Tuesday, 17 April 2012 00:48
- Please See Huawei: the company that spooked the world
- Please See China journalist denies spying claim by Canadian freelancer who quit Xinhua
Mining Oligarchs bending the ear of the Coalition: The Punch Online
So Julie Bishop has a Huawei-donated MediaTablet. Dangerous. Dangerous for her and dangerous for Australia if she ever aspires to become Foreign Minister. The MediaTablet alone is but one of the micro details to emerge from Ms Bishop’s visit to China as a guest of the Chinese telco. Some Liberals led by Julie Bishop, together with vested mining interests, questioned the Gillard Government’ accepting ASIO’s advice against letting Huawei bid for NBN. But the bar on Huawei has wider significance because the controversy it has sparked illuminates the most vexing issue of Australian foreign policy – our relationship with China.
This foreign policy challenge was again in sharp relief at the recent Boao Forum, on the luxury resort on Hainan Island, China’s version of Hawaii (they also have their most advanced naval base there). West Australian mining billionaires Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart were there. Forrest complained at the Boao Forum that the Huawei decision was indicative of insufficient sympathy for Beijing. They argued, as Clive Palmer has argued, that Australia’s foreign policy should reflect our commercial relationship with China. This is not the first time Western Australian mining magnates have sought to stamp “Made in China” on Australia’s foreign policy.
Huawei global chief Ren Thengfei
The day after President Obama’s long-awaited visit to Australia, one of Forrest’s Boao buddies “Iron” Mike Young dismissed the President of the United States visit on the front page of the Australian Financial Review: “Corporate Australia recognizes our economy is fundamentally tied to China, not America. The US is getting a lot of airplay but once President Obama goes home it will be business as usual”
Retired Liberal Senate leader Nick Minchin backed ASIO’s advice. Former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, who like past Victorian Labor Premier John Brumby whom is handsomely renumerated for his position on Huawei’s Australian Board, told the ABC that Huawei as a “Victim of Sinophobia.” The normally sensible Liberal Finance spokesman Andrew Robb, along with Julie Bishop and Bronwyn Bishop, all criticised the government for following the security services advice. All recently been guests of Huawei in China. Indeed Julie Bishop has been to China 4 times in 18 months.
Julie Bishop and Mr Downer really should know better. Fortunately, some Liberals do know better. Senator George Brandis, the Shadow Attorney-General, was briefed by ASIO and eventually Tony Abbott overruled Robb and the two Bishops on Huawei (Please see 'Lib rift over NBN China block'). However it seems that the tribune of mining magnates, Julie Bishop, is not done. After being silenced on Huawei she arguably took the pro-Beijing line further echoing the attack on Australia’s foreign policy by China’s Daily.
She was quoted in the Australian newspaper: “confusion about the Labor government's attitudes towards China was increased significantly by the 2009 Defence White paper that implied China posed a direct conventional military threat to Australia."
The Liberal’s official policy is to support the 2009 Defence White Paper!
Christopher Pyne, who insisted to the ABC’s Kitchen Cabinet that “he had no friends on the other side of politics”, may have known more when he addressed the Henry Jackson Society in London, of which I am a patron, Pyne made a robust critique of Chinese foreign policy in what many considered a below the radar chastising of Ms Bishop.
I’m sorry to sound like an unreconstructed cold warrior, but I have to ask -Has anyone told Julie Bishop the real nature of the Beijing regime? China’s political system represents an amalgam of the traditional Confucian paternalism and the police apparatus of the Soviet Union. Despite 30 years of economic reform, the Communist Party has maintained and strengthened the all-powerful Party and the State. China is ruled by an interlocking alliance of party, state, military and business elites.
THE STALIN BERIA ERA: BO WAS DISAPPEARED AT 2AM APRIL 9
……Among the stories casting new light on China's leadership is the first account of Mr Bo's final moments of freedom, which appeared on a Hong Kong website.
