Why the Chinese Communist Party is backing Labor

Via the AFR:

China sees a potential change of government in Australia as a chance to reset the bilateral relationship, which soured under former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull as concerns around security overshadowed the economic benefits.

…”We would like new government to overturn the previous ruling on banning Huawei. It requires political wisdom to achieve it,” says Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Centre at Shanghai’s East China Normal University.

“It is true that Labor Party leaders in the past made significant contributions to improve the China-Australia relationship. There was some turmoil under Kevin Rudd’s leadership, but the bilateral relationship wasn’t as bad as it is now.

The bilateral relationship is just fine where it is and does nor require reset. Via Stan Grant at the ABC:

Take this assessment: the risk of war between China and America is now “unacceptably high”. That’s the warning from Peter Jennings, head of ASPI, a former prime ministerial adviser and ex-deputy secretary of the Defence Department, not one given to hype.

The potential for conflict, Mr Jennings said, is at 5 per cent. Don’t breathe too easily — we are a miscalculation, a misunderstanding or an accident away from that 5 per cent escalating to the point where neither side could back down.

The US-based RAND Corporation has mapped a US-China war in a report it called “Thinking through the Unthinkable”. As China continues to boost its firepower, “the United States can no longer be so certain that war would lead to decisive victory”, the report said.

Malcolm Davis, a senior analyst at ASPI, reminded us that Xi Jinping is on track to completely modernise the People’s Liberation Army within the next 20 years, to make it a world-class force.

He also told us that the threat is not just here on earth, but in the skies. China’s 2015 defence white paper said that “outer space has become a commanding height in international strategic competition … and the first signs of weaponisation of outer space have appeared”.

China wants to become a space-fighting superpower and it has carried out numerous tests of its counterspace capabilities.

Who controls space, controls earth. Malcolm Davis warned of the risks of a “space Pearl Harbor” — a surprise first-strike “designed to eliminate US and allied space-based strategic satellites, leaving their terrestrial forces deaf, dumb and blind”.

Conflict is only one scenario, what about the prospects for China’s economy? The good news is China is still growing: compared with the rest of the world’s major economies it is still remarkable. But there are doubts about how truthful the figures are — is Beijing cooking the books? — and in any case the growth is slowing, now below the 7 per cent mark that China has seen as essential.

Credit is the big risk, as Josh Rudolph, formerly of the International Monetary Fund and US Treasury, wrote last year:

“China has incurred the largest debt build-up in recorded economic history — and the prognosis is not good. The International Monetary Fund surveyed five-year credit booms near the size of China’s and found that essentially all such cases ended in major growth slowdowns and half also collapsed into financial crises.”

Stephen Joske, a former Australian Treasury economist who also served in the Australian embassy in Beijing, told us that China’s economy is fuelled by unsustainable credit, with a “very high probability” of a financial crisis within three to five years.

The last point is a big yawn. What is inevitable is stagnation which is good and bad news for Australia. Good because it will slow China’s catch-up military. Bad because it will turn the CCP even more hostile to external forces to sure-up legitimacy at home.

Finally, the CCP is at least being fair about it, via Domain:

The Chinese Communist Party has sought to build ties to candidates in the upcoming federal election, including in a critical Victorian seat that will help determine the next government.

Chinese language documents have revealed the ALP’s Jennifer Yang and the Liberal Party’s Gladys Liu — who are contesting the eastern Melbourne electorate of Chisholm — have both attended events and been involved in groups backed by the Chinese government.

The groups seek to push the Communist Party’s agenda throughout the Chinese diaspora.

Either explicitly divide the diaspora from the CCP or cut immigration. It can’t be both. Yet Labor is aiming for just that.

What will Washington do? Also at the AFR comes Patrick Buchan, director of US alliances at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and John Watts, a senior fellow at the Scowcroft Centre for Strategy and Security:

Watts says the expectation in the US is that Labor would continue Australia’s “sceptical or cautious line with China” and isn’t about to pursue some “wild card” shift towards becoming strongly pro-China.

“A more solid consensus is emerging in Washington regarding the strategic competition between the US and China,” says Buchan.

“The issue for Australia will be explaining Australia’s critical trade relationship with China and its critical security relationship with the US and maintaining a consistent line that both relationships are critical to Australia’s national interests.”

I’d put it a bit differently. The issue will be how long Washington stands by Australia while we take the CCP bribe.

David Llewellyn-Smith


  1. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Either explicitly divide the diaspora from the CCP or cut immigration. It can’t be both. Yet Labor is aiming for just that.

    It should be BOTH

    Divide the diaspora from the quite overt control of the state of the originating nation (China in this case but India is a player in this game too)

    And cut immigration (at least until Australia has an export competing/exposed economic sector driving employment growth sufficiently to warrant the need for significant migration)

    There is on top of that there is the not inconsiderable need for some sort of clear regulation of immigration by Australia to ensure that no more than 10% total Australian immigration comes from any one given nation – with a possible exception where the migrants from that nation have a language, laws, media culture, societal institutions and plausibly property rights virtually identical to those in Australia – I would assume that NZ, UK and possibly Canada or the US would (maybe  Ireland too) be the only nations likely to pass muster there.

    Flooding the country with adherents to the primacy of another nation’s State(s) is simply silly.

    • Chinese have some of the strongest in-group preference out of any population in the world, liberal democracy has never been part of their culture nor do they see it as a virtue. The RAND Corporation report should be taken with a grain of salt as RAND are a notorious military-industrial complex shill and they have deliberately stayed silent on China’s exploitation of the liberal immigration policies of US’ allies in the Pacific Ocean, China doesn’t need a military conflict with the US when it can simply colonise its allies via demographic replacement instead.

