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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jul 2018 at 11:14am
Wow, who saw that coming? Shocked
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2018 at 11:49am

Outgoing Defence Chief: China has breached its neighbours' trust


Defence chief Mark Binskin says Beijing’s broken promise not to militarise the South China Sea means it has squandered the trust of its neighbours and undermined its aspirations to regional leadership.

In his final interview before he hands over command of the 80,000-strong Australian Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Binskin also urged countries such as China that are moving into the South Pacific: “Don’t destabilise the region.”

The candid set of remarks by the top military commander follow a four-year stint at the helm during which Beijing has settled into a more forceful posture towards the region and strategic scholars overwhelmingly feel global stability has deteriorated.sked about China’s trajectory since he took over in 2014, Air Chief Marshal Binskin agreed “it has changed” and cited the “very, very concerning” militarisation of features as well as “the influence of some nations starting to come down into the south west Pacific”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping said during a 2015 visit to Washington that his country had “no intention to militarise” the artificial islands it had built in the strategically important South China Sea.Air Chief Marshal Binskin dismissed Beijing’s claims that its placement of weapons on built-up features in the Paracel and Spratly archipelagoes were purely defensive and said other countries around those waters were entitled to stand up for their legal and territorial rights.

“I don’t think there is trust there … because [according to] all the reports that you see, they are militarising,” he said. “They’ll put a spin on that and say it’s only for defensive reasons. But ... if you didn’t build an island, you wouldn’t need to defend it. If there are weapons on those islands, they are militarised.”

Asked what the militarisation was for, he said: “I think that they are looking to expand into there and I think it is quite obvious what their approach is.”

While not naming China, Air Chief Marshal Binskin said, “if you want to be a leader in a region, then you’ve got to be able to be trusted in your actions”.

He said Australia was helping through regular visits to the region to bolster other countries’ confidence and capacity to push back against territorial assertiveness.

“So if there is someone that starts to step into the area and quite firmly operate outside the rules-based order, [other countries have] got the confidence to be able to say, ‘No this is our territory and we’re looking to protect it’,” he said.

On the South Pacific, Air Chief Marshal Binskin said Australia welcomed investment from other nations provided it was transparent.China has become increasingly involved in Australia’s near neighbourhood. Air Chief Marshal Binskin stressed he was not singling out any country but said countries had no reason to establish a military presence in the region.

“If you’re looking to guarantee food security, warships are not the way to do that. You are better off working as part of the community, help the communities grow their ability to be able to provide food, make sure that fishing is sustainable in the waters,” he said.

“Don’t destabilise the region ... You will have a better chance of guaranteeing food security and all that rather than some of the other ways that might be more destabilising.”

Air Chief Marshal Binskin hands over command of the ADF on Friday to General Angus Campbell after a tumultuous period in which 27,000 ADF personnel have deployed on more than 30 operations.

The period has included the rise of the so-called Islamic State, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the downing of MH17, the sharpened tensions with North Korea.

Major equipping decisions have also being made: a new fleet of submarines, new frigates, massive Triton surveillance drones and high-tech armoured vehicles.

Air Chief Marshal said under his leadership the ADF had worked on the “glue capabilities” that enabled the whole force to deploy quickly and operate effectively as a whole.

The unpredictability of world events seen in the past four years showed why “you don’t structure the force for the last operation, you structure it so that you’ve got the ability to cover a series of contingencies that may face the nation”.

y David Wroe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2018 at 12:02pm
does aus have two dicatators pt?LOL

"No Fluffy, China's people serve the interests of China's governent; unlike us, they don't really have a choice about who their government is."


Well, Private Citizen, I guess you could say China runs under a single dictatorship, whereas Australia is run under a double dictatorship. At least the Chinese people don't have to put up with the sufferance of our two dictators continually bickering with one another."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2018 at 8:28pm

Ghost scam targeting elderly Chinese in Australia prompts warning

By Herlyn Kaur

Posted Wed at 5:02pm

Fraudsters who prey on elderly women of Chinese descent using what is known as a "blessing" or "ghost" scam to trick them into parting with their valuables have begun operating in Australia, according to WA Police.

The scam, which has reportedly existed in Chinese communities across the world since the early 2000s, relies heavily on cultural and traditional beliefs to instil fear in vulnerable people with an Asian background, making them believe their family members are at risk from spirits and need Eastern medicine from a healer to protect them.

It usually takes place in a public area, when someone approaches a victim, telling them a member of their family desperately needs medical assistance or healers, and requires eastern medicine to cure them.

Another woman then "overhears" and offers advice, then a third woman claiming to be a "healer" offers to assist.

Victims are tricked into supplying the scammers with jewellery or high-value items to be "treated in a ritual", which are switched out for cheaper items.

WA Police issued a statement saying they had at least one report of the scam taking place in the state in March.

Similar incidents were reported in New South Wales in February.

In that instance, victims were told to put valuable items and money into a bag.

During the blessing the fraudsters remove valuables and substitute bottles of mineral water, stones or scrap items.

Victims are commonly told not to open the bag for some time to avoid disrupting the blessing.

Vulnerable elderly targeted

A spokeswoman for a Perth Chinese cultural association said the scammers were likely targeting elderly Chinese women because of their traditional backgrounds and beliefs.

