Put Wagga Council in charge of China relations

Via The Guardian:

The city of Wagga Wagga has moved to formally sever ties with its sister cities in China, based on a report that claims the country’s regime is responsible for “death and destruction” from the coronavirus outbreak.

The council vote was pushed through with the support of three conservative councillors, while others, including the city’s mayor Greg Conkey, were absent or unable to vote.

Wes Fang, the Wagga Wagga-based Nationals member of the New South Wales upper house, last night said the decision was “nothing short of appalling”.

Councillor Paul Funnell, the former president of the Democratic Labour party, tabled a report to Tuesday night’s council meeting proposing to end the sister city relationship with Kunming, as well as friendly relationships with the city of Tieling and province of Jiangsu.

“We are therefore in relations with the totalitarian communist regime of the People’s Republic of China,” Funnell said.

“This is the same Chinese communist government that delights in lies, subterfuge and coverups, for example by now trying to claim that the US military is responsible for the spread of Covid-19.

“This very regime has brought death and destruction across the world with Covid-19.

“If we don’t sever ties with the afore mentioned (sic) anti-democratic organisations we are giving tacit approval to the PRC regime that what they are doing is alright, just by our ongoing relationship.

“We must show solidarity with all the victims of Covid-19, health care workers, frontline services, and also to our sister city and friends in places such as Fort Leavenworth in the United States. We must not show solidarity with the very regime that bears ultimate responsibility.

“Council must do the right thing and take a stance to demonstrate its rejection of the corrupt Chinese government that has caused such death, destruction and turmoil across the world.”

Funnell did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but told the Wagga News that “arguing against communism is not racism”.

No, it is not. Unless you work in Canberra, at the ABC comes Jieh-Yung Lo is a writer, commentator and director of the ANU Centre for Asian-Australian Leadership:

When Wagga Wagga City Council announced last week that it would end its sister-city relationship with the Chinese city of Kunming after 30 years — citing concerns over coronavirus and Communism — it didn’t take long for the Chinese Government to respond.

State-owned newspaper The Global Times accused the council of being an American “mouthpiece”, but has since removed the original editorial. The Chinese Consulate in Sydney also responded.

Anger at the decision did not stop there.

Local Wagga Wagga community leaders, Chinese-Australians and even Nationals’ leader Michael McCormack, expressed concern and the Council has now announced it will reconsider the plan. This will be discussed at an extraordinary council meeting on Wednesday.

So why such a big reaction from a decision by a small Australian city?

For a start the Chinese are unlikely to view Wagga’s move to end all agreements and friendship programs with Kunming as the unilateral action of one Australian local council.

The plan, which would have caused some diplomatic embarrassment for both Beijing and Canberra, threatened China’s view of Australia as a whole, and undermined much-needed diplomacy at a time when Australia needs to strengthen the relationship with its largest trading partner.

With respect, who cares. They need the dirt no matter what views we hold. Other parts of the trade relationship are shut down anyway and we can do without them. The integrity of our democracy is obviously more important.

Besides, if one angry council can jeopardise the entire edifice then it is so shaky that it’s going to crash anyway.

To wit, via The Australian:

Australia will push for an independent global inquiry into China’s handling of the coronavirus crisis, as Foreign Minister Marise Payne says her concerns about the communist nation’s transparency are at a high point.

The G20 is one global body being floated as a possible investigator of what China knew about the origins of COVID-19 in Wuhan.

Senator Payne told ABC News on Sunday that an investigation would look into how China and the World Health Organisation handled the early stages of the pandemic and the role of wet markets in its creation.

It’s bipartisan:

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong has called on the government to act on its commitment to push for an independent inquiry into China’s handling of its COVID-19 outbreak, urging Foreign Minister Marise Payne to leverage Australia’s power in the region.

Senator Wong’s comments come after Labor confirmed it would support the government’s push for an independent global inquiry into China’s role in the global outbreak of COVID-19, after Senator Payne said her concerns about the communist nation’s transparency were at a high point.

“We need to move from talking points and words, to actions,” Senator Wong told ABC Radio National on Monday morning.

This looks like a sensible approach given:

  • the need for it;
  • and the need for Australia to differentiate itself from an aggressive push by the Trump Administration which appears, in part, to be designed for domestic political consumption with an election looming.

That said, Wagga Council should be praised for its stance and everyone else should back off and let it run.

Let a thousand critics of the CCP bloom!

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. roylefamilyMEMBER

    The City of Melbourne has six sister cities.[13] They are:

    Osaka, Japan (1978)
    Tianjin, China (1980)
    Thessaloniki, Greece (1984)
    Boston, Massachusetts, United States (1985)
    Saint Petersburg, Russia (1989)
    Milan, Italy (2004

    • But there’s only one senior CCP Member in Melbourne, the member for Box Hill, Gladys Liu MP.

      • blacktwin997MEMBER

        Ooh, we got an ANZAC day flyer in the mail today from none other than the Chisholm Mole herself. Pretty bang up job she did with Google Translate.

    • So the councillors can visit for “study/relation tours”. Doesn’t necessarily need to be a world class city – just nearby or where you need to travel through one.

      • The Penske FileMEMBER

        I’m all for junkets / long lunches in the private sector. Can’t stand the dodgy public funded ones.

        • Shades of MessinaMEMBER

          Agreed. M

          Australians are fine for their dividend/Super money being used for lunches, but god forbid you use taxpayer money !.

  2. Ronin8317MEMBER

    I thought the vote will be reverted?


