A new CCP apologist emerges

I was reading this piece by Dr David Brophy, senior lecturer in Modern Chinese History at University of Sydney, at Domain and it was all going quite nicely:

  • Morrison Government has talking up war in Taiwan for political purposes.
  • Australians do not agree that we should join any war around Taiwan.
  • Such a war could turn into a nuclear disaster.

So far, so good. I was nodding in agreement. But then came this:

  • US strategic power in north Asia serves only itself.
  • Any war in Taiwan would be purely self-interested and about preserving its profits.
  • This is as immoral as Vietnam and all we’d be doing is trying to prove our worth to the US.

Why is it that every time I read one of these pro-China pieces, they always come from this standpoint of the “evil US empire”.

The US liberal empire is not evil. It has done great things and it has done terrible things. In my view, the ledger is firmly in the positive. Arguably, the point of view of objective history is the same, even if we include the many screw-ups and misbegotten adventures. Consider the counterfactuals of a Nazi-dominated Europe or a USSR-dominated world. Those are very large positive contributions that not easily overcome by smaller misadventures.

If the US were to withdraw from North Asia there are a series of inevitable steps to follow, many of them nuclear. Historical enmities between all nations would reassert themselves quickly in strategic planning. Every nation would need to arm itself with conventional and nuclear weapons. As China muscled out into the South China Sea, war would threaten constantly with the Phillippines, Japan and the Korean peninsula. As the regional strategic counterweight to China, the US prevents this.

In the case of Taiwan, I don’t think the US should fight, either. Given it can’t win without annihilating China with nuclear weapons, it will do more harm than good.

But to argue that the only reasons (and benefits) for the US to resist the annexation of Taiwan and remain in North Asia is self-centered is absurd. The US is the strategic guarantor of liberal democracy worldwide and if it put its young men in harm’s way again on behalf of that cause that then that is not selfish (even if it would be stupid on this occasion).

More broadly, if the US does not fight the illiberal CCP then it will overrun our own liberal system. That much has become obvious in the last few years. Where’s Brophy’s acknowledgment of the counterfactual of a disastrous Chinese imperial world? One would have thought that the first understanding of any modern Chinese historian would be the toxicity of the CCP.

Whether it comes to hot war over Taiwan who knows? It remains my view that the war will remain cold, though it will radically intensify as free societies freeze out the Chinese economy. And if it does turn hot, I still think it most likely that Taiwan will have to fight it alone while the US liberal empire uses it to contain the illiberal Chinese version for good.

That ought to prevent the kind of propaganda kowtowing that we see in the likes of Dr David Brophy from infiltrating our own politics.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. DingwallMEMBER

    senior lecturer in Modern Chinese History at University of Sydney ……………….. I would have stopped reading right there………. he probably self-redacts large chunks of books in the Sydney Uni library that were not supplied or formally approved by wolf warriors.

  2. Goldstandard1MEMBER

    Just so I’m clear DLS, let China take what they want (Taiwan)?
    Nope – the world must and will get involved, and if that means China is scaled down like Germany- Done as it’s inevitable anyway.

  3. MathiasMEMBER

    The problem with Neo-Liberalist Capitalism and threatening your Population with Houses while China takes over your Country, is the enemy is likely to come from within.

    Whats the difference between an Australian Society threatening its people with Houses and a Chinese one threatening Uyghurs with Concentration Camps? Very little.

    US politics is a lot more complicated then Australias. Hard to decide between a US election and Civil War on a good day. Tribalism everywhere.

    The problem I have with Australia is if we maintain this path of Neo-Liberalism, then I can only see Australians dying. While Aussies sit in the trenches to fight for Australian valor and glory, you’ll have Boomers back home flogging off the first Darwin Port or Real Estate to the highest Chinese Bidder they can find.

    The enemys going to come from within… and I think the Governments going to get all our Soldiers killed.

    At this point, there’s no difference between Canberra, Boomers and the Chinese persecuting the Uyghurs. They are both weaponising powers to save there own skin at the expense of there population.

    As I mentioned, Australia cant even get an Anti-Corruption Commission off the ground but apparently Australia are the good guys? Not presently.

