May 23, 2018

Hastie blows up Turnbull’s efforts to fix China relations

Australia's relations with China look set to enter the deep freeze with the head of parliament's intelligence committee outing a prominent Chinese-Australian as the subject of a US bribery case.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

The head of Parliament's intelligence committee has thrown a stick of dynamite into the government's efforts to improve its "tense" relationship with China, naming Australian-Chinese businessman Chau Chak Wing as an unindicted co-conspirator, "CC-3" in a US bribery case.

Last night, West Australian MP Andrew Hastie, who heads the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS), told the Federation Chamber:

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

43 thoughts on “Hastie blows up Turnbull’s efforts to fix China relations

  1. Peter Burns

    The US doesn’t need to send us an ambassador to promote their interests, Andrew Hastie’s here.

  2. lloydois

    This is a pretty clear indication of the US interfering in our domestic politics one could just as easily say. I doubt this is going to end well for Australia. Nuance left the building some time ago.

  3. Terry of Tuggeranong

    On the day that Ms Bishop was bending over backwards to assuage the Chinese Foreign Minister young Mr Hastie comes out with this – I suspect that he has been a little hasty (comments open late last night but closed early this morning in Fairfax publications – shades of a ‘D – Notice’!!). I wonder if his PM, Foreign and Defence Ministers and other members of his committee and the security agencies were aware of what he was about to say – I bet not!!! I will however bet my last lazy ten bucks that Abbott knew. If the ALP is not all over this in Question Time then they not doing their jobs either from a political or national security standpoint
    Incidentally, do any of these clowns have national security clearances?????

    1. TraceyR

      The Chinese are just pissed at Julie – after “donating” $490 000 to her “Julie Bishop Glorious Foundation” she is not doing as told.

  4. klewso

    ‘Tastie’ has shares in US beef and wine interests?

  5. Rob Gerrand

    Is Hastie an agent of influence of the USA?

  6. Hunt Ian

    Bernard, this is more than usually daft. You note China’s largely unsuccessful efforts to influence Australian politics but simply note that Hastie is a conduit for US intelligence. This is plainly interference in our politics and just as reprehensible as anything China does.

    That Australia cannot have a completely warm relationship with China – their ludicrous territorial claim in the South China Sea and their human rights record will make it hard for boundless warmth – but to suggest we should simply damage our national interest so that can roll over for the CIA is treachery isn’t it, Bernard.
    Australia has no interest whatever in damaging our trade with a $10 billion loss to national income.

    What Australia should do is show more independence from the US and stop acting as it’s de facto colony in the South Pacific.

    Look at the damage done by our so called free trade agreement with the US – we are lumbered with their anti-free trade “zoning”, where we suffer higher prices and reduced supply of goods only so that US companies can rip us off more than they would with freer trade.

    No doubt some “scholars” have whipped up a case for us to run from the red peril again but fluent unsupported assertion does not make it a fact that we are or likely to change from being a US colony to a Chinese one.

    1. David Thompson

      Not daft, at all, Hunt Ian.
      We display our independence by maintaining the right to select which “serial human rights abusers” to cuddle up to.
      Why, it’s less than a week since we put that independence on full display, at the UN Human Rights Council vote on whether to investigate the 90+ to zero result in the Jolly Israelis vs Immiserated Palestinians contest at Gaza Field.
      One of only 2 nations to exercise a deeply thought out argument on human rights and natural justice.
      Remind me. Who was the other 1 of the 2?
      As for notions of the Chinese doing a spot of interfering – it’d be nice if members of the commentariat whipped out a history book for a refresher, every now and then.
      I’d start with the “Opium Wars”, and move forward from there.

      1. covenanter

        I’ll invite derision by referencing the novel by James Clavell on the foundation of Hong Kong.
        The Quandong, or Cantonese merchants of the Pearl River, in that novel, encouraged the foundation of Hong Kong overlooking the opium trade, in order that the Guai Lo eventually brought down the hated foreign Manchu dynasty.
        And there was then the balance of trade problem, with the Imperial authorities accumulating silver by selling tea but buying nothing.
        So the present Chinese trade surplus looks very familiar in its origin, and they even have a “President for Life” de-facto emperor?