    The ‘Wuhan virus is from a lab’ is conspiracy theories on a par with 911 being a CIA plot, or the moon landing is filmed in a studio. The people pushing this agenda is looking to start WW3. (Not an exaggeration). That being said, the be ‘Sister City’s is nothing but an excuse for junket trips to China anyway.

    • I think COVID leaking from a Chinese lab in Wuhan is a very very plausible. In my view more probable than a species jump in a wet market. We know they were working on Coronaviruses in this Wuhan lab and it only takes on slack worker for a nasty to leak out.

      • Dude – not conclusive.

        Just wow mate – seriously get off the grass. Stop reading Zerohedge – its a ridiculous conspiracy theory being pushed by ultra right wing fascists who are seeking to deflect blame for Trumps policies – that and the WHO.

        Not understanding that puts you in some seriously suspect company and totally removes all respect from the room.

        Utterly insane. Those pushing this conspiracy have no understanding of basic science.

        The idea that humans are splicing together genes from different species to create new ones is from the year 2200 – do you understand that ?

        The article on Zerohedge was making claims that AIDS had been inserted into it.

      • There is evidence for it ….

        Can I guess hard evidence is supplied by “experts in the field”, “sources close to epicentre” and “Intelligence community”?

      • When China disengages from the Australian economy we won’t have a lot left. Maybe you have a strategy.

        • Resources are finite, we should take the pain now, most countries will start diversifying manufacturing out of China. Australia survived long before China become a Global powerhouse, and China will fall…glass bridges, empty apartments, how long does that model last

          • Australia with its fixation on property, its immigration ponzi scheme and monstrous $USD1.7Trillion external debt will indeed be taking some very hard medicine. The realization that globalisation is very risky will readjust supply chains but China won’t be going away.

      • Vietnamese already complaining some Chinese product is being marked “Made in Vietnam”

  3. It’s funny that it’s finally taken the virus to question our relationship with the CCP. When there is plenty of other reasons to be concerned. Should have happened sooner. And don’t trust China. China is ass whole… Hah

  4. Always wondered why each city in the world has a Chinatown? I know they have existed for years, but it seems a bit on the nose to me that we have to have these centres in our cities. Does each city in China have an Australiatown? Or an Americatown?

    • Are you similarly concerned about the Little Italy and multiple Irish pubs in any city of vaguely meaningful size ?

      If you want your “Americatown” equivalent, it’s movies and TV shows.

      Outside of various WW2 monuments in relevant countries there is no “Australiatown” because we are insignificant on a world scale, and for the last 10-20 years largely culturally indistinguishable from Americans anyway.

    • Social structures in China lead to this. All about relationships you see. Best to be close to your friends…

    • Shades of MessinaMEMBER

      No but there is a drunk, loud and aggressive Aussie at every bar in the world !.

    • When I was travelling through Southern Switzerland in 2003 I was dieing for a beer, searched on internet’s and found a place called koala bar in Lugano, imagine my surprise when I rocked up and there was no beer and no Australian fauna.

    • All big cities that have had large influx of foreigners have these areas, whether Chinese, Italian, Irish, Indian or whatever, though admittedly only the Chinese put up those big Chinese style entrances.

  5. We opened up our markets and trade relations on the assumption china would become a good actor on the world stage, they’ve proven on several occasions now that they are not and what they’ve caused is the worst disaster we’ve seen pushed onto humanity in the last 50 years.

    Until regime change occurs there, we need to step the hell away from them.

    • Spot on.

      Just think back to all the inflammatory comments the CCP released about punishing Australia .

  6. Excellent – people worldwide have China on their shit list. Slowly slowly, being Chinese will start to suck massively. This means the Chinese people will have to depend more on the CCP.

    But here is the rub. If the CCP had the ability to govern, it would. The repression it uses means it does not. Chinese people will start to despise the CCP, which will respond with more violence. Eventually it’ll all blow up horribly, having torn the soul out of China. Unfortunate for the Chinese, but I guess its the price they get to pay for freedom. It is what it is.

    All because the CCP thought it could take over the world. Leftists hey, always surprising you with their stupidity, greed and avarice. Communists make capitalists look good.

    ChinaFlu is going to be remembered as the CCP’s Chernobyl. And the best part? Everyone in China already knows it, and can’t do a damn thing about it.

    Long popcorn everyone. Good times.

  7. Chinese Plague

    Now is the time to hit China with sanctions. No domestic consumption, no exports. We can use the justification of moral outrage over the cover ups and silencing/murdering of whistleblowers. Goad them into a conflict with Taiwan so we have pretext for an invasion. Many South-East Asian nations will be almost failed states by the time the Chinese Plague runs through their populations and ravages their economies. It won’t take much to stoke nationalism in SEA, some how we get that loose cannon Duterte on side (or get the CIA to install someone pro-USA and open the Subic Bay base again), the Viets and Indonesians hate the Chinese, Cambodia is a lost cause for us, but create a flashpoint in the South China Sea while China is busy with Taiwan. Keeping East and South-East Asia on a constant war footing will at the very least disrupt supply chains and move all manufacturing to the Americas, Europe, Africa.

  8. Chairman MeowMEMBER

    How appropiate that MB is cheering these hypocrites;
    “”The three people who supported the motion directly or indirectly benefit from the trade we do with China,” he said.

    “So they still support that, but they want to cut all social and cultural ties with a sister city, the people of a sister, who are very warm and friendly and open.

    “That’s hypocritical.”

    The mayor said the city has tens of millions of dollars in trade with China.

    “I’m quite distraught and appalled by the decision last night and I look forward to this rescission motion getting up in two weeks time,” Cr Conkey said.