Check this out from Kowtowing Kevin Rudd on the weekend:
Seven years into this Liberal government, there is no evidence of a serious China strategy. Lots of tactics, but no strategy. China respects strength, not weakness. It also respects consistency.
So here are seven simple principles for the future. First, be unapologetic in our dealings with Beijing about the enduring nature of our US alliance. Second, be equally unapologetic about our support for universal human rights. Third, be unapologetic about vigorously prosecuting our bilateral economic interests with China, while also diversifying our trade relationships to the extent we can. Fourth, maximise our engagement with China through the G20 on global climate, financial and pandemic governance. Fifth, most importantly, we should build robust “coalitions of the policy willing” in Asia, Europe and elsewhere in areas where our interests are opposed to China’s. Sixth, policymakers should understand the difference between operational and declaratory policy – i.e. taking a tough line through our actions, as opposed to just mouthing off for the sake of it. And seventh, protect the Australian Chinese community from the sort of racial vilification that has been unleashed most recently.
Exactly which of these did Labor follow over the past twenty years? It’s not easy to judge because it has rarely seen power. From opposition, at least, it has been:
- at times, highly critical of the US alliance;
- silent on human rights vis China;
- thoroughly welcoming of Chinese cash bribes;
- ditto as it hid behind the difference between declaratory and operational policy;
- zero diversification on trade;
- obsessed with race over national interest.
It was not alone. Until 2017, Kevin Rudd, Labor and the Coalition Government all pursued a “keep your head down” approach to China for two decades. We had a twenty-year “humans rights dialogue” behind closed doors. Deep trade integration, including an FTA in 2015. And, unbelievably, almost an extradition treaty as well.
What did it achieve? The growth of China amid the suppression of anti-CCP voices. Does anyone even remember the Dalai Lama and the “free Tibet” movement these days? Let alone the Uighers. It culminated post-mining boom in Australia getting its first taste of the real CCP, as its United Front insurgents violated our sovereignty in a wave of “sharp power” influence that included bribes, threats, lawfare and media manipulation.
Of course it did so. The “keep your head down” policy approach was born of a lie. The lie that China would liberalise. The lie served the interests of the CCP to disguise its rise because it projected a veneer of liberal civility and patriotism over a sordid truth of oligarchic corruption and treason.
But that time has passed. Since 2017, CCP activities in Australia have been exposed for what they are: a white-collar insurgency operating in the shadows that aims to sweep us into the Chinese sphere of influence and system of government while nobody is looking.
Alas for Kowtowing Kevin and other Labor apologists for the CCP they had staked their careers on that rise. It’s no wonder, then, that they fight to sustain the system that gave rise to it.
But the truth of the national interest is now the complete opposite of Kowting Kevin’s claims. The best, indeed only, defense against sharp power war is transparency. One must unfurl the sunlight. Prosecute the corrupt. Push back hard against coercion. Be open and assertive about what we want. Above all, throw out the “difference between operational and declaratory policy”.
That is, be a straight-shooting liberal democracy not Kowtowing Kevin’s silent satrap.
If China can’t handle that then it’s better we find out now. If the CCP shadows lengthen then one-day in the foreseeable future Chinese influence will express itself as an aircraft carrier parked off Bateman’s Bay as Labor deploys Hong Kong-style security laws (to fight racism of course). The US alliance will have already quietly died.
That’s the bad news. Thankfully, there’s some good. Labor is so blinded by Kowtowing Kevin and the corrupted China greybeards that it has missed the critical historical and political turning point.
It started three years ago with the Dastayari Affair. The responding blueprint for a defense against CCP influence and takeover was born in the hands of John Garnaut under Malcolm Turnbull, his one great, lasting legacy. It was a plan to bulwark Australian liberal democracy against CCP encroachments across the legislature, bureaucracy, business, and society.
At its core, that plan was to bring cleansing sunlight to all of the shadowy areas inhabited by Kowtowing Kevin and the CCP.
For a few years, the plan sat in Peter Dutton’s bottom drawer but as the scandals mounted it has steadily been deployed. There is now a fully-funded National Counter Foreign Interference Coordinator within Home Affairs bringing together an “all of government” approach to expunging CCP influence in everything from bribery to cyberwarfare.
The bureaucracy has started to get the message that there is no free lunch in kissing Chinese butt before shifting into private consulting to get your own slice.
As the Canberran oil tanker swings about, the media has increasingly gotten the message too. The conservative press has turned hawkish and the progressive has also shifted the dial, though it still has a case of severe Trump derangement syndrome. Even the pathetic ABC has done some good work on foreign student scams and spies.
State Governments, especially Labor run, are still a major problem, but they are under siege from this increasingly hostile media.
Universities that jumped the shark on Chinese influence are suffering from mounting brand damage and will, over time, fall into line as they realise federal funding depends upon it. Confusion Institutes are withering on the vine. The astonishing Drew Pavlou scandal is a measure of both the degree of debasement in the system and the intensity of cleansing light now brought to bear.
This broad national shift was already material before COVID-19 but afterward it is tectonic. Kowtowing Kevin can split hairs over how Australia pushed for an independent inquiry into the Chinese virus but the backlash against doing so was inevitable. The most important outcome of the process was that, when it came, Cabinet responded with a united counter-coercion strategy. As Chinese wolf wankers howled, Cabinet responded with one, confident voice instructing business to diversify away from China rather than return to Kowtowing Kevin’s malevolent shadows.
This is the truth of where we are today. Twiggy Forrest and China oligarchs are yesterday’s news. Australians themselves have turned on China and the Government knows it.
Enmity in the polity has been creeping up for years as the CCP operated undercover. Now, it’s broken into the open, stoked by a sharp power war that turned hot during the pandemic. Not only did the CCP lie about the virus, it demanded we keep borders open to spread it, while it stole our personal protection equipment. Since then, it’s done nothing but obfuscate.
The Australian community has now experienced CCP evil first hand. The coming slaying of Hong Kong will send its reputation to all new lows.
The same shift has transpired worldwide, especially within the Five Eyes alliance, which has also moved swiftly to reasoned if not co-ordinated counter-insurgency strategies for technology, trade and critical supply chains.
The great decoupling gives the Coalition the political bedrock to push forward with its profound national interest counter-influence and counter-coercion platforms. Indeed, as Labor bizarrely sides with the daily abuse of CCP wolf wankers, and its diplomatic niceties become indistinguishable from treason, it offers the LNP an irresistible political chance to rule interminably.
Blinded by greed, fame, corporate memory or pathology, Kowtowing Kevin and his ilk of dated ALP Sinophiles are leading Labor into political oblivion so complete that, ironically, we’ll also be a one-party state.