Australia is at war with itself over China

On one side is the security agencies and Australian Defence Force on the other is other departments and the Parliament and they are in a fight to do the death.

Last week we saw an unprecedented raid on Newscorp after it released secret papers relating to a push by the Australian Signals Directorate (the ADF intelligence arm) to spy locally, previously via Herald Sun:

Under the plan, emails, bank records and text messages of Australians could be secretly accessed by digital spies without a trace, provided the Defence and Home Affairs ministers approved.

…The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs Mike Pezzullo first wrote to the Defence Secretary Greg Moriarty in February outlining a plan to potentially allow government hackers to “proactively disrupt and covertly remove” onshore cyber threats by “hacking into critical ­infrastructure”.

…Under the proposal, seen by The Sunday Telegraph, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Defence Minister Marise Payne would tick off on orders allowing cyber spooks to target onshore threats without the country’s top law officer knowing.

In short, this is about tracking Chinese agents of influence, which is why the ASD is involved (though these days it has evolved beyond just Defense).

The media is in uproar and for good reason. The raids were heavy handed and stupid. The proposal itself is potentially overreach. Some are describing it as part of an evolution towards a surveillance state in an era of unconventional threats and terrorism. That is partly true. But there is a larger frame of reference that is all the more threatening. It is the swift deterioration of US/China relations and how our ill-prepared institutions are coping with it.

Consider just the last few days  of news flow. Over the weekend, Peter Jennings of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), which is Australia’s pre-eminent ADF-funded think tank, wrote the following:

When the Chinese navy flotilla berthed in Sydney in front of an adoring crowd of Chinese Australians this week, you can be sure the timing and look of the event had been planned in every detail, right down to the professionally painted welcome signs.

…Our reflex instinct to tolerate Beijing’s bad behaviour will damage us. If China’s leaders conclude that Australia will tolerate any slight, no one should be surprised if their ill-disguised disregard of us continues.

…In cyber security, China is a sophisticated and persistent aggressor, seeking to steal intellectual property from Australia’s universities and businesses while gathering intelligence on government and political secrets.

…A second example has been China’s annexation of the South China Sea and building of three large air bases on reclaimed land.

…only a few days ago an Australian helicopter operating in the South China Sea was “lased” from a so-called Chinese fishing vessel. Lasing is a hostile act designed to damage flyers’ optic nerves. Defence chose not to reveal the incident publicly, saying instead that its Chinese counterparts “were friendly, they were professional and said g’day”.

…In January, an Australian-Chinese national, Yang Hengjun, was detained without charge by Chinese state security police. Days later a five-line DFAT statement said officials were “seeking to clarify the nature of this detention”, and that’s all that was said publicly.

…Only a few days after the Prime Minister revealed Australia’s political parties had been hacked by a sophisticated state actor, our Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced substantially increased funding would be provided for “a new and innovative National Foundation for Australia-China Relations”. A media release claimed: “This new initiative reflects the Australian government’s commitment to a constructive relationship with China, founded on shared interests, mutual benefit and mutual ­respect.”

“Mutual respect”: is DFAT serious? But the list of slights and Australian non-responses goes on.

Extraordinary stuff. The ADF and security agencies brains trust are directly attacking the Government about expanding Communist Party of Chinese (CPC) influence internally and externally. I can’t think of a single time in my adult life when this kind of open criticism by the ADF and the security agencies of the Government was underway. Not even during the War on Terror.

Let’s not forget, either, that it was the same group of spooks that triggered the entire Huawei global push, previously via Reuters:

In early 2018, in a complex of low-rise buildings in the Australian capital, a team of government hackers was engaging in a destructive digital war game.

The operatives – agents of the Australian Signals Directorate, the nation’s top-secret eavesdropping agency – had been given a challenge. With all the offensive cyber tools at their disposal, what harm could they inflict if they had access to equipment installed in the 5G network, the next-generation mobile communications technology, of a target nation?

What the team found, say current and former government officials, was sobering for Australian security and political leaders: The offensive potential of 5G was so great that if Australia were on the receiving end of such attacks, the country could be seriously exposed. The understanding of how 5G could be exploited for spying and to sabotage critical infrastructure changed everything for the Australians, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

Mike Burgess, the head of the signals directorate, recently explained why the security of fifth generation, or 5G, technology was so important: It will be integral to the communications at the heart of a country’s critical infrastructure – everything from electric power to water supplies to sewage, he said in a March speech at a Sydney research institute.

