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79 responses to “More on the Yellow Peril”

  1. Sean

    “Madame” Liu?!?!? Are they really?

    I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. And yet, with each new low, I am.

  2. patrickg

    Seconded Sean. It would be funny if it was another country’s opposition and media. It would be hilarious.

    Instead, it’s tragic. This puerile dog-whistle bullcrap only serves to illustrate how little the opposition (and the oz) have moved on since getting their arse kicked in an election, i.e. not at all.

    How many losses will it take before they realise I wonder?

  3. hannah's dad

    We, well actually youse guys, have gotta do something about the media in this country.

  4. grace pettigrew

    Well said Crikey and Kim.

    I read that article in The Australian this morning, and went and made a second cup of black coffee, and read it all again. It still did not make sense…

    They are doing it to themselves. Pitiful. I guess we just stand aside and watch them self-destruct. Gruesome.

  5. Fine

    ‘The Age’ is just as bad today. They have a beat up about Rudd not wanting to seat next to ‘Madame Fu’ for a tv interview. She sounds like some sort of sinister dominatrix out of an old Charlie Chan movie.

    My concern is solely with Fitzgibbon telling lies about the relationship, not this muck.

  6. C.L.

    Shorter LP: let’s blame TEH meedya.

    …any vague link between an ALP figure and China…

    You mean like the Chinese propaganda minister having a secret meeting with the Prime Minister in order to prep him for his world ‘promote China’ tour? Yeah, that’s “vague”.

    As for dog whistling, who can forget Alan Carpenter and Kim Beazley targeting “foreign workers” and/or blaming them for the Cronulla Riots?

  7. billie

    Sounds like the 1974 Khemlaimi Affair that ousted Whitlam. Susequently the CIA congratulated themselves for overthrowing the elected government of Australia.

    As Fitzgibbon isn’t clever enough to control the Defence portfolio he should be replaced, but them I noticed that Greg Combet was moved out of procurement so is Defence a poisoned chalice with these seriously unpopular reforms/restructure etc underway

  8. billie

    Fine, that politicians get free trips from governments seeking to influence them calls into question how all overseas trips are funded. The Chinese have funded 17 overseas trips and the Israelis have funded 19 overseas trips.

  9. Fine

    billie, it isn’t the fact that it was funded. It’s the fact that Fitzgibbon said he couldn’t remember Ms. Lui funding the trip.

  10. Jacques Chester

    There’s a bit of a case study here in how political opportunism and media ZOMG!-ism combine to obscure some real (and really important) issues which should be the subject of public debate.

    Good on LP for taking the stick to the media.

    ps. when does your next in-depth analysis of Turnbull and Costello come out?

  11. Darryl Rosin

    The second sentence in the SMH story today was a doosy:

    “The Minister for Defence, Mr Fitzgibbon, or Zhou Feizegeben (his Chinese name), who was then the Opposition resources spokesman, cut short his family Christmas festivities to join an assortment of top Chinese generals in admiring the artistic side of the Peoples Liberation Army.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/oh-those-generals-ministers-rendezvous-with-top-brass-20090330-9h2n.html

    Are you getting the message?

    d

  12. myriad

    I find myself in the extraordinarily bizarre position of defending the Australian. While I’ve not read coverage in other News Ltd papers, in not one article I’ve read in the Oz has Ms Liu been referred to as ‘Madame Liu’. Crikey has been known to get its facts wrong on a spectacularly regular basis too, and I think this might be one of them.

    As to their reference to the Oz article about Liu’s connections, while I agree that their title ‘strong ties to Chinese military’ is a tad hyperbolic, I disagree quite strongly with Crikey’s dismissal of everything in that article. Apart from the stupid title and occasional silly overtone, I thought overall it was a reasonably balanced account of Liu’s connections and bio, including fair acknowledgement of her charitable donations to Chinese earthquake victims and her actions in Australia.

    Most of the article is plainly factual. Liu has very strong, influential ties to the ruling powers in China, and is a vocal international advocate for one China (Taiwan and pro-Han dominance), supports the cultural oppression of non-Han Chinese (see the bits about propaganda text donations and public statements), and is supported in her efforts to curry favourable relations & perceptions for China abroad. That she’s been photographed toasting Li Peng should give people pause for thought, given the number of articles written on LP about human rights. Her relationships with Fitzgibbon and others should rightly be scrutinised. It doesn’t mean she’s eeeevil because she’s Asian, and it’s greatly unfortunate that are useless media have taken that angle. However I’d say that the Oz’s article, title aside, is not that.

    yes, the hyperbolic coverage is stopping proper scrutiny of the mess that is Defence, and a more mature discussion on the influence of China globally and domestically. Fitzgibbon’s and other politicians’ relationship with someone like Liu should also be examined.

  13. Darryl Rosin

    “While I’ve not read coverage in other News Ltd papers, in not one article I’ve read in the Oz has Ms Liu been referred to as ‘Madame Liu’. Crikey has been known to get its facts wrong on a spectacularly regular basis too, and I think this might be one of them.”

    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25258454-5007146,00.html

  14. Nickws

    Ghosts of the Cold War and earlier. There’s something in the DNA of Australia’s conservative side of politics that says Labor can’t be trusted with defending us.

    I mentioned in the other thread the ABC’s Chris Uhlmann whipping up that non-story about Rudd preferring to sit next to Miliband rather than the ex-Chinese ambassador. I think she to is one of these Madame Mao types, though sadly Chris forgot to mention that—he mustn’t have got the memo…

    As for those not pushing the Manchurian Candidate BS but rather attacking China on ethical grounds (or pretending to attack China on ethical grounds), I’m not certain what those would-be human rights advocates here and elsewhere think they’re trying to accomplish. This tawdry little gifting scandal, the non-disclosure of a couple of grands worth of swag, this is the place where they want to stand and fight the PRC and its policies towards Falun Gong, Tibet, unborn female fetusese? Really?