    I dont think we are going to win this war. Australian Society is breaking down already.

    • Good point.

      The way Australian boomers are force sterilising young people, interring them in re-education camps and basically engaged in infanticide / adolesceocide is a disgrace. No different from the persecution the Uighurs face.


  4. I’m sure the cheque is in the mail for this bloke.

    How can anyone study modern Chinese history (as I have) and NOT come away thinking the CCP is pure evil. The legacy of what they’ve done to China is horrendous and yes while the country is developing now, it remains backward compared to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore, not to mention Korea and Japan.


      How about a gedanken experiment?

      Imagine a world with China being a prosperous liberal democracy with an enlightened government and rule of law, both domestically and internationally. It’s easy if you try.

      The world could be so much better in so many ways.

    • I only ever heard about Tibet on the Simpsons when Lisa yells “Free Tibet”, looked it up recently, looks very similar to what they are doing to the Weegurs (yeah I know), Tibet was self-ruled, had both India and China take control at some stage, but what right did China have to take it off Tibetans? Invasion, just like they will do with Taiwan

    • MathiasMEMBER

      Australia will be at war with everyone soon, including its own people.

      Even New Zealands turning its back on Australia. I suspect there is more going on in that picture then meets the eye.

    • Was it on here that I read the suggestion that the US should probably fight China over the disputed Philippines territory as it puts China at a massive disadvantage relative to Taiwan? Not the same outcome, I understand, but pick your battles and all that.

      • Someone ElseMEMBER

        Yep. Don’t let your enemy choose the time and place. Get the Philippines to draw the PLA out into the South China Sea. There they’ll be over-extended, isolated and/or surrounded, and defeated Batte of Cannae-style.

  5. MathiasMEMBER

    Woman missing since 2020 found living in tent in Utah canyon, eating moss and grass

    ” Detectives gathered information “that suggested this woman might struggle with mental health challenges,” the department said. ”

    People call this Mental Health. Many may not realise how much hatred is now out there towards the Government over Cost of Living and how people are doing everything in there power to evade that system.

    ‘Trust’ has broken down and people are beginning to realise that you can not ‘Trust’ your own Government anymore. Many feel safer in the bush because its simple, no fighting and you arent being blackmailed constantly.

    I take one look at the Boomers and how vicious they are in Australia. Who the hell wants to wake up everyday and deal with a dysfunctional society full of haters, blamers, blackmail and extortion when you can just go bush and void yourself of this entirely? The womans got the right idea. Lifes much simpler. Its the Boomers who are the ones who have the problem. They need to realise that they blew up there own Retirement Savings and its there own damn fault.

    Australias Domestic Society is unsustainable and we think we’re strong enough to fight a war. Good luck.

    • fitzroyMEMBER

      “The love of one’s country is best delivered when you own that country,” Joyce said. “I may like your car but I love mine. Likewise I find your house very interesting but I want to go home to mine …

      “It is the ultimate sign that the Labor party and the Greens just don’t get it and believe you me, there is one thing people are not keen to do and that is die for a rented country”.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Barnaby trying to make an argument about people “owning” a country while cheering on capitalism (ownership by private entities) and deriding communism (ownership by everyone).

        FFS, he even goes on to explicitly recognise this !

        “This just essentially took away ownership from private individuals and gave it to the community. Dispossession of the individual for the community benefit without the community paying for it.

        “When I was marking my 184th lamb I thought there is a word for this – it’s called communism.”

        It’s just incoherent dog whistling (or virtue signalling, if you prefer).

  6. If Taiwan gets attacked it is AU’s moral obligation to support Taiwan or even help to defend – standing by, watching injustice, to see an oppressive authoritarian regime destroy an democratic country against its will, while doing nothing makes up complicit and as bad as the Chinese regime itself.

  7. Arguing that AU should let China take Taiwan and look the other way, is the same as the US/UK proposing to look the other way when Nazi Germany attacked and conquered the majority of Europe in WW2.

    • GonzificusMEMBER

      The US did look the other way for the first 5 years because they were busy doing a roaring business with the Nazis, while the Rothschilds financed both sides.
      They were pretty much forced to join.

