Parliament to publish Chinese spying book, “Silent Invasion”

Via Domainfax:

Key members of Federal Parliament’s national security committee are backing a move to use the committee’s powers to publish an explosive book on Chinese Communist Party influence in Australia.

Committee chair and Liberal MP Andrew Hastie and deputy chair Anthony Byrne, a Labor MP, are among those supporting the move despite the potential for diplomatic fall-out, according to multiple sources.

Fairfax Media has also confirmed that the office of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has been briefed on the deliberations of the committee and has no objection to it publishing  the manuscript.

Two major publishers ditched the manuscript, by a professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University, Professor Clive Hamilton, citing fears Beijing or its proxies would launch legal action.

The publishing of the manuscript by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security would further jolt relations between Canberra and Beijing, as the book exhaustively details clandestine efforts by the Chinese government to co-opt and influence Australian politicians, universities, think tanks and the media.

It may also anger several influential ex-politicians, including former foreign minister Bob Carr and former trade minister Andrew Robb. The book is highly critical of the pair’s dealings with billionaire businessmen closely aligned to the Chinese Communist Party.

But by receiving the manuscript of Silent Invasion: How China Is Turning Australia into a Puppet State as an exhibit, the committee has retained a power to publish it.

One of the concerns raised last week inside the committee about publishing the book was the appropriateness of granting it the parliamentary power of qualified privileged – which prevents the authors of submissions from being sued, and protects others such as journalists who re-publish the contents of the book.

Three committee members were understood to have been concerned that tabling the manuscript would enable a commercial publisher who otherwise wouldn’t print the book to do so.

But that concern has been made redundant this week, with Fairfax Media on Monday confirming that publisher Hardie Grant has already sent the book to the presses and would release it in March.

Why is this even a question? Publish it and bring on the blowback. The relationship needs a good airing.

Meanwhile, the push back is also in trouble:

The government has flagged it could make changes to its foreign influence legislation as it emerged that companies might have to disclosure donations to charities and expenditure on social issues such as same-sex marriage.

As well, the controversial foreign influence regime might mean the Minerals Council, the Business Council and Industry Super Australia would all have to register as political campaigners.

It could also require the political affiliations of senior executives to be made public, according to legal advice for the Australia Institute, which has now called for the regime to be dumped.

Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist said the government’s plans “are not only an attack on democracy, but would tie business in red tape as well. The legislation should now be abandoned altogether.”

And be replaced with what? Wholesale Chinese bribes? It should not be dumped. It should be tailored.

Comments

    • Go on. Detail this threat. Here we have a group of Australia’s finest and best educated (politicians) without agenda nor bias threatening to publish a book by – well its best not to say anything if nothing nice can be said.

      Australia has been absolutely pillaged by the British, the Yanks, Japanese, French etc – but that’s totally fine – but the Chinese !!!!!

      Bloody CHINESE !!!

      They’re digging round mines and stealing all our gold – Victorian Gold Rush.

      I remember when Dimaru was built – and the apoplectic convulsions that went on around this country about the ASIAN INVASION – Brisbane was trying to improve its tourism and signed its street signs in Japanese as well as English and there was talk of a civil uprising and burning Canberra to the ground – the Japs were only minutes away from totally taking over the country.

      In the meantime we are costing our nation close to half a Trillion in US and UK fees and charges to their banks, accounting firms and military industrial complex, resource depletion, lack of taxation on major IT, drug and IP laws etc, etc.

      We are literally a totally owned and occupied VASSAL state of the US / UK and here we are FREAKING OUT about the Chinese who are just ahead of India on their purchasing and ownership levels.

      Can we please get some extra whipped up Hysteria please !!

      .

      • Dare someone to answer and respond to the question rather than school yard banter….as fun as it is.

        Which countries have corrupted our politicians the most for kick backs and perks ?

        Which countries own the most of our resources ?

        Which countries pay the most in lobbyists ?

        Which countries have taken over our ABS and census ? The massive consultancies taking over our bureaucracies ?

        Which countries have we been bribed into joining totally unfair trade agreements ?

        Which countries have used their size and power to force Australians into multiple wars ?

        The list is endless – but instead of actually being grown ups and providing a response – its all “I know you are you said you are”.