    Perhaps going with the Manchurian nonsense is too much for them, hence the Bono pose?

  15. Melbournienne d'antan

    You’ve got to give Julie Bishop points for consistency, though. Every time she tries to say or do something witty, she comes across as a bit tragic.

  16. Nickws

    From the SMH, DragonladytalkshowguestGate:

    On the set of a BBC program yesterday, Mr Rudd was seated next to Fu Ying, formerly the ambassador to Australia. However, Mr Rudd’s staff requested the Prime Minister be moved and placed next to the British Foreign Secretary, David Miliband.

    The BBC refused the request

    Beat up.

  17. Geoff Robinson

    The term ‘neo-conservative’ is much overused but this Sinophobia is a distinctively neo-conservative American talking point. it’s part of the endless search for enemies. it’s sudden appearance in Oz points to the unoriginality of the oz right. Look at the strange case of Paul Monk for example.

  18. Dr Fish

    To follow up on the Madame Liu thing, the main place I’ve heard that used is from Malcolm Turnbull and/or Joe Hockey — I’m sure I heard at least one of them use that more than once over the weekend. I remember thinking at the time “WTF? Why not Mrs Liu? Or Ms Liu?”

    If News ltd papers are using that, perhaps they’ve gotten the expression courtesy of the opposition front bench?

  19. Chris

    Pre 9/11 China was being pushed as the new big bad. Who else remembers how things heated up when they held the crew of US spy plane after it collided with a Chinese fighter plane? Perhaps the war-on-terror line is not distracting enough anymore?

  20. Shaun

    On the News Ltd office boom box:

    Are you with me Madame Lui?
    Are you really just a shadow
    Of the woman that I once knew
    She is lovely yes she’s sly
    And Joel Fitzgibbon is an ordinary guy
    Has she finally got to you
    Can you hear me Minister?

    Apologies aplenty to Becker and Fagan.

  21. myriad

    Darryl, that’s Piers Ackerman, a single opinion writer for News Ltd. (which would explain why I hadn’t seen it – I’d rather rub salt in my eyes than read Ackerman). Crikey rather misleadingly suggests that it’s been used in the story reporting, which I’ve not seen. I even checked Shanahan, but that was as far as I was prepared to go!

    As for those not pushing the Manchurian Candidate BS but rather attacking China on ethical grounds (or pretending to attack China on ethical grounds), I’m not certain what those would-be human rights advocates here and elsewhere think they’re trying to accomplish. This tawdry little gifting scandal, the non-disclosure of a couple of grands worth of swag, this is the place where they want to stand and fight the PRC and its policies towards Falun Gong, Tibet, unborn female fetusese? Really?

    Not sure if this was directed my way NickWS, but given I raised it, I’ll assume so and respond.

    I’m not necessarily trying to ‘achieve’ anything other than to point out that while, yes, the reporting has been risible overall, and the Opposition as usual a complete embarrassment, there’s nevertheless some substance lurking in the story. I’m not sure where you think the human rights abuses of China should be discussed and ‘fought’, but for my money not being completely ‘relaxed and comfortable’ about our goverment ministers meeting notable Chinese figures without publicly mentioning this as an issue; or being equally relaxed about them accepting gifts and attention from open propagandists for the Chinese regime would be a good thing. Think of it as a string to a bow, rather than the whole strategy.

  22. Shaun

    Opps, change minister to madame @19 and it makes more sense. Barely.

  23. CptR

    Racist attitudes toward China and the Chinese have a rich history in this country. We have the body of European colonial and intellectual attitudes towards the ‘Orient’ (viz ‘Orientialism’, cf Edward Said’s “Orientialism) and of course the goings-on of Federation also had plenty to do with formulating a coordinated approach to managing immigration and the yellow peril.

    The national theatre of xenophobia in this country has been mostly centred on Arabs, Muslims, Indigenous people, in the last few years, so I expect that there is at least a section of the Zeitgeist that wants to know who’s alert and alarmed about the Asians.

    As with the the Murdoch newspaper’s leadership on racial/cultural issues around Arabs, Muslims, Indigenous people, it’s always hard to know if they’re a collective of sad sacks trying to whip up hatred, or if they really believe the crap they write. I saw Tom Switzer (former editorial/letters editor) on Lateline a little while ago, and watching him stumble through that interview I would say that if he’s representative of the talent, the yellow peril stuff probably isn’t a beat up so much as a genuine fear of the yellow peril to come.

    All it is really is another reason to toss those rabid rags in the bin and go elsewhere for news.

  24. Paul Burns

    At least all this garbage is being exposed for the garbage it is, isn’t it? I hope so.

  25. Nickws

    Myriad @ 20: Context is everything, and the context of this whole mess is being driven by opportunists and dog whistlers.

    To mix canine metaphors—If you lay down with Bishops and Hockeys don’t be surprised if you get up with dogwhistling fleas.

    Anyway, were you similarly critical of the Olympic torch demagoguery/control freakery of last year? That was much more of an affront to Australian values than Helen Liu’s alleged influence buying.

  26. Jenny

    My initial reaction to the whole thing was ‘who gives a toss’ – at worst we have China trying to win some contracts or gain some influence at international borefests. I was also predisposed towards Joel Fitzgibbon since any Minister wanting to shake up DoD and trim a few dollars off their bloated waistline would normally have my full support.

