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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tlazolteotl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Sep 2018 at 5:31pm
Dutton will be watching Foreign Correspondent tonight.
"Even the things that I believe in the most, I doubt.”
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 Sep 2018 at 10:58am

Australia eyes PNG military base to curb China’s Pacific influence

A TINY island has suddenly become a flashpoint in the geopolitical battle between Australia and China.

Staff writers, with AFP
news.com.auSEPTEMBER 21, 20189:12AMMOST people probably associate Manus Island with being home to refugee camps established as part of Australia’s hardline immigration policies. But there’s much more to the tiny island than meets the eye.

Manus is also a crucial military jewel in the Pacific crown and has been since World War II, when the Americans handpicked it as the location of a major naval base. Now, it’s set to form part of Australia’s long-term strategic military security, with plans to build a military installation there.

The significant move is seen as a way of curbing China’s enormous and growing influence in the region and to future-proof our defences.

Manus, which is part of Papua New Guinea, is one of many recipients of China’s generosity, anb increasing concern for many observers.

The Communist superpower has been splashing billions of dollars in the region, in an attempt to yield power and influence down the track. And as China ramps up its military spending to $224 billion per year and pushes ahead with a $1 trillion project to extend its global influence, Australia is planning to exert some influence of its own.The Australian government is reportedly planning to build a new naval base there, with Canberra aiming to finalise an agreement on the facility ahead of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Port Moresby in November.

The Australian reports Australian defence officials visited PNG’s Lombrum Naval Base on Manus to review a potential redevelopment after that country’s Prime Minister Peter O’Neill visited Brisbane in July.

“The Pacific is a very high-priority area of strategic national security interest for Australia,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said yesterday, refusing to deny the report.

“But I’m not going to comment on speculation on national security issues, that would not be appropriate.”

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It comes as Beijing has been showering billions of dollars in infrastructure loans to tiny nations across the Pacific, a region considered strategically important as a maritime gateway to Asia.

Australia has attempted to block this growing influence in part by agreeing to fund underwater internet cables and a cyber security centre for the Solomon Islands, beating a similar bid by Chinese telecom giant Huawei Technologies.Until Australia stepped in, Huawei had planned to lay the cables for the Pacific archipelago nation, which could ultimately have given the Chinese company access to a broadband hub in Sydney.

Analysts say that would have raised a ‘red flag’ for Australian internet security.

The Australian reports that the government has also moved to block Chinese involvement in ­another regional military development — the upgrade of Fiji’s Black Rock military camp.

Canberra, which has a history of military co-operation in the Pacific, in conjunction with close ally the United States, has warned of a need to counter China’s influence in the region.

Australia has been critical of Beijing’s Pacific “soft diplomacy”, and announced this year it would negotiate a security treaty with Vanuatu.

The Manus Island naval base plan follows reports China had approached Vanuatu about the possibility of opening a military base there.As well as suspicion about China’s motives in the Pacific, uncertainty has grown over control of the resource-rich South China Sea.

China claims most of the important region, through which $5 trillion in shipping trade passes annually, despite competing claims from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

Tensions have been high over the Scarborough Shoal since Beijing seized it from Manila in 2012.

Yesterday, this tension was further stoked when Japan carried out its first military drill in the region — a move that could provoke Beijing.

The anti-submarine drill was conducted to “improve strategic techniques”, Japan’s defence ministry said in a short statement.China has been ramping up its military spending in recent years. In March, Premier Li Keqiang said China will “advance all aspects of military training and war preparedness, and firmly and resolvedly safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests”.

Mr Li said the country had “basically completed” the target of reducing the size of the armed forces by 300,000 troops, which would leave the People’s Liberation Army’s strength at around two million troops.

President Xi Jinping has vowed to turn China’s defences into a “world-class” force capable of fighting and winning wars.

After a confronting report in May which revealed Beijing has based illegal military weapons on its artificial islands in the South China Sea, Australian politicians express concern about potential aggressive military tactics.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said at the time that reported activity was “concerning”.

“China, of course, has a unique responsibility as a permanent member of the United Nations ­Security Council to uphold peace and security around the world,” she said.

“Any action, to militarise unilaterally, features in the South China Sea would go against that responsibility and that role.”

— with wires and Gavin Fernando

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 9:50am

How China is driving Australia and Trump into each other's arms

On Malcolm Turnbull's last weekend as prime minister he picked up the phone and called the White House. In the inner sanctum, his government had just made a threshold decision on the hyper-connected, fifth-generation mobile telecommunications future that's to enable the so-called "internet of things".

Before he announced it to the world, Turnbull wanted to tell Donald Trump. Specifically, he told Trump that Australia had decided that the risk of allowing Chinese companies to supply any of the gear for the forthcoming multi-billion dollar 5G network was too great.As the government would announce a few days later, on Turnbull's last full day as prime minister, Chinese firms would be banned outright. It was, in effect, a profound statement of mistrust in Beijing's intent.