Chung Wah Association honorary secretary Sheila Rejek said Taoism and Buddhism were commonly practiced by people of Chinese descent.

She said culturally, Chinese people had beliefs rooted in Eastern medicine.

"The elderly are more superstitious and this group tends to have time to listen to cultural healings, (are) more interested in this sort of topic, as compared to the younger generation who may not have the time for scammers," Ms Rejek said.

"The reason why the elderly Chinese are being targeted is possibly becasue this is the naive segment of the population."

Ms Rejek also believed they were targeted in part because they may not have easy access to the internet and social media.

"Somebody younger who has access to social media or media in general may be more savvy and may not have the time for scammers, so we are maybe more aware than the elderly," she said.

She urged younger people in the community to warn their elderly relatives about the scam, and tell them to be vigilant when approached by strangersThe three women on CCTV footage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2018 at 8:36pm

Chinese hackers breach ANU, putting national security at risk

China-based hackers have successfully infiltrated the IT systems at the Australian National University, potentially compromising the home of Australia's leading national security college and key defence research projects.

Federal government cyber security officials have been working with the university since detecting the cyber attack, assessing the scale of any information theft and who in China could be responsible for it.

The ANU conducts research that has defence, strategic, scientific, technological and commercial applications.

National security sources said the Chinese government was suspected of directing the cyber attack, but proving this may be difficult because hackers typically aim to hide their tracks. However, it has been confirmed by federal government officials that the cyber attack was launched from China and that the ANU computer network was significantly compromised.

“We can assume this cyber intrusion has involved the theft of information. The question is ‘what was sucked out and how sensitive is it?'” said a national security official. The official said the “clean up” by university staff and cyber security officials would also aim to safeguard the ANU’s computer systems against future attacks.

Among the potentially sensitive defence research conducted by the ANU is a project being run with the Defence Materials Technology Centre to enhance the use of drones and small satellites.

The ANU also hosts the National Security College, which trains Australian defence and intelligence officials and often hosts meetings with senior national security officials in a secure room regularly swept for listening devices by ASIO.

A spokeswoman for the university confirmed the breach, saying the university had been "working to contain a threat to IT within the University".

"The university has been working in partnership with Australian Government agencies for several months to minimise the impact of this threat, and we continue to seek and take advice from Australian government agencies," she said.

"Current assessments indicate no staff, student or research information has been taken and counter-measures are being undertaken."Alex Joske, a China researcher for the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre, said the cyber attack was a major wake-up call.

“ANU has involvement in important Australian government projects. This hack might have been aiming to steal information for commercial gain or for strategic or technological gain for the Chinese military,” Mr Joske said.

“There has been a lack of caution on the part of Australian universities in their dealings with China. Australian universities need to keep working closely with the Australian government on cyber policy.”

The attack raises questions about China’s compliance with an agreement Beijing struck with the Turnbull government in April last year.  The two countries promised not to hack one another for the purposes of stealing intellectual property, trade secrets or confidential information.

The accord, which was signed after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull raised cybertheft directly with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, includes a mechanism for raising issues and incidents that could cause problems between the two countries.

The Turnbull government has been considering the role of government agencies such as the Australian Signals Directorate in protecting the nation's critical infrastructure. It is understood to be looking closely at Britain's National Cyber Security Centre, which plays an active role in blocking cyber attacks on organisations outside the British government.

Experts such as Dorothy Denning, a Professor of Defence Analysis at the US Naval Postgraduate School, have claimed that China has used hackers to steal “more secrets from businesses and governments than any other country”.In 2015, it was revealed that hackers directed by a foreign government had infiltrated the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's IT system using malicious software, known as “malware”. The intrusion led to the theft of information and potentially compromised the computer systems of other government agencies. Experts also blamed China for this attack.

A statement from the Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security, Angus Taylor, said the Australian Cyber Security Centre had been working with the university for several months "to provide support on this matter".

"The Australian Government condemns any malicious activity that targets Australians and Australian networks.

"We know that nation states and criminal groups actively target research and tertiary institutions to steal the intellectual property of hardworking Australians."

Mr Taylor said "malicious cyber activity against Australia’s national interests, whether from criminal syndicates or foreign states, is increasing in frequency, sophistication and severity, and the Australian Government’s highest priority is ensuring Australians are safe and our interests are secure.”

Chinese hackers have previously been blamed for the Titan Rain cyber attacks in the US which involved the theft of sensitive defence information from private and public agencies. The number of cyber attacks dropped after the US and Chinese governments agreed in 2015 to stop government sponsored cyber hacking of commercial secrets.

President Donald Trump has also accused China of using hackers to steal US intellectual property.n October, there were calls from Australian cyber-security experts for the Australian government to "name and shame" countries behind state-sponsored hacking after a major breach of a defence subcontractor.

Thirty gigabytes of unclassified but commercially sensitive data were stolen by hackers who accessed the systems of a Department of Defence subcontractor with lacklustre security protocols. The data included information about the $14 billion Joint Strike Fighter program, Australia's next fleet of spy planes and several of its naval warships.

While the Australian government did not blame any country for the attack, a senior cyber-security official suggested it was carried out by state-sponsored hackers and that a tool popular with Chinese hackers was used to execute the breach.

y Nick McKenzie & David Wroe
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Second Chance Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jul 2018 at 8:46pm
Scammers have historically targeted their own, so to speak.

