per cent in April.

Both government and private sector construction spending noticeably slowed in May.

However, real estate activity avoided the slow down.

"Floor space started rose the most in two years even as sales growth is being held back by slower mortgage lending and tighter property controls," Mr Liu 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: 14 Jun 2018 at 6:06pm
Here is one from The Brookings Institute from 19-5-2001 warning of unsustainable Chinese growth. I doubt there is a year in the last 20 without the same gloom and doom warnings.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Jun 2018 at 1:23am
Like the "property bubble" and "ALP economic management" ...
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: Yesterday at 8:19am
Hey Isaac, was Bert a racist?

Chinese internet users are surprisingly sympathetic to Einstein’s racist remarks

When Albert Einstein traveled to China as part of his tour of Asia in the 1920s, the physicist, known for his criticism of racism, turned into something of a xenophobe. In his private diaries, he described Chinese people as “industrious, filthy, obtuse,” along with other uncharitable observations—which people in China are receiving rather charitably.

Einstein’s observations of China, they say, are to some extent simply telling it like it is—or rather was, at that point in China’s history.

“China was poor and lagging behind, sometimes there were famines, most of the people were illiterate… Babies died young so people had to have more children to ensure survival. It’s hard not to discriminate against a China like this,” wrote one user on the microblog site Weibo (all Weibo links in Chinese). “…Einstein wouldn’t even count if you are getting into talking about racism.”

The diaries, including Einstein’s account of his travels in 1922 and 1923 to Shanghai and Hong Kong—where he was riding the Peak Tram the day he was named the winner of the Nobel for physics—were translated from German to English, and published this year by Princeton University Press. Einstein’s perceptions of the Chinese are full of contradictions, noted the translation’s editor Ze’ev Rosenkranz. “He feels both empathy for their miserable plight yet also dehumanizes them in a series of very disturbing statements,” wrote Rosenkranz.

Einstein noted how hard the Chinese work in the face of “an insensitive economic machine”—but also described their way of life as dull and monotonous with the “houses very formulaic, balconies like bee-hive cells.” He called China a “peculiar herd-like nation,” and expressed the fear that the Chinese would take over the world.

“The Chinese may well supplant every nation through their diligence, frugality, and abundance of offspring,” he wrote, “… It would be a pity if these Chinese supplant all other races. For the likes of us the mere thought is unspeakably dreary.”

Many in China are saying the physicist’s remarks match their own impressions of what China must have been like in the early 20th century—when the country was in a transition period. It had just experienced a revolution to overthrow the last emperor of the Qing dynasty.

“I don’t think these are racist comments or humiliating descriptions,”wrote Siguan Xuantang on Weibo. “It’s more like a description of facts. Just look at the economic status, education, and hygiene conditions, which most of the common people wouldn’t care that much about because they didn’t have the conditions… He described them as obtuse and blunt but he also said people were industrious.”

Some noted Einstein’s descriptions are a lot like those of the famous Chinese writer Lu Xun, whose short stories depicted people’s sufferingas they experienced the radical social changes of that time. “They are observant descriptions, just like Lu Xun, it was a criticism,” wrote Mingde Zhiying.

Another asked, “Do we treat people’s criticism differently just because Lu Xun was Chinese while Einstein was a foreigner?”

http://qz.com/1305236/chinese-internet-users-are-surprisingly-sympathetic-to-einsteins-racist-remarks/

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 9:37am
telling it like it is pt? maybe?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 11:18am
That is the argument from many Chinese people. I didn't pose the question, the article did.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Yesterday at 11:28am
I think 1920's China might look a tad different now though. 

What do you think about the fact that China has 300 million people 55 or older and the effect that is happening on growth and retirement costs Isaac?
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