Trump was pleased. Even impressed: "You're ahead of us on this," the President said during the unpublicised call, according to informed sources. The Australian leader was well aware. He'd been urging the US for months to get active on the matter. He raised it with Trump in a meeting in Washington in February, for instance.

Now Australia had taken a decisive step, becoming the first country in the world to ban Chinese suppliers from its 5G network and incurring the customary angry bluster and threats from Beijing as a result. Turnbull evidently hoped that, by taking the lead, Australia would prompt the US and others to follow. It seems likely that it will.Four weeks after that phone call, the admiral in charge of the US Indo-Pacific Command stood on the deck of a US navy guided missile destroyer in Pearl Harbour, Hawaii. Admiral Phil Davidson is responsible for US military operations across a little over half the earth's surface."I will be totally transparent with you," Davidson told assembled sailors and guests. "China is moving around the region with an open pocket book greasing the region with money like no other adversary we have ever faced."

This is strong stuff. He welcomed Australia's co-operation. And he embraced the term that Australia's ambassador to the US, Joe Hockey, has been promoting ever since he arrived in the post two and a half years ago. The US, said Davidson, classifies the countries it works with into three tiers - friends, partners and allies.

"And then there's mates," said the Admiral, adding a fourth category. "The highest form of relationship you can have."

Standing with him and the crew of the American destroyer was the crew of the HMAS Hobart, the first of Australia's three new guided missile destroyers. The Hobart was docked alongside its US counterpart. Both carry the sophisticated American-made Aegis combat system, a statement in itself.Trump himself, who has adopted the Australian ambassador as a golfing partner, speaks of America's Aussie "mates" and "mateship". And while the President has decided to cancel his attendance at the two big annual summits in Asia in November, and the side-trip he had planned to Australia as well, the Vice-President is to make the trip instead.

Mike Pence is set to visit Cairns, a token of American commitment to the alliance. The theme will be the shared priority of a "free and open Indo-Pacific". This is unsubtle code for "preventing Chinese takeover of international waters and airspace".

Although the visit has not yet been announced, it's understood to be a one-day affair. One quirk is that, on the current scheduling, the US Vice-President will come to Australia but not meet the Prime Minister. Scott Morrison is to be in Darwin meeting the Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe.

What do these various developments have in common? Shared fear of China's intentions is holding the alliance together. If anything, it is strengthening the relationship.

In the absence of the China risk, Australia would be inclined to recoil from Trump's America. The President is personally unpopular with the Australian public and politically distasteful to all but a right-most fringe in Australian politics.Some of his key policies hurt Australia's interests. Australia favours free trade. Trump does not. Australia is committed to the Paris carbon accord. Trump is opposed. Australia supports the Iranian nuclear deal. Trump is pulling it apart.But the threat from the authoritarian party-state in Beijing is so pervasive that Australia and the US are drawn to co-operate more closely in spite of their policy differences.

The cover story in the American journal Foreign Affairs is about China's plan for cyber dominance. It's titled: "World Wide War."

The man who was conducting that war for America until four months ago is retired admiral Mike Rogers; he was the chief signals spy as head of the US National Security Agency and concurrently the chief cyber warrior as head of US Cyber Command.Rogers tells me that when he started in those two posts four years ago, "We considered the Russians to be our peers in cyber. With China, initially, that wasn't my judgment. But look at the growth in their expertise. You are seeing China increase their capability and their level of investment. We have to develop responses predicated on the assumption that this is not going to go away."And this is a priority that Australia shares. When Xi Jinping said that China aims to become a "cyber superpower" he wasn't thinking about how to improve shoppers' retail experience. China seeks to dominate. That's the shared concern that moved Turnbull to call Trump, the new relevance of an old alliance.

Peter Hartcher is international editorwww.watoday.com.au/politics/federal/how-china-is-driving-australia-and-trump-into-each-other-s-arms-20180924-p505mr.html

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 9:53am
Torn between your hatred of the far too liberal Turnbull and the evil China Isaac?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 12:53pm
Is that all you can say pt?

Sad
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 1:21pm
No. Who benefits most from the govt shutting Chinese telecom giants out of 5G, and is it really about National Security? If it was why haven't they done anything about locking out Kaspersky who US Intelligence agencies say are most likely spying? A Senate hearing panel of all the heads of the security agencies earlier this year was asked who would risk using Kaspersky on their personal computers. None raised their hands. All govt agencies have stopped using them in the US. Why not here if National Security is such an issue?

Sounds like Turnbull trying to please Uncle Rupe to save his job, but failing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 2:32pm
Originally posted by Passing Through Passing Through wrote:

Torn between your hatred of the far too liberal Turnbull and the evil China Isaac?

I didnt write the article.

Just posting it. fyi
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 Sep 2018 at 2:53pm
Thanks for clearing that up. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2018 at 10:46am
Unless you can work cheap as chips, like the ......chinese, this is what happens.

All strength to the shareholders/superannuates!!