So the above post really adds nothing to that reality, or indeed the thread in general.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2018 at 11:43am
my own personal critique. 

Thank you sc for readingLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tlazolteotl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2018 at 11:47am
Chinese hackers are doing them a favour- lift your game.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2018 at 12:31pm
doing who a favour? our chinese born australian citizens?  is a bit harsh t.

thanks for reading nonethelessThumbs Up

but i will endeavour to "lift my game".

plenty of material coming in, from all news media sites.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Jul 2018 at 12:32pm
right, left and in the middle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2018 at 1:29pm

WA politicians, business leaders targeted in Beijing’s 'political war of influence'

Covert foreign influence at work in Australia's democracy has always been a challenge for security services. But now Australia's intelligence community is examining WA's links to China's authoritarian regime.


Enter Perth's 'China Club'

When Premier Mark McGowan took the Australian Government to task over its management of the complex bilateral relationship with China just days after returning from an official trip to Beijing, alarm bells were ringing in intelligence and security circles around the country.

The Premier had said Western Australian business people had complained to him that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had not been to China in two years, that our government needed to be friendlier and more respectful.

"It's frankly bizarre that the Australian foreign minister hasn't engaged with our number one trading partner, the country that provides hundreds of thousands of jobs in Western Australia, for two years," Mr McGowan said. "It's strange and it should be changed."

Mr McGowan was taking up the cudgels for a number of high-profile Western Australian businessmen who have been very publicly on the same bandwagon.

And whether he knew it or not, the pressure the Premier was exerting on the PM and Foreign Minister was playing into Beijing's hands.

An academic who specialises in the regime's influence operations in Australia said it looked like Mr McGowan had been persuaded by Perth's "China Club" of high-profile Beijing sympathisers.

In fact, the relationship between Perth politicians, business leaders and the Communist Party of China (CPC) is now in the sights of Australia's intelligence and security community.

Clive Hamilton, the professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University who has been drawn into a controversy about his book on Chinese influence in Australia, is concerned about a network of business people and political leaders "who think that the future of WA is determined in China".

This 'Perth China Club' is the result of a highly successful campaign waged by China’s regime to make its strategic ambitions more palatable in the west.

"It's in the interests of the state and in their interests as well to do whatever's possible to cosy up to the Chinese Communist Party, its agents and agents of influence," Professor Hamilton said.

"I noticed as I was researching and writing my book, Silent Invasion, that Western Australia seemed to be particularly prone to political influence through the business community and through political leaders who've been cultivated over many years."

Professor Hamilton said the CPC targeted regions feeling hard done by or which struggled economically to gain political influence.

"In Australia we've seen that particularly in Western Australia and Tasmania,” he said.

Ross Babbage is the former Head of Strategic Analysis for the Office of National Assessments, the intelligence agency responsible for advising the Prime Minister and Cabinet's National Security Committee.

Now a senior fellow at Washington D.C.'s Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, he is warning politicians and business leaders of the risks of dealing with Beijing.

I think it's really interesting that senior members of the state government go to China at all, frankly," he said.

"And then when they express those views, I start wondering about whether they are really well informed, whether they've done their homework.

"It's so incredibly frustrating that people … are operating as though China is somehow like the UK, or Germany or Japan. It isn't."

WA a target for 'political warfare' and the subtle art of influence

Western Australian MP Andrew Hastie, a former SAS officer and chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, called the kinds of influence foreign states are seeking to exert in WA "political warfare".

He told parliament in June, without naming the countries involved, that "authoritarian states are using political warfare to undermine the legitimacy of Western democracies by targeting our media, political processes, financial networks and personal data".

"These authoritarian states view political warfare as a standard instrument of statecraft rather than a specialised tool," he said.

"Their centralised regimes can leverage all elements of their national power towards their strategic objectives."

And those strategic objectives include Western Australia.r Hastie told WAtoday our resource-rich state is "certainly a target" for our strategic competitors.

He said they are "wanting to know what our business leaders are thinking, what our political leaders are thinking, what sort of decisions might be around the corner".

And the aim of these intelligence operations is to leverage influence.

Mr Hastie said the methods used by these states are more subtle than the cloak and dagger of traditional espionage.

"There are inducements offered to our political and business leadership to get them to support the interests of another country, for example," he said.

There is no suggestion any inducements were offered to Mr McGowan.

Cyber-attacks on the nation's data and communications networks are also tools of the trade.

Professor Hamilton said the CPC had spent decades developing an arsenal of "sophisticated and subtle techniques for influencing foreigners by developing warm personal relationships" to bring people around to seeing the world the same way as Beijing's regime does.

"There are manuals to train the Communist Party cadre in these techniques; it's what they do and they're very good at it," he said.

"It really is painful to see Australia's political leaders continue to travel to China and come back to Australia and start mouthing world views that reflect Beijing's interests.

"I think the Labor party has a particular problem with this."

In relation to Mr McGowan's comments criticising the Australian Government's China strategy, Dr Hamilton said it seemed the Premier had been influenced in that way.

Mr Hastie pointed to a recent $136 million deal struck by the state government with Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei to build a network of mobile towers along Perth’s rail corridors for rail communications.