Washington is widely seen as having taken the initiative in the global campaign against Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, a tech juggernaut that in the three decades since its founding has become a pillar of Beijing’s bid to expand its global influence. Yet Reuters interviews with more than two dozen current and former Western officials show it was the Australians who led the way in pressing for action on 5G; that the United States was initially slow to act; and that Britain and other European countries are caught between security concerns and the competitive prices offered by Huawei.

The Australians had long harbored misgivings about Huawei in existing networks, but the 5G war game was a turning point. About six months after the simulation began, the Australian government effectively banned Huawei, the world’s largest maker of telecom networking gear, from any involvement in its 5G plans. An Australian government spokeswoman declined to comment on the war game.

After the Australians shared their findings with U.S. leaders, other countries, including the United States, moved to restrict Huawei.

But there are still security and ADF dissenters. Alan Dupont is one:

Excluding Huawei from 5G networks is at best a crude, stopgap measure that will not prevent China from controlling the information highway. It would be much better to develop commercially attractive alternatives in response to the legitimate complaints of telcos that China’s 5G technology is cheaper and more advanced than anything else on the market. The US once led the world in wireless cellular technology, only to drop the ball and allow China to surge ahead. It must rectify this mistake and ensure that the same thing does not happen in associated strategic technologies such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence. Australia can play a leading role in both fields through our world class research and expertise.

Chris Richardson another:

Former Defence secretary Dennis Richardson has warned of a “technological Cold War” ­between China and the West marked by the emergence of rival communication networks for 5G and beyond.

Mr Richardson, a former ­director-general of ASIO and ­ambassador to Washington, said the consequences for Australia could be negative, with the country­ denied access to some of the best available technologies.

He also argued that Beijing was on track to eclipse the US as the dominant military power in the western Pacific, but argued Australia would “get it wrong” if policymakers responded by treating Beijing as a threat.

“There is a risk that we are going to move into a technol­ogical Cold War,” Mr Richardson told The Australian. “What you see happening is the Chinese and Huawei on the one hand and the US on the other.”

So where is the ScoMo Government on the subject? All over the place. As noted by Jennings, DFAT is a China groveler. This is not surprising. It long ago lost any policy independence from government. Therefore the important point to make about DFAT is that it will be reflecting pro-CPC views within parts of the ScoMo Government. Such as Trade, at the AFR:

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham will join global colleagues to push the US and China to end their damaging trade war without striking a deal that damages other countries economically.

“Now is the time for a demonstration of action and through that demonstration of action we can best improve confidence in the system, especially in those countries that have doubts about it at present.”

…The Australian Financial Review revealed last week Indonesia, with Australian backing, was rallying support within the G20 to prevent the US and China cutting a peace deal that hurt other countries’ trading relationship with the two superpowers.

…”Whilst we continue to encourage the US and China to engage in negotiations to address their bilateral concerns and that’s important to minimise the harm that an ongoing trade dispute between those two economic powers could cause to global economic growth, we also urge them to recognise that the rest of their trading partners and much of the rest of world do rely upon the rules of the WTO and the structures of the rules-based trading system to be able to effectively trade and engage with each other,” Senator Birmingham said.

“We hope in their negotiations they are mindful of WTO rules and respecting their other economic partners around the globe.”

And Treasury at Bloomberg:

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Bloomberg Television Friday that it was possible to navigate a path that maintained strong ties with the U.S., the largest investor in Australia, and China, the country’s biggest trading partner. At the same time, he acknowledged that international trade was stalling because of the increasing frictions between the two nations.

“There’s no doubt that the escalating trade tensions have weighed on the global economic outlook,” Frydenberg said in an interview in Fukuoka, Japan. “But what we are confident of is that both China and the U.S. will continue to be strong economic partners for Australia.”

But there are some hawks as well, Senator  wrote at The Australian last week:

The decision to approve the visit to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre was not only insensitive but demonstrates that Beijing can dictate terms and we just acquiesce. Scott Morrison’s cabinet of groupthinkers and those responsible for the decision have sought refuge in appeasement. They were totally outman­oeuvred by Beijing.

…However, it is gratifying to read the recent comments by Don­ald Trump’s former political adviser, Steve Bannon, confirming it was Australia in 2017 that alerted the US to Beijing’s behaviour in the Pacific. One hopes the recent visit to our country by US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Patrick Murphy will help stiffen the spine of the Morrison government in dealing with Beijing’s influence in the Pacific and the South China Sea.