Blow to Cadbury workforce as humans lose out to robots in pursuit of 'significant efficiencies'

By state political reporter Alexandra Humphries

Updated 44 minutes ago

Chocolate-maker Cadbury's decision to shed 40 jobs from its Tasmanian factory, replacing workers with machines, has been met with anger, disappointment and despair.

Management announced on Thursday that the jobs are to go from its Claremont facility over the next four months, in the third round of job cuts at the factory since 2015.

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GIF: Automation at a Mondelez chocolate factory

Cadbury's US parent company Mondelez said it was spending $20 million on new machinery to wrap Flake and Twirl bars, meaning the workers who did the job manually would no longer be needed.

Staff were told the news on Thursday evening.

Independent Denison MP Andrew Wilkie said the Cadbury factory was a bedrock of the local community, and the loss of 40 jobs would hurt.

"That's not just a number," Mr Wilkie said.

"That's 40 workers, all of whom have bills to pay, many of whom have families and so on to care for. There's a real human side to this and it's very disappointing.

"It's especially disappointing when Cadbury have promised so much.

"Yes, the factory survives while other factories in other countries have closed, and yes they are investing in more plant and we can get a little bit of comfort out of that, but really it's promised so much more."

Mr Wilkie said he would lobby the company to ensure the factory, which was founded in 1922, remained at the Claremont site into the future.

State Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union John Short said he was "bitterly disappointed" at the news.

"It's really concerning we're losing another raft of permanent full-time jobs - we can't afford to lose these jobs in Tasmania," he said.

"We understand that automation means you will need less people, but this has been an important factory for Hobart, but also Tasmania and Australia."

Mr Short said the company was offering voluntary redundancies, but the job cuts would put significant pressure on workers who remained.The decision to introduce machines has been criticised by the public but many said the job losses due to automation were inevitable.

Claremont-based factory site manager Ross Coleman said efficiencies had to be made for those products to remain price-competitive.

"Certain product lines such as Flake and Twirl require significant efficiencies to ensure we can compete globally and overcome some of the challenges associated with Australian production, such as our distant location, low domestic growth, and rising costs of freight and other inputs," he said.

In 2013, Cadbury was promised $16 million in federal funding for upgrades at the Claremont site including a visitor centre, but withdrew its application for the funding in 2015 because it failed to meet certain requirements.

The 40 jobs represent 10 per cent of the current workforce and will raise the total number of cuts to 170 since 2015.

Cadbury shed 80 jobs in 2015 after a drop in sales in a more internationally competitive market and another 50 in 2017 as part of a $75 million upgrade.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2018 at 10:57am
Thank God automation isn't taking our(white people) jobs Isaac. Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2018 at 12:18pm
You can worry about the white people pt;; im worried about ALL australians.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2018 at 12:21pm
I am glad you have had this conversion to a new age inclusive, multiculturalist, globalist kinda guy Isaac, but please forgive my scepticism. Embarrassed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2018 at 2:01pm
I have a much broader outlook than you pt.

sadly too many just accept their "doomed" fate.

of late ive had several practical experiences which says you have to make a stand.

one was with telstra. Threatened with debt collection but when i contacted the ombudsman, who knew EXACTLY what i was talking about, i received a credit instead of a bill for hundreds.
Ironically telstra asked for my opinion on their service, a they do. I was soooo pleased to say 0 out of 10, would i recommend them etcLOL
Needles to say am now with another carrier.

Another, arrived at a worrk place, that was an accident waiting to happen. Dust, noise, trip hazards, no escape routes, fire extinguishers etc. But the most amazing part were the people already there, just accepting. 
Work safe had a field day.

So, im going to call as i see it. If its different to your vision, so be it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2018 at 2:19pm

The $13 billion deal Australians should be concerned about

A DISTURBING picture of Australia’s electricity and gas network is emerging as experts warn about the implications of a new $13 billion deal.THERE are serious concerns about the $13 billion takeover of an Australian energy company with experts warning it is “entirely the wrong move” with implications for national security and gas prices.

Australians are just starting to realise how much of the country’s electricity and gas assets are owned by Chinese-linked companies and the huge dominance they now have.

The latest move from Hong Kong-based company Cheung Kong Infrastructure (CKI) to take over Australian-owned company APA will give it control over 60 per cent of Australia’s gas pipelines.

But the picture becomes even more concerning if you look at all the other assets that are essentially controlled by the Chinese Government.

This is what’s going on.

WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?

APA is the company at the centre of the deal and it’s easy to understand why.

The company owns or manages $20 billion worth of energy assets.

It has a 15,000km network of pipelines that deliver half of Australia’s natural gas usage. It supplies gas to 1.3 million Australian homes and businesses, as well as having interests in gas-fired power stations and wind farms.As Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) energy analyst Bruce Robertson told news.com.au: “It is a fabulously profitable company.”

In fact if you bought shares in APA when it first listed on the stock exchange in 2000, your investment would now be worth 18 times more than what it was.