The deal was recently thrust into the spotlight after WAtoday revealed the company paid for a delegation of five WA state politicians – including the minister responsible for the tender – to tour China and gave the MPs mobile phones.Mr Hastie said the Huawei trip and the gift of phones to the MPs from the company "had a very fishy smell about it" and was the kind of activity through which foreign powers attempted to influence Australia.

"Certainly, I would've liked to have known about that before the decision was made," he said.Mr Hastie said his committee recommended a foreign influence transparency scheme for the Federal Parliament which included a register of interests for MPs to declare gifts.

But aren't close ties to China the future for WA?

Mr McGowan said his criticism of the Australian Government was about keeping in Beijing's good books because the state's economy depends on it.

He said wherever he goes and whoever he talks to, his priority is to act in the best interests of the state.

"Chinese investment in WA creates thousands of jobs for Western Australians, which is why it is important that we maintain a strong trade relationship," the Premier told WAtoday.

"During my recent trip to China, in virtually every meeting, I pointed out that the relationship between the Federal Government and China is improving.

"I called on the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to visit China, and I stand by that view."

Mr McGowan's official trips to China were paid for by the state government.

But Dr Babbage said although WA doesn't want to walk away from "big bags of gold", he questions the emphasis placed on the Chinese economy by our political leaders.

"My attitude is, when you look at the economic relationship between Australia and China and here's an obvious myth you see repeated often, where they say China is Australia's most important economic partner, that simply is not true," he said.

"If you actually do the sums, we sell a lot of stuff to China, we don't invest regularly there. They sell a lot of stuff to us and they don't invest very heavily here despite the controversies."

He said there was "too much loose thinking" about the relationship with Beijing, especially because of the ageing of the Chinese population, the rapidly changing structure of its economy, and its rapidly falling growth rate.Mr Hastie said politicians especially had to be more transparent about their dealings with foreign governments and their agents when fostering closer diplomatic and economic ties.

"We welcome foreign influence in our democratic system," he said.

"That’s a good thing, we have lots of allies through the region and through the world.

"They have views they want to put and that’s fine, we just ask that they do so in a transparent manner.

"But where foreign governments seek to disguise their influence, then that’s a problem."

Better education, more transparency

According to many in Australia's community of intelligence officials, there is a lack of understanding about the risks of dealing with Beijing.

"What we're talking about here is a completely different sort of regime," Dr Babbage said.

"And these people are coming back from visits there as though it's just a visit to Japan. It's breathtaking, almost."

He pointed to ASIO director general Duncan Lewis who said recently there were more espionage agents operating in Australian now than at the height of the Cold War.

"And yet you have these people going to China and coming back and giving the impression that it's all sweetness and light and that these are our friends that we can deal with forever," Dr Babbage said.

Professor Hamilton said Australian political leaders were succumbing to bullying from Beijing.

"Australian political leaders have been intimidated out of defending basic Australian values," he said.

Politicians needed to be more transparent about the influence that China is bringing to bear on them.

"I think we need all the transparency we can get because so much of this influence activity goes on in private, we don't see it, we don't hear about it, all we see is political and business leaders suddenly start to repeat what is basically Beijing propaganda," he said.

"The more important thing here is for the Australian public to be alert to what is going on and to insist that their political leaders continue to represent Australia's interests rather than being won over to a Beijing point of view."

There is a high-level attempt by Australia's intelligence community to school WA's politicians and business leaders about Beijing's influence operations.

"There is a deeper issue here, I think there is a real need, and I've been quietly encouraging officials to do this and there is some of it happening. There needs to be a better communication flow from the official community and from people in the know to everybody else," Dr Babbage said.

"I think it makes a lot of sense for there to be a closed session of COAG and a briefing that's not the highest level of security, but reasonably high, of premiers, and they should be told pretty bluntly what the facts of life are."

But Dr Babbage said the news wasn't all bleak.

"There have been occasions when I've been asked to brief business groups and others, and when I do nearly everybody says, 'We had no idea'," he said.

"Some of them get quite angry: 'Why haven't we been told?' and it's a fair point.

"I'm with them.

"How the hell are they supposed to know?"

alking points

  • WA is a prime target for China’s "influence operations" which aim to make Australia’s democracy and economy more sympathetic to Beijing, according to intelligence community experts.
  • A Perth "China Club" of politicians and business leaders with links to the Communist Party of China and its local proxies are "mouthing world views" that reflect the regime's interests.
  • High-level attempts to brief WA business leaders on the risks of dealing with Beijing and the methods it uses to influence Australian policy are under way by intelligence officials.
  • Experts call for a closed session of COAG for premiers to receive a secret intelligence briefing on Beijing’s influence operations.
first published 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2018 at 2:10pm

Diplomacy as a tool of hyper-nationalism (China)

Like the United States, China's diplomatic corps is also undergoing significant change.

Officially, the Government of Xi Jinping talks about harmonious foreign relations, but the Lowy Institute's Merridan Varrall says there are worrying signs for the future.

 new breed of Chinese diplomat is being taught to be hyper-nationalistic, she says, and to identify the interests of the ruling Chinese Communist Party with those of the nation.

"The implications are for quite difficult times ahead in diplomatic negotiations and diplomatic discussions," she says, warning foreign affairs cadres are being extolled to take an "us against them" approach to the outside world.

