Australian democracy is in very serious jeopardy

Australian democracy is in very serious jeopardy. China is making great strides towards it and its intentions are not benevolent. It’s obvious in local, regional and global trends and if we do not do something soon to protect our freedoms they are going to be sold into the burgeoning Chinese empire, as well as political hegemony, by a corrupt oligarchy.

Some of you will tell me to take off my tin foil hat for writing this. To you I say ‘listen up’.

For the next few decades the global political economy will be a contest between post-cultural free moving capital and deeply cultural labour. This will mean ebbs and flows between investment and regulation in an overall trend towards de-globalisation.

As nation states rise from the past few decades of globalisation to protect their respective labour pools, there will be an increasing Balkanisation of trade and investment flows, particularly in terms of regions. One can foresee a time when a European trading bloc competes with American and Asian trading blocs as each’s respective hegemon – US, China and Germany – muscles out its sphere of influence.

In terms of the magnitude of these respective spheres, the biggest loser will be the United States as it is increasingly contested in North Asia. Europe may also lose as the eurozone either disintegrates or shrinks. China will win big.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not arguing that China will grow to rule the world, nor that the US will decline and fall. In fact, I expect US economic dominance to outlast China’s great leap forward owing to its immense sophistication, markets, research capability and excellent demographics. On the other hand, China faces an extremely difficult transition through the ‘middle income trap’ and terrible demographics.

Nonetheless, the sheer magnitude of these economies and powers mean that the great regional Balkanisation will transpire.

Thus Australia will find itself an object of contest within a region caught between respectively receding and advancing Super Powers. We are already seeing this very clearly in the shifts undertaken by both the Philippines and Malaysia. Both nations are led by highly dubious democratic leaders under intense pressure from a traditional US ally to come clean on corruption.

Yet both have instead turned to China to prop up their respective regimes with enormous investment deals that have come with fabulous reciprocal endorsements for Beijing, Manila and Kuala Lumpur. This while the US’s rather foolishly self-serving TPP dies on the shelf.

At the risk of stereotyping, these new Asian power relationships much more resemble a Confucian model that privileges patronage and filial bonds above the probity and meritocracy of democracy.  China’s goals here are very obviously to undermine not just US influence but to empower local entities that are sympathetic to its interests. It may or not be an explicit goal to undermine democracies as well but if promoting local ‘strongmen’ does so then all the better!

Now turn to our local circumstances. Australia is the midst of a terms of trade boomlet engineered exclusively in Beijing. After decades of stupidly pro-cyclical policy-making Australia is now little more than a southern province of Chinese economic policy. With the flick of a pen in an obscure public service department, China delivers tens of billions to our shores in coal revenues and our monumental trade deficit evaporates overnight.

There is no other economy on earth that I know of that works with this dependence. We call it lucky. And it is. But it also comes with strings attached and they have been on display for a decade or more. Australian policy attitudes towards China have morphed steadily from a middle power engagement that included dialogues on human rights and democratic process to today’s pragmatic “do what you like boss” attitude.

I’m not writing to judge that. The kids of Tibet and Tienanmen are not Australian and there are limits to how much anyone can care about far flung folk. Especially when you’re offered a hundred billion dollar blindfold. Moreover, China needs Australian dirt to power its development so the power transmission is not all one way. The natural asymmetry of the political relationship is counter-balanced by the natural asymmetry of the economic one.

That’s the past. The future is very different indeed. China is going to need less and less dirt over time as it grows richer and more regionally powerful. And that’s where the recent events in the Philippines and Malaysia are a very important cautionary tale for Australian democracy. As we’ve seen, the next phase of Chinese development will be to throw off enormous sums of capital and people. Australia is happily gobbling up both at the moment to offset the declines in its dirt fortunes.

But this wave comes with much more explicit power compromises than we have already seen in action. The Sam Dastayari donations and rampaging property developer corruption scandals are the tip of the iceberg. Since then we’ve seen more and more Chinese bids for Australian strategic assets. This week we saw barely former trade minister Andrew Robb take a job advising the Landbridge Group, the owner of the Darwin Port. Landbridge is a shadowy firm involved in all sorts of stuff from chemicals to armed militias. It is widely considered to be beholden to Beijing in some way. At the very least the Darwin Port is the butt end of Beijing’s One Belt, One Road trade bloc monster. So here we have a trade minister out of the job for six months, a job that involved intimate consultation on the US’s competing regional trade deal, the TPP, tipping his intelligence directly into the Beijing trade bloc.

A less generous analyst might see this as some form of commercial treason. I will say that it is indicative of just how unprepared Australian parliaments are to address Chinese soft power influence in its manifold forms. Indeed, with the current crop of money-grubbing mock-libertarian ideologues in charge, we are a complete bloody pushover. Our checks and balances appear gossamer-thin in the executive. The intelligentsia is under assault from the Chinese student pipeline and pseudo-intellects like Bob Carr and his Chinese apologism. Nor can we rely on the media to hold any to account. Of the duopoly, Murdoch will give China the nod the moment the deal is good enough. Fairfax is dying and in its death throes has grabbed for a real estate lifeline that is itself China dependent.

It is not at all hard to imagine a circumstance like that that has engulfed the politics of the Philippines and Malaysia happening here. An Australian PM finds himself under siege and turns to Chinese patronage to bail him out. Explicitly or otherwise it will only take one desperate narcissist and Australia too will be welcomed into the waiting arms of Beijing patronage with all of its carrots and sticks determining precisely who wins and who loses Downunder. The following election would be fought between a candidate armed with hundreds of billions of dollars of firepower versus a guy promising recession.

So, I worry. I worry a lot, actually, that Australia is on the verge of giving away its most prized possession – its freedom – quietly in the dark for a few pieces of silver. To stop it we must move now, not tomorrow. We need:

  • a big to cut the immigration intake and a rein the “citizenship exports sector”;
  • an overhaul of the Chinese investment regime such that it be placed alongside the nation’s strategic objectives;
  • a ban on foreign political donations (where is it?) and a Federal ICAC;
  • a proper enforcement of rules governing foreign buying of real estate;
  • a reboot of foreign policy that engages the US much more heavily in Asia.

Another couple of years of current policies and a few more Andrew Robbs and Aussie democracy as we know it is toast.

Houses and Holes
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  1. Actually very good points. Well said & good on you for putting this out there over the last few months & more. But in fairness Andrew Robb is just the latest politician that should be named. To be frank & earnest a list of all of them over perhaps the last generation, perhaps starting with the early 1980’s would be a good start. I am sure that would provide an extremely balanced list from ALP & LNP (et al??). Which in fairness to this very bi/tri/qui/partisan topic should be done. Just naming Robb doesn’t cut it, but I do get your point, so good on you.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Being a domestic maintenance plumber, I enter the homes of hundreds of clients per year, over half of which are “non white” Australians.

      I have many chinese born client’s who express to me, concern over the Chinese governments growing reach.

      The reason so many come here is to escape the gaze and reach of China’s million man Stasi.

      Youngins like Mig like to say its no different here, but people who have lived under both systems, know the difference, even if the gap is closing and our ability to enact change reducing.

  2. the next time i hear annastasia from qld bitch about the qld economy and how we have to make cuts i will ask..

    how much do children of 457 workers pay for qld schools???? unbelievably zilch, f all…can you believe that???

    we are so well off that children of foreigners here ‘temporarily’ pay nothing for state schools

    not just that who here has walked around an aussie uni recently??? we literally have been drowned in international students

    who here has been to a public hospital/private hospital??? good luck finding a local nurse, they have been replaced increasingly

    this country, like most of the west, is completely stuffed….rooted. we have even outsourced making babies to simply importing them

  3. “Another couple of years of current policies and a few more Andrew Robbs and Aussie democracy as we know it is toast”, Australia was lost a decade ago! Chinese played their game perfectly: move slow but steadily. The next generation, the kids and newborns will all demonize the adults for allowing this to happen.

  4. This is all completely nuts! I have no idea how old you have to be to fear China but I know it’s older than me, everyone I know my age or younger would consider this completely at odds with reality – it’s the status quo bi-partite regimes in the West we should fear, they are only distinguishable from the single party state in that they are more useless at doing shit that might help you, like infrastructure. That line about democracies? Pure delusional gold! Just look at Australia, UK, US, France, Greece, Germany TODAY

    Then there’s the double think that China is going to win the geopol war but somehow will require LESS Strayan dirt as it grows. Just what?

    The problem is in Canberra not Beijing.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      I’m with you bloke! The Western democratic systems are weak and in decay. They no longer function. They are sick and evil and very dangerous. The Chinese system is strong and efficient and represents our future. Bring it on!

      • Pshaw even communism had to change face to enter China and the Chinese version never took hold anywhere.

        Not historically accurate imo

    • +1. Fix the problems in Canberra. The unfortunate reality is that our mob of politicians are equally corrupt as the CPC, the only thing is the CPC seem to know how to not sell out their own country.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      “I’m with you bloke!”

      Does this not make you reevaluate your position Mig,…. I mean if that old saggy scrotumed Aristocrat, Reusachtige, shares your opion,….. would that not be a reason to reevaluate?

      Reusachtige is as status quo as they come.

  5. HnH – Why don’t you approach Andrew Robb for an interview? He is quite approachable. I think some of his private thoughts might surprise you. One that surprised me was his objection to the bailout of the big 4 post GFC and the subsequent consolidation of smaller entities into the 4. He is also an opponent of selling the farm to China preferring to partner through JV’s and binding supply agreements (mentioned some other ideas that I can not recall at this hour). He dislikes the term “Food bowl of Asia” noting that we have zero chance of achieving this but with the right focus and investment we could be the “Delicatessen of Asia”. Also presented some valid ideas for revitalising North Australia (no not massive immigration) through targeted infrastructure spending.

    I would add that personally I think that we need to have a blanket review of our foreign investment regime and immigration as both are clearly not working. As a nation, we have always depended on foreign investment for our development, but have a tendency to blindly move from one suitor to the next through time with out ever learning what worked and what didn’t work with the last suitor. Our investment and immigration strategies resemble the marketing strategies of a Texas Cathouse – if you have money, we are available.

    • Joint Venture will need legislative oversight if the circumstances described above are near accurate.

      Democracy is in damage mode world wide, and that politicians (like Robb) cannot be trusted and what they give away is FOREVER is something individuals or governments should not have the power to do because they do not have the authority to make such permanent changes.

    • “but have a tendency to blindly move from one suitor to the next” – to borrow someone else’s words – stumbling like toothless whore in dead ally looking for next fix of crack cocaine. lol

    • OJ might be true but his secrecy on TPP does not inspire confidence.

      Rumpelstiltskin Robb Robs Really Reputable Residents

  6. Seems ironic that you call for greater engagement with the US in Asia, when the hollowing out of the Australian economy has been fuelled by the very ideology projected into the world by the US and its institutions, neoliberalism.

    This ideology does not come from China, and IT is what’s responsible for the disturbing direction of Australian policy making.

    Australia needs to stand on its own two feet, and not blindly follow the US. Australia will be better placed strategically in Asia if it is not seen as just an outpost for the US, and hence a threat. Remove blind acqueisence to neoliberal ideology, and we can also regain control of domestic policy & assets which i certainly agree do not belong in foreign hands.

    • I think it is clear that HnH is advocating for Australia to stand on its own rather than shifting its kow-towing direction, particularly considering the new master is quantifiably worse.

      • Most high-income people in our country do not realize that their incomes are being subsidized by their protection from competition from highly skilled people who are prevented from immigrating to the United States. But we need such skills in order to staff our productive economy, so that the standard of living for Americans as a whole can grow. – Alan Greenspan

      • All HnH is doing here is painting China as the “other” and putting forward a regional bogeyman that does not look like “us”, and is culturally different to “us”, deflecting from the source of the problem which is our own country’s elites and policymakers. Irresponsible analysis.

        China is currently being encircled by the US militarily. This is why it is engaging Malaysia and Phillipines. China has no aspirations for global hegemony like the US, but it is asserting itself in the South China Sea to counterbalance the US presence. Is there anything disproportionate about this? No.

        I’ve got trouble with a Manichean view of international relations, where the US is assumed good, and China assumed bad. Oversimplification, and distracting from our real issues – the US’s projection of neoliberalism into every corner of the world and destabilisation of secular nations that reject it. This has been disastrous, and ultimately brought about the stagnation of the West.