But this impressive profit actually points to one of the reasons why people are so worried about the sale.

When the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) looked into the gas market in 2016 it found evidence of monopoly pricing among the pipeline operators that transport gas along the east coast of Australia.

This is because the pipelines are owned by a small group of companies that can essentially charge what they like.

CKI already owns a lot of gas pipelines, powerlines and electricity generators around Australia.

So if you combine the two companies, CKI would suddenly control 68 per cent of the gas transmission and distribution pipelines in Victoria, 86 per cent in South Australia and 72 per cent in Queensland.

But it gets even more interesting when you add the assets controlled by other Chinese companies, particularly another company called State Grid, which is a Chinese Government-owned company.HOW MUCH ARE WE ACTUALLY TALKING?

When you combine the assets of all the companies you start to understand why some experts are so worried.

Australians rely on pipelines and powerlines to transport electricity and gas around the country and into their homes. Transmission networks move the energy around the country and distribution networks are the smaller lines that deliver it into their homes.

If the APA takeover went ahead, 100 per cent of electricity transmission and distribution in three states and territories would be partly controlled by Chinese and Hong Kong interests, according to national security expert and Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) executive director Peter Jennings.

Chinese and Hong Kong companies would essentially have a stake in all the electricity powerlines that deliver energy to homes and businesses in Victoria, South Australia and ACT.

For example, the electricity network in the ACT is run by Evoenergy, which is 50 per cent owned by the ACT Government. The other half is owned by Jemena, of which the Chinese-controlled State Grid owns 60 per cent.

When it comes to gas, Chinese and Hong Kong companies have a stake in 99 per cent of the transmission and distribution network in Victoria, 100 per cent in NSW and the ACT, as well as 86 per cent in South Australia, 78 per cent in Queensland, 74 per cent in NT and 62 per cent in WA.

“There is a real vulnerability to having a vast bulk of our gas and electricity assets owned by two foreign entities — State Grid and CKI,” Mr Jennings said.

“Taking that into account, and looking into the risks of cyber hacking, the Government would be well advised not to let this particular takeover go ahead.”

IT MAY ALSO KEEP GAS PRICES HIGHIT MAY ALSO KEEP GAS PRICES HIGH

While Australia’s national security could be at stake, Bruce Robertson also believes the takeover will be bad for gas prices.

The ACCC has already pointed to possible monopoly pricing among gas pipeline operators and a spokeswoman told news.com.au this was still a problem.

“The ACCC continues to have concerns about prices charged by pipeline operators,” the spokeswoman said.

Changes have been made to improve transparency about pipeline prices and to improve the bargaining power of companies negotiating with pipeline operators but Mr Robertson said prices for Australian gas were still too high.

“There’s been massive profiteering in this sector,” Mr Robertson told news.com.au.

“We are still operating in la-la land when it comes to gas pricing.”

Mr Robertson said in August Australian companies were paying between $10 to $12 per gigajoule for contract gas, compared to about $4 in the US, if you look at the Henry Hub Natural Gas Spot Price.

“The price of gas is so extortionately high; it’s well above international prices for gas,” Mr Robertson said.

This is despite the fact that Australia is one of the largest exporters of gas in the world. In what appears to be an absurd situation, Mr Robertson said there are now four consortiums looking to build import terminals in Australia to bring in cheaper gas from overseas.

“It is just unbelievable, the mess we’ve got ourselves into on the east coast of Australia,” Mr Robertson said. “If we go down the route of exporting gas and then importing it, we’ve totally lost.

“God help us if we can’t provide energy that’s produced here, to our own people.”“God help us if we can’t provide energy that’s produced here, to our own people.”

Gas prices overseas are very cheap at the moment because there is a lot of competition so gas companies are choosing to charge more in Australia because there are only a few major players operating in the market.

Deakin Business School’s Dr Shuddha Rafiq told The Australian that there was a lack of competition in transportation and transmission in Australia, with only one major company and a few others involved.

He said the main demand for gas was in Australia’s east but the main producers of gas were located offshore in the west. Without significant investment in infrastructure, prices would continue to be high thanks to transport and transmission costs.“Both sea transport and pipeline transmission move the gas, and there’s a considerable cost involved,” Dr Rafiq said.

“Because there’s only a handful of companies involved, they’re not always open to investing in overhauling transmission technologies for the future welfare of society.”

He said the system should be overhauled to increase competition and to encourage investment in infrastructure.

Mr Robertson also supports change and believes the Government should regulate prices for use of the main transmission lines that move gas around the country.

“In the US they have regulated all interstate pipeline because they are monopoly assets,” he said.

While the ACCC has already made some changes, Mr Robertson believes more needs to be done and the APA takeover will make this harder.

“If a Chinese-linked company bought assets under one set of rules and then the Australian Government changes the rules, I don’t think they will be happy at all and they’re not the type of people you want to upset,” he said.