Dr Varrall, the director of the East Asia Program, spent eight years in China, during which she taught at the China Foreign Affairs University in Beijing.

She says Chinese foreign policy centres around four key ideas:

  • That China has an historic destiny to be a great global power;
  • That it's assertiveness is appropriate given past humiliations by Western colonial powers;
  • That China's natural role in Asia is that of a "benevolent, but strict" father-figure;
  • And that all countries have certain immutable characteristics — Chinese people are peaceful, for example, whereas the Japanese are always aggressive and Americans inevitably imperialistic.

"If someone is so fixed in their views and so determined that they are right and unwilling to compromise, it's going to make it very difficult to move ahead in a way that is mutually agreeable," Dr Varrall says.

And, she says, that's ultimately counterproductive for China itself.

"If you are wedded to these ideas about how others see you, and you are interpreting everything that they do and say through that particular lens, it's going to be difficult to be as deft and as responsive as you need to be," she says.

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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 Jul 2018 at 9:21pm

The West might be losing it - but China is far from winning

For more than two centuries, the Western world has dominated international affairs. Is that epoch coming to an end? After all, the West’s share of global economic output is shrinking. All those wars in the Middle East since September 11 have damaged American credibility and influence. And as Brexit, Donald Trump’s rise and the populist explosion across Europe shows, there is widespread distrust of Western elites.

Meanwhile, the rise of China, India and the rest – thanks to capitalism and technological innovation – continues unabated. So, has the West lost it? The answer, according to a new thesis by that title, is yes. If I were asked to nominate a brief, readable critique of the West today, this book would top the list.

Kishore Mahbubani, one of Asia’s most distinguished foreign-policy intellectuals, argues that although the West has won, it is now losing and will be need to come to terms with its decline. How so?

The West has won, according to Mahbubani, because everybody realises that markets and technology work and the rest have learnt to embrace capitalism. But the West refuses to accept that humanity has turned a corner in its history, he says, because the domination by an eighth of the global population is drawing to a close. Which is why we must adapt to the emergence of China as a major force.

For Mahbubani, a Singaporean diplomat-scholar, the lesson for the US-led West is obvious: co-operate far more and stop the arrogant and usually foolish interventionism. In short, the West can no longer run the world.

The biggest act of strategic folly that America could commit would be to make a futile attempt to derail China’s successful development before China clearly emerges as No. 1 in the world again,” he argues. “The West subconsciously cannot accept China’s rise.”

It is well-meaning, albeit provocative, advice from a great friend of the West, but does Mahbubani overstate his case? It’s certainly true that the West made several massive strategic mistakes in the post-Cold War era, from the disastrous decision to invade Iraq to the expansion of NATO, which only antagonised a humiliated Russia.

However, Mahbubani sounds much too optimistic about China, both in terms of its prospects for future international growth and the matter of whether it can rise peacefully. The cold hard reality is that there are significant problems inside China – demographic, environmental, political and ethnic - which raise all sorts of doubts about its future growth trajectory.

Ruchir Sharma, the chief global economist at Morgan Stanley, documents that more than 90,000 millionaires left China between 2000 and 2014 – by far the largest outflow in raw numbers for any country. To the extent that such trends prevail – and more Chinese millionaires leave China for the West (notably the US, Canada and Australia), doesn’t that contradict Mahbubani’s thesis? As Sharma argues: “When smart people are seeking to move out of a country it is a bad sign, and when they are looking to move out along with their money, it is an even worse sign.”

Mahbubani, like many Australian foreign-policy intellectuals and policymakers, believes China’s rise will be relatively benign. But a nation that is militarising the South China Sea and is determined to make Taiwan a part of China, if necessary by force, is hardly a status-quo power. And the US, one of the most ruthless great powers in modern history, stands in the way.

Mahbubani is right when he says the Western elites, especially in Washington and Europe, have ignored the plight of their lower and middle classes. Just think of the wage stagnation and economic inequality in those rust-belt states that delivered the 2016 election to Trump. All true. However, I suspect Mahbubani is wrong to say the US ignored China’s rise. In fact, the American foreign policy establishment – again, much like Canberra’s policymakers – enthusiastically welcomed China’s rise.

After all, we thought the West could engage Beijing economically and embed it in international institutions. The end result would be to transform China into a democracy. Once that happened, we would all live happily ever after. Alas, we in the West are coming slowly and painfully to realise that this is not the case. China has resisted Washington’s efforts to spread the liberal international order. Xi Jiping is the most authoritarian leader since Mao and China is more assertive than ever.

For Beijing to be absorbed fully into the liberal international order, it means allowing the US to dominate the system militarily as well as economically and politically. But China’s leaders will not want US military forces in what they deem their expanding sphere of influence. We could be in deep trouble.

Tom Switzer is executive director of the Centre for Independent Studies and a presenter on ABC Radio National.


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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 Aug 2018 at 11:27am
Bit quiet in here. Is the China threat over?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 12:16pm
You area stirrer arnt you pt! 

Have been enthralled in the amount of views, going up and up.

And quite apart from what sc might think, it aint me having a look. 

Your american political thread is not as active either ptLOL

I suppose i feel a little disappointed in some attitudes in tbv; obviously money speaks volumes. sure some of you arnt bankers?, accountants? public servants?