        Like most Western democracies, Australia already gave away its freedom to corporate interests long ago. You’ve got the wrong bogeyman.

    • @ adit – – Australia needs to stand on its own two feet, and not blindly follow the US. and —
      “China is currently being encircled by the US militarily. This is why it is engaging Malaysia and Phillipines. China has no aspirations for global hegemony like the US, but it is asserting itself in the South China Sea to counterbalance the US presence. Is there anything disproportionate about this? No. ”

      Totally agree – – More to fear from USA interference & influence than from China. Not saying give China any liberties!

  7. The US was a much ‘nicer friend’ and better ally when the USSR was seen as an alternative to the political interests of many nations of that time. The emergence of China as competition for regional influence MAY be good for America and the world in so far as it will be less aggressive and more reflective of the results of its foreign and economic (TTP) policies.

    I do not make light of the risks you have highlighted above, however there remains a window to protect ourselves which we must take as our very survival depends upon it !

  8. The west perished in 1945. Give it up.

    Providence has gifted this nation all of the resources it requires to take its rightful place in the Asian Pacific and democracy is a weakness to be overcome, not looked back upon fondly.

    There is still hope left.

    • + many… for 1800 years since the fall of the roman empire to the dawn of pax america, the world considered democracy a silly plan. mostly because it always let to tyranny. we are at the weimar stage…

      • Republic, a la Plato. But Plato warned us about the oligarchs, and we instead of heeding the warning, we descended into neoliberal economics and identity politics. Chinese world view is not compatible with European world view, but that doesn’t mean they can’t coexist – but the rapacious greed coming from the unipolar post history of the US neocons is DESTROYING European civilization and values! Not bloody China…

      • i think we have moved on from plato. the thinking coming out of #nrx is impressive, and like a good clean bath after being immersed in the cathedral’s progressive shit.

        One no longer needs to toe the PC line, and given that talking about a cathedral endorsed idea is basically lying at this stage, it feels good to not have to constantly lie.

        I think that is why PC exists – when you get a man to lie to stay in a conversation, it makes them a little bit evil. Steal their souls, and they will doubt their own convictions. Eventually they will no longer believe their own eyes. Yes, all races are equal, all people are equal, men and women are equal, slavery is freedom, debt is wealth. fml…

        Equality, diversity and whatever next gen religious virtue signalling the progs engage in, I think the process is you can rob a man of agency by getting him to say evil.

        A very impressive inversion of the see no evil, hear no evil, do no evil approach. Innovation leftoid style…

      • notsofastMEMBER

        Apart from you being out by a couple hundred years from the 5th century fall of the Western Roman Empire, it might be worth pointing out that the Roman Empire actually never fell (well not until 1453 but thats another story and another act of treachery by its elites). All the Roman Elites did was build a new city (i understand that they even called it New Rome for a while but that name didn’t last), build a mighty big wall around it and then the Roman elite proceeded to transfer all their wealth to their city while leaving the old Rome to rot. And just to help things along they paid a ruthless tribe to push huge numbers Germanic Refugees across the Western Roman Empires northern borders which was the final act that resulted in the disintegration of the Western Roman Empire. In about 350AD Rome was a city of over 1.5 million people but by about 550AD it had been reduced to a city of just 30,000, largely thanks to efforts of their elites who gave up on it. Ancient Rome may have been dysfunctional and a basket case but it was largely dysfunctional and basket case because of the actions of their elites over a number centuries.

      • @notsofast,

        Apologies on the dates, i was trying to count from when rome became a republic. Yes, i agree the elites betrayed rome. that is exactly what is happening to us. what did you think i was referring to?

        edit: look, it only works if power is made accountable. the problem with democracy, is this is made explicitly impossible. it is important to understand this is a design decision, not a bug.

      • edit: look, it only works if power is made accountable. the problem with democracy, is this is made explicitly impossible. it is important to understand this is a design decision, not a bug.

        Say what now ?

        Democracy is the only system where power is held accountable and, yes, that is a design feature and not a bug. It is precisely because of this feature the political right and its more extreme authoritarian manifestations like neoreactionaries don’t like it.

        We have problems today because democracy is being subverted by the concentration of too much power in too few, not vice versa.

    • notsofastMEMBER


      The West perished on Nov 22 1963 when the Military Industrial Complex took control. Prior to this date the President was far too smart for them to get involved in another far away war. He never said no to them, he never said straight out that he was against the conflict but he could always find a way to navigate around their tricks to esculate the US involement in the conflict. So he had to go and a President who would wage war was installed…

  9. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Democracy is piss weak! I want strong leadership like China has, or Singapore or Russia. Places where corporates can make big profits and whingers die. Their systems encourage involvement and agreement especially in property investment. Such systems would improve Australia’s beauty many times over. I for one welcome our new Chinese overlords!

    • There is still hope!! When Trump becomes the POTUS in a few days he will make America great again!!

    • You are the entire 21st century in human form! A true gift to those willing to play the game, get on board, quit their whining, and profit! A bright future lies ahead, with a brave new world unfurling beneath clear blue skies, while red flags serenely flutter in the gentle breeze.

      I’m on board. Let’s do this. We’ll finally get rid of the uglies once and for all.

    • I am serious when I say I would pay for “this will fix the thing” under your gravatar on a t-shirt.

  10. The tea leaves in my tea bag tell a different story.

    Slowly people are waking up to the core of the problem – unregulated privatised public monetary systems and international capital flows.

    As they do they will realise that the immigration and trade in goods in services issues are symptoms of the damage caused by the core of the problem. Fix the core problem and much of the mutant immigration and trade/services flow issues will lose their heat.

    Trade and immigration desire is unbalanced because relative exchange rates are distorted by unproductive capital flows and those distortions are driving massive inequality and insecurity across the globe. The biggest being the international trade in US treasuries but our local varieties – sale of govt bonds off shore, existing property mortgage related borrowing offshore, mere transfer of title to assets etc – are no better.

    International capital flows are being used as a tool of geopolitical management whereby the US props up the economies of its allies by allowing them to buy treasuries and drive down their exchange rates. Dollar recycling in the form of US treasury purchases is the core of the post 1960s global system. All it costs is a bunch of worker jobs in the US – thus why Trump is finding an eager blue collar bloc. They are paying the price for deal offered US friendlies.

    Problem is China is no ally but the attempt was made – to bind it into the same ‘friendlies’ system and bring it to heel – and it has failed.

    That is why tensions are rising.

    The US is finding China is too big and too Chinese to strap into the old dollar recycling management model. It is screwing with domestic politics as too many US citizens are being fried by the deal. A bit like what France is finding with Germany in the Eurozone.

    Is change pie in the sky cloud cuckoo thinking?

    Nope – it is happening.

    China is well aware of the price of being tied to the US Treasury market and is working flat out to escape its gravitational pull. It was tolerated while the really great leap forward in industrialisation was acheived.

    As China leads the way others will follow as they understand the price they are paying for being tied to privatised monetary systems and deregulated capital flows.

    What to do?

    Wind down ALL unproductive capital flow transactions to the absolute minimum.

    Restrict to a minimum private bank money creation powers with a view to complete elimination if necessary (i.e. because anything less than a complete prohibition will leave a door open for lobbyists etc)

    Do I expect Australia to lead the way?

    Nup – we are too used to clutching the skirts of the UK and the US and running the place like a branch office.

    • “” the core of the problem – unregulated privatised public monetary systems and international capital flows.”””
      Bloody Bingo!!!

      “”Dollar recycling in the form of US treasury purchases is the core of the post 1960s global system. All it costs is a bunch of worker jobs in the US – thus why Trump is finding an eager blue collar bloc. “”
      Man you’re a winner at this game all day!!!

      • Thanks but it wasn’t meant to be scary.

        As others have noted China has not demonstrated a desire to run the planet. It certainly is concerned about resource security and border security but that just means they will be good customers for commodities provided you leave them to sort out their domestic politics and neighbourhood relationships themselves.

        I doubt China will cause anyone – including Japan – any significant grief unless people insist on picking fights about what China can and cannot do in the lands and seas adjacent to China.

        Imagine the reaction of the US if Russia, Japan, China, or anyone else started to treat the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean as anything other than US turf. They have been beating Cuba with a stick for 50 years for being so rude as to be living on the same island as Gitmo bay. Haiti, Grenada, Porto Rico are covered with US finger prints and armed boots.

        Hopefully, China will start selling down its US Treasuries and moving to a position where it does not endorse either the export or input of unproductive capital flows. Productive capital flows are a different kettle of fish as developed countries should work to build productive capacity in developing countries.

        If the US can tolerate a country as large as China resisting its model for managing the world we could have a long period of peace ahead.

        It could do this by restricting job killing unproductive capital inflows into the US. Relinquish some of its US Treasury power, allow the $US to fall and focus instead on improving the lot of its average citizens as manufacturing for US consumption is conducted in the US. It could then seek to build new productive capacity in developing countries in the form of joint ventures – along the lines of the immediate post war periods in Japan and Europe.

        Unfortunately, the US and Clinton seems determined to cling to the Post 1960s US world management model.

        It is a pity that Trump was such a damaged candidate as he had the sniff of what needs to happen. Perhaps next election we will see someone with a few less personal character questions.


      Well phrased Pfh!
      My take is we’ll be ‘joiners’ with the rest of SE Asia.
      Predictions are wickedly hard to make, but some of these from Stratfor seem likely. Also, the US will relinquish the role of first responder and pass that baton.
      How about this?

      According to Stratfor, China is at the end of its high-growth/low wage cycle and has entered a new stage known as “the new normal” which will in turn be followed by a period of much slower growth.
      “China will continue to be a major economic force but will not be the dynamic engine of global growth it once was,” the report reads.
      Instead a new group of 16 nations which includes most of South-East Asia, East Africa and part of Latin America will emerge in China’s place as an economic powerhouse.
      According to the report, China will also lose some of its military might as Japan becomes more dominant in the region.

      • ANY quote or story via Stratfor should be taken with a large dose of reality pills. F%$#@ing Jewish propaganda specialists.

    • +1 Having said that The capacity of our Treasurers to enforce the law against our Chinese friends is truly pitiful. We only have ourselves to blame in that regard. Morrison, Hockey and Swan should be pelted with dog turds wherever they go.

    • China has demonstrated a desire to run every single part of the planet it has the capability to do. For the past 200 years that has been the area that is now known as China. They are very clear about their desire to extend that to Hong Kong and Taiwan. Have those people ever been given a choice? Ha ha! The only thing that has been holding China back is its weakness. I am far from a fan of the US. But I want you to imagine what it’s like living (as I do) in a country where people get kidnapped and taken to China for re-education (shall we say) when they say things that hurt the feelings of the CCP leadership. Just try to absorb that for a bit. That’s our new friend.

      • McPaddy,

        Those concerns are very real but keep in mind that the development of CCP controlled China has been clearly assisted by the US and their closest allies in Europe and elsewhere.

        When the US sold over $4 trillion dollars worth of Treasuries to the Chinese government that meant that $4T of Chinese capital was exported to the US. That was capital that should have remained in China to raise the standard of living of Chinese citizens.

        Instead the “free capital flows” Klan managed to achieve the daily double.

        They facilitated US workers losing their jobs to underpaid Chinese workers and providing support to the CCP cronies who controlled the export directed industries.

        People have a habit of ignoring the damage that has been done to the world economy simply because a crooked outcome beat the starting point by a healthy margin. Plenty of people support the “mob” because they give you a free chicken at Christmas while screwing you over the rest of the year.

        So the question of responsibility arises – who allowed this state of affairs to develop?

        The third world country with holes in its pants and everyone riding around on bicycles or the first world nation who decided to facilitate currency manipulation on a grand scale by accepting imports of unproductive capital from the CCP elite?

        The refrain “Their stealing our jerbs” has some truth but the fact is that the jobs were handed over by those who pretend to be acting in our interests but in fact only act in the interests of a few.

      • Mc Paddy – But I want you to imagine what it’s like living (as I do) in a country where people get kidnapped and taken to China for re-education (shall we say) when they say things that hurt the feelings of the CCP leadership.”

        One sided comments don’t cut the cake. The Yanks have been kidnapping WHOEVER they want to & have been well documented doing so for the last 20 years +. Our very own David Hicks was treated thus & spent many years in that horrible hell hole in USA Cuba. Kidnappings have happened all over Europe – by the USA !