  8. Yes, despite all the FU’s by the Yanks in the past, incl killing my cousin & ignoring some international laws on occasion I’d choose them every time ahead of the CCP as they would make the Americans look like angels. You don’t even have had to have read their official documents, you only have to see what they are doing to their own citizens eg organ harvesting, locking people up & not even allowing relatives to visit etc to know it’s going to be worse for any foreigners should they use their military, police etc in any way like the Americans have.

    Failure of America as a counterweight to Xi’s China will mean more aggression against China’s neighbors and escalating tension in the region with a likely outcome ASEAN countries become vassal states. This would then give CCP so much power & reach not even having the EU on US, Australia, Japan etc’s side will be enough to prevent CCP dominance from which we can never escape, short of a Matrix like event.

  9. Ronin8317MEMBER

    Great power acts for self interest, not for morality. “Morality” is purely a fantasy that old man made up to send young man off to die, and all wars are immoral. So I agree with the professor on this point.

    Immoral or not, Australia should join the US to preserve the alliance, and also to partake in the rich spoil of war to come afterward as China is broken up into pieces.

    • MathiasMEMBER

      Great. So when you heading down to the recruitment office? Im sure the ADF would love to have you.

      Im not fighting to protect your lifestyle and house prices. You can go get stuffed.

      My love of nation is for Australia. Not Canberra. Not the Boomers and not the Real Estate Agents flipping house prices to pretending its for the greater good.

      While your off overseas fighting someone else’s war, Canberra will be selling off assets to the nearest Chinaman and people will be profiteering off the dead. First chance comes for retribution, they’ll be on the first plane trip out of here to some tropical island having sold Australia to the first person they could.

      Dont make me laugh. Australia can barely run itself let alone reach across the world and fight a war.

      I suggest you go down to the ADF and sign yourself up today. You seem to believe in killing others so much.

    • GarethMEMBER

      This. Morality is a tool used effectively by those without morals to control those with morals.

      Every species is inherently selfish spending the majority of time in their own heads thinking about their own issues and how to progress them. Nature tends to balance these out over time but humans have accelerated the time scale with technology.

  10. kodiakMEMBER

    The pro-China view is simply feeble-minded anti-Americanism from an incredibly complacent society. It’s always been there. And it is a significant minority of Australia’s population.

  11. David, I would say a lot of the great achievements of the US probably lay in the distant past. A time when governments were much bigger and independent of influence in relative terms. The US of today would be hard pressed to find the kind of enlightened self interest that lay behind the Marshall Plan. It is a shadow of its former self and its democratic institutions greatly diminished in stature and integrity. The war of attrition waged by the privileged against those institutions has taken a toll and the balanced has tipped so far towards big capital interests that Biden and his efforts to address past neglect (if they be genuine) could be easily derailed.

    I think there is no harm done in acknowledging problems in the US and our own back yard David. We did help the US invade Iraq for a completely contrived reason and such behaviour in effect works against our cause. Unilateral actions like this are a key reason we struggle to sound credible when we argue for a “rules-based order” as even though the US largely benefits from the rules it helped write, it still ignores them with our help when it chooses to. Those actions arguably also serve to strengthen the hardliners in the CCP and Russia you contend we must resist.

    We are not going to be able to deal with the CCP unless we (including the US) deal with the problems in our own back yard. That’s not kowtowing.

      • No that is not what is being said. Of course we can push back but, there is a bigger picture here that is still important if we are to succeed.
        Edit: If we are to respect the values of “liberalism” then we should be able to respect the opinions of those that highlight the failings of those allegedly “liberal democracies”. Branding them with words like “kowtow” and “treason” means you are “liberal” in name only.

        • SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

          what …..”We are not going to be able to deal with the CCP unless we (including the US) deal with the problems in our own back yard. That’s not kowtowing.”

          • You will note you seem to be associating a different meanings to words here. You are saying I said we “can’t push back” – and as your clipped section of my words indicates – I did not say that. “We are not going to be able to deal with the CCP…” indicates I believe we have weakened our position (and strengthened their hawks) for the reasons I have explained.
            EDIT: This is not an either/or situation. Do both I say.