But pt i can certainly add more materialLOL and i dont have to go far for my sources; the abc is pretty good!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 12:22pm
China sent Australia’s recycling industry into a spin when it banned most waste imports. Now it’s tackling a home-grown rubbish crisis. Bill Birtles looks at China’s own war on waste and asks: is it winning?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 12:23pm

Images show China’s staggering waste problem

THE extent of China’s huge waste problem has been highlighted in extraordinary images of a bicycle dumping ground.


China's staggering waste problem

FOOTAGE of a bicycle dumping ground in China has revealed how bad its waste problem has become and the challenges the country faces in dealing with it.

Drone footage of the dumping ground outside Beijing was aired this week on ABC’s Foreign Correspondent and shows never-ending stacks of broken and discarded bicycles used in share bike schemes, piled high in a field for as far as the eye can see.

It’s just part of the mammoth waste problem China is grappling with, which sees one of its biggest cities, Beijing, churning out more than 25,000 tonnes of rubbish a day.

Adding to this is the rising popularity of food delivery, which now sees about 60 million takeaway food containers being thrown out across the country.

“The volume of takeaway food packaging has increased very rapidly, very dramatically,” Eric Liu, a campaigner at Greenpeace, told Foreign Correspondent.

Foreign Correspondent reporter Bill Birtles walks through one of Chinas bicycle dumping grounds outside Beijing. Picture: ABC

Foreign Correspondent reporter Bill Birtles walks through one of China's bicycle dumping grounds outside Beijing. Picture: ABCSource:ABC

Drone footage reveals the sheer number of bikes. Picture: ABC
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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 Aug 2018 at 12:57pm
The China garbage problem should sort itself out soon Isaac, now that they aren't accepting the world's, including our garbage to process any more.

What are we going to do as it starts piling up here? Oh, it has started piling up in warehouses around the country.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 2:55pm
perhaps a piece like this makes you happy....

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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 Aug 2018 at 3:50pm
Where is he wrong? Turnbull's and the LNP position has been schizophrenic, and their pathetic politic playing has been tone deaf to China and the importance they play in our future. Labor has been consistent on China policy and particularly the Belt and Road, with strong speeches on it in the last year from Chris Bowen and Penny Wong. With the US walking away from and the TPP struggling to get off the ground someone has to show some leadership and it looks like Labor is stepping up. OBOR isn't going away and we can either isolate ourselves in our own region or look it it as a part of an integrated policy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 4:38pm
And every time things dont go Chinas way they cry like babies. 

China do not like competition. i'm sure they appreciate the help they get from you and K Rudd etc. Trust you will be richly rewarded. if not already.

Pt you would never recognise what the libs do so its a moot point.
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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 Aug 2018 at 5:16pm
China unsurprisingly do and say whatever they see is in their best interests. Would you think it should be any other way? They unlike Australia have an aggressive superpower sitting in their neighborhood intimidating them in a way that the US wouldn't accept from an adversary, something that was stepped under the Obama administration's Pivot to Asia policy.China has every reason to be cautious and look for meaning in what is said to and about them.

Incorrect Isaac. I supported the bilateral agreement Liberals signed with China and a mixture of Asia, Europe and US focused foreign policy.. I only opposed the lack of transparency and the rush to sign whatever was put in front of them by China. We are paying for that every day with substandard and contaminated goods because of the lack of a proper deal. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote stayer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 7:44pm
Originally posted by Passing Through Passing Through wrote:

Bit quiet in here. Is the China threat over?

Lol.
"She's going through a growth phase." - GW
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Aug 2018 at 9:25pm
Originally posted by Passing Through Passing Through wrote:

China unsurprisingly do and say whatever they see is in their best interests. Would you think it should be any other way? They unlike Australia have an aggressive superpower sitting in their neighborhood intimidating them in a way that the US wouldn't accept from an adversary, something that was stepped under the Obama administration's Pivot to Asia policy.China has every reason to be cautious and look for meaning in what is said to and about them.

Incorrect Isaac. I supported the bilateral agreement Liberals signed with China and a mixture of Asia, Europe and US focused foreign policy.. I only opposed the lack of transparency and the rush to sign whatever was put in front of them by China. We are paying for that every day with substandard and contaminated goods because of the lack of a proper deal. 

once Australian manufacturers went of shore, read China, to take advantage of cheap manufacturing costs is when stuff became substandard and contaminated. When did Pacific Brands move from Australia?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2018 at 11:15am
  • INVESTIGATION
  • POLITICS
  • WA
  • CHINA
  • WA state treasurer's all-expenses-paid China trip linked to controversial billionaire, communist regime

    16 August 2018 — 5:59am

    Questions have been raised over a senior WA Labor minister and his relationship with the Chinese billionaire who ended the political career of former senator Sam Dastyari.

    Fairfax Media investigation has revealed Treasurer Ben Wyatt accepted thousands of dollars in overseas travel from an organisation linked to China's communist regime and controversial property developer Huang Xiangmo.

    Mr Wyatt described the all-expenses-paid, five-day sojourn to China in 2015 as a delegation organised by federal Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, but it was paid for by the Australian Guangdong Chamber of Commerce, which is run by Mr Huang.