“If you start with the proposition that gas pipelines are too profitable and consumers are suffering, then selling the pipelines to a Chinese-linked company is entirely the wrong move.”

WILL THE TAKEOVER GO AHEAD?

The ACCC released a statement on September 12 that it would not oppose the takeover, as long as CKI sold its gas assets in Western Australia.

Mr Jennings said the ACCC was really limited in what it could do because the takeover wouldn’t really change the competition picture for the supply of gas, which was already bad.was already bad.

But the takeover could still be stopped by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, which will also consider the national security implications.

“I don’t think it should be allowed to happen,” Mr Jennings said. “I think the assets should remain in Australian hands.”

Even if the takeover didn’t go ahead, Mr Jennings said the extent of foreign ownership of Australia’s gas and electricity network was concerning.

“These decisions were taken back in the 1990s when a lot of these assets were privatised and China was less of a concern,” he said. “Cyber also wasn’t as big of a feature.”

However, changes to how critical infrastructure was operated in the 1990s and 2000s to allow pipelines and other operations to be controlled remotely has now made them susceptible to cyber hackers.

“Frankly, I don’t think we are in a good place when it comes to guaranteeing their security even if the assets are Australian-owned or majority Australian-owned,” Mr Jennings said.

“I know it’s an issue concerning a lot of people in the public service and national security community.”

https://www.news.com.au/finance/business/other-industries/the-13-billion-deal-australians-should-be-concerned-about/news-story/2eac2b19793efafa7001f8fa469090e7

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2018 at 2:22pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2018 at 3:29pm
Is that Labor's fault?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carioca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2018 at 4:00pm
Won't happen Isaac, no need to worry imo. concentrate on the footy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2018 at 3:00am
If it's left to the ALP/Greens Collusion, do you think it might just happen ...?

Guaranteed?
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: 29 Sep 2018 at 10:58am
Originally posted by Carioca Carioca wrote:

Won't happen Isaac, no need to worry imo. concentrate on the footy.

If you believe that you are naive.

Look how far the chinese have penetrated in aus in thirty years.

Those who arnt worried have vested interests.

Greed and power all the way.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Sep 2018 at 9:47pm

China's super trawlers are stripping the ocean bare as its hunger for seafood grows

By China correspondent Matthew Carney

Updated about 2 hours ago

aptain Lin Jianchang is a fisherman born and bred. Sitting on his small trawler mending nets, the 54-year-old says times are tough.

"When I started to fish we could fill our boat completely in an hour, we couldn't move, there were fish everywhere," he says.

"Now there's less fish and it's rare to get a big one."

The world's fisheries are in crisis. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates 90 per cent of them have collapsed and China is the major player in their demise.

By a long way, China has the world's biggest deep sea fishing fleet that strip mines the world's oceans.

The Chinese government heavily subsidises the fleet in an attempt to satisfy the country's insatiable appetite for seafood, which accounts for a third of world consumption.

In the port city of Zhoushan on China's east coast, 500 trawlers raced out to sea on the first day of the season.

Every season is harder than the last. The fleet have to head deeper into the ocean and stay for longer for a decent catch.

The seas around China have virtually no fish left but the commercial fishing fleet is still huge.

With an estimated 200,000 boats, it accounts for nearly half of the world's fishing activity.

A dozen trawlers returned to Zhoushan with their first catch of the season — crab.

The hauls were good but well under half of previous years.

These days the smaller trawlers and boats mostly catch "trash fish" — tiny fish with little value, used as feed for animals and in aqua farms.

Like most others in Zhoushan, the only thing keeping Captain Lin and his crew afloat are government subsidies.

"The diesel fuel and fixing the boat would cost me 200,000 yuan ($40,000). The government subsidises me more than 100,000 yuan ($20,000)," Captain Lin said.

The Chinese government has given $28 billion in subsidies over the last four years to its fishing fleet.

Chinese super trawlers stripping the ocean bare

Subsidies might keep people in jobs, but overfishing is threatening the entire ecosystem.

Wang Dong, captain of a small trawler, said China's 2,600 super trawlers make it almost impossible to survive.

"The stock of fish is definitely less, the fishnets they have kill everything," Captain Wang said.

"The mega trawlers have bigger engines, so when they pass there's hardly any fish left — big or small."

The government says it is taking action, at least with the smaller fleets it can control closer to home.

Li Wenlong is the general manager of Zhoushan Fishery company and in charge of safety and regulation of the Zhoushan fleet.

"Now we are taking three steps; extending the period of fishing bans, releasing more baby fish and starting to reduce the number of boats to reduce production," Mr Li said.

But Chinese authorities acknowledge on the high seas their super trawlers are difficult to police.

On paper there are tough new laws and punishments but often the super trawlers under-report or do not record their catches.

Many experts say it is too little too late to save the world's fish stocks.

Zhou Wei is the ocean project manager at Greenpeace East Asia.

"We are at crisis point, the world fish stocks are depleted," Ms Zhou said.