The supine nature of the decision to approve the visit reinforces the concluding words in Clive Hamilton’s book, Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia, “Our naivety and our complacency are Beijing’s strongest assets.”

A certain mount of chaos is to be expected given how lazy we’ve been for years and how quickly the sacred cows of great power relationships have been slaughtered under the Trump Administration. Yet underneath that there is a more worrying strain of thought. Anybody familiar with Coral Bell’s extraordinary history in Dependent Ally will know that Australian foreign and strategic policy tradition is defined by the manipulations and cajoling of the client to the dominant state as the nation shifted its great power allegiance from the UK to the US during WWII. It is not that we were powerless in our fate but that we are most adept, and defined, by this kind of geopolitics.

It is not terribly comforting when one considers that dependency of this nature might be comfortable transferring again. Australian pragmatism is deeply nihilistic. The tensions we are seeing today in our various arms of government are a flailing about for stability within this tradition.

Then again, perhaps such a tradition may prove itself very useful in navigating a path between two great powers. It is a great tragedy for the nation that legends of the Cold War such as Coral Bell and Own Harries are not longer with us to provide guidance.

But we are not even at the point where we can say sufficient measures to give ourselves those choices have been undertaken. On the security challenge, let’s refer back to Malcolm Turnbull’s foreign interference legislation:

The Legislation

The legislation I am introducing today is designed to reinforce the strengths of our open democratic system while shoring up its vulnerabilities.

I mentioned earlier that our Counter Foreign Interference Strategy has four pillars: sunlight, enforcement, deterrence and capability.

Of these, sunlight is at the very centre.

To ensure activities are exposed to sunlight, following an extensive review by the Attorney-General, we are introducing a new Foreign Influence Transparency Scheme.

The principle is quite straightforward.

If a person or entity engages with the Australian political landscape on behalf of a foreign state or principal then they must register accordingly.

This will give the Australian public and decision-makers proper visibility when foreign states or individuals may be seeking to influence Australia’s political processes and public debates.

The link could be a financial relationship or some other form of arrangement.

Registration requirements are carefully structured so that the closer you get to the heart of Australian politics, the more likely it is that you must register.

Being registered under the scheme should not be seen as any kind of taint. And certainly not as a crime.

To the contrary it is applying the basic principles of disclosure to allow the public and policymakers to assess any underlying agenda.

But if you fail to disclose your ties to a foreign principal then you could be liable for a criminal offence.

This is not about shutting down legitimate debate, but rather enabling it.

Interference, espionage and sabotage

Sunlight is the most reliable disinfectant but it will not be sufficient on its own.

We are also introducing, for the first time, offences for acts of foreign interference. Addressing a clear gap, we will criminalise covert, deceptive and threatening actions by persons acting on behalf of, or in collaboration with, a foreign principal aiming to influence Australia’s political processes or prejudice our national security.

Acts of foreign interference are often intertwined with espionage.

But our espionage laws are so unwieldy they have not supported a single conviction in decades, even as the threat reaches unprecedented levels.

So we will also introduce a range of carefully structured espionage offences as well as new provisions for secrecy, sabotage and treason.

Any one of these three pieces of legislation—the foreign donations legislation, which Senator Cormann will introduce into the Senate, transparency, and interference-related criminal offences, would mark an enormous improvement in our ability to counter foreign interference.

Together, they add up to the most important overhaul of our counterintelligence legislative framework since the 1970s.

They should be seen as interlocking components. All are important and none will fully succeed without the others.

Finally, we need a central hub to not only enforce the law but do so in a way that maximises deterrence.

This is where our new Home Affairs portfolio will come in.

There is no national security threat outside war time that demands an integrated all-of-government capability like this one.

By enacting this legislation, and building the capability to properly use it, we are sending an unmistakable signal:

We will not allow foreign states to use our freedoms to erode freedom; our open democracy to subvert democracy; our laws to undermine the rule of law.

The centrepiece of the all-of-government push to deal with CPC influence was the creation of the National Counter Foreign Interference Coordinator with Home Affairs under former ASIO honcho Chris Teal:

The National Counter Foreign Interference Coordinator delivers an effective, efficient and consistent national response to foreign interference by providing a focal point for coordinating policy and program development and leading engagement with private sector areas.

Alas, afterwards, the office has not been funded properly raising all kinds of questions about why? What should be a half billion dollar operation to ensure the Australian Government is operating as single entity in its dealings with the CPC is instead a dozen under-resourced people.

