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Thread: Red China an insidious threat inside Australia ???

  1. #1
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    Red China an insidious threat inside Australia ???

    Recent news item in The New York Times:

    Suddenly, the Chinese Threat to Australia Seems Very Real and ‘Inescapable’.

    After a businessman said Chinese agents sought to implant him in Parliament, that revelation and other espionage cases have finally signaled the end of a “let’s get rich together” era.

    By Damien Cave and Jamie Tarabay
    Nov. 28, 2019 - The New York Times
    News Analysis

    CANBERRA, Australia — A Chinese defector to Australia who detailed political interference by Beijing. A businessman found dead after telling the authorities about a Chinese plot to install him in Parliament. Suspicious men following critics of Beijing in major Australian cities.

    For a country that just wants calm commerce with China — the propellant behind 28 years of steady growth — the revelations of the past week have delivered a jolt.

    Fears of Chinese interference once seemed to hover indistinctly over Australia. Now, Beijing’s political ambitions, and the espionage operations that further them, suddenly feel local, concrete and ever-present.

    “It’s become the inescapable issue,” said Hugh White, a former intelligence official who teaches strategic studies at the Australian National University. “We’ve underestimated how quickly China’s power has grown along with its ambition to use that power.”

    American officials often describe Australia as a test case, the ally close enough to Beijing to see what could be coming for others.

    In public and in private, they’ve pushed Australia’s leaders to confront China more directly — pressure that may only grow after President Trump signed legislation to impose sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials over human rights abuses in Hong Kong.

    Even as it confronts the specter of brazen espionage, Australia’s government has yet to draw clear boundaries for an autocratic giant that is both an economic partner and a threat to freedom, a conundrum faced by many countries, but more acutely by Australia.

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison continues to insist that Australia need not choose between China and the United States. A new foreign interference law has barely been enforced, and secrecy is so ingrained that even lawmakers and experts lack the in-depth information they need.

    As a result, the country’s intelligence agencies have raised alarms about China in ways that most Australian politicians avoid. The agencies have never been flush with expertise on China, including Chinese speakers, yet they are now in charge of disentangling complex claims of nefarious deeds, all vigorously denied by China.

    In the most troubling recent case, first reported by The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, the Australian authorities have confirmed that they are investigating accusations made by Nick Zhao, an Australian businessman who told intelligence officials that he had been the target of a plot to install him in Parliament as a Chinese agent.

    Mr. Zhao, a 32-year-old luxury car dealer, was a member of his local Liberal Party branch. He was a “perfect target for cultivation,” according to Andrew Hastie, a federal lawmaker and tough critic of Beijing who was briefed on the case.

    He told The Age that Mr. Zhao was “a bit of a high-roller in Melbourne, living beyond his means.”

    Another businessman with ties to the Chinese government, Mr. Zhao said, offered to provide a million Australian dollars ($677,000) to finance his election campaign for Parliament. But a few months later, in March, Mr. Zhao was found dead in a hotel room. The state’s coroner is investigating the cause of death.

    In a rare statement, Mike Burgess, the head of Australia’s domestic spy agency, said on Monday that his organization was aware of Mr. Zhao’s case and was taking it very seriously.

    The Chinese government, however, called the accusations a sign of Australian hysteria.

    “Stories like ‘Chinese espionage’ or ‘China’s infiltration in Australia,’ with however bizarre plots and eye-catching details, are nothing but lies,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, said at a regular news briefing on Monday.

    Beijing has similarly dismissed the case that emerged last week, which involves a young asylum seeker named Wang Liqiang.

    Mr. Wang presented himself to the Australian authorities as an important intelligence asset — an assistant to a Hong Kong businessman who Mr. Wang says is responsible for spying, propaganda and disinformation campaigns aimed at quashing dissent in Hong Kong and undermining democracy in Taiwan.

    China asserts that he is simply a convicted swindler. On Thursday, a Communist Party tabloid, The Global Times, released video of what it said was Mr. Wang’s 2016 trial on fraud charges, where a young man confessed to bilking someone out of $17,000.

