Apr 12, 2018

Businesses don’t like it, but Turnbull is dead right about China

Business and China Lobbyists can jump up and down, but the government has handled the aggressive and brutal Chinese dictatorship well.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Xi Jinping

The China Lobby has various groupings, and a strictly accurate China Lobby Watch should note which wing is behind which statements. Today, it's the business wing pushing the pro-Beijing line.

The Financial Review's Jennifer Hewett -- who we noted had attended a telco gathering as a guest of Chinese comms giant Huawei and happily peddled that company's line of deeply aggrieved victimhood -- is currently at the Boao Forum, as a guest of Twiggy Forrest.

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19 thoughts on “Businesses don’t like it, but Turnbull is dead right about China

  1. RL

    Hyperbole takes the edge off what may be some fair points in your piece Bernard.
    Dismissing China as a barbaric nation hell bent on destroying themselves and the world is BS.
    We should also be wary of the USA and our symbiotic relationship which is not necessarily always in our best interests.
    It;s all much more complicated than you make out.

    1. David Thompson

      Tick, RL.
      Folks like BK seem to have forgotten or neglected all history.

      1. David Thompson

        P.S. While it’s all fine and dandy to express our sovereign right to choose who we fancy to influence our great democracy, the best of diplomats can actually chew gum and walk at the same time, a skill not evident from Mal Equipped and Julesewry, on down.
        As things are currently trending, we might need to consider a change of name for DFAT e.g. Department of Fuck All Trade.
        But, what the hell, who needs China? We can just ramp up our weapons and private contractor sales to the likes of the House of Saud, the UAE etc.
        Might need to send the gear sans any ‘batch or serial numbers’, however. Wouldn’t want them showing up in any White Helmets productions, now would we?
        2013 – https://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/12/politics/syria-arming-rebels/index.html
        2015 – https://edition.cnn.com/2015/10/12/politics/syria-rebel-groups-ammunition-50-tons/index.html
        However, to properly insert ourselves in this supply chain, we should look at establishing a relationship with the Keisler Police Supply Co of Indiana, USA.
        That investigation is not being carried out by some crank ‘conspiracy theory’ roustabouts, it’s being carried out by the “EU-funded Conflict Armament Research”.
        The likes of BK can bang on all they like about the likes of China, but we remain a long way shy of ‘holier than thou’.

    2. graybul

      Hyperbole it is RL. And as you say . . . mostly BS.

  2. Venise Alstergren

    Perhaps Malcolm Turnbull-faced by even more negative polls-should forfeit the job of PM and be shifted to Foreign Affairs and Julie Bishop-who assails us from the rigours of the socially aware pages of the press-could be given Rural Affairs, or be made Minister for Ageing (a job she held previously in the early 2000s). And Barnaby Joyce be given the order of the boot.

  3. Dog's Breakfast

    “China is a brutal, murderous dictatorship that is aggressively expansionist in its own region, brainwashes its young people into a kind of aggrieved Sinofascist narrative, and has regularly tried to interfere, usually unsuccessfully, in Australian politics.”

    You may well be right Bernard, I don’t travel enough to know first hand, and can’t say which angle holds the most truth, however most of those words apply to the USA over the past 50 years, with us as its subservient lackey. Change the words ‘dictatorship to pseudo-democratic oligarchy’, ‘Sinofascist to radical neoliberalism’, and ‘unsuccessfully to successfully’, and you have described the US.

    Brutal, murderous – the US kills how many of its own citizens with the death penalty, imprisons how many of its third strike small time criminals (mostly Afro-American and Hispanics) to life in prison, interferes in how many regions for what ends?

    Perhaps the question isn’t why we should keep them at a distance, but why we don’t keep the US at a similar distance.

    Or am I out of line on that?

    1. kyle Hargraves

      No DB : you are “bang on”! Consistency in politics – huh. Forcing the point : whatever one might think (depending upon their source for information) of Chinese presidents every president of the USA since Kennedy could be convicted of a War Crime. Even Obama was an accessory to murder over bin Laden.

      As an aside, it was a defense at Nuremberg that if the Allies had acted so any similar accusation towards an Axis member would would not be pursued.

      1. David Thompson

        Oh, O’Bomber’s due for more ‘credit’ than just “accessory”, Kyle.
        ‘Kill List Tuesdays’ in the White House ring a bell?
        Just tick a box, and off go the drones – and kill a helluva lot more than the one who got the tick – ‘Weddings, Parties, Anything’ – that’s O’Bomber, the Nobel Peace Prize ‘winner’.
        Still, he did grow up in Indonesia, while his Mum worked for the Ford Foundation, who were ably assisting the coup in Indonesia that resulted in, what, a million deaths?
        Very strong grounding in his formative years.

  4. Nudiefish

    China is on the boil, and no mistake. It took 50 years for them to reach this position in the world, and they don’t intend wasting a single minute from here on in.

    Still, China’s military budget is only a quarter of the United States’. It is still build-up time for another couple of decades at least. Wait and watch.

  5. [email protected].au

    I am really over tired boring old white men trying to whip up a new cold war, it’s over. The most brutal nations on earth are the US, UK, Israel and China far down that list.

  6. lloydois

    We might feel slightly differently when they turn off the tap of Chinese students.

  7. Martin

    I’m not so sure that China was being “aggressively” expansionist, rather they’ve developed what were otherwise uninhabited and abandoned islands in the South China Sea; there is quite a contrast between this and the brutal invasion of Australia, a country that was indeed inhabited.

    I guess now that China has emerged as a new superpower, you would expect it to have some stabilising role, along side the USA, in maintaining the peace around the world. If there is a Korean reunification sometime this year then perhaps some of those roughly 23,000 US troops could be redeployed to Darwin, which might help allay some fears. I prefer to not be alarmed needlessly.

  8. Hunt Ian

    Oh Bernard. It is tempting, I’m sure, to find something Turnbull has not stuffed up, but our relationship with China is not it.
    True China is not a model of democratic government, to say the least, and true, it kills far too many of its own citizens for relatively minor crimes, or no crime at all, as does the US, though I think police and judicial violence in the US is not as great as it is in China.
    However, it does not rate all that high, historically, among murderous regimes, at least since the turmoil of the cultural revolution.
    We embrace murderous regimes, such as Saudi Arabia, though it is getting somewhat less oppressive in recent years , while China is getting somewhat more oppressive.
    Chinese interference in Australian politics is nothing compared to US interference, though it sticks out as the new interferer on the block.
    So really, Bernard, the level of tension between our government and the Chinese government is too high, however justified our complaints about Chinese territorial claims in the South China Sea.

  9. AR

    The Middle Kingdom has rarely been expansionist beyond the need of buffer state.
    They like walls, to keep the barbarians and long noses out.

  10. Janno

    Bernard, China is arriving, as many said it would. I grant it’s going to be a hell of a challenge with which (among others) I am not sure we are equipped to deal. Vietnamese, who share a border and long history with China call it, among other things, “The problem without a solution”. I see little in Australian politics, or on the street, that indicates we are developing any kind of sophisticated long-term framework with which to approach not just China but also India/Indian Ocean. The Vanuatu moment shows how unprepared we are, and it doesn’t seem to take much. Well, back to the previous future: the Commonwealth Games, ballsed up cricket players, oi, oi, oi.

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