The economic challenge is just as ominous. Our policy settings are still geared 100% towards Chinese engagement with export growth dominated by commodities and education plus little or no thought given strategic industries such manufacturing. The political economy is overrun by property interests that are desperate CPC-lackies horrified at being cut off from Chinese flow of peoples.

Then there is the mass immigration intake which directly feeds CPC influence into the Chinese diaspora, in which the CPC seeks allegiance to Beijing against Australia. The last election was some comfort that that has so far failed, given Chinese electorates rejected the huge Labor parental visa bribe. But it is very obviously an ongoing challenge.

It is the understatement of the century to say that Australia needs to do much more to a secure an economic hedge against China.

Let’s conclude with a glimpse into one possible future if we allow the current drift and chaos to continue, via The Guardian:

Riot police have clashed with protesters in Hong Kong after hundreds of thousands of people marched through the streets in a massive demonstration against a proposed extradition law.

Critics say the proposed law will allow mainland China to pursue its political opponents in the city, which has traditionally been a safe haven from the Communist party.

A largely peaceful scene outside the parliament and government headquarters in the Admiralty business district changed dramatically in the early hours of Monday as police wearing riot gear moved in with batons and pepper spray on protesters who hurled bottles and metal barricades.

Earlier on Sunday a sea of people, many wearing white, stretched for almost two miles as they marched from Victoria Park, in the east of Hong Kong island, to the government HQ. Thousands more struggled to board packed public transport from outer Hong Kong and Kowloon on the mainland.

After seven hours of marching, organisers estimated that more than 1 million people had taken part, far outstripping a demonstration in 2003 when half that number successfully challenged government plans for tighter national security laws. A police spokesman said they estimated that 240,000 were on the march at its peak.

Small groups of young protesters had planned to stay outside the government HQ until Wednesday, when the extradition bill is due to have its second reading, but police moved in on them after their permission to protest expired at midnight. Within minutes scenes of chaos unfolded as protesters fought with officers who were soon backed by riot police.

An hour or so later riot police moved into clear out the remaining protesters. There was little resistance after the earlier violence, although some pockets of people remained sitting.

Earlier police had closed metro stations and funnelled people through narrow thoroughfares, prompting accusations that they were deliberately attempting to reduce the scale of the protest. Anger grew and the crowd shouted for police to free up more space as the march came to a dead stop for large sections in stifling heat. Further down the road, crowds jeered at a pro-China broadcast on a large outdoor screen.

The bill creates a system for case-by-case fugitive transfers between semi-autonomous Hong Kong and regions with which it does not already have agreements, including mainland China.

Critics say the proposed law would legitimise abductions in the city and subject political opponents and activists to China’s widely criticised judicial system. They fear that a pro-Beijing Hong Kong government would not resist requests of a political nature.

Chants and placards targeted Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, who has pushed for the amendments to be passed before July. Rocky Chang, a 59-year-old professor, told Reuters: “This is the endgame for Hong Kong. It is a matter of life or death. That’s why I come. This is an evil law.”

But the “evil” persists, at Bloomie:

Hong Kong’s leader pledged to press ahead with Beijing-backed legislation easing extraditions to China despite one of Hong Kong’s largest protests since the former British colony’s return more than two decades ago.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam told reporters Monday that the government “could see people are still concerned about the bill,” which would allow Hong Kong to enter into one-time agreements with places such as mainland China and Taiwan to transfer criminal suspects. She said the legislation has previously been amended to protect human rights and said it was up to Hong Kong’s elected Legislative Council to make further changes.

What a disaster it would be if we drifted into this future through sheer inertia.

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 fouding 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.

Did you know the MB International Shares Fund has returned an average of 17.1% per annum and the Tactical Growth Fund an average of 10.4%? Register below to learn more:

Latest posts by Houses and Holes (see all)

Comments

  1. The most important topic ever discussed on this site. My contribution is that DFAT are not China grovelers, DFAT is Chinese.

    • What does Australia do with the 1.3 million Chinese mainland born communists in Australia?

      Who are now a political & ideological danger to our democracy & freedom – as well as societal, health, economic & environmental risk.

      Chinese mainland born communists in Australia.

      1.3 million. Highly concentrated in our 2 main cities in vast Chinese communist only slums. At least 1 million in just Sydney or Melbourne & the rest in similar Chinese communist only enclaves in our other cities.