    Xiang Xin, the man Mr. Wang identified as his former boss, has denied having anything to do with him, or even knowing him.

    The challenge of the case is just beginning. While some analysts have raised doubts about Mr. Wang’s assertions, elements in the detailed 17-page account that he gave to the authorities as part of an asylum application are being taken seriously by law enforcement agencies worldwide.

    Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice detained Mr. Xiang and another executive with the company Mr. Wang said he worked for, China Innovation Investment Limited. Investigators in Taiwan are looking into assertions that their business acted on behalf of Chinese intelligence agencies.

    Other details in Mr. Wang’s account — about the kidnapping of booksellers in Hong Kong, spying on Hong Kong university students, and the theft of military technology from the United States — are still being examined by Australian officials.

    “Australia’s peak intelligence agencies are being put to the test,” said John Fitzgerald, a China specialist at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne. “It’s a tough call, and they cannot afford to get it wrong.”

    What’s clear, though, is that they are helping to push the public away from supporting cozy relations. Polls showed a hardening of Australian attitudes about China even before the past week.

    Now Mr. Hastie, the China hawk and Liberal Party lawmaker who chairs Parliament’s joint intelligence committee, says his office has been overwhelmed by people across the country who have emailed, called and even sent handwritten letters expressing outrage and anxiety about China’s actions in Australia.

    Questions of loyalty continue to swirl around another Liberal Party member of Parliament, Gladys Liu, who fumbled responses to questions in September about her membership in various groups linked to the Chinese Communist Party.

    The espionage cases also follow several months of rising tensions at Australian universities, where protests by students from Hong Kong have been disrupted, sometimes with violence, by opponents from the Chinese mainland.

    Several student activists have told the authorities that they have been followed or photographed by people who appear to be associated with the Chinese Consulate.

    It has even happened to at least one high-profile former official, John Garnaut. A longtime journalist who produced a classified report on Chinese interference for former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in 2017, he recently acknowledged publicly that he had been stalked by people who appeared to be Chinese agents — in some cases when he was with his family.

    These actions of apparent aggression point to a version of China that Australians hardly know. For decades, Australia has based its relations with Beijing on a simple idea: Let’s get rich together. And the mining companies that are especially close to Mr. Morrison’s conservative government have been the biggest winners.

    But now more than ever, the country is seeing that for the Communist Party under President Xi Jinping, it’s no longer just about wealth and trade.

    “The transactions aren’t satisfying them enough; they want more,” said John Blaxland, a professor of international security and intelligence studies at the Australian National University. “They want to gain influence over decisions about the further involvement of the United States, about further protestations to Chinese actions in the South China Sea, in the South Pacific, in Taiwan.”

    Mr. Blaxland, along with American officials, often points out that Australia’s biggest export to China, iron ore, is hard to obtain elsewhere reliably and at the prices Australia’s companies charge. That suggests that the country has more leverage than its leaders might think.

    Mr. Hastie, who was recently denied a visa to travel to China as part of a study group that included other members of Parliament, agreed. In an interview, he said the recent revelations were “the first time the Australian public has a concrete example of what we are facing.”

    Now, he added, it’s time to adapt.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w7mjwp5V40

    https://www.news.com.au/national/fea...ae27277f313f54

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  2. #2
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Ah, the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere is making a comeback under slightly different leadership.

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    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    I see “Red” China and have to wonder what other China some idiot thinks we might mistakenly think of.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

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    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Wanted to discuss this when i saw a news headline recently that said ASIO (Aussie intelligence)

    Asio investigating Chinese plot to plant spy in Australia’s parliament after Liberal party member found dead | Guardian | Nov 24 2019

    The head of Asio has issued a rare public statement confirming the domestic spy agency was aware of an alleged Chinese plot to infiltrate Australia’s parliament.
    It boils down to trade relations. Most countries have a trade deficit with China.

    Australia is one of the lucky few to have a trade surplus with China.