    Mr Huang is the Chinese businessman who was tipped off by Mr Dastyari in 2015 that his phone may have been under surveillance by intelligence agencies and who has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Australian political parties, including Labor.

    Federal Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen and WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, during a trip hosted by an organisation run by controversial billionaire Huang Xiangmo and the Communist Party of China.

    Photo: Supplied

    The only public statement made by Mr Wyatt about the trip was a Facebook post in which he thanked Mr Bowen for "for inviting me to join his delegation".

    The handful of federal MPs who accompanied Mr Wyatt, including Mr Bowen, declared in their financial interests disclosures that the Communist Party of China (CPC) had also contributed to the trip.

    But Mr Wyatt, who is required under state law to declare who contributed to his travel, did not include the CPC in his register of interests even though he stayed in a Beijing hotel owned by the CPC's International Department.

    An itinerary for the trip, which included stops in Hong Kong and Beijing, was prepared for Mr Wyatt by the office of Mr Bowen and described the sojourn as an "ALP Young Political Leaders Delegation".

    Mr Wyatt had two meetings in Beijing with the International Department of the CPC, which fosters links between the Chinese regime and political parties around the world.

    These meetings included a "working talk" with vice-minister Xu Lyuping and a "welcoming luncheon" hosted by director-general Ma Hui.

    "It is my understanding that all financial contributions to the trip were made by the Australian Guangdong Chamber of Commerce," Mr Wyatt said.

    However, he said the CPC "assists with facilitating a number of delegations between China and Australia".

    China experts have described the International Department as "a crucial vehicle for advancing China’s modernisation goals, studying current international conditions, and fostering ties with influential foreigners from every region".n October 2015, ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis told Labor party officials the intelligence agency was concerned about Mr Huang's opaque ties to the CPC.

    Fairfax Media last year revealed Mr Dastyari, while still a senator, had warned Mr Huang his phone may have been tapped by security and intelligence agencies during a visit to his house in October 2015.

    Links between Mr Huang and Labor engulfed the party in controversy last year when Mr Dastyari appeared at a press conference alongside Mr Huang and defended China's territorial claims in the South China Sea.

    Mr Wyatt said he had never met with Mr Huang or anyone who identified themselves as a representative of his businesses.

    Mr Wyatt said he had never met with Mr Huang or anyone who identified themselves as a representative of his businesses.

    RELATED ARTICLE

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    When asked by WAtoday why he accepted the trip he said: "It is important to take opportunities to visit and build relationships with our state's strongest economic partner."

    "In every trip I have made to China I have met with either government officials (local, provincial or Central) and/or representatives from the relevant level of the Chinese Communist Party," he said.

    Mr Bowen said the trip was organised as a young leaders' dialogue as part of a "mutual exchange" between the Communist Party's Central Committee and other political parties, including the Australian Labor Party.

    "Mr Wyatt is correct that I suggested he join the delegation, primarily due to the importance of the China trading relationship to the Western Australian economy," he said.

    The Australian Guangdong Chamber of Commerce and Mr Huang did not respond to requests for comment.

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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2018 at 11:17am

    Live sheep export row hits cattle ship that fails inspection leaving Fremantle

    Nick ButterlyThe West Australian
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2018 at 11:23am
    Theres big money in live animal export, just ask Gina Rinehart, for one and her chinese mates.

    For all the big money they have and make why they cant look after their livestock properly and responsibly is just staggering.
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    Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Aug 2018 at 11:26am

    Annabelle Chen murder trial: Accused says ex-wife linked to China, spies

    The West Australian

    He told officers his former wife was groomed to be part of the secret service and said she was highly trained in how to use weapons and influence people with her good looks, but may not have ended up joining.

    Mr Ban said he was in contact with Mr Deng through his work and described his wife as someone who was upstanding with officials and a god-daughter to one of the powerful Chinese figure’s children.

    He told officers he owned an online gambling business, hydraulic power plant and a nightclub and said he had 20,000 employees and no enemies.

    Mr Ban flew to Perth on June 30, 2016 and left the country on July 2 — the day the suitcase was found in the rivere told police he had an hour-long chat with his wife when he arrived and said he last saw her when she left the house with a suitcase a short time later.

    Mr Ban said he spent the rest of his time in Perth doing driving lessons with his daughter, going out for meals and talking about her future.

    The alleged murderer now admits he helped dispose of Ms Chen’s body at some point over the three days and says he did so after he found out his daughter had killed her.

    But Ms Wan argues her father battered Ms Chen to death and says she lied to police to cover his tracksMr Ban told officers he got a call from his son-in-law in September to tell him Ms Chen’s body had been found and said he immediately returned to Perth to be with his family.

    “I felt shocked about that,” he said.

    Mr Ban said his marriage with Ms Chen fell apart about 1999 but he remained hopeful of a reconciliation for years.

    The jury was yesterday shown photographs of the items police divers found when they searched part of the river in Fremantle.

    Among the items were glasses that allegedly matched those worn by Mr Ban and a scooter that was allegedly identical to one Ms Wan rode as a child, which had a breadboard attached.

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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 Aug 2018 at 12:01pm
    a conundrum for the chinese; do we show our human side and retire the debt, or be hard nosed and insist on repayment? when they lent the money they would have known th chances of repayment were slim so why do it in the first place? 