    But Myriad has convinced me to the extent that the Minister has some explaining to too. If he tootles off to China on his own money and meets some of his Chinese friend’s well-connected chums, then good luck to him and I hope he enjoyed some quality tucker. But when his ticket is paid for, and he fails to declare it, and then pretends he forgot about it, then either something is rotten or he’s a bumbling goose.

    I hate to see the so-called opposition get traction on anything, particularly when they’re playing the race card, but if I were Rudd, I might well have taken this opportunity to demonstrate that Ministerial accountability is back in vogue.

  27. Huggybunny

    We should all remember that the totally insane neocons who ran the US during the Bush administration have not gone away. They and their comrades in the Oz defence administration are out of power but not out of moves. No this is not a conspiracy it just the way these pricks operate. The strategic objective is to drive a wedge between China and Oz.
    From their perspective the reds have taken over in Australia, Rudd is obviously a mandarin speaking china stooge and an evil Chinese femme fatale with the name of Madame Loo is seducing the naive Oz politicians and the defence of Amerika is at risk.
    All the usual suspects in the media here are emerging to do a J’accuse before they scuttle back to whatever it is that they nest under.
    The completly retarded Dr Strangelove war planners at the pentagon are terrified that Australia will go over to the Chinese side, destabilize the world order and bring on the decline of the Amerikan empire. Like it’s not totally fucked any-way.
    Huggy

  28. myriad

    Nick, yes the context is important, but just because it’s dickheads throwing the darts doesn’t mean they mightn’t occasionally hit on something important, even if they don’t know how to play nice.

    And yes, I was absolutely appalled by the behaviour over the olympic torch. I even wrote letters. My ‘context’ is that I’ve worked in India with Tibetan refugees, so I know in more detail than I really wish I did precisely how brutal the oppression and annexation has been (if not in that order). China is certainly not all evil, and that it will become a large influence on the world is in no doubt. having a mandarin speaking PM with a strong understanding of the country is definitely a plus in my book. Getting so cosy with them that we stop criticising their human rights abuses, and turn a blind eye to a Minister popping off on undisclosed trips to China is not.

  29. Adrien

    Sorry I’m yet to detect any Sinophobia. The Defense Minister has engaged in secretive associations with a senior trade figure in the region’s biggest power and one of our larger trading partners and the world’s most powerful non-democracy which for a long time now has been headed on a collision course with the world’s most powerful democracy and our biggest ally.
    .
    This is standard subject matter in foreign affairs literature. Kevin Rudd is involved with China and has an agenda. We’re entitled to know more about it. The way Australia manouvres between the PRC and the USA is going to affect the future of this country. These two states might become political enemies in the future and if that happens that will make things very uncomfortable for us.
    .
    In many ways the dismissiveness I see here is reminiscent of the servility shown by the Right toward anything America does. I really haven’t seen much ‘Yellow Peril’ discourse either. Turnbull’s had a lot of dealing with the Chinese as well. He’s not evoking fear just doing what he supposed to (sorta).
    .
    Are we, who would be rightly skeptical of any secretive shennanigans between our govt and the US to dismiss anything similarly shady (potentially) with the PRC in furtherance of proving that we’re not racist?
    .
    Mark this, we are strategically important in a way we have never been before. Because of our position in the Pacific region and the inevitable geopolitical drift. Sooner or later there will be some kind of Sino-American fireqworks. Hopefully this will be more like the late 20th century Japan/US trade wars than the mid-century actual war. But we will face tough choices sometime. The US knows it and so does China.
    .
    The only people that don’t, are us.

  30. Razor

    OK – so it is all a beat up. Conservatives bad – China good.

    I’d like someone here who thinks the Opposition are in the wrong to explain to me the Oz Minerals decision versus the Rio decision. (And note that I have spent a fair bit of time in the Woomera Prohibited Area making very loud bangs.)

    And while we are about it can someone update me on the alleged DOD snooping in the Ministerial puters – no actual evidence yet?????

  31. Katz

    If Adrien thinks that the Right is rummaging around for a casus belli that will draw Australia closer to the US in his hypothesised inevitable confrontation with China, I hope the Right will find something more substantial than a couple of suits and some flights to China.

    Otherwise, they’ll continue to look like gooses.

    As matters stand, China is on the cusp of world dominance despite having fired virtually no angry shots, which is a record more savoury than a nation that has invaded half the countries in the world and has an unhealthy obsession with the preservation of its bodily fluids.

  32. grace pettigrew

    “…anything similarly shady (potentially) with the PRC…”

    Speaking of shady characters, allow me to up you with a “Government Members Secretariat” (GMS), as Alan Ramsay explains (when we used to have adults in the newsrooms):

    http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/07/06/1089000156096.html

    And what ever happened to Ian Hanke? Buzz headed twitchy guys talking to themselves in empty rooms scare me more than the bloody PRC:

    http://www.agitate.com.au/blog/CommentView,guid,e92ad35e-9197-4d84-ad35-0022ed0d7e2f.aspx

  33. media tracker

    This is all too too delicious. So much fun isn’t it? When I laughed most of the way through Skynews this afternoon I knew the end is in sight. Time to take a cold shower and return to the tasks I should be preparing for a lecture on Thursday. But……..before I leave the subject – was I imagining things yesterday when I thought I saw a news item of Malcolm Turnbull (saying some comment was “contemptible”) with Malcolm wearing a pin on his lapel, which looked a little like an Australian flag? I’m prepared to admit I’m possibly wrong and seeing things which aren’t there, like so many others over these idiotic sagas.