      • Pfh007, I don’t disagree with your points but that doesn’t mean I welcome China’s expanding ambitions. The US is a deeply flawed, sinister, bumbling bully, of course.

        Aurules, give me a break. You’re either an off duty Honi Soit editor or a CCP stooge.

  11. Philippines and Malaysia. Both nations are led by highly dubious democratic leaders under intense pressure from a traditional US ally to come clean on corruption.

    I LMFAO here and nearly fell of the chair.
    Too much Politico will do that to one.

    • Me too! The US does not care about corruption as long as it is corrupt in their favour. It’s like human rights or democracy. They only really care about these things as a political pretext to strong arm nations. Someone mentioned KSA, how about a recent most glaring example, the Ukraine. They don’t seem to care about the unbelievable corruption of their installed puppets.

  12. Simple decision really: Change is upon us,
    Do we want to remain true to the failing regime that shits all over us (read TPP)?
    Occupy the most powerful seat at the table of an emerging regional superpower?
    you cant have both, tick-tock, tick-tock time to choose.
    Of course we could choose to be independent but that requires real work to establish a diversified export customer base and a diversified export product portfolio…I’m not sure that Australia still has the technical and entrepreneurial skills to regrow a diversified product/service base (which properly leverages our human capital). However I’m certain that Australia lacks the financial discipline to make this happen…that leaves us with a simple choice…Tick-tock, tick-tock !

    • As long as we are producing new ideas we will be fine. I’m not sure China can say the same can they? What in your life was actually invented in China? If we zeroed China out of existence fark all would change in our living standard except for the labour cost in some consumer items. You couldn’t do without the US or EU in the same manner.
      China will be fark all until it starts to invent things that we actually want and need. Nothing to fear, we should all move on

      • Invention is not as importamt as implantation. Ever used AliPay? The Chinese can roll implementation out fast faster than the West. It is also a reason why Uber cannot survive in China.

      • What in your life was actually invented in China?
        Ahh my daughter was conceived there, does that count?
        Seriously this is such an old meme it’s not really worth a comment. There are many modern Chinese inventions that I could point to but they’re not necessarily a part of western life. Think back 10 years to when the cellphone market was ruled by Nokia, two things happens to kill Nokia
        – emergence of iPhone / Android
        – the Chinese Feature phone (invented by Mediatek a Taiwanese/Chinese company)
        iPhone / Android took the top of the market and feature phones stole the bottom of the market
        If you want to see some really impressive Medical Inventions look no further than a Shenzhen company called Mindray
        Sure you’ll say none of these products are NEW, however whats truly revolutionary is the price points that they are achieving for high quality products. The invention is in the manufacturing and marketing expertise to hit these price point while delivering the highest product quality. The marketing side of this is important because if you force the price lower than you need to expand the unit sales to maintain revenue growth. Mindray is finding lots of ways to incorporate the use of these diagnostic instruments into a broader medical system. This is sort of change represents real invention when it comes to providing affordable future health care.

      • Old and not worthy a point? but you only advanced two products that are duplicated western ideas. Their phone would not have even entered anyone’s realm unless they reverse engineered western technology in the first place. Same goes for the medical parts. Why do you think they have R&D places outside China if its all Chinese centric? The broader point still not refuted is that collectivist cultures don’t do new ideas or advancements and thus we don’t need to think the sky is falling in despite the impassioned argument. Its not exactly she’ll be right territory but fark me its worth taking some perspective. We will be fine.
        China’s price point? They better hope as a nation that 3D printing doesn’t make leaps and bounds advancements in the next decade. That technology (western origin) has the potential to put every single Chinese factory and worker out of business.

      • “however whats truly revolutionary is the price points that they are achieving for high quality product”

        Which is achieved by one side of the table prevented from having any bargaining power.

        The Chinese haven’t invented a thing since the wheelbarrow.

        Now, they are very unlikely to be a threat to us, but there is a bigger motive that we should to maintain us, as us… and not become them.

        As a post-christian, post enlightenment society, we are, or least have the capability of, being better than them.

        Our history shows this, our institutes show this, our inventions show this, our creativity shows this, our accomplishments show this.

        All they have is the ability to suppress workers to feed our now decadent desire to feed our cravings of need, in a materially rapacious nihilistic world where needs aren’t being met.

        But in a world that offers education, thus skills, thus wealth for all, of institutes of a reasonable safety net to maintain human dignity, of invention that sees us fly to the moon and enable immense computing power. It is, and can only be, borne out of our societies.

        This is not a zero sum game, western society disappearing is not replaced by something else. It’s a regression in many fields of human endeavour.

        Our ability, and the Chinese lack of ability, is a feature, not a bug, of our respective cultures.

        Take away our consumerism and our creativity, and they’re back to eating dogs cooked on cow dung fired stoves.

      • ” and the Chinese lack of ability”

        You are probably right about that. They just copy everything. They can’t seem to come up with any type of indigenous tech as an example.

      • Good Grief…..

        The Romans were a second or third rate state until they got their hands on one of Carthaginian warships washed up from a storm on the rocks. You see the Carthaginians were clever engineers and even before Ford assembly line they understood the principle of standardization i.e. all their warships were built by a process of standardized and labeled parts, in workshops, which then could be assembled at the ship yard.

        Hence the Romans were able to reverse engineer this process and amass a fleet that could challenge the Carthaginians naval dominance in the trade routes of the Mediterranean, and its effect[s on the control of wealth in the region.

        Disheveled Marsupial…. hte stoopid…. it burns…..

      • Onya sparky. Yet again another reply that doesn’t really respond to any point raised, and demonstrates you don’t understand anything… social intelligence indeed. Left alone where you’re not cutting and pasting, you really are the daft fellow aren’t you?

        No one doubts the benefits of reverse engineering to acquire knowledge sparky, history is traced with second powers in hot pursuit of primary powers by emulating them.

        Japan from the middle of the 19th century until it got belted down in August 1945 is but an example.

        But dominant powers demonstrate something extra, such as the radical change to Roman army changing after the Battle of Allia, or the Prussians after Jena… military forces that become extremely innovative and maintaining the innovation for a period of time… every other military reverse engineered their tactics.

        The British were middling, pissant power up until Lizzy. Sending Drake to steal all the Spanish bullion once they left the Caribbean is the story of mediocrity you bleat about….

        The subsequent period of enlightenment, personal liberty and driving the industrial age is the sign of ‘greatness’ that others lacked. Every other nation reverse engineered their machinery.

        What is the driving force of change is who takes the first step.

        China, well they haven’t taken a technology first step for a long, long time the wheel barrow is bordering on per-historic. They have a culture of producing and accepting accepting second rate product, out of a motive to short cut input costs.

        Their advancement can never occur, unless they have someone in the lead to copy…. well that’s what history shows.

        This may be their moment of innovation, but a society that is built around suppressing the claim to wealth creation of sweatshop workers and cyber hacking the world doesn’t inspire much confidence.

      • @Skippy – can you please stop copying and pasting straight from Wikipedia. At the very least draw some point of your own and use wiki to illustrate it.
        @RP – my thoughts exactly. China’s recent history largely built around cost of labour advantages. I welcome China as a fully paid up member of the Global community, one that has respect for others.

      • @AURules – no dramas, I’m always interested (genuinely) in improving myself. Can you outline for me where I’ve been ignorant? By its’ definition I will not be able to identify it myself. thanks in advance

      • Geeez….

        Thanks retards… hay numb nuts try dealing with the actual historical anthropological reality and not the shit your posse confuses for synaptic activity….

        Disheveled Marsupial…. I mean I don’t give a flying fook if you blow each other all day long… in fact I hope you do… that way everyone can witness the devolution… and never give wing nuts like yours the time of day ever…

      • I mean I don’t give a flying fook if you blow each other all day long… in fact I hope you do

        jeez skip you on the rum?

        Anyway can you give some links about the standardisation of Carthaginian naval construction? I’m a bit of a nerd about this stuff. And I can’t work put how the discovery of a Carthaginian wreck could lead to roman taylorism. Surely the romans had the trait before getting the technology.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Geeez Skip,…you are always at your most nasty in the evening,….have you been on the piss? mmm

        You know what they say about Alcohol,…it reveals the true person.

        Thats why you can never trust someone who doesn’t drink,…as they clearly have something to hide.


  13. Now when is MB actually going to get on board with calling an end to this absolutely stupid and totally failed economic model of free and open capital markets combinerd with a the FFFFFEFR? Is your low interest rate regime so precious to you that you willingly see our nation sold off to ANY one who comes along?
    At the time of the float of the A$ quite a few Senior economists warned that small economies such as ours would become the plaything of the big economies especially the U.S. Let’s sheet home the blame to exactly where it belongs – our own stupidity and a U.S. elite that used its economic and military power to subjugate the world to an already corrupted currency.
    If we want to talk about China and sovereignty let’s have a proper conversation about the whole issue. Otherwise this is all just pissing into the wind.

  14. Direct democracy is the only effective palliative. The middlemen – the politicians – must be moved further away from the honey pots. There are no other options. Political terms should be limited and no one should think that politics is a career. Switzerland is a good example to follow.

    As a consequence of direct democracy, 4 of your wishes would come about. I repeat them here:

    1- a big to cut the immigration intake and a on rein the “citizenship exports sector”;
    2- an overhaul of the Chinese investment regime such that it be placed alongside the nation’s strategic objectives;
    3- a ban on foreign political donations (where is it?) and a Federal ICAC;
    4- a proper enforcement of rules governing foreign buying of real estate;

    The fifth wish will never come about regardless of who gets into power in the USA.

    5- a reboot of foreign policy that engages the US much more heavily in Asia.

    Do you really think that the various wars the US has conducted since 1945 have done any good other than to their own oligarchs?

    • Correct Alfred, Direct Democracy is the only kind of democracy that can survive this era of challenge. In lieu of ‘strong leadership’ read petty dictator, minority governments with lots of oversight as H+H has listed with Federal ICAC and a broader definition of ‘treason’ !

  15. I’m not sure how getting in bed with a declining empire solves any of Australia’s problem. Just because they speak English doesn’t mean they won’t f you up any less. Showing some Anglo bias there.

    • Joe,

      It is worth remembering that during WW2, Australian soldiers were sent to fight in places like North Africa!. Some 30,000 were sent to Singapore – which the smug British dolts had defended inappropriately – and were taken prisoner. A great many never returned – or came back a shadow of their former selves. Meanwhile, mainland Australia was left almost defenceless. Churchill was ruthless when it came to “colonials”. Ships carrying wheat bypassed starving India and millions perished. The famine was caused by the Bengalis being ordered to plant jute (for sacking for sandbags) instead of food.

      Anyone who thinks that the rulers of the USA give a heck about Australia is delusional. Hell, they are sending their own young to places like Afghanistan with absolutely no strategy behind it other than to control the opium trade.

      Empires have their own logic and Australia never learns from its past.

      • Alf.well writ.
        I would guess you have a touch of Soviet influence in your make up.
        Keep up the good work.

  16. IMHO, I would consider the US a lesser evil than China, but both pretty bad systems to deal with…

    …that being said, if the cost of being less aligned with either is some slight wealth reduction, then it is probably worth it – national sovereignty is not something you can just request for buy back; and, I guess that is what H&H is getting at:

    Pushing ourselves further back down the road of Colonialism for some GDP now is not worth it, even though I know this is a very difficult sell to those who view things in short-term politicalism.

    More independence is probably worth the cost.

    • the US is a far far lesser evil. At the very least you can legal redress there. Until China establishes a rule of law that is reliable and not subject to a dominating political party it will not advance anywhere near where the US is and will be in time

      • “At the very least you can legal redress there”

        as someone aptly said: unless you are Assange, black hispanic etc

      • The logic of Empires does not care about the individual. China still have limited military power, so they’re not in a position to have territorial bution beyond the South China Sea. The US is dangerous because it is pissing precioys resources in war it shouldn’t be involved in. When it gets weaker, it will demand its ally to supply more troops and resources for its military misadventures. I’m looking at Yemen : the US may decide to intervene on behalves of Saudi Arabia, and Australia will be asked to contribute troops to engage in genocide. This is not an exaggeration, the Saudi is deliberately targetting water and agricultural infrastructure in Yemen.
        The US stuffed up big time in Turkey during the attempted coup, and Turkey has now shifted to Rusdia and Iran. Supporting Saudi to commit genocide will tip the balance against the Shia, although whether this us in the national interest of the USA is dubious. However, the affair in Ukraine has proved US will make a mess for the sake of it, without any strategic goal.