      🇨🇳286,000 as citizen grants / earlier wave. Many can’t speak English after a decade or more. The core of the first wave of communist party infiltration & control.
      Every one of these Chinese needs an ideological review and then a decision to revoke their citizenship or not.

      🇨🇳436,000 as Chinese Nationals on PR, China First 🇨🇳 Sucking up the Australian welfare & healthcare.
      This is primary a ‘Hukuo underclass’ of undesirables & misfits exported by China to be our burden. They are the epicentre of the PR & Citizen Chinese ‘proxy’ used for modest established dwelling purchase to avoid FIRB & wash in and out the billions of dirty Chinese money – to convert modest Australian housing into Chinese criminal owned migrant only cash in hand bunk share.
      And also the epi-centre of the Chinese fireigjbrun blackmarket & underground economy. The vast majority of these Chinese’s ‘PR’ status needs to be cancelled. A mistake.

      🇨🇳387,000 as TR or thru the back door as NZ SCV, these are vice & illegal workers of the Chinese criminal underworld in the Australian colony & the future PR in long term colonisation. Again dominated by acHukuo underclass of Chinese misfits, petty criminals, undesirables, a product of china’s slum clearance of the Hukuo illegals and their socially tainted being exited from their tier 1 cities & sent overseas on pretext visa alibis.
      Again the majority of these Chinese need their TR visas cancelled & the Chinese born Nz scv returned to NZ as their problem.

      🇨🇳 Another 220,000 Chinese mainland communist onshore at any one time on long stay & repeat stay “Tourist & Visitor’ visas to work & living illegally.
      Mostly end of life Chinese Vice Workers or old sick Chinese here for the Medicare fraud & PBS drug theft.

      That’s 1.3 million mainland born Chinese communists onshore.

      And of course add on another 200,000 plus Chinese from South East Asia (Malaysia, Indonesia, other), many of communist inclination and aligned to China First 🇨🇳 Non assimilating in those countries of origin, even after generations, either expelled or seeping into Australia as part of the broader ethnic chinese infiltration and colonisation of Australia as ‘south China’.

      -/-
      What would it take to clean out the Chinese threat?

      House to house & suburb by suburb checking?
      Street & public transport checkpoints?
      Electronic tagging?
      Internment Camps?

      It’s over 1.5 million Chinese to be rounded up, properly assessed and a million or so who need to be exited.

      Darwin prison camps to hold & contain the Chinese threat until they are shipped en masse back to Guangzhou?

      • Tennant Creek Prison camps more like it.. Not Darwin thanks Mike. I agree with all of your comment, but the location is unsuitable. Even if Darwin is a Target for the Chinese, I’m sure they won’t mind sacrificing a “few” of their own for much bigger gains, after all, it’s been done before. Hasn’t it?

  2. Questions, Turnbull and the NBN fiasco may involve more than mere incompetence, Should be investigated

  3. The ADF care not about IR policy. Tour logic is flawed on this topic. Sorry mate

  4. LordDudleyToldYouSo

    A few well placed legal bribes totalling less than the cost of an Eastern Suburban Sydney house, and the ScoMo administration will be singing the praises of Beijing, and using ASIO and the DSD to hack their number 1 domestic enemies – the ALP and the Greens.

    Blind Freddy could see this coming. The LNP are corrupt as buggery, and boy, are they CHEAP! They can be owned completely for chump change. The Chinese know this.

    • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

      Gina is Australia’s biggest, most wealthy and most influential barbarians.

      She is an excellent example of one of our elites who is completely un-beholden to any cultural values other than her own self enrichment.

      The Chinese look at us as a tributary state to them and let me explain that China has been around for 4000 years. They’ve had good runs and they’ve had bad runs. OK. But one thing they know and the reason they’re still organized as a nation over 4000 years right. They know how to handle allies and know how to handle bad guys. OK. Now what they’ve done is they’ve got this system called barbarian management and they know how to manage barbarians the way they manage barbarians is they take the leaders of the barbarians and they give them a taste of the good life and you’re going to be you’re going to be something special you’re going to get a special deal. Now what happens back into the tributary state is whatever happens. That’s your problem. OK so you were born in the United States. What they have done for 25 and 30 years has played as a barbarian state barbarian management. OK they incentivize our elites and our elites deindustrialized particularly the upper Midwest of this country it’s the reason Donald Trump’s President Yardy.
      – Stephen Bannon

      https://www.valuewalk.com/2018/11/stephen-k-bannon-china-tributary-state/

      • Stewie,

        You need to stop obsessing over this culture crap. It isn’t just Gina, Murdoch tired to influence his way into China close to 2 decades ago and I doubt he’s the only western baron to do so, their only care is political power and money and in that sense they’re closer to whomever has a market they wish to break into than they’ll ever be to their own “culture”. They’ll sell anyone down the drain they need to, to achieve their goal.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Dennis,

        Murdoch tired to influence his way into China close to 2 decades ago and what did he end up with for his efforts?
        Married a Chinese spy.