        Well done kids. I’m sure someone, somewhere, sometime – maybe, eventually will take you somewhat seriously. In the meantime – Sky, Bolt Report and 2GB – because no credible news outlet is going to take you seriously with these types of replies on the board.

      • HadronCollision

        Anon – I’m not defending CHris but US etc hardly clean fingers, eh

        Sandanistas/Bay of Pigs/central/south America, the Gulf
        Britain: India, anywhere else in the Empire

      • Interesting how this aligns to the recent US Defence Secretary declaring that terrorism is no longer its major threat. Terrorism has been replaced by China and Russia! Maybe this little publication is nicely timed to suit our master … who I might add acts similar to any other larger country trying to maintain its economic position in the world … its just they have the same ‘values’ as us … so we don’t mind what they do.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Maybe it’s because Australians believes the CCP is running China far, far better than the current mob running Australia?

  1. But also, you must be blind or paid to be missing the core problem of the Chinese influence but only through our politics but our culture. I’m sure you’re going to get your 50c in the mail soon.

  2. adelaide_economistMEMBER

    It’s very strange that publishing this book is so ‘sensitive’. Our university libraries are full of books putting forth arguments about, for example, CIA involvement and interference in Australian politics (I know because I’ve read them) – obviously this was pre-Trump when the CIA were ‘baddies’ rather than ‘goodies’ (lol).

    I’m getting really sick of this whole ‘China as sensitive teenager’ thing though. If they want to be a world power and interfere in politics all around the world, then they are big enough to deal with a book or two that criticises what they do. Admittedly, such criticism is unheard of in the harmonious state of Confucian perfection in which they like to think they exist but the insane over-reaction to any exposure of their actions is itself enough to prove there’s something to it. If nothing else the Chinese government really needs to get better at statecraft.

    • Its got NOTHING to do with China – what it has got everything to do with is the politicians who have been caught up in the bribery scandals not wanting to be fingered.

      As always – without exception – the problem with Australia come down the insidious levels of corruptions in our own governance.

      Of course some will totally forget their entire narrative at any opportunity to naval gaze in their cognitive bias.

    • yep you nailed it, the chinese are absolutely hopeless at influence cos they pretty much don’t believe in it themselves, I think it all comes down to the one party system and the fact they know its flawed but pretend its not, bit like the cadmium in the rice, they know its there they just pretend its not

  3. “Publish it and bring on the blowback.” The result will not technically be “blowback”. Blowback refers to unforeseeable unintended consequences. If you know it’s coming, it’s not blowback. In this case the mouth-frothing, pants-wetting, petulant toddler tantrum is entirely predictable. Hey Chris?

    • A tantrum yes, but I don’t think they will do much else which is a pity, we would be a better country if all the Chinese international students and tourists went home.

  4. Clive must be delighted. Huge publicity for his book, which otherwise might have found only a niche market.

    Plus the added bonus of material for a follow-up book on the high drama surrounding the publishing process. I’d certainly like to hear more about the various people involved, their questionable motives, spineless actions, colourful connections, etc. Surely there’s a whole chapter almost written on the university press deciding not to publish it for fear China would respond with an effective boycott, depriving the university of their ‘river of gold’ in foreign (Chinese) student revenue. If Clive doesn’t write the book, I hope someone else does.

    • Sadly the CCP’s far too wise for that. Once they fail to prevent publication you will just a bit of the “damn with faint praise, assent with civil leer, and, without sneering, teach the rest to sneer” style of eradication of the narrative.

  5. “Australia Institute executive director Ben Oquist said the government’s plans “are not only an attack on democracy, but would tie business in red tape as well. The legislation should now be abandoned altogether.”

    It’s taken a while, but as I pointed out previously this proposed legislation has serious implications for freedom of thought, right to political affiliation of choice and holds potential to target specific groups not deemed advantageous to the ruling government. That it is a Liberal Government implementing it is shock enough (they were very weak on 18c) however the real danger lies with future administrations.

    Straight out of the Orwell playbook. Dump it.

    • That’s what Ben thinks. Fitzy thinks that the illumination of sunshine has a rehabilitative effect on the stench of corruption. Daniel doth protest too much methinks.

    • I think what you meant to write was that it might shine a light on the dodgy dealing of your mates at the MCA and their backroom deals that favour your masters and screw the Australian people.