      • “However, the affair in Ukraine has proved US will make a mess for the sake of it, without any strategic goal.”

        Actually the goal was very strategic, and it was half way achieved. This is also the case in Syria.

  17. thefatgeneralMEMBER

    Will be interesting to see if any movement can occur with the free ‘movement of peoples’ proposal between UK/AUS/NZ/CAN – if it occurs will be a ‘block’ of 100m+ primarily English speaking common law countries – and the crossover of people will ensure movement/trade etc.

  18. “China is going to need less and less dirt over time as it grows richer and more regionally powerful.”

    China still has 500 million peasants in the back blocks. This is still a lot of industrialisation to come. They are going to need our dirt for many decades.

    • Frank, there is better dirt available, cheaper.
      the alternative will be on line in less that 2 years.
      If our mines arent fully automated by then with a fob cost of circa $7 tonne, our dirt will be left on the ground.
      After all dirt is dirt.

    • lol, in a country of 1.400 million means that the peak is past history. That is why our terms of trade have deteriorated greatly already, and despite the current boomlet, will resume deteriorating. This will give them massive leverage over us. That is why a Big Oz population ponzi economy leveraged massively on the back of a rapidly depreciating natural resource base is such an inanely, mind bustingly retarded policy, but as many have been saying here for a long time, the parliamentarians of the main parties sold us out long ago.

    • “China still has 500 million peasants in the back blocks”

      Nearer 300mil now apparently. But whichever… in the back blocks they will remain, because China and the world cant afford a Chinese middle class at the level of Western middle classes. This is the middle income trap and China will not escape it.

  19. There will be an American led coup in Australia before we sell out to the Chinese. The Australian intelligence community are already watching over things here. I’m not losing sleep over the Chinese. Our biggest threat to freedom are the SJWs and Feminists really – they are as Maoist in principle as any Chinese were.

    • adelaide_economist

      I definitely found it interesting how we had the spectacle of some spy agency heads wheeled out (apparently at the instigation of politicians) during the Abbott era to tell us terrorism was a biggie but when they came out and warned about China it didn’t seem to be something that they were being cajoled into by the government.

      • Exactly. Anyone that has read Brian Tooheys book on Asio/Asis called ‘Oyster’ will know how deeply enmeshed the intelligence services in this country are with the Americans. To me, ASIS etc constitute among other things, a back-channel of sorts. My question about Dastyari was always ‘who found the very minor financial discrepancy?’. I have have no knowledge of this, but always suspected that it wasn’t a journalist. A message was sent, in my estimation, to ‘pick a side – and it is going to be US’

  20. Srinivasa Ramanujan

    Wow – what a frenzied rant from a rabid McCarthyist.

    I really haven’t read anything this delusional in years.

    A few things first up – Taiwan was always part of China – as was Tibet. The only time Tibet was considered NOT part of China was when the British decided it wasn’t part of China almost a hundred years ago and has since claimed China acquired it – like Britain acquired Hong Kong, you know, after invading China to enforce its right to maintain its heroin trade which was killing half of Chinas people.

    You know – REAL HISTORY.

    Outside of that China poses no threat – and never has. This entire rant is like some New South Welshman telling people that Victoria poses a serious threat to Australian democracy because its doing quite well economically. It is just pure lunacy.

    As for the ridiculous attempts at sounding “intelligent” by reaching for eloquent vocabulary it simply leaves people exposes – this very same author frequently “dumps” their “international relations” expertise on this blog replete with jingoisms from the trade which are wildly misused and poorly understood – most recently it was the appalling lack of understanding of what “The End of History” means from Francis Fukuyama in just the most self humiliating lack of basic understanding of what was being said.

    Now the clear lack of understanding of China’s history, her role in history, her political motivations and how China has engaged with the world – which appear to be almost non-existent and more based around genuine McCarthyism, words like Hegemony.

    This refers SPECIFICALLY from Chomskys treaties on US Hegemony from his book – Hegemony or Survival – the very nature of this refers to the US policy of absolutely no nation being able to challenge on the global stage. So where we have THREE state actors being proposed as hegemons in the “political north” – either the author has no real concept of what Hegemony refers to in the political narrative, or completely lacks the basic understanding of what the “Political North” entails. I would bet BOTH.

    But lets just throw in some more “International Relations” Jingoism and then refer to the “Balkanisation” (a term restricted to describing the process which occurred in the Balkans of states breaking up – the UK dissolving into Scotland and England for example) is used to describe the global trade blocs, which already exist, being further entrenched in Hegemons…..WTF ?

    Seriously WTF ?

    This entire rant reads like one of my first year students in International Relations pushing their home states political agenda with almost zero understanding of the deep, complicated and HIGHLY NUANCED meanings behind these words, and ideas in a splatter gun approach dressed up in verbose language in some misguided attempt at garnering credibility.

    It really is a massive, incredible disservice to the great work this blog does to draw attention to economic activity in mining, housing etc in Australia and its destabilising effects via misallocation of resources (capital and labour) and the dire long term consequences for Australia.

    I have no doubt that it is part of a wider approach from the authors previous positions on other “magazines” which have left an overly capable impression upon themselves within these matters of state. Moreover it would appear as part of the self praise and promotion that this “blog” is single handed responsible for the national conversation on excessive immigration – literally one of the most insane things I have ever read.

    Honestly – the reds under the bed paranoia and overt occidental racism displayed in this post are quite reprehensible, the mish mash of almost completely misunderstood international relations terms is even worse, while the grandiose self promotion is humiliating.

    I will give this post 1/10 and that is for mentioning, for the VERY FIRST TIME, and serious attention to the One Belt / Silk Road initiative – even though it is wildly misunderstood, its routes and trajectory totally misguided – all because of a refusal to actually look and learn about China and instead rely on misguided notions garnered from suspicion and fear.


    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      “This entire rant reads like one of my first year students in International Relations”

      Would the Educational instution that employs you, be heavily reliant on Chinese students? mmmm

      Dinner at Bob Carr’s on occasions?
      Golf with Sam?

    • “It really is a massive, incredible disservice to the great work this blog does to draw attention to economic activity in mining, housing etc in Australia and its destabilising effects via misallocation of resources (capital and labour) and the dire long term consequences for Australia.”

      I have mentioned this many times on this blog. It is admirable to expand horizons, as politics, especially geopolitics is naturally intertwined with economic policy. Problem is that it requires a much broader understanding of geostrategic interests and history than HnH has so far shown. The coverage of Russia in particular, shows the same hyperbole, disregard of facts and outright nonsense of the MSM.

      This particular one liner from HnH aptly shows the depth of his discourse and grasp of the subject matter:

      “Putin is not some evil genius from a James Bond movie, he’s the despotic leader of a failing state under immense fiscal strain.”

    • So much wrong….

      in the 9th century, Tibet was more powerful than China, a Central Asian empire and China begged to have a treaty in place.

      After faulty succession procedures, there was a lot of civil war, and then an Mughal Invasion coming from Bengal in the late 12th century.

      The Mongols (who are not Chinese) invaded afterwards and implemented Tibetan submission and Chinese presence only began with the Qing dynasty, in the early 18th century…

      It’s presence was also weak with Sikh’s and later Europeans have influence, until the Chinese were kicked out in 1912.

      So in a Tibetan homeland, with a distinct Tibetan language and Tibetan culture forming a distinct Tibetan society, what claim do the Mandarin speaking Han have over Tibet again?

      China has a long history of invading and causing the extinction of it’s neighbours, such as the Maiyue and Guandong.

      • “China has a long history of invading and causing the extinction of it’s neighbours, such as the Maiyue and Guandong.”

        Most big powers do, especially if you go back over in time before 1900.

      • “Bwaaahaaahaahaa yes look at how they demolished Russia, Japan, Korea, Mongolia….”

        OK, all that says is that a handful of their neighbours were strong enough to resist.

        Those that weren’t storng enough to resist… we’ll we’ve only got the history books now.

        Put it this way, aboriginal Australia still has a stronger cultural presence post-European settlement, than at least half a dozen southern Chinese civilisations post-Han settlement.

      • Oh right right right. So now the Han are to blame! Ever read a book on what the Mongols did? Let’s shake in our boots about a resurgent Mongolia. Idiot.

      • “Oh right right right. So now the Han are to blame!”

        Well the fact we don’t have a Guandong civilisation or Maiyue civilisation would have me conclude the Han are to blame, yes.

        Would you like to offer an alternative?

        “Ever read a book on what the Mongols did? Let’s shake in our boots about a resurgent Mongolia. Idiot.”

        Yes, plenty of books. All that points to is that they’re human and their worst behaviour is similar to the worse behaviour of others… even Americans. But, we’re not talking about Mongolia, we’re talking about China’s claim to Tibet.

        We’re talking about a distinct Tibetan culture, that is now under the jackboot of the Han.

        The Han have a historical precedence of settling in the area of non-Han neighbours, then wiping out their civilisations, and I’ve mentioned but two.

        The fact that their are non-Han societies on existing Han borders does not falsify this statement, and that’s pretty much all you’ve offered.

      • Chinggis Khan and the Great Khan Ögedey have both transmitted the order of the Eternal God that the all the world should be subordinated to the Mongols to be taken note of. But they disregarded God’s order to such an extent that those mentioned by you even held a great council, and they behaved arrogantly in refusing, and they killed our messengers and envoys. Thus the Eternal God Himself has killed and exterminated the people in those countries. How could anybody, without God’s order, merely from his own strength, kill and plunder? And when you go on to say, “I am a Christian, I honor God.” How do you think you know whom God will absolve and in whose favor He will exercise His mercy? How do you think you know that you dare to express such an opinion?

      • Considering the PROC use Han Chinese like a weapon, flooding regions they have taken over with Han migrants to dilute and control minority claims. They did this with Inner Mongolia, Tibet and East Turkistan. Similarly with Taiwan, the local Taiwanese Aboriginals preferred it when Japan ruled Taiwan.

      • Just a matter of detail he (native) Taiwanese are a genetic type similar to Hawaiins et al rather than Chinese.

        Note also that a lecture given by Korean Prof of Anthropology quite some years ago made the point that the Chinese are actually not one people but four (not including the Taiwanese) quite distinct genetic types. According to the prof sometimes their sabre rattling has more to do with sending messages within China than to the outside world. i imagine in latter years this could have changed a bit.

    • A few things first up – Taiwan was always part of China – as was Tibet.

      Umm… nope. Tibet was briefly a part of China during the 100 years or so of the Yuan dynasty starting in the 1200s, but then wasn’t a part of China again until the Qing dynasty in the last 1800s to present day. Taiwan only became a part of China in the late 1800s as well.

      I hope your poorly informed rant was worth the 50c you got paid for it.

  21. I don’t share your fears and struggle to fully understand your deep discomfort with China and its influence in the region, particularly Australia. Some might say that of the world superpowers, China is a more obvious neighbour and friend (albeit the one with the big house) in Asia. Sure, there’s a few backyard disputes over dividing fences but in the main the neighbourhood is fine.

    As it now stands and will continue to do so for years ahead, China has become our most important export trading partner. This is an important relationship that should be enhanced rather than jeopardised by playing the partisan global geopolitik game. Perhaps Australia should be the Switzerland of Asia – cool, calm, operates on its own terms, guardedly friendly and economically astute.

    China is not even close to being the major foreign investor in Australia – China interest in this area is nascent and should be welcomed as all other foreign investment has been –

    1 United States $860.3b
    2 UK
    3 Belgium
    4 Japan
    5 Singapore
    6 Hong Kong
    7 China $74.9b

    Finally “… Chinese foreign policy analysts see the weight of history in Beijing’s favor. For centuries, Asian nations paid tribute to Chinese emperors, who controlled the world’s richest civilization. The U.S., by contrast, is a recent interloper. “Now it’s time for China to restore the relationship, like in the old times,” says China Foreign Affairs University’s Gao. “For Asian countries, they have to come close to China. There is no other choice for them.”

    • It’s quite simple. The values of the Chinese communist party (and China is the Chinese communist party) are not our values. Trump notwithstanding, American values, by and large, are our values.