        Culture provides trust – it provides a grounding in terms of where peoples values start, what they value and what is not. It also enforces itself through the another social mechanism, SHAME, and for shame to work as an enforcer of values those values need be shared (which is why Murdoch divorced that honey pot as fast and as discretely as possible, once it became known or suspected).

        Despite the low value you place in culture, culture is in fact everything – it is the starting point for negotiations and trust within a society. It provides a grounding in terms of where peoples values start, what they value and what is not.

        As I have used as an example before, take the problem of ageing in society – the solution that we as a society agree upon for the problem of ageing will depend on our cultural values.

        In the West the view evolved that we should pay our aged a pension that will enable them to live a retirement of dignity, because the aged are of society and so are we. Confucian based societies push much of the responsbility of caring for the aged onto the children – have no children, then it is your fault you are poor in your old age. Hindu and Muslim societies, looking after your parents is the sons responsibility. Jewish culture – providing for your retirement is up to the individual or the responsibility of the Jewish community. More hunter gather societies might simply solve the problem of ageing by socially compelling the aged to ‘go walk about’.

        See – same problem, yet different cultural values give rise to very different solutions.

        The lack of agreement in our society on everything from taxation, welfare, pensions, immigration, EVERYTHING, is rooted in cultural difference. The larger the cultural differences within a society, the harder it will be for it to form consensuses in terms of social policies for the social problems it faces.

        “Rational discussion is useful only when there is a significant base of shared assumptions”

        – Noam Chomsky

        Multiculturalism does not promote culture, or even lead to a higher culture, what it does encourage is Barbarism – not in the sense of savages throwing spears at each other, but in the sense that people, often good and decent people, are presented with a smorgas board of different values to chose from.

        “I like this value, but not that. I choose that value over this” – in many cases the values ‘chosen’ are simply elements of justification for pre-existing behaviours, behaviours that are often selfish or self re-enforcing, and while appealing in isolation or to the individual, often work against the interests of society perpetuating itself.

        Culture isn’t about choosing an easy path, culture isn’t a mix and match exercise. Culture is about unity and creating a central reference point around which individuals in a society can interact. Often those values are not easy, but they exist to enable society to function and project itself into the future.

        Multiculturalism is an acid, dissolving the relativity between the communities within it. There is no enlightenment from Multiculturalism, only ever increasing barbarism as shared values are dissolved and lost from society.

        That you don’t think Culture is important or even worth discussing for fear of ‘racism’ or ‘supremacy’ or whatever taboo it is that you’ve been indoctrinated with that prevents you considering its wider influence on society, speaks more about yourself than it does me.

      • Yes, Murdoch failed, but not through a lack of trying.

        I think you miss understood what I meant, you can talk as much as you like about culture and the “trust” that is built up between people with the same beliefs / thinking etc, but those at the top of the money tree aren’t interested in that. They want political and economic control and I think it’s fair to say at the Murdoch level there is no culture as such, only keeping with those who are of you; money and power, that is what is important to them.

        I also think you place too much emphasis on culture with regards to its impact on aged care etc. Look back at the southern europeans (Italians Greeks etc), when they first came out here looking after the aged was all in-house, but to be honest that was imposed by economics, but everyone would laud them for it. Now, they’re no different than us, out to aged care. Same with the Chinese, and as their economic situation improves you see the same result.

        Money and power is what talks, sameness only matters when the other two aren’t in the running.

        I still don’t agree with your view about western culture being some sort of pinnacle, I spent seven years away (M.E. & HK) and found people to be very welcoming on a personal level and across society in general.

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Hi Dennis,

        I don’t know why this is being moderated this morning as there are no insults in it or anything particularly objectionable other than an explanation of viewpoint.

        I take your point about the elites, and agree that most of them couldn’t give a shyt about culture. But I think you miss understand what I mean – Trust and Culture are things that unite people and give them strength to resist and push back against elites.