      • ^ ^ ^
        A very good and healthy dose of reality…. alas, it will be irrationally discarded as Peking shill comment.
        First sentence nailed it to the core.

      • It is a mistake to see any national identity as homogeneous. For example – many residents in HK. So there is some light…

  2. DominicMEMBER

    “It requires political wisdom to achieve it,”

    Love it: you lot are just thick if you don’t embrace us!

    Lord help us. Labor’s going to be worse than I ever imagined

      • You might want a french style revolution EP, but you’ll get a completely different sort. My dad is a rusted on alp man and even he is quietly concerned.

      • DominicMEMBER

        Ermo, I’d be happy to join the revolution – just not if it involves the ALP in its current guise. We need wholesale change, top to bottom. The cartels and corporatocracy needs to be run into the sea

      • Your mates are about to lose the unloseable election. At 49-51 TPP the parent visa crushload healthcare brain fart could be the straw that breaks the election camel’s back.

  3. Seriously, Australia has lost its way on so many fronts.

    We point the finger at our kids for being lazy, yet advocate so weakly for them.
    We automate youth jobs out of existence and expect our kids to hold on to hope for their future prosperity, and expect them to work hard for their future by being 10 times smarter than us, to hold down more jobs than we ever did, just to aspire to crystallise so much less than we ever had.

    We buy up property for wealth creation, not seeing the damage it causes to our economy.
    We make housing so unaffordable for our people that we lay them to waste in search of an alternative population via immigration who will just suck up this madness and play along.
    We build devices for our youth that suck all creativity and delayed gratification out of them and then have the audacity to blame them for their lack of motivation.

    We have no identity.

    Australians long gone who fought for this country would be looking down on us in disbelief at how we have sold out our country, our soul, our identity, our children.

    People these days are so selfish, so self-centred. As long as Im alright, the rest will be all right on their own.

    Until we restore some sense of advocacy.
    Until we find ourselves as a nation.
    Until we start building things that we can be proud of.
    Until we stop this mass selloff of our children.
    Until we stop looking insular, inwards, at our own selfish desires at the expense of our country.

    We are prepared to displace a whole generation with immigrants that have a different mindset, a different culture, and park our kids and call them irrelevant to the master plan.

    We are damned.


  4. John Howards Bowling Coach

    Given the ABC’s bias to the ALP, it’s interesting that given their freedom from the real estate driven advertising $dollar they remain the lead in calling out the invasion of our culture largely through direct state interference by the CCP. As they are blocked in China already they have little to lose and can actually be the truth serum. I wonder if we’ll see them hosed down in under an ALP government or if they’ll have more or the same amount of freedom to pursue the facts of this invasion? There recent exposure of the foreign student rort was excellent and surprising given who funds the ABC, but it’s a serious shame that it did not get wide enough exposure. Ironically the leftie types who want to embrace mass immigration for leftie reasons are the ABC’s main channel of viewers, so it was hopefully a wake up call to them in the same way the investigation in Sam Dastyari and Andrew Robb etc was, via the ABC. Of course the Property Lobby types are so addicted it matter not to them if they sell their apartment block directly to the CCP directly, they still want that equity mate! Banks and the Finance sector are shameless though, nothing can reign them in beyond strict government controls (hopefully Hayne reforms are enacted by the ALP) going back several thousand years I believe the worlds ‘beware the money lenders’ remain as true as ever.

  5. John Howards Bowling Coach

    A wise man would observe the furious and lava hot rage at the banning and blocking of Huawei around the world as pointing to something more than just a domestic Chinese business being closed out of a network tender. It seems telling to me that this issue is holding such extreme meaning to the CCP, they are showing their hand here on the Huawei lobbying, it’s evident they have been and planned to use Huawei for control of and exploitation of the modern networks of foreign nations or it would not have evoked such as extreme version of the Chinese national sport of overreaction when caught out lying. It’s their government doing the same thing I see so often when a Shanghai Auntie is caught riding the subway without paying the fare, attack and yell abuse at the station staff for public embarrassment rather than accept she’s doing the wrong thing, and is to blame.

  6. As the new elderly parent migration policy will significantly facilitate the speedy loss of many remaining HK HNW parents, and their capital, who are fleeing the new ‘Chinese extradition from HK to the mainland without process’ proposals and the looming collapse of the HKD, I can’t imagine they are in too deep with the ALP right now?

  7. Now this from James Curran sounds much more sensible than most of the above.
    ‘Engaging in a downward spiral of China-bashing serves little purpose. Frantic jottings about ‘silent invasions’ whip up hysteria but do comparatively little to advance genuine understanding of the challenge China poses across a broad spectrum of policy areas. As ever, the answer is to find language and a suite of approaches that are balanced and realistic.
    There are good reasons to suggest that Labor, as evidenced in reflective and substantial speeches by Penny Wong and Richard Marles, has commenced the necessary thinking about the challenge ahead. And Labor leader Bill Shorten’s calls for a foreign policy that speaks with an ‘Australian accent’ means neither marching in lock-step with Washington nor pre-emptively framing China as a strategic threat.’
    Yes Indeed.
    (and Keating I think is correct on this subject)

    Sent from My Huawei

  8. “…calls for a foreign policy that speaks with an ‘Australian accent’ means neither marching in lock-step with Washington nor pre-emptively framing China as a strategic threat.’”
    Sure. The US’s character is also changing significantly after several decades of failed trickle down economics, globalism etc so that makes sense. That said, we do need to be very clear with the CCP about observing respectful boundaries and frankly – they have a long way to go in that respect. So arguably the time has come for firmer action.