      Doing business with the Chinese is some thing. I’m happy to sell them dirt and I’m happy to buy the stuff they make. I don’t even care that much if they buy some of our real estate. I’m pleased for them that hundreds of millions of them have been lifted out of poverty by the development of the Chinese economy.

      But that doesn’t mean I want to be friends with them. And I am acutely aware that now they are rich, they have the money to spend on a big military and the temperament to throw their weight and their dictatorial values around backed by that military.

      • *What are Australian values? American values? Chinese values?
        Are they as disparate as you imagine?*

        The Chinese throw people in jail, or worse, who criticise the government. We don’t. Neither do the Americans.

        We have the rule of law. So do the Americans. The Chinese have the rule of party officials.

        If we don’t like our government, we can throw them out at free and fair elections. So can the Americans. The Chinese cannot.

        This blog could not exist in China.

      • Australian “values” is BS. Do you mean what happened to the aborigines?

        Let’s summarize a few of the missions the Australian military got into:

        – The Boer War – to subdue the Dutch farmers.
        – The Boxer Rebellion – to subdue Chinese nationalists who did not want to accept opium for real goods.
        – WW1 – the European civil war
        – The Russian civil war
        – WW2 – a continuation of WW1
        – Korea – to try (and fail) to help the Americans establish a border with China
        – Malaya – to stop their nationalists
        – Vietnam – to stop the Vietnamese nationalists from taking over.
        – Gulf I war – to help the Americans maintain control of the oil of the Sheikhdoms
        – Afghanistan – to help the Americans control the opium trade.
        – Gulf II war – to help the Americans control the oil of Iraq
        – Invasion of Syria by America’s proxies – bombing Syrian army

        In sum, a vassal state.

    • 3d you used to keep calling for a big Australia, so why don’t you astroturf for Perth take on 200,000 main land chinese every year for 10 years to help the economy out

  22. All I know is that Chinese food is better than American food.

    Plant powered delicious lean-ness versus salty fatty animal food.

    Ringa-ding-ding China FTW.

  23. My God! Paranoia much? One thing is for sure, never let him listen to Jim Rogers speak, I’m sure he’ll have a temper tantrum on the spot.

  24. What sits oddly in all of this is what happens when these third world largely unskilled migrants arrive here.

    In the last decade we have had over 1.5 million north & south Asians, 620,000 Indians and 500,000 or so Muslims of a range of counties of origin = 2.7 million third world mostly unskilled new arrivals in the last decade.

    Then we can add on the 2.4 million current onshore temporary visa migrant guestworkers (of which 2.2 million at least are very unskilled if not often illiterate).

    All are fleeing or leaving their own countries to come here for some political, religious, economic or money laundering safe haven, or longer term welfare & health care advantage.

    Once onshore – and it’s true of both the permanent and temporary visa intake, the migrants immediately recreate vast ethnic slum enclaves – exactly the same as their country of origin.

    There is zero pretence at assimilation or even a feeling of making a contribution to their new host country.

    In Sydney the ethnic slums now cover over 64 sq km, hundreds of thousands of ex Australian dwellings have been converted into migrant slum share. Whole suburbs replicate wall to wall homogenous Chinese, Indian, Korean, Vietnamese, Somalia, Bangladeshi, Lebanese, African zones.

    There is little or no mixing between each other or the occasional Australians. English is not spoken at all and rarely understood.

    Earlier arrivals once having got PR or citizenship promptly pull in entire elderly dependent relations, who you see wander around the streets like beggars in Zhouhou or Mumbai in between their visits to the Medicare funded medical centre or the Centrelink office.

    It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new or old area either : the intake and colonisation quickly becomes one of a third world homogenous slum.

    For example : Rhodes. Mascot square, Zetland are all now ‘new’ squalid cohesive wall to wall ugly Asian ethnic slums.

    Or Auburn, Burwood. Strathfield. Parramatta. Lakemba. Liverpool.
    All old established housing and wall to wall ethnically homogeneous ugly foreign slums.

    In auburn there literally is a street boundary from where it goes from being a Chinese slum to an Arabic African Muslim slum.

    My point is this.

    We have over 5 million third world recent arrivals onshore, including 2.4 million temporary visa holders ~ who have zero intent on assimilation, integration, are only here to take but not contribute.

    They don’t. The statistics on their income, education, professions, welfare & heath care dependency and everything else bear this out.

    We have become a dumping ground for the rural poor and city slum dwellers of Asia and India – these people are procured by syndicated to work here l, send money back, gain PR, Health & welfare benefits. Then act as anchors on which their old, socially undesirable, criminal and unskilled burden can be dumped onto us.
    It’s third world slum clearance ~ send them to Australia.

    This intake is a huge burden economically and socially.
    Unlike post war or earlier migrants, the intake DOES NOT identify with Australian values or have any plan of assimilation.

    This was the problem the U.K had – and in ratio to population – we have 4 times the issue.

    So to the topic specifically..
    how would Australia ever have any chance of making decisions in our national interest ?

    When over 5 million – almost 20% or 1 in 5 of the population in Australia, many on dual passports or long stay Tempoary visas (a splendid array of almost any way to get in) are only to steal or take from, but we are not their national identity or values ?

    We could start like May did in the UK, by cleaning up the temporary visa rackets.

    2.4 million migrant guestworkers here at any one time in a population of only 24 million, with high underemployment, lowering wages, homelessness and rocketing housing and rent costs due to this influx of temporary visa holders is an OEDC joke.

    My suggestions.

    We should restrict all work rights to only genuine tertiary education (35,000 of the 560,000).
    All the other 530,000 are here on a pretext doing sham education or (fake) partners. They can be exited, these qualifications are a joke, 8 year old English or 14 year old Vet courses with no international qualification and free online. Vice should not an allowed occupation.

    NZ Visa – restricted to NZ born only. That culls out 330,000 of very undesirable unskilled third world migrants using NZ as the back door.

    Tourist visa – massive fines & penalty for anyone found working illegally or here for cash in hand or family services (cooks, cleaners, nannies, factory or Laboring work). That culls out over 650,000 doing this currently.

    457 – job has to be advertised locally and only a foreign candidate by exception, that’s another 150,000 gone from the 200,000.

    Special visa / 30,000 of the 35,000 are Fake.

    Overstayers : 85,000 – round them up including street and building inspection.

    And that’s normal. It’s much the same as every other country in enforcing border controls and visa access.

    We then need to shutdown PR grants unless the person is skilled, English literate and an economic contributor. No PR for 5 years and only with proven tax records and occupational skills.

    The Family reunion, arranged marriage, and non contributing migrant concessional entry must be completely wound back, it’s out of control.

    And then we need intake quality control that only skilled and assimilating migrants or genuine purpose temporary visa holders being let in.

    What that would do.

    400,000 dwellings mostly in Sydney and melbourne will be released for reoccupation
    by Australian citizens and PR holders.

    Wages, Job opportunities & tenure will improve.
    Costs of living will go down.
    Congestion and demand in Health and public services will reduce.
    Traffic and infrastructure will be more optimised to the demand expected.
    Criminal and vice activity will be dramatically reduced along with racial and religious issues.
    Our standard of living will recover. And the huge future burden placed on our welfare and health care services will be dramatically reduced.

    This is why we need a Royal Commission.

    We need migrants and diversity.

    Of the right quality, contributors, that can assimilate and add value.

    Not bought here by foreign criminal syndicates and agent procurers under visa pretend to work illegally in underground rackets or in vice.

    Not here to exploit our country, bring no skills and never acquire skills, make no contribution, only take benefit and be a burden to us financially and to our future.

    Then we would have some basis in saying we have border and immigration control.

    • My suggestion:
      A length of rope
      A stool
      A tree branch at suitable height
      and you’re racist ass hanging from said branch.

      • Hey Bob, instead of wheeling out the racist canard, how about refuting what Mike says. He has been pushing this line (I am not saying his data is accurate) for a while and at the end makes it clear we need migrants and diversity. I think he is saying not at the expense of living standards.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Virtue signaling to those that “Allow” you to do business Bob?

        Ive never heard you advocating violence before.

        Your call is a little bit Tiananmen Square, don’t you think?

      • blacktwin997MEMBER

        Quite the full-on response there CB. Are you suggesting a lynching or a suicide?

        As divisive as Mike’s posts may seem, he at least presents some figures, makes reasonable suggestions and is consistent in his message.

      • A bit harsh there but Mike’s numbers are just like the ABC’s numberwang… “Special visa / 30,000 of the 35,000 are Fake.” Proof please

      • Superunknown
        “”(I am not saying his data is accurate””

        One thing I do notice is that there IS no data on a lot of this stuff. Who is receiving the social securtiy etc? How many elederly relatives are coming here and only ever living on social security and medicare etc?
        I guess someone will call me racist for asking and I guess that’s why the stats are not kept. We don’t know what is happening. All I know is that we have a badly unbalanced economy that is becoming more unbalanced and unsustainable every year.

      • Maybe Mike has a point wrt the numbers but that does not imho excuse the value judgments, honestly how many times does Mike use the phrase ” ugly foreign slums” or something similar. Diversity of outcomes is about diversity of choices and one of the most important social choices that we make has to do with how we live. For whatever historical reasons the Australia of my youth was all about 1/4 acre blocks of dirt with modest 3/4 bedroom, Saturday Rugby league and Nippers/Groms if you lived near the beach. Let me tell you a secret that’s not a life style that even rich Chinese aspire to, nope they want close community, they want a village atmosphere where something is happening, they want to see kids playing together not locked in their own backyards like it or not your beautiful is their ugly, so they build a community that delivers beauty and function to their lives yet for this effort (transgression) they must endure Mike’s slurs about “ugly foreign slums” it’s hard for me to read this without concluding that Mike is indeed a racist. What meaning can his numbers have if the framework through which he presents them is fundamentally flawed?

      • Hey Bob, instead of wheeling out the racist canard, how about refuting what Mike says.

        I think the onus lies on Mike to support his numbers with references, as many of us have asked him to in the past.

      • So easy and trite to wheel out the racist ‘word’ when over and over again it’s stated as an economic, financial, and social issue.

        The figures are real, they shock you because no one in Australia sees the collective numbers and impact.

        The failure of any assimilation and massive enthnic ghettoes are real : who is being racist here : Chinese and Arabs that demarcate a suburb by a street boundary like Auburn ?

        It’s not a happy little rainbow SbS fantasy world out here. You MB readers either don’t get out much or live in some protected bubble enclave.

        Sydney and Melbourne are becoming vast ugly swathes of fetid massively crowded dirty dangerous ethnic recreations by very low skilled, often illiterate migrants here only to work illegally, and to take & not give.

        We have a choice in who we let into this country and why.

        I am saying of the 2.5 million permanent resists and 2.4 million temporary residents onshore, the huge majority are very unskilled, bring little in skills and value, work illegally, over consume welfare, health, community and public services, lower our standard of living, weaken our future tax base and most importantly THEY ARE THEY RACiST and Exclusionary of others and anti Australian.

        Go spend time time with Indians or Chinese or Koreans or Pakistani v Lebanese or Arab Muslims and GET AN EDUCATION that these people neither wish to be Australian or mix with anyone else.

        That’s the problem the UK had.

        We have 4 times the problem compared to the UK but we still have 1990’s drongos with total cognitive dissonance about an permanent and temporary immigration that blind freddy could figure out in 5 minutes.

        Not racist. Skilled contributing migrants are good, we all are that.
        But the open door low or no skill, totally unassimilated importation of entire Asian and Indian rural poor & slum dwellers sent here basically to steal ? On pretext visas.

        Let’s try emptying out some of our slums and rural poor and send them to China or India to work illegally and set up Doonside bogan enclaves.

        How long do you think China or India would tolerate that ?

      • “Racist” is a slur that is too lightly thrown around. If CB disagrees with what is said he should say why.

    • Tbh I’m more afraid of the white slums like Fairlight and Point Piper where the nation’s white elites live who are the biggest rentseekers in the country. They peddle myths under the guise of public service, when all they actually know is parasitism learnt in their stints as investment bankers, probably the most criminal of all syndicates.

      I mean the people who reside in these suburbs are the ones who exploit our country the most, extract the most wealth, pay the least tax. I would feel much safer if these people were deported, and there’s no doubt that my standard of living would improve.