        Having a divided populace more interested in fighting each other or eyeing off what the others get is the goal of most elites policies – human nature, which I will be first to admit, is just as self interested among our culture as any we bring in. But ignoring human nature and saying that we’ve risen above it, when little over 50 years ago one of the most advance economies in the world were throwing people in ovens, is just willful naive foolishness.

        Yes being in control and remaining on top is what is important to our elites – and dividing and conquering is the easiest and most time tested means of doing so.

        Aged care is just a single example of how cultural values result in different impacts on society. Take the current culture warring over Gender. Under Christian tradition there were only 2 sexes, there was no such thing as homosexuality, there were just a group of men (and women) who liked to sleep with other men and women to varying degrees. Within the cannon of Christian culture that was a sin, but the bigger sin was if they did not have kids and help perpetuate society.

        Under Jewish values, which are increasingly expressed through the medium of television or our intellectuals in University, there are multiple genders – 6 I think are mentioned in the Kabbalah. All the debate going on in the so call gender wars are between the idea that there are two sexes and a spectrum of sexual behaviours, or there are distinct genders out there.

        But consider the difference between the two cultural approaches to gender – one actively encourages people with those proclivities to participate in society and help it perpetuate itself by having and raising kids. The other encourages people to pursue their own interests and desires, without necessarily assisting society itself to perpetuate itself into the future. Sure there are problems with both approach, the Christian approach can easily slip into persecution but then the Jewish approach, as we are discovering, also creates problems.

        Culture IS the starting point for central a reference point around which individuals in a society can interact.

        Don’t get me wrong, I don’t despise other people and cultures – I’ve spent many years overseas as well and experienced the generosity and enlightenment of understanding that comes with experiencing different culture, but I would no sooner tell them how to live their life than I will accept immigrants coming into Australia, under the guise of Multiculturalism, and have their values projected forward in my society.

        It is not wrong, it is not immoral, it is not evil – it is a basic human right.

  5. Stewie GriffinMEMBER

    Three cheers for the Multicultural discussion taking place in Australia over our collective future – Chinese culture rationally discussing it with the pre-existing Anglo-American Australian culture. I can’t wait until Indian culture or even African culture starts influencing the direction that native born Australians have their life pointed towards. Once all those differences are ironed out, in about 1,000 years, our cultural strength and united sense of purpose will undoubtedly be the strongest in the world.

    A very big F.U to all the advocates for the Multicultural society we are now living in – as the title to this particular article unwittingly suggests “Australia at War with Itself” this shemozel wouldn’t be possible without your support.

  6. DFAT has the Treasury as allies and will win against Defence/DSD. Big money influences policy within the inner cabinet.

    • John Howards Bowling Coach

      What makes you think that? When I worked at DFAT the Defence Department was always a level up

  7. Just to be clear on a few points
    1) there has never (in the history of humanity) been anything even approximating any International agreement on the protection of Intellectual Property. Sorry but in reality this has simply never existed, what we had was a brief period where the US hegemony was so pervasive that everyone (well not actually everyone) respected their wishes. That time has passed and the social / quasi legal conventions that developed need to morph into something more suited to today’s fracturing / bifurcating geopolitical environment.
    2)Re Australian spy electronic agencies spying on Australian citizens on Australian soil: Get over it, yeah it sucks but it’s going to happen, expect it and act accordingly. What we really need is some clear thinking in Parliament about the rights of Australian citizens, of course with the recent anti-Encryption laws they’ve shown us anything but clear thinking. With this asymmetric model, ASD knows what it wants, but our elected leaders are clueless..it’s not going to end well.
    3) there’s a lot of Political wisdom in the phrase: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!….just saying

    • I’d be happy to bite the hand that feeds us if the other hand is busy f###### us over & trying to turn us into a puppet.

      • Silly me I didn’t realize that only one of the “interested” parties was F’ing us.
        My a55 is so sore that I’d swear they’d been double teaming me.
        Sometimes I wonder which one likes me the most?
        but little do I realize what both are saying behind my back….something like …you’re not suppose to like it just bend over Bitc#

  8. Ronin8317MEMBER

    The Chinese navy visit requires a lot of planning : you can’t buy boxes and boxes of A2 state 4 formula from the supermarket :-p Jokes aside, this highlights one of the major weakness of Chinese military : they haven’t fought a war since Vietnam, and it is very easy to profit by being in the army. It is a centre of corruption.