  12. Triple Mutant

    They’ll take Taiwan then make a move on the Philippines if we don’t fight them over Taiwan.

    And he locals would eventually come to accept it as China creates jobs for locals and raises the pitiful standard of living.

    If Australia can’t stick it’s neck out for Taiwan after forays into the Middle East, Vietnam we aren’t really any better than the CCP.

  13. Xinjiang shakedown: US anti-China lobby cashed in on ‘forced labor’ campaign that cost Uyghur workers their jobs
    Max Blumenthal·April 30, 2021


    Moving on … the term liberal needs to be put into context E.g. pre FDR classical, FDR bastardization to advance social policies, post FDR neo – liberalism or more accurately a return to the classical notion of liberal in this new social paradigm.

    Couple of other historical aspects which are relative E.g. Russia did more to end WWII than the Allied forces together and without assisting in getting Hail Mustache’s plan off the drawing board. China was abandoned post WWII due to incompetence and the post conflict Chinese the U.S. supported fled to Taiwan. Albeit there is a lot of water under the bridge since those days and and past protectorates are not as compliant as they once were and making new agreements as the globe is depolarized.

    Lastly, its uncontroversial throughout history that nations constantly at war don’t fair well, in the long run, not to mention the demise of many a nation is burdensome war debt E.g. sucks investment away from more socially productive enterprises and basic well being of its citizens – then you get the last 5 or so presidents thingy.

    It might just be me but I thought War is a Racket was premised on classical liberalism and where the umbrage that drove its creation was the plot against a elected president by a gang of oligarchical classical liberals.

      • Its all so similar to the whole MS-13 debacle where Iran Contra antics create a problem which then conservatives, at the time, do a PR dogooder theatrics and bring some refugees back to the U.S. by plonking them down in between the crips and bloods. They go braking bad too survive, conservatives then get bent because they feel its ungrateful and ship them back to Guatemala, where they take new found skills and take over the country …. then export fun and games right back too the U.S.

        But hay its a budget expander for the security state and opps about those old civil liberties … so 9/11

    • Someone ElseMEMBER

      Point of order. Russia’s agreement with Germany to divide Poland started WW2. The Russians sh!t in their own bed with that one.

      And the Germans made several overtures to the Western Allies to end the war, and to take on the Russians together.

      Real politik is messy.

      • “Point of order. Russia’s agreement with Germany to divide Poland started WW2”

        Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact was post Germany annexing other countries and Stalin was quite aware of the situation with an invasion on Soviet turf, sooner than later, and regardless of his other agendas was an astute statesman/politician. Hence the treaty bought time E.g. yes its messy.

        Its still critical to note those that assisted in enabling the whole thing pre war, punitive WWI debt, Western investment [big names – pappy bush et al] E.g. the above is just a stepping stone.

        • Someone ElseMEMBER

          I agree, the reparations and humiliations were the slow burn for WW2. Those combined with the failure to emphatically win the WW1 meant the whole ‘we wuz robbed’ mindset amongst the Germans after the war had a basis. Pershing knew it before armistice.

          If it weren’t for the Kreigsmarine and their rebellion, the Germans may have won honourable terms. Fücking sailors, it must have been terrible on living on those ships…dockside…away from the fighting.

          Anyhoo, WW1 was just a continuation of the Franco-Prussian war, and the WW1 reparations were payback for Alsace and Lorraine.

  14. It’s pretty clear that the CCP has decided to no longer bide its time and hide its strength. It’s clearly moving on all fronts, economic, social, technical and political, to expand its influence at the expense of the US-EU and the West. They talk about not wanting a new Cold War but they engaged in one about 10 years ago and it’s only now the West is beginning to respond.

    We didn’t start this, and we don’t want it. And we do have a choice, we can either lie down like lambs and allow China to destroy Western Civilisation and everything we are, or we can stand up to them and show some courage. Our economies are multiples their size and – including democracies in the developing world – so too are our populations and our access to resources. What we need is leadership and courage to say to them NO!

  15. El MerenderoMEMBER

    Eisenhower: ‘All allied forces are posed to attack Germany on D-Day”

    David Brophy: “But your human rights record during the Slave Trade…”

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