It says Mr Bo was at home in Beijing at 2pm on April 9 when two senior officials, He Yong, deputy of the party's central disciplinary commission, and Zhang Jinan, vice-minister of its organisation department, arrived accompanied by four military officers. They informed him he had been summoned to a meeting in the Great Hall of the People, the scene of political denunciations since the era of Mao Zedong.
"As an experienced politician, Bo knew he had come to the end of the road," the story on the Dong Xiang website says.
The 62-year-old asked to telephone his relatives but all the lines had been cut. "I've long prepared for this moment but it has still come as a surprise," he is said to have told the officials.
Before he was led away, Mr Bo reportedly turned to his household staff and said: "I go first. You all take care of yourselves. You must trust in history and trust in the party central committee."
Mr Bo was then driven away in a limousine under guard. On arrival at the Great Hall of the People, he came face-to-face with three of the most powerful figures in the party his father, Bo Yibo, helped bring to power in 1949.
One was He Guoqiang, head of the disciplinary commission, who is ranked No 8 on the party's highest body, its nine-man politburo standing committee. His presence meant the most powerful men in China had ordained this outcome. Alongside him was Li Yuanchao, head of the organisation department, which determines all appointments in the party.
The third man was Ling Jihua, whose bland official biography lists him as secretary to the central committee. The Hong Kong report says he is also the personal secretary of President Hu Jintao and is in charge of the elite 8341 troop, which guards the country's leaders.
One man read out a document dismissing Mr Bo from his seats on the 25-member politburo and the 350-member central committee. His wife would be investigated for murder.
"Very well," Mr Bo responded, "but I only believe in facts."
With that, he was led away.
Although there was no independent verification of the account, Chinese analysts said its details and language seemed to be authentic…..(The Australian-originally from the Sunday Times, April 30)
While it is true (by using the economic tools of capitalism) that Beijing has brought hundreds of millions people up from poverty, China is still run by a regime whose main priority is the preservation of its own power. The fall of Bo Xilai , the powerful and ambitious Party chief in Chongqing, underlines the corruption and brutality of China’s leadership. Whether in subterranean struggles between relative liberals like Wen Jiabao and neo-Maoists like Bo Xilai, or in the annual execution of over 3,000 people, the highest figure in the world, the maintenance of China’s vast "laogai" labour camp system or in its jailing of its own elite, like Nobel Prize winner Liu Xiabo or leading artist Ai Wei Wei.
For both strategic and economic reasons, Beijing supports and protects a group of authoritarian regimes, such as North Korea, Burma, Sudan, and Zimbabwe – although it now seems that the Burmese regime wants to escape Beijing’s embrace and come in from the cold. China also uses its veto at the UN Security Council to block efforts to avert war, vetoing moves against Iran’s pursuit of nuclear capabilities, the violent repression in Syria and the ongoing conflict in Sudan.
The Huawei episode also highlights widespread concerns about China’s role in cyber-espionage, both military and commercial. These concerns first arose more than a decade ago, with particular emphasis on China’s infiltration of the private sector, including to blatant of intellectual property theft.
Last year, my colleague Mike Rogers, Chairman of the US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said in relation to his consultations with the private sector, “when you talk to these companies behind closed doors, they describe attacks that originate in China, and have a level of sophistication and are clearly supported by a level of resources that can only be a nation-state entity.”
In these circumstances it was always likely that the US Congress and the Federal Communications Commission will see Huawei for what it is – an extension of the Chinese Communist regime – and bar entry to America’s more sensitive telecommunications networks. (Please see Geoffrey Barker’s article "Exclusion best conclusion")
The new American Foreign Policy doctrine, with its “pivot to Asia”, enunciated by President Obama in his speech to the Australian Parliament last year, has predictably made our largest trading partner quick to jump at imagined slights. Dr John Lee notes the foolishness of any appeasement that is counter to our national security interests. “Everyone agrees that the alliance with the Americans is the bedrock of Australian security,” he said. “It’s just unthinkable that the Chinese would view us as an ‘honest broker’ in this kind of situation, when security competition is actually deepening between America and China. So, if we try to play this role as ‘honest broker,’ we will just be rebuffed by Beijing and annoy Washington, and won’t achieve much in the process.”