"We've lost two-thirds of the large predator fish. Ninety per cent of the world's fish stocks have being fully exploited or are overexploited.

"Our fleets continue to use destructive methods which destroy domestic fisheries."

China's super trawlers are targeting the seas in North West Pacific, South America and Western Africa.

Not only are they destroying fish stocks, but they are also wiping out poorer subsistent communities.

Greenpeace East Asia has recently done a study of the super trawler's impact in Western Africa.

"In Western Africa, seven million people rely on fish for income and employment, many more rely on fish for food and animal protein," Ms Zhou said.

"To the local people it's their livelihood but to the industrial fishing fleets it's a business."

Demand is driving the crisis. China's rising wealth means seafood, once considered a delicacy, is now widely consumed.

There is little awareness of sustainability in China's public and conservationists say education campaigns are desperately needed.

Many experts fear if China and other countries do not change their fishing models, there will be very little left for the next generation.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tlazolteotl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 11:57am
Too many fooking humans.
"Even the things that I believe in the most, I doubt.”
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Passing Through Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 6:35pm

Eric Olander 欧瑞克

Asia-based Media Executive. Content Strategist. Podcaster. Social Media Creator.

While China proudly, and often, declare their financial assistance in Africa has "no strings attached," that most definitely does not extend to the academic realm. Most academic support from China to African universities comes in the form of Confucius Institutes that provide badly-needed language and cultural training for students across the continent. While these institutes do provide an important service, Beijing does restrict the range of subjects that can be engaged. This is why Dr. Anthony Ross of the Centre for Chinese Studies at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, one of Africa's most renowned China scholars, says it's absolutely essential that African universities invest in their own, independently-funded Chinese studies programs: http://bit.ly/2xxfqU5. Despite the fact that China is now the largest trading partner of most African countries and increasingly intertwined in the continent's geopolitical future, knowledge of Chinese history, politics, and economics across the continent remain abysmally low. THE BOTTOM LINE: If Africans want better deals with the Chinese then they are going to have to know more about the people sitting across from them at the negotiating table. Improving education about China is a good place to start.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dr E Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Oct 2018 at 10:05pm
Who would have thought? ... just when the UN wants to up the ante on the cash they wish to extort from us for "The Climate Fund", and whilst we are supposed to be the gullible fools who care about "Reducing Emissions" ... China is just giving everyone the finger! 

Greatest Fraud of all time ...

You must have been all over this CNNPT ... or were you "saving it" to use against Kav?

Satellite images show 'runaway' expansion of coal power in China

Extra 259GW capacity from coal in pipeline despite Beijing’s restrictions on plants

Chinese coal-fired power plants, thought to have been cancelled because of government edicts, are still being built and are threatening to “seriously undermine” global climate goals, researchers have warned.

Satellite photos taken in 2018 of locations in China reveal cooling towers and new buildings that were not present a year earlier at plants that were meant to stop operations or be postponed by orders from Beijing.

The projects are part of an “approaching tsunami” of coal plants that would boost China’s existing coal capacity by 25%, according to the research group Coalswarm.

The total capacity of the planned coal power stations is about 259GW, bigger than the American coal fleet and “wildly out of line” with the Paris climate agreement, the group said in a new report.

“This new evidence that China’s central government hasn’t been able to stop the runaway coal-fired power plant building is alarming – the planet can’t tolerate another US-sized block of plants to be built,” said Ted Nace, executive director of CoalSwarm, which is funded by international green groups and private donations.

OH, BUT WAIT ...  IS IT FAKE NEWS?

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/sep/26/satellite-images-show-runaway-expansion-of-coal-power-in-china


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: 01 Oct 2018 at 10:12pm
Who needs nuclear threats when there is ...CHINA


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Oct 2018 at 10:09am

Chinese CCTV journalist's outburst in the UK could be a sign of things to come

By China correspondent Bill BirtlesAnother week, another nationalistic outburst by a Chinese citizen abroad goes viral.

This time a state television reporter named Kong Linlin allegedly disrupting a discussion about human rights in Hong Kong, which was being held at the Conservative Party's annual conference in the UK.

Video of the scuffle shows the reporter slapping an organiser and then refusing to leave, declaring she has "the right to protest" in a "democratic UK".

She was removed and briefly arrested but it didn't end there.

As usual when these increasingly common events occur, China demanded apologies.

Two of them — one to Kong Linlin's employer CCTV, and another to the Chinese embassy, which said: "In a country that boasts freedom of speech, it is puzzling that the Chinese journalist should encounter obstruction."

In China, some of the country's 800 million web users questioned Ms Kong's actions, but on the popular and highly censored platform Weibo, there was widespread support, with some congratulating her for confronting, "poisonous Hong Kong separatists".

Hu Xijin, the editor of China's most nationalistic tabloid, the Global Times, used Twitter to ask: "Why can't Chinese reporters have the right to ask questions and express opinion at this conference? Why views from mainland were rejected?"