  34. Nickws

    Myriad @ 28, thanks for clarifying where you’re coming from. Though I still think your legitimate grievance is with Rudd’s (and Turnbull’s) low profile meeting with the politburo guy, not AirlineticketGate—Fitzgibbon’s screwup just doesn’t fit into any geopolitical or ideological issue IMHO, certainly not the Yellow Peril whatever. He could easily have taken undisclosed gifts from ethnic Greek- or Italian-Australian business types. He’s a pol with parliamentary register problems, is all.

    In many ways the dismissiveness I see here is reminiscent of the servility shown by the Right toward anything America does

    Adrien, do you honestly believe any Asian nation-state’s political class (let alone that of the PRC) has the kind of cultural links with the very white, anglophone commenters of LP, that the US Right has with the likes of Greg Sheridan*? Where is this `servility’ coming from? I know I carry no brief for the Tiananmen Square mob. Perhaps you think everyone here defending Rudd and Joel has come out of the old CPA(Marxist-Leninist)?

    *Greg Sheridan is arguably servile to both the US Right and the political elites of the Asian (ex-)Tiger economies!

  35. MH

    The “Madam” assignation in the media is indeed a curious and quaint reference to Soong Meiling or “Madam Chiang Kai-shek” as she was known.

    Having said all of that, the allusion to the Yellow Peril is both easy to make and easy to get huffily dismissive about, and I am sorry that Kim, whose comments I always appreciate, has taken that line and run with it through the rather unenlightening Crikey editorial.

    There are two more substantive issues to be drawn out: one is the changing global role of China and what that represents, especially financially. The recent appeal by the Governor of the Bank of China for a greater role within the IMF is interesting, but he was appealing for raising the importance of the IMF’s “Special Drawing Rights” to operate as a defacto alternative to the $US as a global currency and I’ve heard SDR dismissed as a financial Esperanto. Our need to construct a narrative of a Chinese future (like the Japanese future of the late 80s) makes for a lot of hot air and not much useful analysis, if any is really possible given the complexity and unpredictability of China’s economy and polity. There is no evidence that the Chinese government really have any better ideas that Western governments.

    The other issue is the practices of power among our political leadership and the grey world of favours and influence. All those stilted conversations and forced smiles at receptions and across expensive restaurant tables. I think it’s possible to argue that modern China has schooled some of its citizens to practice such a politics very effectively, but one could find many other examples in international relationships in those places where power concentrates. Seeing how power can be practiced always makes us uncomfortable, suspicious or angry, preferring as we seem to do to either pretend it doesn’t happen or that is is somehow righteous and objective, rather than personalistic and capricious.

    On Chiang Kaishek, husband of said Madam, LP readers might be amused by this Australian historical curio:

    http://michaelturton.blogspot.com/2009/03/conficker.html

  36. Kim

    Having said all of that, the allusion to the Yellow Peril is both easy to make and easy to get huffily dismissive about, and I am sorry that Kim, whose comments I always appreciate, has taken that line and run with it through the rather unenlightening Crikey editorial.

    What seems to have been missed, MH, by a lot of folks in this thread is the point both I and Crikey were making about the serious questions raised which have been obscured by the media/opposition circus – including those about the economic and political relationship between Australia and Australian politicians and China.

  37. MH

    What seems to have been missed, MH, by a lot of folks in this thread is the point both I and Crikey were making about the serious questions raised which have been obscured by the media/opposition circus – – including those about the economic and political relationship between Australia and Australian politicians and China.

    Yes, but what are those serious questions or indeed their answers?

  38. Colonel of Truth

    The “Madam” assignation in the media is indeed a curious and quaint reference to Soong Meiling or “Madam Chiang Kai-shek” as she was known.

    Not so. It is normal for female PRC diplomats to style themselves as “Madam.” It’s not a mere throwback to the KMT by the modern media.

  39. Geoff Honnor

    “From their perspective the reds have taken over in Australia, Rudd is obviously a mandarin speaking china stooge and an evil Chinese femme fatale with the name of Madame Loo is seducing the naive Oz politicians and the defence of Amerika is at risk.”

    Yep. Nailed it Huggy. Now back away from the “political analysis” ….slowly.
    Before too much more foam-flecked spittle flies, could I just point out that Crikey is totally wrong about “Madam.” The use of ‘Madam,’ as an honorific for senior Chinese women, is a very long-standing convention perpetuated not by News Ltd but by the Diplomatic Lists of the globe in all of which you will see accredited Chinese female diplomats – and the female partners of accredited male Chinese diplomats – referred to as “Madam” or “Madame” It’s an attempt to recreate the intricate gradation of title/honorific described in Mandarin. The media has generally followed the usage convention – for many decades in fact – though changes in practice are beginning to emerge. I remember the grandmother of the little Chinese girl abandoned by her father in Melbourne (later called “Punpkin”) being referred to as “Madam’ in the media when she flew from China to be reunited with her. Don’t recall much of the “evil Chinese femme fatale” about her Huggy – maybe we watch different movies.

    I’m a great admirer of China but like Kevin Rudd my enthusiasm is tempered by the necessity to remain alert to the challenges posed by the Australia/China relationship. It’s mind-bogglingly simplistic – but tactically calculated – to imply that it’s “racist” or “dog-whistling” to make this observation (as Kim has now in two separate posts – to my considerable surprise) and balls-achingly tedious to read the stream of partisan vitriol that has (with a few honourable exceptions) passed for LP ‘analysis’ of the issue.