    • The numbers yet again, you can check on ABF, DIAC, ABS, Austrade, go hard as you can as an underestimate.
      Main point it’s not racial as CB blithely disses any such debate.

      It’s an economic and social issue.

      We have at anyone point in time over 2.4 million third world migrant guestworkers onshore in medium and long stay temporary visas.
      People can scoff but it’s a fact.

      • 560k international students /fake partners.
A pass rate of only 3.4% into a professional vocation. They are not a skill or future tax base but very unskilled third world migrants exploiting our visa system : Austrade
•180k backpacker/rural widely frauded
•680k NZ, but 330k are now non NZ born using NZ as a back door entry point. NZ ministry immigration (no Aust data kept)

      • 630k tourists (8 million total, 1.9 million India
      China or other third world tourist medium/long stay) who are only here to work illegally.
      Tourist Australia / ABF illegals report 2016

•200k 457 – some skilled & paying tax. DIAC.
•135k special visa extension, churn, DIAC.

•85k overstayers

      That’s 2.4 million temporary visa holders here, almost all working illegally in some form.

      One in 10 people in Australia.

      (24 mil ABS)
      One in 5 in our 2 major cities DHIA estimate.

      ; over 1 million each in Sydney or Melbourne are third world unskilled temporary visa holders.

      Almost all unskilled, very unskilled (the “skilled” 457 is a tiny fraction – 200,000 of the 2.4 million) and many of the 2.2 million others are even illiterate in their own language.
      Extensive media on this aspect.

      These 2.4 million only bring in at best $7-8 billion, usually fake or borrowed funds organised by an foreign agent/procurer.
      Austrade admit this is all they ‘bring in’
      Identities, criminal and health checks are routinely frauded on a mass scale DIAC and ABF whistleblower media.
      Economically these 2.4 million migrant guestworkers only “bring in” $7-8 billion at best.

      These people mostly poor urban or rural slum dwellers, vice workers, misfits, laid off factory workers, displaced third word rurals – only coming here to work. Self evident if you see what comes in, Monash, Wollongong and SA university reports, bob birrell extensive studies.

      They form a $105 billion underground economy. 2.4 million x $40k or $750 week average illegal earnings.
      They remit back to their foreign agent procurers and third world families over $36 billion in remittance outflow.

      We have a higher net outflow from migrant guestworkers than the USA to Mexico. $usd 27 billion v their $22 billion. Fact. USA 2015.
      There is extensive foreign criminal activity and money laundering. Fact, widely reported.

      Occupy over 450,000 ex Australian dwellings.

      Based on average 5 or more In shared or sublet dwelling.
      Three times faster than new dwellings. Fact DHIA new dwelling construction rate.

      Congestion, lower wages, housing bubble as our housing gets converted to whole suburbs of migrant guestworker bunk share, unemployment, homelessness, decline in our standard of living, health & welfare costs exploded as this migrant underclass gains PR and brings in the rest of their third world burden. Drive around. Have a look outside your bubbles.
      Go into Centrelink, any Medical centre or look at the stats.

      We need a Royal Commission on all the economic & social impacts of the temporary visa fraud racket.

      • LOL.

        That’s referencing your data in the same way me going “you’re wrong, the evidence is on the internet” is referencing my data.

      • He’s told you where to find it Smithy-prove him wrong.

        The burden of proof is not mine.

        However, after about the five minutes I’m prepared to spend…


        Just under two million temporary entrants + NZ visitors vs Mike’s claim of 2.4 million.
        About 518k visitors vs Mike’s claim of 630,000
        155k working visa holders vs 180k backpackers claimed.
        160k 457s vs 200k claimed.
        About 328k students vs 560k.
        680k NZ vs 634k.

        That’s just the numbers that look inaccurate at first glance, before even getting to a more specific breakdown and the speculative claims of what the people behind those visa are actually doing.

      • I am saying there are 2.4 million people at any one point in time in Australia on temporary visas, 1 million in each capital city. That’s non citizen and non PR temporary visa holders including many hundreds of thousands of long stay & repeat visit tourists working illegally. As well as international students, fake partners, NZ visa including large ratio non NZ born, 457 etc, working holiday, rural, special & bridging, overstayers and all others here as non citizen, non short stay genuine tourist, non PR.
        It easily adds to 2.4 million.

      • On MB replies and comments are very squashed into the right margin and you can’t reply directly indent comments.
        560 k students check Austrade and this includes partners.
        680k NZ approx
        560k of 8 million visitors work illegally
        All the sources are ; this info is NOT in one place, the govt agency’s all have only partial or conflicting data.
        I am saying there are 2.4 million people at any one point in time in Australia on temporary visas, 1 million in each capital city.
        That’s non citizen and non PR temporary visa holders including many hundreds of thousands of long stay & repeat visit tourists
        working illegally. As well as international students, fake partners, NZ visa including large ratio non NZ born, 457 etc, working holiday, rural, special & bridging, overstayers and all others here as non citizen, non short stay genuine tourist, non PR.
        It easily adds to 2.4 million.

      • If you have these numbers, you have either worked them out, or copied them from somewhere else.

        If it is the former, show your working, with references to the sources.
        If it is the latter, reference your source.

        Unless you’re just making it up, of course.

      • Truth is I don’t have a problem with Mikes numbers true or otherwise, my problem with Mike is the Framework with which he presents his data.
        The optics that Mike uses are so obviously distorted that they render the facts useless, an objective analysis of any kind requires Objectivity. Mike on the other hand displays with his writing style a very clear Subjective bias, everything is Ugly and unAustralian. Personally I’ve spent too much time on the road to have any clear idea what constitutes beauty, or even morality (as far as that goes). That leaves me simply with form and function, does this solution meet their needs. Most expats in any country crowd together because they need that sense of community where their ways (their mores) are understood, with this crowding they build little Lebanon or Xiao China, mini Mexico, all these groups are creating a local society with shared affinity. Trust me it’s scary when the police come knocking on your door in the middle of the night and you can’t even really understand what the issue is, tempers flare and things get quickly out of control if theres no third party to explain what’s going on and add perspective to each persons position.
        Take for instance Mike and his obvious dislike for anything unAustralian, what would happen if a recent neighbor (group of neighbors) decided to celebrate a feast that was culturally important to them, lets take Chinese New year. I can just see Mike’s reaction ……
        …FFS it’s not even New Year and WTF is that oversized Lizard costume their running around in and dont get me started on the drums and Fireworks at Midnight, who lets of Fireworks at midnight? If all that wasn’t bad enough they F’ed up my fishing trip paddling that oversized canoe around and banging that drum, and UGLY doesn’t get even close to describing the girls, flat-as mate Flat-as. …
        Yea that’s actually an accurate description of Chinese New year, however I’ve presented it this way just to show how observation bias effects the presentation of facts and that takes us full circle. Personally I don’t even bother with analysis of “facts” when the person present them displays such clear subjective biases.

      • CB now we have a discussion going. I do not judge an argument by its source. If it is a valid argument it will stand on its own merits, if supported by evidence. Judging the proposition according to who proposes it is not dealing with an argument on its merits, but the reverse. It is no argument at all.

        Congratulations smithy (no sarcasm) on your contribution. The proximity of your numbers and Mikes suggests that he has not “made it up”. Perhaps you should show your working if you require him to show you his.

        “Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

      • Personally I don’t even bother with analysis of “facts” when the person present them displays such clear subjective biases.


      • CB now we have a discussion going. I do not judge an argument by its source. If it is a valid argument it will stand on its own merits, if supported by evidence. Judging the proposition according to who proposes it is not dealing with an argument on its merits, but the reverse. It is no argument at all.

        C-B’s criticism is not the person making the argument, it is the way the argument is being made.

        The proximity of your numbers and Mikes suggests that he has not “made it up”.

        He’s off by a minimum 10%, 20% or more in most examples.

        So by your measure if I said the current population was 30 million and most of them are complete cunts, that’d be a good enough approximation.

        Perhaps you should show your working if you require him to show you his.

        I did. It’s above. He’s the one making the claims about other people’s actions, all I’m doing is asking for evidence of same.

        The burden of proof is not mine. I’m not making any claims.

      • Claims were made against mike that he was racist and made things up. You have the onus when claims are made like that. I’ll stick with John Adams rather than you.

      • Claims were made against mike that he was racist and made things up.

        Not by me.

        I’ll stick with John Adams rather than you.

        Then you should take his words to heed. Mike has fairly obvious inclinations, wishes and passion, but very little in the way of facts.

      • “Unless you’re just making it up, of course.” Your words???

        LOL. Predictably disingenuous.

        What I actually said, was, Mike has either worked it out himself or he is repeating something someone else has worked out.

        Or, the only other possibility – he’s making it up. That’s a conclusion, not an assertion.

    • Well clearly the numbers of migrant Temporary visa numbers are genuine.
      We agree there are 2 million with work rights and then at least 400-500k here on tourist visas (of 8 million tourist visitors yearly) working illegally, plus 85k overstayers.
      2.4 million temporary Visa migrant guestworkers, with one million each in Sydney or Melbourne is an understatement.
      Now to the actual key point.
      It’s an economic & social issue.
      These 2.4 million are very unskilled.
      Only 200k 457 have skills.
      The ‘students’ have shocking skills & pass rates, most doing very low level sham courses. The others (working holiday, rural, NZ back door third world origin) are very unskilled.
      They settle and form large ethnic aligned slums with little or no assimilation into Australia or with each other. The claims of racism and exclusion are better applied to these foriegn migrants in attitude & reality.
      They are a huge social impact,
      Jobs wages housing infrastructure education all debased or impacted for Australians.
      They are a huge financial impact.
      They bring in at best only $7b, form a $105 billion underground illicit & vice sub economy and they remit back out over $36 billion.
      A -2% GDP loss.
      My views are shared by many. Bob birrell for example as a well known social expert.
      Or the ex head of Australia Border Force who has said the our entire temporary visa system is corrupted and run by foriegn criminal syndicates.

      This is why we need a Royal Commission into the temporary visa racket.

  25. Rational RadicalMEMBER

    I have MASSIVE respect for your philosophical writing style and your cutting analysis of political economy H&H, but I really do despair that MacroBusiness, like the blindly charging polity and their masters that you describe, are descending further into a very ideological slant on political history and reality, one that is anecdotally beginning to undermine your rightly respected profile of political independence and evidence based analysis. I’m finding it harder these days to recommend MB to fellows, when I was once a huge flag bearer for the above reasons.

    As suggested by a number of often pilloried commenters on related posts, your implicit assumption that the US is necessarily a more benevolent hegemon than China is a deeply troubling one, even if it were true. I believe it is a myopic view to pithily dismiss people’s challenges to this assumption. The truth is always somewhere in the middle, and I’ve always respected your realist interpretation of such “truth in the middle”. So grandiose political predictions premised on the “worse of of two evils” does not at all serve your very valid calls for caution in engagement with China, and the urgent need to question our rapidly build status as their client state.

    I believe you need to broaden that net a little, and consider and present more detailed evidence and analysis of your assertions about China’s cynical motives, rather than ignoring the same on the Western side of the pond. If you believe for a moment that neoliberalism has not been the architect of it’s own demise because of cynical motives, it’s broken debt-based de-industrialised economic model, and crucially it’s economic and financial imperialism (occupying, exploiting and stealing the commons of sovereign nations without the need for ground forces, and the resultant casualties to human rights and life), then you probably need to read some more Michael Hudson.

    You conclusions may be right, but I’m sorry to say that more folks are noticing that how you get there is starting to look a little ideological. Worse, while you definitely go to pains to explain that your evidence based opposition to rampant immigration and foreign capital inflows is anything but racially or culturally motivated (which I believe), the constant and increasing inferences to China China China as the key source of all immigration woes, political corruption and capital misallocation has brought out all of the closet racists, sino-phobes and conspiracy theorists out in force in your comments section.

    I respect diverse views, but only when they are based on evidence, not generalisations and aspersions about culture or race, and the tin-foil-hat brigade is really starting to sound plain Xenophobic and lacking in rational evidence. Failing to challenge (or even cheering on) these types of commenters is developing a bad smell about it, and I promise that a number of rational readers that I’ve put onto MB, have started to ask why the comment sections are full of folks talking about random shit like “the Chinese secretly printing their own version of our currency”, or blatant cultural disparagement about lifestyles, business practices, political corruption etc etc., without so much as a scerick of evidence.