One of a string of outcries

The latest incident comes as China is more forcefully asserting its world view on the global stage.

In September, a Chinese envoy stormed out of a Pacific Islands forum session after clashing with the President of host nation Nauru — one of the few countries that has diplomatic ties to Taiwan.

Last year in Perth, Chinese officials disrupted an international blood diamond conference to demand invited guests from Taiwan be excluded.

More recently, a Chinese family visiting Sweden created a diplomatic stir when they accused Swedish police of brutality for removing them from a hostel when they'd turned up the night before their booking.

It came during a period of ongoing tension between China and Sweden.Just this week, Thailand apologised to China for a security guard who was accused of hitting a Chinese tourist who didn't offer a tip while passing through customs.

In all cases, China's Foreign Ministry and state-run media moved quickly to support the Chinese nationals involved and David Bandurski, from the Hong Kong-based China Media Project, said it often seemed to play the events up.

"There seems to be a trend of manufacturing histrionics around cases of abuse of Chinese, or intrusion on their rights", he said.

"It's really hard to believe that this wasn't intended to be a disruptive event", he said.

China 'behaving like bullies'

This latest case in the UK is the first time nationalistic actions by an employee of China's vast government-controlled media outlets has gone viral.

But Sydney-based professor at UTS Feng Chongyi says he's encountered similar behaviour from Chinese state media journalists at events he's been involved with in Australia.

"They feel a type of entitlement that China is a great country, a great state, so they have the right to interrupt people — they're behaving like bullies", he said.The spat also comes as China's state media outlets pursue further expansion abroad.

The English-language version of CCTV, called CGTN, has been advertising for hundreds of positions in London as it seeks greater global influence.

The same network recently started running advertisements on the streets of Australian cities, right around the same time Beijing blocked people in China from accessing the ABC's website.

But James Palmer, a Beijing-based author and senior editor at Foreign Policy, who spent seven years working inside the Global Times, said the advertising — and Ms Kong's behaviour — was all for show for a specific audience.

"CGTN is all geared towards impressing the bosses who are mid-level state apparatchiks back at home," he said.

"I think Kong Linlin was putting on a display for her bosses in China in an attempt to promote herself within the hierarchy of Chinese state media."

Under President Xi Jinping, China's Government has tightened controls of the media, going so far as to remind journalists their outlets are symbolically surnamed 'Party'.

Some insiders at CCTV say an increasing number of news staff have sought to leave the media sector as ideological controls increase.

"We're heading into a time of even more political paranoia in China itself and people are feeling more insecure about their own positions", Mr Palmer said.

"It's going to become even more necessary for Chinese officials and diplomats to put on this show of anger, particularly about Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, in order to demonstrate loyalty to the regime back home."

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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 Oct 2018 at 11:18am
Hi whale.Hug

We are sleepwalking into an era of unprecedented danger

By Catherine McGregor

Our strategic circumstances are deteriorating rapidly, yet we are seemingly oblivious to the rapidly changing world. We are not so much the Lucky Country as the Land of Laughter and Forgetting. Our parochial complacency has been inculcated by a venal, short-sighted leadership caste, a media distracted by the jejune culture war and savage cuts to overseas postings. We gaze fondly at our navel while the global order upon which our prosperity and security rest unravels.

In recent days our nearest neighbour, Indonesia, has been afflicted by yet another natural catastrophe. This large Muslim nation is pivotal to our national security. Yet initial coverage of that disaster was eclipsed by our grand finals and the Prime Minister’s comments on the banking royal commission.

To be fair, Scott Morrison’s response was appropriate and swift. He immediately offered aid to the Indonesian government and judiciously avoided offence to their national sovereignty and dignity by not unilaterally seeking to foist military assistance upon them. Indonesia’s military and foreign policy elite have never entirely forgiven Australia for leading the United Nations intervention in East Timor in 1999. Many Indonesian officers whom I have met, since that time, remain suspicious that we harbour ambitions to repeat that operation in West Papua. They fervently believe that supporters of West Papuan Independence are sponsored by the Australian government and intelligence community.Indonesia is a complex, volatile neighbour. We patronise or offend it at our peril. Its internal security forces are integral to preventing jihadist attacks on Australians in Indonesia as well as to interdicting the flow of foreign fighters from the Philippines, Syria and other parts of the archipelago.

Both right and left-wing purists pillory Indonesia in pursuit of the warm inner glow. Next time the Greens hoist a Morning Star flag, ask yourself how a patriotic Indonesian may feel about affluent white Australians parading their morality over that issue? Likewise, when some racist ratbag demands a ban on Muslim immigration, ask yourself how you would feel as a patriotic Indonesian soldier or intelligence officer risking your life to contain the global jihad if your allies regard you as sub-human?Even more alarming was the near collision in the South China Sea between a Chinese destroyer and the USS Decatur near the disputed Gaven Reefs. There has little been manifestation of Ardern’s optimism in our immediate region, since China’s promulgation of its preposterous Nine-Dash Line over parts of the South China Sea. That claim derives no legitimacy from either history or international law. However, I have always believed that China’s militarisation of the reefs and atolls in that region was designed to acquire strategic space to deny the United States maritime access to the Chinese mainland.