      2. Hunt Ian

        Well, yes, irony is good. I don’t know why our only choice is to “cuddle”. We might be capable of genuine independence, which involves not cuddling up without end with any other country. Your’e right about the US as a human rights abuser but this is just another reason for avoiding unbounded warmth with the US as well switch China.
        The hypocrisy of Britain and other powers such as
        japan being fronted by the mere possibility of Chinese interference is well taken. I still think Bernard’s position is daft

  7. Old Fogey

    So, we can’t have China meddling in our affairs, but it is clearly “OK” for the US to meddle in our affairs.
    Time we started thinking for ourselves. Not sure that those in power are capable of doing that though.

  8. Pedantic, Balwyn

    And Bernard Australia is also a human rights abuser with off shore detention, racist policies, aboriginal detention rates etc, but, we can also proudly hold up in heads in many, many ways. So can the PRC. It has raised the standard of living for its 1.4 billion people by a quantum leap, no mean feat. Because the Trump USA seems hell bent on having a row with the rest of the world does not mean that fellow travellers like Hastie have a point.

  9. blindphoton

    People that believe the universe was created in a couple of days 5000 years ago holding positions of power scare me. Such individuals are clearly incapable of rational thought and objective discourse. They are also invariably first-class bigots. How is it such a clown is in a position from where he can significantly influence Australian foreign policy? I guess having an absolutely spineless PM helps out here.

    1. leon knight

      Great comment BP, Hastie should rstrict his actities to his church, and Turnbull should sack him immediately for this piece of foolish treachery – he won’t though….gutless wonder.

    2. AR

      And one who, like our Beloved Ubergruppentuber, used to be armed in the course of his daily activity.

  10. GideonPolya

    White Australia’s historical, deep fear of Asia and China derives from basic human xenophobia complicated by British imperial notions of British and White racial superiority and the fear that the vastly more numerous Asians and Chinese might dispossess White Australia just as White Australians robbed the Indigenous Australians (Aborigines) of a whole continent in a continuing Aboriginal Genocide and Aboriginal Ethnocide. It is this latter fear of the so-called “Yellow Peril” that has made Australia a blindly loyal ally of the US that has participated in all post-1950 US Asian wars, atrocities that have been associated with 40 million Asian deaths from violence or war-imposed deprivation . China’s development of disputed uninhabited atolls in the South China Sea has been used by the US and its craven ally Australia to ramp up military posturing in relation to China, and has put Australia in a difficult position because China is now Australia’s biggest trading partner. One must note that China has only invaded 2 other countries in a thousand years (it conquered Tibet at about the same time that England was invading Scotland, Wales and Ireland) , has taken 1 billion Chinese out of poverty (4 million Indians die avoidably from deprivation each year as compared to zero Chinese), is rapidly becoming a social welfare superpower (the right to life and indeed the right to a decent life are fundamental human rights) and is possibly the last hope for dealing with the worsening Climate Emergency (by top-down fiat China can effect requisite changes that short-term politics is evidently unable to effect in the Western democracies). For sure there are human rights issues that cannot be ignored, but democracy is fundamentally expression of the desires of the people (long life, survival of children, peace, good governance, good economy, good health services and good education, fundamental desires fulfilled in China but not generally in “democracy” India). There are 1.3 billion Chinese, 1.6 billion Muslims and 4 billion Asians between White Australia and Mother England/Europe and, basic human decency aside, we should be as nice as possible to them (see Gideon Polya, “Australian Sinophobia & China-bashing fromcolonial persecution & White Australia to Trump America’s Asia Deputy Sheriff”, Countercurrents, 26 January 2018: https://countercurrents.org/2018/01/26/australian-sinophobia-china-bashing-colonial-persecution-white-australia-trump-americas-asia-deputy-sheriff/ ; Gideon Polya, “China’s Tibet Health Success Versus Passive Mass Murder Of Afghan Women & Children By US Alliance”, Global Research, 7 January 2018: https://www.globalresearch.ca/chinas-tibet-health-success-versus-passive-mass-murder-of-afghan-women-and-children-by-us-alliance/5625151 ).

Leave a comment

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details