    I reckon it’s perfectly legitimate to investigate Fitzgibbon’s relationship with Ms Liu and the fact that Rudd’s office didn’t release any info about a visit from the 5th ranking member of China’s leadership is also newsworthy but according to the prevalent cheer-leading ‘wisdom’ here, it’s somehow letting the side down to even make these observations.

  40. Kim

    what are those serious questions

    I touched on them in the post.

    I don’t know the answers myself, which is why I hope people will discuss them.

  41. Kim

    imply that it’s “racist” or “dog-whistling” to make this observation

    Geoff, again, I think there’s some misunderstanding.

    Unless you think the media and opposition have *seriously* been discussing issues about possible conflicts of interest and the relationship with China.

    I think Richard Farmer is probably right:

    The Turnbull mistake — Chinese votes. The last Australian census shows some 670,000 people of first, second or third generation Chinese origin. Add on those whose Chinese ancestors arrived up to 150 years ago and that’s a substantial bloc of voters that the Liberal-National Coalition is at risk of alienating with its rather crude suggestion that to be an Australian Chinese is somehow to be a security risk. Perhaps Malcolm Turnbull’s advisers have identified the streak of xenophobia among white Australians that is clearly present and believes he can win more votes from them than he loses among coloured Australians. I doubt that they are right.

    I don’t believe that the overtones are incidental, or accidental. As I’ve said, the framing of the issue in this way obscures rather than enlightens discussion of serious questions.

  42. MH

    It’s an attempt to recreate the intricate gradation of title/honorific described in Mandarin.

    Ambassador Fu Ying is referred to as ????, Ambassador Fu Ying in Chinese.

  43. Katz

    SENATOR GEORGE BRANDIS: Kevin Rudd is starting to look increasingly like the Manchurian candidate.

    Nitpicking over the etymology of “Madame” is trivial and bizarre in light of Brandis’ above quoted assertion.

    He Senator Brandis alleging that Kevin Rudd is an android of Chinese construction.

    DANGER! DANGER! GEORGE BRANDIS!

    If Brandis doesn’t believe this nonsense, why does he say it?

    Can he help himself?

  44. Nabakov

    It would help if some people actually read “The Manchurian Candidate” before so glibly tossing the phrase around.

    * spoiler alert*

    The climax sees the actual Manchurian Candidate making the ultimate sacrifice to save his country from the bad guys who brainwashed him.

    Also any good pollie should be networking and creating linkages and back channels all over the place, especially with their country’s key geo-political partners. It’s part of their job. Of course, when it all goes pear-shaped their employers (ie:us) have every right to demand an accounting.

  45. Nickws

    WTF is it with people being unable to see anything offensive in Bishop, Brandis et al using the expression Manchurian Candidate?

    It may not be overtly racist, but it sure as shit reeks of paranoia and xenophonia.
    Did Jonathan Demme’s average remake of the Frankenheimer classic totally remove the sting of those words?

  46. feral sparrowhawk

    I agree with those above who have argued that there are some serious issues here, and they’re being buried by the farcical way the Opposition and media are treating it.

    Regarding the media its all a worry, but in terms of the Opposition its great. All over the country there must be university students of Asian background ripping up their Liberal club memberships as we speak. All the the party is doing is cutting off yet one more potential recruitment pool to address their already pathetic lack of talent. They’re driving another nail in their own coffin while already inside. It’s a skill I tell you.

  47. Nabakov

    “Did Jonathan Demme’s average remake of the Frankenheimer classic totally remove the sting of those words?”

    Both versions removed the real sting of the original book.

  48. HuggyBunny

    I got the impression that a significant number of Chinese live in Howard’s old electorate. Remember the MSG ? Maxine Support Group so called by Stanley Chin because it would bring a bit of flavour into the campaign. Perhaps may explain why the the loser rodent, cooled it a bit on the racist dog whistle last election.
    Sticking to my analysis that the insane spooks and defence establishments in both the US and Oz are terrified of the Chinese ascendency. They would find an excuse to nuke it back to the stone age if they could. The only thing that stops them I guess is that they know that the commies have nuclear missiles – well enough to take out one or two US cities. They also know that even the threat of a single bomb on a single city would cause such a panic and mass exodus in the US that the death toll from road accidents alone would be in the millions. Add in another million or so from panic attacks leading to cardiac failure in the morbidly obese and it would soon amount to a useful percentage.
    Sorry – it is getting late.
    Huggy

  49. Nabakov

    “Sticking to my analysis that the insane spooks and defence establishments in both the US and Oz are terrified of the Chinese ascendency.”

    Nah, I reckon it’s more the case that the GWOT has turned out to be a bust in terms of justifying the big sexy new miltech hardware projects that make careers and lead to profitable post-retirement consultancies.

    But framing China as yer new dancing partner here is rather tricky given they hold a fuckbunch of IOUs.

    However Russia’s now manfully taking the crease again – no doubt egged on by its own bellicose generals and contractors.

  50. David

    Perhaps The Australian’s article was a bit weak in some respects. However, the facts in this case are pretty clear. The Defence Minister has a close relationship with a Chinese person who has close and regular contacts with the Chinese government. While it is extremely unlikely Ms Liu has obtained classified documents or any sensitive information, she could certainly have obtained information of a more general nature that was not in the public domain and that would be of interest to the Chinese government.

    To dismiss concerns about China as xenophobic flashback to the 1960s is naive. The world has changed markedly since then. China has risen to be a major economic and military power. The potential risks involved here are very real and could have very serious consequences for Australia’s national security. To dismiss media coverage of this issue because it might express some racist sentiments is blinding people to the real issue.