    Tonga urges Pacific nations to press China to forgive debts as Beijing defends its approach

    By Pacific affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic

    Updated yesterday at 6:35pm

    The leader of Tonga has called on Pacific Island leaders to band together and press China to write off their debts, saying his small nation is suffering "serious" debt distress.

    Key points:

    • Tonga's Prime Minister wants to use the Pacific Islands Forum to tackle the Chinese debt issue
    • Akalisi Pohiva says the region should collectively urge Beijing to waive repayments
    • China says its aid is aimed at "improving people's lives" and "economic development"

    The calls come as Beijing defended its spending program in the Pacific in a statement to the ABC as "sincere and unselfish" while arguing that it only provides loans to those who can afford it.

    Several Pacific nations have taken on large loans from China, as well as from multilateral institutions.

    Tonga confirmed last month it would start to pay back two loans worth around $160 million from China's Export Import Bank.

    This morning Tonga's Prime Minister Akalisi Pohiva told the ABC the repayments would put pressure on his small country.

    "It has become a serious issue. We have debt distress," he said.

    But Mr Pohiva said Tonga wasn't the only Pacific Island nation which owed substantial amounts to China — and the region should collectively urge Beijing to waive repayments.It is no longer an individual issue for countries to consider. It has become now an issue for all countries who have loans from China," he said.

    "I think these small countries will eventually come together to find a way out."Pacific leaders will meet in Nauru next month for the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) — and Mr Pohiva said he wanted to use the Forum to tackle the issue.

    While there had been plenty of internal back and forth within Pacific nations over debt, raising the topic at PIF would represent a significant escalation.But Mr Pohiva said Beijing would be more likely to listen if Pacific leaders presented a united front and asked for debt relief.

    "China will not make a decision on individual requests," he said.

    "China has to take into consideration all the countries that have loans."

    Mr Pohiva first publicly raised the prospect of PIF discussing debt in an interview with the Samoa Observer last week, after a meeting of Pacific foreign ministers.

    He said it was too early to predict if other nations would agree to discuss Chinese debt at PIF. "But some of these countries have already thought about it, and there have already been discussions by these countries outside formal meetings," the Prime Minister said.

    Beijing defends its 'sincere and unselfish' spendingChina's lending of hundreds of millions of dollars across the Pacific has also concerned the Turnbull Government, which warned the arrangements would erode the island nations' sovereignty.

    "We recognise we're not the only partner, but we would like the Pacific to see Australia as providing them with the kind of support that maintains their sovereignty, maintains their economic stability and doesn't become an unsustainable debt burden," Ms Bishop told Fairfax last month.

    There is also criticism of the previous Tongan government that took on the loans and its management of the funds.

    Responding to questions from the ABC, the Foreign Ministry said China's aid was aimed at "improving people's lives" and "economic development".

    "When those benefit countries encounter the difficulties during the process of paying the debts, China always properly handles the issue by bilateral dialogues," the Ministry said.

    "In general, China would prolong the term of payment when it is necessary."

    'China seems to be always the one to blame': Global Times

    Lowy Institute Pacific Aid Map screenshot

    The Lowy Institute's report found that while Australia remains by far the biggest donor to the Pacific Island nations, China has been the second largest donor in recent years.

    The report estimates that 70 per cent of Chinese aid money comes in as cheap loans which are used to fund the big projects Beijing favours.

    Australia's International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells says she thinks the issue of Chinese debts will be high on the agenda at next month's meeting of Pacific leaders.

    Senator Fierravanti-Wells has previously accused Beijing of building 'roads to nowhere' and 'useless buildings' in the region, as it seeks to exert its influence.She described Mr Pohiva's comments as interesting and said she was pleased to see the issue gaining attention.

    "We're starting to see issues pertinent to debt, debt sustainability and lending feasibility appear in Pacific Island Forum documentation, so my sense is that it will be discussed," she told the ABC.

    "I think it is important that it is discussed because it is vitally important to so many countries in the Pacific."

    The Minister pointed to the Lowy Institute research which identified 13,000 projects involving 62 different donors in 14 different countries and she said it was unclear what conditions, if any, were attached to those loans.

    "We do not know whether these are simply concessional loans, we do not know whether these loans are debt for equity, we do not know if these loans have assets that have been given as collateral for that loan," she said.

    But in their comments to the ABC, Beijing maintained it "always pays high attention to sustainability" when dealing with Pacific countries.

    "We will try our best … China's aid is always sincere and unselfish," the Foreign Ministry said in statement.

    "[It has] won appreciation from the governments and the people from South Pacific Islands."

    The Ministry added that before granting loans, China conducts "strict economic and technical evaluation, that fully considers the sustainability of those benefit countries and their ability of paying the debts back".

    The state-owned Chinese tabloid the Global Times also published a comment piece shortly after the publication of the Lowy Institute report, saying that "finding fault" in its donations was not appreciated.

    "China seems to be always the one to blame either for not helping others or for giving out too much help," the article said.

    "There is clearly a mixture of vigilance and anxiety about China's growing sway in the region that is traditionally seen by Australia as its backyard."

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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 Aug 2018 at 12:05pm

    Chinese family linked to money laundering

    Christine McGinnAAP
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