China slams press coverage of its dodgy dealings

Via The Australian comes an unwise diplomatic intervention:

China’s ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, has hit out at the ABC and Fairfax over a joint Four Corners report on China’s influence in Australia.

He said at an Australia China Business Council networking day in Parliament House in Canberra that the report’s producers aimed to “instigate China panic”.

Mr Cheng said the allegations were groundless and those reporting them were attempting to render them true by repeating them.

He said in China, this is called cooking “up the overnight cold rice”

Meanwhile Foreign Minister Julie Bishop spoke at the Australia China Business Council event this morning, applauding the efforts of the council to deepen the relationship between the two countries.

“This bilateral relationship between Australia and China is growing stronger day by day,” she said. “It is multifaceted, although our economic ties are a standout.

“In 2015 – 2016 the trading of goods and services between our countries was almost $150 billion. To place these figures in their proper context, more than 22 cents in every dollar of global trade we conducted in that financial year was with China.”

Ms Bishop said Chinese investment in Australia was valued at about $87 billion and highlighted the presence of Chinese students at Australian universities, Australian New Colombo Plan scholars attending universities in China, Chinese tourists visiting Australia, and the value the Chinese market for the Australian book publishing and art industries as examples of the strength of the trade relationship.

Super. Except she’s on the pay roll. Recall from last year:

Chinese businessmen with links to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop have donated half a million dollars to the Western Australian division of the Liberal Party during the past two years, political disclosures reveal.

All the donors have links to the Chinese government, and the vast bulk of the money was given by companies with no apparent business interests in WA. Ms Bishop, the leading federal member of the party in that state, has singled out each of the three key donors for praise.

Several of the donations have been obscured by the channelling of funds via executives or related companies, or by the donors’ failure to disclose them to the Australian Electoral Commission, in apparent breach of Commonwealth law.

…In 2014-15, billionaire Chau Chak Wing’s Hong Kong Kingson Investment Ltd gave $200,000 to the WA Liberal Party. The donation is listed on the party’s disclosure to the AEC, but the company made no disclosure.

The controversial tycoon has given millions to Liberal, National and Labor parties over several decades. His Kingold conglomerate has expanded from property development to hospitality, education, finance, health, media and culture that extends “from Guangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong to Sydney and Brisbane in Australia,” according to its website. No business interests in WA are listed.

Why is the foreign minister so popular? Lowy Institute analyst, Rory Medcalf, describes the problem:

Forensic media investigations by Fairfax Media and ABC TV’s Four Corners have uncovered multi-faceted interference by the Chinese Communist Party in Australia.

This includes propaganda and censorship in much of this nation’s Chinese language media as well as even more troubling channels of interference through political donations, intimidation of dissident voices and the establishment and mobilisation of pro-Beijing organisations on Australian soil.

…This is in addition to a pervasive but predictable espionage effort including human and cyber intelligence.

All nations project the “soft” power of attraction, of winning the debate. Australia should welcome and facilitate Chinese voices in a transparent and evidence-based contest of ideas about this country’s future.

But a picture is emerging of excessive influence through money, censorship and coercion. This is neither the soft power of free expression nor the hard power of military force.

Instead it is the sharp power of intrusive influence, including through the strategic granting then apparent withholding of political funds.

The reported Chinese Communist Party efforts to distort Australia’s sovereignty go beyond what is acceptable in an even vaguely rules-based global system. It breaches historic norms of states’ non-interference in each other’s affairs, which China’s leaders say they support.

…Whether those providing the cash are seeking simply status or something else, their donations are damaging what should be constructive, respectful and beneficial relations between Australia and China.

I wonder when my cheque will arrive.


  1. TailorTrashMEMBER

    No cheque for you mate ……suspect you might be high on the BOSS list of persons to be watched though……..

  2. So i guess the next step is for the Chinese govt to tell their employees (ie politicans) to cut the ABC news budget, fire ABC news staff, privatize the ABC. In the meantime they will purchase Fairfax.

    Nothing to see here folks move along.