  51. Nabakov

    But the thing of it is David that many Australian politicians have had and will continue to have close relationships with people who have close and regular contacts with members of foreign governments – most notably in the past the Yanks and Brits.

    But what have they done for us lately? Economically China’s a far more important partner for us then them. Defence-wise, it’s all economically driven these days anyway. Control of resources. The GWOT is basically a security/intelligence task while China’s far tougher on religious terrorists than we’ll ever be.

    Plus the Liberal Party’s coffers have long been filled by resource companies making a motza out of flogging shit to the Middle Kingdom.

    So, under such circumstances, how would you describe the difference between those recoiling from Australian pollies getting networked up in China as opposed to those doing likewise with the US or UK?

    If the US is forced to chose between China and Australia on some significant geo-political economically-driven issue – which way do you think it’ll really jump?

    No such thing as permanent alliances only national interests.

  52. Thoma Paine

    The Defence Minister has a close relationship with a American person who has close and regular contacts with the American government

    The Defence Minister has a close relationship with a British person who has close and regular contacts with the British government

    The Defence Minister has a close relationship with a Indonesian person who has close and regular contacts with the Indonesian government

    The Defence Minister has a close relationship with a Spanish person who has close and regular contacts with the Spanish government

    The Defence Minister has a close relationship with a Canadian person who has close and regular contacts with the Canadian government

    “The Defence Minister has a close relationship with a Chinese person who has close and regular contacts with the Chinese government”

    What, Chinese? A Chinese person who has contacts with the Chinese government.

    And also …’regular’. Once a day, week, month, year…? How often is too often for each of the above countries.

    Let me see. One country unilaterally decided to invade Iraq and bomb the hell out of it, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqs, lots of torture and corruption for USA companies. Other countries like Britain and Australia joined the party.

    I think it is the dark hair, dark eyes, different culture, language…and size, well growing strength of China. Hell China might even become as bad and as the USA. Who remembers our trade deals with the USA which basically donated whatever rights and benefits we had to US corporations?

    It is because it is China it remains in the news and is the Liberal dog whistle. Any other country wouldn’t work because the racial aspect isn’t there.

  53. Patrick B

    You’d think if Madame Liu is such a super spy that she’d have applied here Mata Hari type skills to an official with a slightly lower profile than the minister for defence. I mean someone might notice, you know?
    So all these comments along the line of she’s a senior official blah blah blah are as empty headed as what is being written in the Oz et al. If there is any spying/influence-buying going in Australia we won’t be reading about it on the front pages of the newspapers. It’s yet another example of the paronia of the right being fed by the laziness of the press.

  54. Patrick B

    “The Defence Minister has a close relationship with a Chinese person who has close and regular contacts with the Chinese government.”

    Yes and have you noticed how she’s tried to disguise her ethnicity by calling herself “Helen”. Bloody give away.

  55. Nickws

    Nabakov, regardless of the plot of the Richard Condon novel, ‘Manchurian Candidate’ means one thing and one thing only when reckless Liberal politicians invoke it—Rudd is some kind of traitor. (I wonder if they realise the most hard Right sections of the GOP used it regularly against McCain before he finally became party nominee last year?)

    To dismiss media coverage of this issue because it might express some racist sentiments is blinding people to the real issue

    David: Fitzgibbon is guilty of failing to disclose several thousand dollars worth of gifts from Ms Liu, that is what we know. Everything else is hearsay and rumour.

    Just what does media coverage of this issue, good, bad, or indifferent, have to do with national security? Why don’t you demand a commission of enquiry if you’re so concerned? Why bother criticising people who think the media and the Opposition have done a crappy job?

    I think people like you who go on about this affair in a ponderous Tom Clancy-esque way are really only concerned with having the conventional wisdom on your side. So even as you drop ominous hints about what could secretly be happening in this dangerous world of international-women-of-mystery we live in, you oddly don’t have any interest in calling for a royal commission or suchlike (but you do support the media coverage you so happily find yourself agreeing with, it’s terribly responsible, and anyone who disagrees with this very unofficial CW is just plain unserious).

  56. Nickws

    Heh, we need Lee Kwan Yew’s opinion on this. I’m sure he’d say there should be more freebies for Oz politicians from connected Chicom businesspeople.

  57. Thoma Paine

    The idea of Governments have quiet off the record meetings with members of other governments would be the more common sort of meeting/communication I would have thought.

    If it was the USA, Canada, Spain, Argentina and so on… who cares. But China!!

    Oh well, guess Turnbull can kiss another few thousand votes good buy in some marginal seats with new Australians (probably Chinese).

  58. myriad

    There’s no question that the Opposition’s race-baiting on the issue is both deplorable and profoundly stupid politically. Feral Sparrowhawk summed it up nicely.

    I really don’t see the point of pretending that having close relations with the Chinese government is the same as say, Spain. There’s more relevance in comparing it to our relationship to the USA precisely because the latter ventured into some repugnant territory over the last 8 years – but of course we had the wrong PM for that job, didn’t we?

    China is a regional and global friend, trade partner, inspiring culture with many excellent attributes, a powerful rising military force, rising economic power, and a deeply disturbing regime with a brutal and continuing track record of oppression, discrimination and human rights abuses of great magnitude all at once. China is also responsible for the greatest percentage of attempted spying and security breaches in Australia, something that no-one here seems to be aware of or have raised.