    I have no way to reply to these very rational open-eyed peers, except to say “Oh just ignore the comment section on the articles related to China, there is a very diverse audience that doesn’t always know how distinguish between political economics and fear of the reds”. I never thought I’d have to put a disclaimer on MacroBusiness, but I’m starting to.

    Keep fighting the good fight H&H (and UC), but just remember that the commenters on your site form a big part of your external profile, and I would hate to see your hard earned reputation for FACTS be diminished by your apparent myopia regarding which “Great and Powerful Friend” is more of a bastard.

    I mean, have all of the behaviours you accuse China’s burgeoning empire of, not been the near exact faults of the current empire?
    Let’s have more discussion about the broader picture please, it’s starting to become pretty disappointing, especially considering that so few other outlets are leading this debate.

    • your stuff on house prices is good….

      but this is the best place to discuss China’s growing influence on straya, sorry if some of my comments annoy ya, but hey, I grew up in Sydney and now feel lost

      • “I grew up in Sydney and now feel lost” and that’s because of China?! China’s migration levels to OZ is third after UK and NZ and followed closely by India.

      • used to live there until 4 years ago and agreed it is our politicians fault. I agree with HnH’s points about immigration but blaming it all on the Chinese is not the way to go about solving the matter.

      • your saying there is no Chinese influence in straya – you gotta agree there is and its not crazy for Australians to push back – its not racist for Australians to push back – its not tin foil hat stuff to want to discuss all of this – and we should hold politicians to account for selling Australians out

      • Of course there is Chinese influence and of course we should push back but why is it ok to have American/English influence and not Chinese influence? All i’m saying (and many others) that we should not label the discussion as Chinese influence but foreign influence. As for holding politicians to account, no one can and would challenge that for sure

      • Rational RadicalMEMBER

        It’s not at all racist to question rampant immigration and unchallenged soft power influences, but it IS racist to make unverifiable generalisations about individuals and groups of people based on their race. I don’t see what is so difficult to understand about that. Immigration, soft power, and capital inflows are a separate issue to racism and Xenophobia, which by their nature are devoid of basis in reality.

        Example: it is not offensive to state as fact that the proportion of Chinese migrants living in your area of Sydney has rapidly increased, or that we should question the per-capita merits of the highest immigration rate in the world. But it IS offensive to characterise the problems with high immigration as one caused by Chinese immigrants, without any reference to why Chinese immigration is any worse than (for example), immigration from UK, NZ, US etc. All of those types of migrants spread the economic pie more thinly, so remind me again, what is so pernicious about Chinese migration?

        More crucially to my point, there has as of yet been no real evidence or analysis provided by the author on why Western Imperial Hegemony has NOT been conducting the equivalent unchallenged soft power influencing, destructive capital flows, rampant militarism and disregard for human rights, financial imperialism, broken neo-classical economics and to H&H’s point: the infliction of client-state status upon Australia.

        If you reread my comment, I applaud MB for leading this very difficult debate, but I want to be able to recommend their articles to people without having to put forward a “watch out for the racists and Xenophobes lurking below” disclaimer. I’m not saying YOU are, I just stated that such views are a growing PART of the debate on this site, and I believe it undermines this crucial debate.

        When H&H first (recently) brought up the growing challenge of balancing power influences between China and the US, I read it with great interest, and thought “Is there anyone else who gets this? David has hit the nail on the head, and no one else is talking about it”. Within a few months of those original articles, we seem to have arrived at an inference that “if we let China win the client-state battle, we will end up like a dodgy South-East Asian corrupt strongman state and a broken democracy”…. I know plenty of folks that would argue that our democracy died with the birth of neoliberalism in the Thatcher / Raegan era.

        It’s a bit of an ideological shift to put it lightly, when you consider the afore-mentioned depth and breadth of Western corruption. To believe in David’s original line of reasoning, and to agree with him on 99% of what he writes, in no way makes him immune my reasoned criticism about reading too much between the lines, and implicitly enabling the ACTUAL racists. It’s a friendly perspective that I offer him, and I hope he responds with a more detailed and reasoned analysis of the exact geo-political and imperial histories at play here, as is no doubt within his considerable career experience with such matters. I don’t actually think that David believes China to be a bad egg just because it’s China, because that would be McCarthyism… But I DO worry that occasionally his writing has started to take on that appearance.

        In other words, don’t let the readers read between the lines so much – use evidence and history to shine a light on where we are.

      • isn’t this website the best, its the only place this is discussed that I know of
        don’t you like being able to discuss this without fear of being disappeared

        I think you are right about some comments bordering on racism, there is also a lot of anti Americanism as well, actually a lot, but who cares about that right. having a discussion about a very powerful foreign influence upon your own country and values will bring that out.

        But if you think we can place China’s influence into the same universe as America’s or the UK’s then I will have to leave it there – your trying too hard or naïve

      • Holy crap that’s a long winded way to say you don’t like some of the comments. I don’t recall specifying immigration alone as an issue. I think you need to get off your high horse if you want to actually get anywhere with an issue that is becoming front and center in people from Sydney and Melbourne’s mind sets

        I am pretty sure most people pulling out the racist card here have never been to China and experienced the scale and human brutality of the place

      • Rational RadicalMEMBER

        Its my comment, I can write what I like. If you don’t like it – write your own comment!

      • Rational Radical,

        I posted your salty take on Salt’s fruit musings on Facebook recently and one comment received was

        “..Author’s point would have been made better had he not stooped to crude insults….”

        I now have to provide caveats to my Facebook friends of delicate disposition when spreading your excellent work to wider readership !! 🙂

        In that regard I recommend that everyone post good stuff far and wide in forums populated by those who do not get out much or beyond free to air telly.

        Change happens but it just takes a long time for good ideas to seep in from the fringes.

        Think about all those fruit bats pooping the seeds of Morton Bay figs across the city – they may start tiny and you never know if and when or where they will sprout but when they do a mighty tree may be the result.

      • Rational RadicalMEMBER

        Yes PFH, I certainly accept that irony, and received a more than a couple of “if it weren’t for the potty mouth…” observations. I don’t really defend that decision, other than to say that my writing is normally as de-personalised and G rated as possible, but in this instance I wanted to put across the true depth of anger that is rightly felt by a lot of spurned young Australians. I tried to keep within the threshold of political correctness, and made no generalisations, just observations about the demeanour and lack of utilised qualification or supporting evidence. I was also inspired by an old battle-axe blogger known as Heathen Scripture who wrote a famously viral piece entitled “Robert Doyle is a F*king C*nt” after he autocratically shat all-over the rights of Occupy protesters.

        I definitely accept that we can never know when someone’s writing may be of real use to a cause, and potentially undermined by some bad language, but equally, sometimes it just helps to get angry and even personal as long as it’s based in fact, and this article surely resonated.

        Indeed, I just wrote 4000 words on economic rent and Australia’s return to the Gilded Age:

        And I’ve thus far had a tenth of the traffic received from calling someone an arrogant prick, which made it into an Age article and helped get people talking about the real issue and related numbers.

        And I also find it cathartic to mix up the deathly serious with the ironic and the impolite 🙂

    • There are separate, related themes in your post:

      Adherents and impacts of neoliberalism
      Australia’s strategic political alliances
      Strategic Intent of China
      Citizen’s preferences around social/cultural composition
      Migration and foreign investment policy in light of above

      If one is sceptical and critical of neoliberalism, then the US – as an adherent of such an ideological approach – is perhaps not necessarily a more benevolent hegemon than China, to the extent that China may be seeking to pursue its own version of State controlled capitalism that has more benign policy tactics to achieves its objectives.

      But it is clear that China is not a benevolent agent, and in its own fashion it is philosophically comfortable with disregarding human rights and personal freedoms. If you are imagining a more benign world order with China and Russia at its epicentre, then you are kidding yourself.

      And while the US is imperfect – power relations and a corruption of democratic process aside (a feature not unique to the US) – it has far greater philosophical commitment to transparency, personal freedoms, and structural ability for citizens to hold their leaders and powerful agents to account.

      I will take the US as an imperfect hegemon over the Chinese any day of the week, and would expect our foreign investment and migration policy to reflect that, particularly given it is clear that China is seeking to exert control over the behaviour of its expatriate community in line with the objectives of its One Party state.

      As for the preferences of this country’s citizenry as to who makes up the ethnic composition of our society – then we are perfectly entitled to express a view in favour of one race over the other, whether you think that is rational or not.

      And right now, Australians are perfectly entitled to feel unsettled by the significant influx of Chinese and Indian immigrants into this country, particularly when it is apparent that our political class is seeking to shape policy and form relationships with the Chinese State and other Australian business interests for their personal financial benefit.

      Show me the rational debate on either side of mainstream politics that will allow for an open and honest examination of this issue, which gives the power to citizens to enforce policy in line with their personal preferences.

      So, if this has to be expressed through increasing votes to One Nation, then so be it. And if the voices of those discontent do not sound appropriately rational to you, then go f&&k yourself.

      • Rational RadicalMEMBER

        Wow, how quickly that erudite and worthwhile introspection and judgement about the relative quality of respective “Democracies” descended into an expression of racial preference and “One State” paranoia…

        And who would have thought that someone who so clearly cherishes democratic freedoms would tell a humble “dissenter” like me to go F*K themselves. Ha! I was just asking for EVIDENCE TO GO ALONG WITH YOUR RACISM, but it seems good enough for the racists just to say “GO F*K YOURSELF”

        H&H, I’ll just leave this here for your review 😉

      • Rational RadicalMEMBER

        See there you go Reusa, at least someone can see the light side! Just friendly debate is all, not racist fuckwittery. Hoping I’m not on the wrong blog, otherwise I may need to go join the Commies 😉

      • Let’s face it none of us care about house prices, we just want to profit from it. Now that we know we are going to join the central kingdom can someone tell me how to profit from that?

    • Eloquently written RR, you verbalised my concerns and hopefully countless others out there who generally is just happy to read MB but increasingly frustrated by the racist views being openly shared. I wouldn’t have added my 2cs if I didn’t feel strongly against some of these misguided comments.

    • Nicely put.

      I too have been concerned at the tone of comments at MB whenever the subject of immigration is discussed – a topic where kids in the playground quickly find the steep slippery slope into openly racist diatribe.

      As I say in my comment above, I find the MB position on China difficult to reconcile.

    • PolarBearMEMBER

      Great comment and analysis Rational Radical. One of the best critical comments I’ve read on MB. I am a strong supporter of MB and agree with H&H that the US is the lesser of two evils. But oversimplifying the debate and not presenting all the reasons and history behind that final conclusion, combined with H&H’s emotional writing style, does encourage the xenophobes and weakens MB’s overall contribution to the debate.

      • When entire suburbs are purchased and the locals cannot purchase a house at auction “xenophobia” is not an irrational fear.

    • Fantastic exposition of your views RR and I respect what you are saying; albeit wide ranging. I would take mild issue with your characterisations about racism in the comments. I’ve seen a few things I didn’t really like too, but what are you suggesting? Trigger warnings for your friends… or deletions?
      There are enough reasonable people, on what is otherwise a very tame comments section, to challenge true racism. It’s the only thing that works in the end – legislation is already on the books for the worst of it as well. Open discussion is not always pretty and nor should it be, but is the only way to solve contention peacefully. Maybe your friends need to consider your reputation before they judge YOU on an ill-formed or racist opinion written in the comments section by someone other than you.
      I realize accusations of ‘safe-spaces’ is almost cliche, but complete sanitation of public discourse is impossible and should be repugnant to adult thinkers with the merest understanding of how consensus and therefore change occurs.

      • Rational RadicalMEMBER

        Of course I agree with the principles of reasoned debate and differing views being allowed a place, and would only advocate warnings and bans for those who are openly and specifically offensive according to our existing laws (in particular our racial discrimination laws). It’s definitely not the sole responsibility of the site to police such things, owing to the volume of comments etc., but my suggestion (and it’s only a friendly suggestion, not an autocratic order from a marginalised reader…) as I explained is that the authors be careful how they frame the very legitimate arguments they put forward, and where possible, take time to *challenge* ignorant or bigoted views on a case by case basis, as you suggest.

        Ultimately I’m trying to provide some constructive feedback about how to avoid those bad apples that do like to slide down the slippery slope from ruining the very debate they feel so strongly about, by wrecking the reputation of one of the ONLY shining lights in the fog of the Australian media landscape. I am certainly NOT suggesting censorship for Dog’s sake.