    The HK march is not about fugitives from China who escaped to HK, it is more about HK people being extradicted to China, like the leaderd of the Umbrella protest. Basically, once the law is passed, all HK politicians can be sent to a Chinese prison whenever Beijing feels like it. The next big protest will be on anniversary of handover : for the opposition politicians, it is a matter of life and death.

    • You are deliberately downplaying the ‘surprise’ visit. Why, I don’t know, but it is symptomatic of a belief system in Australia that needs to die. It’s just so arrogant.

      Mentioning the milk is just one way the complicit right (don’t forget, those pictures were from The Australian) is trying to make the visit seem unimportant or even comical.

      Make no mistake:

      The Chinese Navy was conducting live fire exercises in the Southern Indian ocean off our west coast. That is pretty much a signal that they are considering how to intercept and block our western iron ore and gas sea lanes. There is absolutely no other reason for China to be in that vicinity. That we only heard about this well after, and then as an afterthought, is deeply troubling.

      Then a small expeditionary force sailed around Australia’s southern reaches and up into Sydney Harbour. To do this they went past Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart. We don’t know how much advance warning the government had, we don’t know what the negotiations entailed. What we do know is confused and vague, contradictory. This is even more troubling.

      Australia’s defence forces are pointed to the north. That is where our enemies are supposed to come from. Except, we’ve never once considered a hostile power with blue water capabilities able to sail down and around our vulnerable lower reaches, at least not since WWII. No wonder the silence from sections of the defence community has been deafening. I can only imagine what the Indians and Indonesians are currently thinking about this whole mess.

      • John Howards Bowling Coach

        I think you might be confusing yourself here. I presume that you are not usually cc’d on the email regarding where the Australian Navy is currently sailing their fleet either? The public and media are not advised of much at all, and neither they should be.

      • @ John Howards Bowling Coach

        I think you don’t know what you are talking about, and that you’ve also missed the point. Last time I checked the Premier of NSW, or the NSW government isn’t just some bozo of the street. Further, yes the media is in fact notified of all kinds of defence related things, like foreign power visits, so I don’t know where you got that garbage from. Its not as if three warships sailing into Sydney Harbour can be covered up like the visit of a single Chinese general or admiral.

        Once again, it is really curious as to who is trying to play this all down, when this is obviously not a run of the mill visit.

        Oh and next time you want to reply with nonsense to me, do some research first.

      • The90kwbeastMEMBER

        @ John Howards Bowling Coach

        What does the movements of the Australian Navy have anything to do with the fact that the Chinese Navy has navigated the southern coast of Australia and was not publicly announced? Are you suggesting everything is ok because our Navy might have had a frigate or two down that way? The issues are unrelated.

      • John Howards Bowling Coach

        What an extreme overreaction to what I said. My point is still correct that the vast majority of what is going on in government and military and the government is not for public eyes, so you are not likely to be consulted for example on the Chinese Navy conducting exercises. I am no supporter of China or any ambitions that they have regarding Australia, I have never posted anything here for anyone to ever think that was the case, quite the contrary. Of course they are up to no good, they always are.
        But this faux tough guy keyboard warrior bullcrap doesn’t make anyone smarter.

      • @ John Howards Bowling Coach

        You just don’t like your casual ignorance being called out. Deal with it.

      • JHBC,

        Bs, plenty of warning when US navy visits Australia.

        Re the live firing, please much ado about nothing. Every navy does live firing, it’s called practice!

  9. Was good of the Chinese Navy to enable a comparison of Australian Chinese support for them (a few mostly students by the looks of it) compared to the Australian Chinese against the HK extradition (thousands that looked mostly like they were not students).

    • John Howards Bowling Coach

      It says a lot about the influence of the Chinese Government over their student body in Australia that they were able to get anyone to be out supporting their Navy in a foreign nation. It’s extremely disturbing to see this type of influence given the extreme nationalism that has been effectively fostered by the CCP over the recent decades on a people who always have shown a tendency to racism and ethnic supremacy (for how many centuries have they rapidly established a Chinatown wherever they migrate???)

      • Save to assume John Howard’s Bowling Coach doesn’t go to many Asian Champions League games – biggest away crowds Australian teams have when playing at home are always against Chinese teams. The students get free tickets from the consulate.

      • John Howards Bowling Coach

        @ Swifty, No I would not bother going to an Asian Champions League game. But I guess I didn’t make my point clearly as I am fully aware of the influence the Chinese exert and their methods such as giving away tickets and arrange or curtailing student rallies.