    I'm told when dealing with the Chinese, knowledge of Mandarin is an asset.

    The Chinese can be intimidated when dealing with a foreign counterpart that has a good command of Mandarin

    Kevin Rudd is a leader that qualifies

    Did Australia benefit with him in charge in their dealings with China ?

    When i was chatting with an Aussie about this he told me they were surprised at the extent the Chinese had penetrated Australia.

    They liked the trade balance but got in over their heads with China.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 02 Dec 19, at 11:29.

  5. #5
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Here's what 60 minutes Australia has to say



    What made him turn ? i bet it was his kid

    I was listening to this podcast about a Russian sent to the US as sleeper agent in the 80s. Moment he had a kid in the US everything went for a toss. He defected.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 01 Dec 19, at 16:23.

  6. #6
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Pretty picture, i was wondering what bldg that was

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    That's Aussie Parliament in Canberra

    Stock footage
    Last edited by Double Edge; 01 Dec 19, at 16:21.

  7. #7
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Ah, the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere is making a comeback under slightly different leadership.
    Asia for Asiatics only, started by kicking out the Dutch from Indonesia and then move on the Brits in neighbouring countries.

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    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    I see “Red” China and have to wonder what other China some idiot thinks we might mistakenly think of.
    Tradition dies hard.

    No matter what ever it was paid to be called I always called it Candlestick...

  9. #9
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Asia for Asiatics only, started by kicking out the Dutch from Indonesia and then move on the Brits in neighbouring countries.
    Well that was the theory in public pronouncements but in practice it was very much singular.

  10. #10
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Well that was the theory in public pronouncements but in practice it was very much singular.
    You have to buy from them only

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    Spoiler!


    The idea is the same but it's a lot less crude these days. No threat of force required.

    Financial exclusion or rising borrowing rates from the global markets as a result of a default is good enough. Many examples from OBOR and countries in debt to China for borrowing to make white elephant projects. Usually once debt to an external power makes up 20% or more of total national debt it can be said to constitute state capture.

    This means the people in govt are more beholden to their debtors than their own people.

    Which makes what China is doing in Australia more interesting.

    There is no feasible way for Australia to be in debt to China. The trade between the two won't let that happen. At the same time the Aussies don't want to lose the business.

    So China has to find other ways to make the Aussie govt more compliant. Installing their own candidates isn't working so well.

    But a lot of chinese students study in Australia. If Australia cracks down in a way or does any thing to displease the CCP. They can pull their students out. This will have knock on effects on the cost of education for the locals. So Aussie universities are a soft target for Chinese influence operations.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 02 Dec 19, at 18:33.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRT View Post
    That last diagram there supports what I have believed for a long time. People say that they hate only the Chinese government, not the people, then immediately confound red China with law abiding Chinese people trying to lead a better life.

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    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hboGYT View Post
    That last diagram there supports what I have believed for a long time. People say that they hate only the Chinese government, not the people, then immediately confound red China with law abiding Chinese people trying to lead a better life.
    Dude, nobody hates common Chinese. Some may hate me, but those 'some' don't hate Indians as a whole. Get over it.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Dude, nobody hates common Chinese. Some may hate me, but those 'some' don't hate Indians as a whole. Get over it.
    Then what is the purpose of that last diagram? Are Chinese real estate investors an insidious threat?

  14. #14
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hboGYT View Post
    Then what is the purpose of that last diagram? Are Chinese real estate investors an insidious threat?
    Search for my posts related to CPC, and then draw conclusions. It's your government, a 1 party dictatorship that's giving bad name to common Chinese. Seriously, you guys like rented & measured oxygen to survive? Pity that.
    Politicians are elected to serve...far too many don't see it that way - Albany Rifles!

    Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it - Mark Twain!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Search for my posts related to CPC, and then draw conclusions. It's your government, a 1 party dictatorship that's giving bad name to common Chinese. Seriously, you guys like rented & measured oxygen to survive? Pity that.
    It's not my government. I'm concerned that the mentality impacts me negatively. You've just proven that my concern is real.

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