    • “This bilateral relationship between Australia and China is growing stronger day by day,” she said. “It is multifaceted, although our economic ties are a standout”

      Multifaceted ? Yes Chinese money making its way into politicians pockets in a multitude of ways.

    • Channel + ? (that’s a 10 in Chinese ok ok I used a plus sign really but I don’t have kanji on this keyboard)

      • Don’t forget to add a number 8 for extreme Sino appeal! Channel 18 here we come!

        Hell, just rename it to ‘Channel 8 Super Lucky Double Happiness Fun Time Media Group’.

    • He said in China, this is called cooking “up the overnight cold rice”
      In Australia its called the media doing their job “investigating political corruption and foreign government (in this case Chinese) influence & bribery”
      F$$k the CCP and its bought Australian cronies!!

  3. cuturhairMEMBER

    “Mr Cheng said the allegations were groundless and those reporting them were attempting to render them true by repeating them.”

    Kinda like what China has done internally and externally over the last 60 years regarding the 9 dash line…

  4. Jake GittesMEMBER

    A better PR strategy is to ignore it as the rumours of ill-informed or cranky people. But we got this idiom, “cooking up the overnight cold rice”. Bishop has to retort with opaque Strayan equivalent, something like: “eating the cold pizza for breakfast”.

  5. Now that is a good idea Azaros, wedge the ambassador and ‘Dr’ Chau Chak all at once! How do we get this info to the good journalists?

    • Surely you’re not suggesting that Chinese billionaires be forced to actually, you know, work and pay taxes and obey the laws of the land?

    • If Chinese take another nationality they have to give up their Chinese citizenship. Surely there’s not one rule for ordinary Chinese and another for commands ?

  6. According to one ex-Wall Street trader, since 2000 there’s been an estimated $12.2 trillion illicit capital outflows used to go on a global spending spree:
    “For more than a decade, China had been reporting an impossible twin surplus in its BoP accounts. . . likelihood of massive illicit capital outflows that not been accounted for. . . according to the State Administration of Foreign Exchange of China (SAFE), China had accumulated a BoP imbalance that was close to $9.4 trillion surplus since 2000 which we believed represented capital outflows that should have been recorded in the capital account.

    After 10 years our government is yet to introduce the 2nd tranche of Anti-Money Laundering legislation.
    Recommendation 2 of below submission offers some ideas on correcting capital flow fraud into Australia.

    Thanks to the Laberals we are slowly but surely ceding control of this country.
    4 Corners staff deserve a pay rise and a free rein to cover whatever.

    • fitzroyMEMBER

      Interesting links. Thanks. The main conundrum that puzzles me is that when 1/3 of the new debt issued by the SOE ends up being written off by the BoC, how will this pan out? Chinese debt is unlike other debt as there appears to be no adverse consequences of a failure to pay as long as one is well connected. The successful investments are held, and the loans active, the unsuccessful ones written off. We are talking book entries at the end of the day. The bottom line is a failure of the currency if there is insufficient foreign exchange, the losers being those Chinese workers earning that foreign exchange, and quare those who exchange hard assets for over valued Yuan earned off the backs of those in the sweat shops.

  7. It will be interesting to see if any adverse outcomes occur to 4 Corner’s staff and the ABC generally in the near future and who instigates them. Also watch what happens to donations to political parties from various benefactors.

  8. Oz is a Chinese colony.They have satraps like Robb, Dastyari, Carr and Laberal parties to do their deeds.

    The interesting questions are:

    1. Did PRC plan it this way?
    2. When will PRC use its demand for iron ore and coal (or hot money) to discipline its waywood Oz citizens? Will they invoke Terra Nullius to justify their actions?
    3. Are they surprised how little they have to pay in bribes to achieve their ends? The Minerals Council showed them how to get the best B:C ratio.

  9. Tassie TomMEMBER

    I reckon there’s a pretty good consultancy/ lobbyist job waiting for Julie Bishop when she finally calls it a day.

  10. The ABC and Fairfax cop a lot of criticism, some of it justified: but it’s on occasions like these you realise how necessary and valuable they can be.

  11. To be honest I’m more worried about piss poor decision making by our leaders and the protected ‘game of mates’ in this country than anything the Chinese are doing.