Someone needs to tap “Beijing Bob” on the shoulder

Domainfax has the scoop:

Chongyi Feng, an Associate Professor in Chinese Studies at the University of Technology Sydney, was detained and questioned by Chinese officials during a visit to China in March last year about his links to liberal intellectuals in mainland China and contacts in Australia.

Fairfax Media can reveal that during the interrogation, Chinese state security officials demanded information about adviser John Garnaut, who at the time was working on an ASIO inquiry commissioned by Mr Turnbull.

…According to a source who was unable to speak publicly, Dr Feng was asked dozens of questions about Mr Garnaut during the interrogation. His email account and mobile phone were searched for Mr Garnaut’s name as well as the word “DFAT,” an acronym for Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

…In response to the story on Monday about Mr Carr enlisting Labor senators to ask questions about Mr Garnaut, Labor MP Michael Danby hit out at the former minister, saying his “false-flag intervention gives chutzpah a new meaning”.

“Bob Carr is a pro-Beijing extremist paid by the pro-Beijing think tank, Australia China Relations Institute (ACRI).

ACRI was largely funded by the Huang Xiangmo. ACRI is now financed by Australian and Chinese businesses arm-twisted into backing the Beijing line by financing Carr’s discredited outfit.”

Yet at The Australian, an oblvious Beijing Bob carries on attacking Australian diplomacy:

Commentator Rory Medcalf called the Quad “a symbol that the best hope of moderating a strong China’s behaviour involves others showing solidarity with each other”.

But six months on, the Quad has failed what was always going to be its acid test: harmonising policy towards China…I’ve previously said the Quad may be a warning to China about the cost of assertiveness in maritime disputes. But if Southeast Asians are indifferent, and if Japan and India are reinvigorating their China links, then the Quad looks little more than a gesture. I’m not pretending this is the happiest outcome for Australia. The Quad was never going to be an Asian NATO, but right now it lacks even the value of the modest hedge that I thought might have been within reach.

And card-carrying China uber-bull James Laurenceson is in the regional showering Australia with poo:

James Laurenceson, deputy director of the Australia-China Relations Institute, told This Week in Asia that the rhetoric of some Australian officials was causing unnecessary friction with China.

“These foreign interference laws could have been introduced very simply, very calmly, very plainly without pushback if they had simply been reduced and not singled China out in the rhetoric when they were being introduced,” he said. “The idea that only China is seeking influence in Australia is plainly ridiculous. American influence in this country is, and has been for a very long time, many orders of magnitude greater than Chinese influence.”

Riiiight, Australian democracy didn’t react like a kowtowing think tank so it’s to blame for Chinese bribes in the Parliament. Good one.

The Quad has always been a loose beast and probably always will be. That’s neither here nor there. And, to be clear, I have no objection to Bob Carr fiercely debating Aussie diplomacy. That’s good too.

The problem remains that he is doing it from a discredited pulpit. It doesn’t matter that ACRI is no longer directly Chinese funded. As an inherently positive Chinese institute, it’s only role is propaganda. Resign, Bob, and we can then take you seriously.

Worse, if Beijing Bob stays the course then it plays into all of those fears outlined yesterday about Labor not being up to the job of governing Australian sovereignty vis the encroachments of a Chinese dictatorship.

Houses and Holes

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.

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    • Yeah, I was thinking along the same lines. And one .455 calibre round to go with it.

      Our “elites” are a den of traitors who have all sold us out to foreign powers, not for ideology but for money.

    • So if China stops trade on wine, etc to punish the Australian economy for daring to raise the bribery allegations,
      does it also flow on to stop the trade in buying Australian apartments for cash. Will be interesting to see if reflected in FIRB purchase nos, which are still at a large 25 billion after the 40% drop this year.

  1. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Thankfully there are always loads of positive comments about China on those news articles and many comments reminding us how bad white people have been through history. Much more balanced and real than the anti-china rhetoric we get here.

    • Too right. Not a single mention of the Opium Wars. China wouldn’t need to be a militaristic totalitarian state if Europeans hadn’t forced them to all become junkies 200 years ago.

      • Europeans wanted tea but China wouldn’t buy European products as payment. China would sell but not buy (sound familiar)??.
        In order to balance the trade deficit, the British found something to sell that the Chinese quite liked… Opium!

        If the Chinese had opened their markets the Opium wars would never have happened. But history tells us that China will NEVER open its markets.

        History repeats.

  2. It is not just Carr, – the rot goes deep into the Labor party. From Monday’s The Age

    Labor’s shadow attorney-general, Mark Dreyfus, said Mr Hastie should resign from his role as chairman of the powerful parliamentary intelligence and security committee. [for revealing the Chinese payments to our pollies]

    We need to accept that we are effectively a Chinese colony – they already own our land, or homes, our ports, or utilities and our politicians.

  3. George of the Jungle

    Danby doesn’t care about China. He is shitting on Carr because Carr sometimes criticises the Israeli government and its treatment of the Palestinians.

  4. The shamelessness of Carr and Joyce is extraordinary. They appear to have no self awareness.

    • Is there any such thing as an completely Independent system that relies upon X.
      From an systems/engineering perspective it’s a stupid idea, because any system that relies heavily on one factor is going to exhibit closely correlated behavior. to that factor. This is completely unavoidable in this case correlation is causality.
      OK so why mention this obvious bit of systems logic, because like it or not our Australian economy has become heavily dependent on China. China is our largest trading partner and by far our fastest growing trading partner. Extrapolate the shift towards China forward another 10 years (on the current tragectory) and it’ll be completely pointless for Australia to claim Independence in any way shape or form. Truth is we’ll be a fully captured colony.
      Personally I can live with this outcome, I don’t think it’s the best outcome but it’s also not the worst outcome but the real clinch for me is that China’s not just the direction that we’re heading it’s likely where practically all of Australia’s trade growth will occur. (in Engineering terms it’s the Vector with the greatest Acceleration)

      That’s reality! and as long as I live in the real world it’s these facts that will shape my decisions.
      Ideally I would love to hear about hundreds of Australian start-ups developing thousands of products targeted at a global customer base. I’d love to be a part of an Australia that made this transition because it would be an Australia that could begin to consider itself as Independent. It would be an Australia that could begin to plan for it’s own future rather than just blindly riding the coat tails of someone else’s dream. But you know what that’s not today’s reality and unless we make some massive changes it’s absolutely not going to be the reality of 2030 or 2040 or 2050.
      Truth is we’re making ourselves more dependent day by day making it a bit hypocritical to suggest that an Independent Australia even exists.

  5. “American influence in this country is, and has been for a very long time, many orders of magnitude greater than Chinese influence.”

    So how come after a year and a half of Trump presidency they still haven’t managed to send us an ambassador? Why didn’t they notice the Port of Darwin sale until after the fact? Why do they need us to inform them what the Chinese are up to? If the US influence was orders of magnitude greater none of this would be happening.