The People's Liberation Army was humiliated and shocked at its inability to locate the US naval carrier groups that sailed into the Taiwan Straits during the crisis of 1996. Ever since then, their military force structure and strategy have been fused under the rubric of anti-access area denial. Their aim is to achieve freedom of action to recover the wayward province of Taiwan, by a cross straits invasion. Until recently, I harboured the view that this was decades away. Recent Chinese behaviour suggests they are committed to dominating the sea lanes through which most of our trade passes in the near future. They appear indifferent to the risk of war, though the ground reality in the South China Sea is such that there is nothing left to fight over.

As this crisis intensifies, we have learnt that our expensive submarine program is beset by problems. Our 2016 Defence White Paper belatedly recognised that the era of expeditionary land force operations by niche forces was over and that we urgently needed to configure the Australian Defence Force to fight a conventional adversary in the littoral approaches to our continent. Yet our most potent maritime strike platforms are nowhere near operational capability. An urgent review of our strategic climate and force structure is warranted. It should be chaired by a senior politician, not the Defence bureaucracy.

Few Australians remember the last existential threat to our sovereignty. The Second World War ensued the last time two totalitarian quasi-capitalist rising powers challenged the global order. Those preconditions exist again today. We are sleepwalking into an era of unprecedented danger with a legacy force configured to contribute small force packages to the United States in hybrid wars. Neither our major ally nor our own forces are ready for the most dangerous threat to our security since the bombing of Darwin. I admire Jacinda Ardern, But Thucydides understood international security better than she. “The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must”.

Catherine McGregor is a Fairfax Media columnist.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 2018 at 11:15am

Malcolm Turnbull says US forces in Asia 'vital' for balancing surging China

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says the presence of the United States in Australia's increasingly contested region is needed to balance China's growing power and protect smaller countries from coercion.

Mr Turnbull delivered the message just before US Vice-President Mike Pence gave a landmark speech rebuking China and signalling a tougher response to its domestic and international activities, including alleged Chinese Communist Party interference and influence in American politics.

Speaking in Washington DC on Thursday night, Mr Turnbull said Australia's own crackdown on foreign influence and interference was intended to protect sovereignty and ensure Australians were in control of domestic politics.Australia sees the continued, strong presence of the United States in our region as of vital importance to us, our neighbours and the world," Mr Turnbull told an audience at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

"That's not to say or suggest that China's rise brings with it the inevitable consequence of coercion but a strong and engaged America will ensure that the rule of law prevails."Warning against falling into the "Thucydides Trap" – a theory that war is the inevitable result of competition between a rising and established power – Mr Turnbull declared the US military presence in the Indo-Pacific provided reassurance in the face of China's rise.

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"When you're talking about the People's Liberation [Army] Navy, realistically, the only force that can balance it in the region is the United States Navy," he said.

In his separate speech in the US capital, Mr Pence targeted China's domestic human rights issues, "predatory" economic conduct, growing military aggression and "malign" efforts to interfere with US politics. The address is set to inflame tensions beyond the ongoing trade war between the two powers.

Asked about Mr Pence's accusations of Chinese influence and Australia's own debate, Mr Turnbull said: "Our sovereignty is as important to us as it is to every other nation in the region, including China. China states that its policy and commitment is not to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and we acknowledge that and we want to be sure that Australian politics is managed by Australians."

China has reacted angrily to Mr Pence's speech, with Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying criticising "unwarranted accusations" and insisting China was committed to “non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win co-operation” with the US.

“This is nothing but speaking on hearsay evidence, confusing right and wrong and creating something out of thin air. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to it,” she said.Rory Medcalf, the head of the Australian National University's National Security College, said Mr Pence's speech demonstrated an "intensified contest" with Beijing.

"It would be a mistake to think that the Pence speech is just Trumpian nationalism at work. The US debate on China has shifted rapidly and structurally, on both sides of politics," he said.

Australia's scrutiny of CCP-linked interference and influence has pre-empted and informed the toughened position in Washington.

"Australia has used less strident language so we sound reasonable, but in fact this country has already quite substantially toughened up against Chinese influence," Professor Medcalf 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: 08 Oct 2018 at 11:26am
Trump promised Kimmy he would withdraw troops and stop military exercises.

Who is correct Isaac? Is Trump an idiot or corrupt in doing China's bidding ?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Isaac soloman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Oct 2018 at 11:36am
is that the same as china denying abuse of human rights, religious freedom, not spying, not polluting the air, the sea, etc etc

Is Xi a liar or a despot?

what is true 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: 08 Oct 2018 at 11:38am
Wow, that is some deflection Isaac, even by your standards.LOL

So why is Trump appeasing China by withdrawing troops and ceasing military exercises?

Concentrate now. 
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