    China is also starting to show, through incidents like the Olympic torch, that it is prepared to flex its muscle and influence internally in Australia. I’d also argue that it’s a reasonable proposition to be wary of having a significant percentage of our mineral wealth or other essential assets owned by the Chinese, as we don’t have a fully cemented, cordial and trust-based relationship with the Chinese yet. No-one knows what hand the Chinese is going to play with its increasing global influence. It would be wise for us to have a cautious approach to our sovereignty while still offering many other forms of bilateral support.

    Our relationship as a result of all of the above is going to necessarily be complex, and our analysis has to match – including ignoring the howling monkeys throwing poo.

  59. joe2

    Wayne Swan had a swing at the opposition from Tokyo, over this issue. He mentions Joe Hockey first….

    “But I do believe both Mr Hockey and Mr Turnbull are out of line; they should desist from this particular line of argument. The Government will apply the national interest test and it will do it in the national economic interest and the national security interest.”
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25267118-5013404,00.html

    Swan is very clear about where to lay the blame for this mess. Hockey started this ‘yellow peril’ government stuff and Turnbull was initially cautious about joining in the beat up. Since then, of course, others have jumped in on the fun and so has Mal.

    Turnbull has proved again, that he has no control over his own goons. He is falling into line with whatever bright idea Joe, or whoever, comes up. The man has become a follower not a leader. Sad, really, he seemed to show such promise.

  60. Paul Burns

    I read The Manchurian Candidate many years ago, and if I recall correctly, it was pretty impenetrable.
    The amazing thing about this whole saga is how Malcolm has slipped into dog-whistling xenophobia. Times have changed. All people want is a way out of the GFC and if we can do that with China’s help, that’s okay. Manchurian candidates, Chinese Madames etc, etc will be seen as useless distractions from the main game, and very tawdry ones at that.
    The only advantage outy of all this is Turnbull has shown his true repulsive colours.

  61. TimT

    I heard Barnaby Joyce on the radio recently plugging a petition of his to stop Minmetals buying into Rio Tinto. I started out from a free market position – it should be the choice of Rio Tinto and their investors – but Joyce actually made me rethink a bit.
    Points he made me consider:
    – The Chinese Government owns Minmetals;
    – If the Chinese Government through an investment process become majority owners of Rio Tinto, they are hardly likely to be concerned about the rights of workers, considering how little they take that into consideration in their own country;
    – It’s possible that in the future the Chinese Government could use their ownership of Minmetals as a means to force further concessions out of the Australian Government (eg let us do x, or we will withdraw operations from Australia).

    Conclusion: this is not an everyday market transaction, and pointing out the horrid human rights record of the Chinese Government, or the fact that they are communist, is hardly racist. The Opposition was right to raise these points.

    If this sort of thing happened under the Howard Government it would probably be roundly criticised on this site as, for instance, further evidence of collusion between big business and government. And actually, come to think of it, it is.

    Something of a moot point, since it was knocked back by the regulators – maybe for just these reasons. (I note with interest that the Catallaxians offer interesting counter arguments).

  62. Geoff Robinson

    Diabolical Asian capitalists plotting with domestic traitors? Isn’t this the old populist paranoid left Brisbane line stuff? Drew Cottle & Overland are still running it. Wasn’t Wheelwight’s ‘The Third Wave’ a best seller?