Ms Bishop’s free iPad goes to more than just security concerns over her use of that device. Her views on Huawei, and by extension, the Chinese Government, show a serious deficit in foreign policy and security thinking. It’s quite understandable that the mining billionaires Clive Palmer, Andrew Forrest and Gina Rinehart, who fund the Liberal Party to which she belongs, don’t want Australia to do anything that might upset their largest customer. But someone who aspires to be Australia’s Foreign Minister, has to think about our national interest, not just the commercial interest of her party’s paymasters.
If you press Malcolm Turnbull, you will find Lord Turnbull reconciled to Australia’s prols driving Chinese “trabbies” (the paradigm of badly built, polluting Soviet Bloc engineering). It’s not just that he is opposed to Government assistance to the car industry. He argues very differently from Pyne and the traditional Liberal anti-Communist perspective. Sounding a bit like a latter day Lord Runciman, Turnbull insists in a speech given last October at the London School of Economics and Political Science, that China’s naval build up is not a sign of “a new belligerence”, China he argues is not like the Soviet Union “and does not seek to export its ideology or system of Government.” Like his former loyal deputy Julie Bishop, Turnbull states “I disagree with the underlying premise of the 2009 Australian White Paper that we should base our defence planning and procurement on the contingency of a naval war with China in the South China Sea.”
He, like paleo-conservtive editor of the Spectator Tom Switzer (Please see Switzer's article published in The Spectator last November) and Switzers bizarre anti-American columnist Mark Latham all think the relationship with the US has gone too far. This Sydney consensus reaction to China/US tensions are very similar to the West Australian mining oligarchs and the arguments of the chief academic advocate of accommodating China, Prof Hugh White. He wrote in the Quarterly Essay last year, "America will have to deal with China as an equal...That means no more lecturing China about dissidents, Tibet or religious freedom... no more lecturing China about its failure to meet US expectations on matters such as Iran, Sudan and North Korea."
A formidable coalition critical of traditional US/Australia alliance, and in favour accommodating Beijing is forming. Most surprisingly it is mainly forming on the political Right.
Disagree on China but agree on dress sense : Alexander Downer and Christopher Pyne
As if to prove the point of Danby’s comment about Conservatives accommodating China in the Punch, the paleo-conservative weekly magazine the Spectator publishes a front page article this month which pictures Australia as a poodle chasing an American sock and is entitle: “Master no more: its time to stop following America” By David Day.
Michael Danby is the Federal Member for Melbourne Ports, was honoured to be attacked by Wikileaks, and is the Chair of the US/Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group. These views are his own.
Former Ambassador to Australia Zhou Wenzhong who now heads the Boao Forum for Asia – known as China’s equivalent of the World Economic Forum
- Paul Dibb questions the prevailing wisdom over kowtowing to china, click here
- Please see Bo Xilai: power, death and politics. This article was published on News Ltd online Publication The Punch an edited version of this article also appeared in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph
- Please see From Jackie Kennedy to Lady Macbeth: Gu Kailai
Please See Bucking Beijing Re-published in the Australian Financial Review Friday 31st August by Aaron Friedberg, Professor of Politics at Princeton University.
"China now has the option of simply walking in through the front door by buying into foreign companies or selling them products that could give China access to technology and information. A Chinese firm that sold next-generation telephone switching equipment to US service providers could let China's intelligence services listen in on sensitive US communications. Similarly, Chinese-owned firms could sabotage or modify microchips that end up in computers, communication systems, or even weaponry. The United States and its advanced industrial allies need to more closely monitor the high-tech supply chain and to regulate investment in their economies by Chinese firms, some of which have ties to Beijing and the People's Liberation Army."
- Please see an article in the Australian Financial Review on Australian billionaires views on china
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