        MB has been an exceptional commentator on the numerous fractures building at the centre of our political economy and the widespread blindness to them. It is my sincere hope that they do not miss a building fracture at the centre of their own community, wherein a burning platform is created for libertarian ideologues or racial bigots. It makes it so easy for the true culprits and beneficiaries of harmful population policies to dismiss genuine dissent.

        It’s a classic dilemma, and I’m not suggesting I have the answer, just that I believe MB should make VERY clear where they stand, and always lead by example by citing as much evidence as is available and rational.

      • The current laws do not call for much restraint at all.
        Section 18C does not render unlawful anything said or done reasonably and in good faith:
                             (a)  ………….; or
                             (b)  in the course of any statement, publication, discussion or debate made or held for any genuine academic, artistic or scientific purpose or any other genuine purpose in the public interest; or
                             (c)  in making or publishing:
                                      (i)  a fair and accurate report of any event or matter of public interest; or
                                     (ii)  a fair comment on any event or matter of public interest if the comment is an expression of a genuine belief held by the person making the comment.

      • I understand more clearly what you are saying on those specific points and I largely agree. Thanks for the response. I will say however libertarian ideologues should not be restricted for the reasons I articulated above. Same goes for radical feminists or whatnot, but you are entitled to your view like the rest of us. Very intelligent and thought provoking posts though.

    • + many.

      The comment, and follow-up, that was needed. It’s a shame that you don’t post more often. Both here and across at your blog.

      • Rational RadicalMEMBER

        Thanks Footsore, I share the exact same regret believe me. I have a full time job and then-some, a band to manage, as well as a young family. Economics and politics, as important as they are, and as passionate as I am about the cause, always come last on the list!

      • Rational RadicalMEMBER

        Haha, no band you’d know that’s for sure! By ‘manage’ I mean lead / organise. I sing and play guitar, and unsurprisingly tend to write songs about the apocalypse in a prog rock band called The Dark Ales… We are most definitely on the experienced amateur / hobbyist side of the equation. I just love jumping around and making a lot of noise (similar to my writing I suppose). It’s one of my few outlets other than blogging, over which it normally takes precedence 😉

        Our website is garbage, but you can check out Soundcloud. We are currently producing an album, so there are only a few singles and an old EP, enjoy:

    • +1000’s
      I hope you keep commenting here.
      It is very easy for this debate to fall into emotional irrrellavency.
      To important to allow it too.

  26. perhaps a minor point that is sort of speaking to what you are writing about here, but didn’t Australian democracy die when the CIA/MI6 ousted Whitlam? And even if that conspiracy fact is too much for you, I believe he was still technically removed by the Governor General, ie, the Queen? Either way, it was not the people/demos through any election. So if Australia has an un-elected head of state with real, historically demonstrated power, I don’t think Australian democracy is under any threat because it does not exist in the first place.

    That said, i get what you mean. I think Australia and the world are entering a fascinating and probably very deadly/dangerous period of geopolitics. Clearly Australia needs a better class of politicians than it currently has to get through this in a way that works out well, or even not terribly, for Australia.

  27. I think it died with the launch of the Human Rights Commissions and all their derivatives. Be interesting to see how the discrimination case against three students, who were discriminated against, ends up. Justice, or another rich individual.

    • Does the actual judgement matter? Without the offer of free legal services by a distinguished QC their lives were totally screwed.
      If the HRC loses Trigg etc should be personally liable for all legal expenses.

      P.S. Yes the judgement still does matter.

      • The student received pro bono representation. You are still mostly right, the students have already suffered regardless of the outcome.

        The judgement actually matters in a perverse way. If the students are found to have no case to answer there will be a chorus of leftie oppressionists saying “the process works” and expecting the law to remain intact. It will take a judgment going against the students for the govt to intervene and change the law.

  28. The Globalists have spoken. Trying to make a point through some bogan ranga ain’t gonna do jack shit expect maybe make the plebs believe they actually have a voice and any semblance of influence on the matter.

  29. Unfortunately we are going to get completely out maneuvered by China (probably also, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, etc) from a technology perspective as they don’t use the flaccid and ineffectual finance focused approach we do. They go straight to acquiring any technology by any means that will give them a ‘competitive advantage’. We dick around with stupid and ineffective ‘innovation’ initiatives.

    Australia needs to also focus on technology acquisition to create a competitive advantage to out-compete competitor nations – but be faster and more effective in doing so. This will then allow Australia to do two things, out-maneuver Chinese initiatives or tap into opportunities that arise from Chinese technology investments. Our politicians are oblivious to the threat and have no clue that the race to acquire technology is a hidden war that we are ill equipped to deal with.

  30. A former HKger and Chinese migrant to Oz, I’ve had the privileged experience of living under British and Chinese rule. Most of the HK migrants to Oz are fearful of the repressive pseudo-communist regime in the north, thinking Australia’s sovereignty and democratic system can well protect them from the growing influence of the red giant. If Aussie however continue to be prepared to sell their souls for heaps of dirty money from corrupt comrades and their well-off off-springs Australia will very soon degenerate into another special administrative region in the southern hemisphere of a sinking dynasty. If in doubt, read this

  31. Good points in some but I question your shortsightedness for your call to realign with US. It’s a country which promises a lot especially democracy but really beholden to the big Corporations interests that dominate policies and flood their corridors of power. Besides being a nation famous for its citizens willing to cast their vote to whichever candidate that will continue to protect their rights to bear arms. Please, if you need to look somewhere, look at the Scandinavian countries and how they manage to retain their high quality of life.

    • We’re not asked to choose between US and Scandinavian countries, but US and China. If one’s forgotten who is ruling China, we’d better take a serious look at its modern history esp. after 1949. Perhaps just recall what happened in 4 June 1989? Those who persecuted now dressing up in suits hiring couple of expensive i-bankers making huge bets on our resources asset are in fact very much same group of people. Difference is they now entice first with the handsome fortune they squeezed from their people at home. What will happen after they establish a foothold in our system with bribes to greedy politicians? Read this dire warning from a friend who share same values and faith

      Taking to the extreme, US may be bad but it will never pose a threat to Australia as much as the pseudo-communist regime does.

  32. “‘There is concern’
    In an unprecedented critique, the outgoing ambassador said China was an undemocratic country exploiting Australia’s democratic system.
    “I can see no argument of how a foreign government’s involvement through political contributions advances Australia’s interests,” Mr Berry said.
    “In our country it’s illegal. It would be against the law for any foreign donation to be accepted by any level of government or member of government.””

    • Such great f#cking democracy! F#cked us into an early election and now at f#cking results!

      OUR problems start in f#cking CBR

  33. Why don’t we ask Latin America how benevolent US is vs China? Unbelievable! And I’m no more pro or anti US than China but the facts speak for themselves

  34. TailorTrashMEMBER

    One wonders if Americans were immigrating to Australia in ever increasing numbers ,out bidding Australians at home auctions , buying up all the best houses , pushing the locally born kids out of local schools that their parents and grandparents had paid for over many taxpaying years , setting up and funding American institutes at universities and making questionable donations to politicians to buy influence would Australians be upset and angry and would this be racist ? ( Americans are not all white ) .

    If American development companies were buying up prime home sites in major cities and building dogbox appartments for sale to American non citazen investors at prices that local young families cannot afford would this upset and make angry Australians and would this be racist ? ( Americans are not all a white ) .

    A lot of what we claim to be racist is not so but the resentment and hostility of a society that feels its being displaced ,disregarded and has no voice .
    It just so happens that the Chinese are the the rich immigrants doing most of the displacing at the moment ….and yes they are a different race …….but I would argue the resentment would be no less diminished if the displacers were Americans ( we could have the battle of Brisbane all over again on a grander scale ) .

    Many Australians when you get them in a quiet reflective mood will say he fault lies not with the Chinese immigrants who are doing what all hummans will do do ….look for opportunities and a better life …….the fault lies with the Government in failing to manage the social consequences of an unbalanced injection of immigrants bearing wealth that the existing population has no means to compete with .

    I guess this is what happens when you need to let out the spare rooms in your house to pay the mortgage .

      • of course there is such a thing as race. Race is a proxy for categorising you by your physicality…flawed as it is..just saying…

    • Best comment on this post. You have nailed where the angst is coming from. We have always welcomed immigrants, but they have usually been poorer than us. What is happening now with the chinese is that most of them are richer than us and displacing us. All the howling of racism is dogwhistle, we are being priced out of our own country. But we started this insanity ourselves anyway, so im sure all the investors dont give a fuck who they sell to!

  35. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    This whole US v China thing, in relation to whos the most/least benevolent, whos the biggest boogie man, whos the most historically reprehensible etc etc, is completly besides the point H&H is trying to make.

    The point is POWER and the Article David pens, discusses a relatively new form of soft power exerting itself on Australian democracy.

    Much of the comentary which follows is a cultural lament against this new player (China).
    In response, many contributers rightly point out that chinas behavior is nothing new and go on to list a litany of worse behavior committed by the plutocratic west.

    Australian Culture is a product of European colonialism, specifically British colonialism, as is the US culture and the culture’s of the Anglo-sphere in general.
    Because of the fluke (competive pressure really) of what nations industrialized first, Britain had the POWER to spread/impose its culture and creat the “Anglo-sphere” across the globe.

    What I believe is being missed here by most of the comentariate, is that the nature of this cultural imposition apon “others” is not a “Racial thing” its a “POWER thing”,…the race of the “civilisation” who has the power is incidental.
    I find it almost comical that people predict “Chinese Power” will behave any better than US power.
    The ethnic Histories are irrelevant, its all about power.

    As members of the Anglo-sphere though we do have a greater responsibility to call out the abuses of power by our own leaders, im right up there with Chomsky when he says we should be responsible for calling out and correcting our own atrocities before lecturing “others” about theirs.

    But the “Chinese State” is a threat to Australia and it aint got nothing to do with who has slant or round eyes,…Its all about Chinas dramaticly growing, unchecked Power.

    It’d be awfull for us to become a Chinese Cuba.

    • great points EP. My view is nothing to fear from China. Their power draws itself from being a creditor nation, a situation they find themselves in because of a current input advantage. That advantage is rapidly declining owing to technological advancements stemming from the west and a rightly demanded improvement in pay and conditions from their own workforce.
      Witness their drawdown/reduction in foreign currency reserves as a proxy

  36. Thanks H&H.
    One of your best pieces.
    Do you read Stratfor which specialises in this sort of global geopolitical analysis?
    We are like ice addicts as we are addicted to Chinese iron ore and coal sales.
    We have closed the car industry and I expect that Chinese car imports will increase dramatically over the next decade as they adopt the latest technologies. I understand Geely is about to release a Volvo based, Chinese manufactured SUV which should be roughly on par with many European vehicles as it is basically a Euro car itself, just made with cheaper labor.
    We are economically already a Chinese client state but are trying to remain a cultural client of Europe and US and a defense pact client of the US.
    Our vulnerability and juggling requirements are increasing significantly and our Current Account Deficit and horrible Net International Investment Position make us extremely vulnerable to a determined China.
    We may well live in interesting times in the medium term.

  37. Aussie1929MEMBER

    So, I was perusing LinkedIn and came across an advertisment.for –
    Twentyseven people liked it and not one commented. This is what I said: “Globalising a small economy isn’t the way to go. Large clusters of micro-economies is much more sensible.”

  38. ‘China is making great strides towards it and its intentions are not benevolent.’
    Do tell!
    Has China assassinated anyone lately, used torture as State policy, bombed civilians, invaded another sovereign state, perhaps?

  39. With respect H&H you should rethink the whole tin foil hat analogy. You probably need it on. Nice and tight. However, some of the others in this stream of racist ranting pretending to be analysis… well jezuz h you are low low people. And given I am many hours flight away from Oz I am increasingly aiming to keep my distance… another 25 years expating should do it. I won’t be revisiting the soon to expire subscription.

  40. ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

    It’s the most polarising issues, that are the hardest to address,….just check out the contrasting point of view between sw16 and Hearme above, most just Cowardly avoid the discussion altogether.
    To your Courage, I say Bravo Dave !

  41. Anantha Nageswaran

    One of your most insightful pieces ever. Has close parallels to what is going on in the American elections right now.