  63. JohnL

    All those getting upset about the so-called “secret” meeting between Kevin Rudd and the delegation led by Li Changchun, the fifth ranking official of the Chinese politburo, are damned by faint knowledge of the facts.
    On Friday, 20 March, the Prime Minister’s Office confirmed to the ABC that this delegation, which was arriving for a three-day visit, was scheduled to have a 90-minute lunch, described as a “private function”, with the Prime Minister the next day. The source for this is Sabra Lane in an ABC transcript of a program aired on Tuesday, 24 November.
    By the way, the Governor-General’s program for Sunday, 22 March shows that the Administrator, Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, and Sir Nicholas Shehadie AC OBE received, and later hosted a dinner to mark the visit to Australia of His Excellency Mr Li Changchun, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
    The non-Chinese guests at that dinner included Major General David Morrison, (Commander of the Australian Defence College) and Mrs Gayle Morrison, Professor Jeffrey Riegel, head of the School of Languages and Culture at the University of Sydney (whose University of Sydney listing notes that most of his 30-year academic career was spent at the University of California, Berkeley), and Mr Paul Wenham, the honorary secretary-general of the Sydney Consular Corps and Mrs Ilona Wenham.
    So the meeting described as “secret” was known to the ABC the previous day and there was a reception by the acting Governor-General on the Sunday.
    The meeting was also so “secret” that the Prime Minister posed for exterior photos with Chinese delegation members and AAP was subsequently able to get a number of these photographs from China.
    Despite being told the luncheon was private, there was nothing to stop the ABC following up its knowledge and checking with the Prime Minister’s Office on the Saturday or Sunday about what was discussed at the lunch.
    Then, on Tuesday, 24 March after The Australian published a story by Cameron Stewart, Sabra Lane reported that details of the lunch emerged courtesy of the Chinese media.
    Well yes Sabra, particularly as nobody at the ABC apparently followed up on the information from the Prime Minister’s Office that there was a lunch on the Saturday.
    But, Sabra Lane’s quote of the Chinese media’s details of the lunch are not earth-shattering. This is what Sabra Lane’s program chose to quote as the details from the Chinese media: “XINHUA NEWS READER: The Prime Minister maintaining high level exchanges and he welcomed Rudd and other Australian leaders to visit China. He also suggested expanding economic cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit.” (Something seems to have been lost in the ABC translation).
    And again: “SABRA LANE: China’s Xinhua news agency and TV broadcaster CCTV have given accounts of the meeting, releasing more information than the Prime Minister’s office.
    “XINHUA NEWS READER: The accord for steadily advancing negotiations on the free trade agreement, in line with active, pragmatic, balanced and mutually beneficial principles.”
    There’s an implicit criticism by Sabra Lane for the Prime Minister’s Office not releasing information that Rudd and other Australian leaders were welcome to visit China, that Li Changchun suggested expanding economic cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit and there was presumably an accord for steadily advancing negotiations on the free trade agreement “in line with active, pragmatic, balanced and mutually beneficial principles”.
    Many might wonder if the ABC would have used this material if released by Rudd’s office on Saturday evening or Sunday.
    Not to be put off by this, or the ABC failure to follow up its original information, Sabra Lane finds a peg to give the beat-up story some relevance.
    This is what Sabra Lane had to say: “A day after the lunch, Mr Rudd appeared on Channel Nine to press China’s case for greater representation on the International Monetary Fund.”
    Fancy an Australian Prime Minister agreeing that China, which is helping the bail-out of many Western economies (particularly the US), deserves a greater role in the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
    Sabra Lane then goes on to note that Li Changchun met Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull on the Monday. Lane said Turnbull was happy to answer a question about what the two men discussed, quoting Turnbull as saying: “Well I met with Mr Li Changchun and other senior officials in the Chinese Communist Party who are visiting Australia. They raised a number of issues of mutual interest; the Australian Chinese relationship, cooperation on climate change, cooperation on economic matters and obviously they’re also very interested in the way in which Chinese investment in Australia is being assessed and considered, and that’s clearly relevant to the Chinalco proposed transaction with Rio.”
    Note something that’s not mentioned – China’s representation on the IMF.
    Well, the People’s Daily Online had the following report dated 24 March: “Australia’s federal opposition said on Monday that China should have a greater role in the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
    “‘It is obvious the arrangements with the IMF need to be updated,’ the federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull told reporters.
    “Turnbull said he supported Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s call for China’s voting rights in the IMF to be reviewed.
    “Turnbull met with Li Changchun, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, and other senior Chinese officials in Sydney on Monday.
    “Turnbull said he and the Chinese delegation had also discussed co-operation on climate change and economic matters, as well as a proposal by China’s biggest aluminum producer, Chinalco, for an increased stake in mining giant Rio Tinto.”
    Now, did Malcolm Turnbull forget all about the IMF when commenting to Sabra Lane? If so, it makes his memory much worse than Joel Fitzgibbon for forgetting things that happened in 2002 and 2005!
    And given the earlier comment about Rudd “pressing China’s case” on the IMF it is passing strange that Sabra Lane did not seek a view from Turnbull on this issue.
    With a “better late than never” attitude Greg Sheridan gets into the act in The Australian on Thursday, 26 March where he describes Rudd’s lunch with Li Changchun and the Chinese delegation as “semi-secret” – which has the same logic as “semi-pregnant”.
    Sheridan goes on to say: “Li’s visit was reported on Chinese television, but there is no guarantee that Australia’s small and very busy group of correspondents in China would have picked up the story, and its bizarre lack of visibility in Australia, if this paper’s Cameron Stewart had not reported it.”
    To be fair, Sheridan could not have known that the ABC had raised questions about the visit the previous Friday when it was told about the Saturday lunch.
    The “bizarre lack of visibility in Australia” was due to Australia’s media falling down on the job.
    And, despite Sheridan’s excuse for Australia’s “small and very busy group of correspondents” they can be expected to monitor Chinese television and news agencies for mentions of Australia, including the story about Turnbull supporting Rudd’s call for a greater role for China in the IMF. That is what they are paid to do – and it is not particularly onerous.

  64. joe2

    “The Opposition was right to raise these points.”

    TimT @61 I am not convinced “The Opposition” has ever raised these points.They seem to be chasing reds under, or on, labor beds. I thought Barnaby started that campaign, separately, with donated funds, to try and get the LNP over the line in QLD.

  65. daggett

    Thanks, Myriad, for trying to see beyond the hyperbole and exploring the real issues at stake. In a way, it is a shame, because Joel Fitzgibbon gave me the impression of being a competent defence minister who was cleaning up the appalling mess left to him by the Howard Government. However, his actions seen indefensible.

    The dismissal of concerns about growing Chinese influence as necessarily equating with cold war anti-Chinese ‘Yellow Peril’ racism is obscuring the very real danger that Australia may become a colony of China.

    Consider the story “Bowen a sure thing for Chalco” of 26 Jun 08 in the Townsville Bulletin, which is pushing for the Chinese state-owned Chalco’s Aluminum refinery to be built in wetlands to the north of Bowen:

    “The Bowen community was largely supportive of Chalco, and schools discussed the possibility of introducing the Chinese language into their curricula to expand job opportunities for students.”

    If the necessity of learning a foreign language in order to be able to secure employment in your own town is not a symptom of colonialism, then could someone tell me what is?

    This project would practically guarantee the destruction of the wetlands to the north of Bowen (see “Impacts of the Chalco Aluminium Refinery if located near Bowen”, “Burdekin Greens candidate: break neck industrialisation threatens Bowen region environment”) and would make a further massive contribution to the coming global climatic ecological holocaust. It should be opposed on those grounds alone and it should be opposed on the grounds of maintaining our national sovereignty.

    The fact that Bligh and, before her, Beattie are backing this and the fact that Bligh has added her voice to allowing Chinese companies to buy out Australian mining companies see “Queensland Premier Anna Bligh urges Federal approval for Chinalco bid” in the Courier Mail of 18 Feb 09 is further confirmation that the Australian people are not the masters of their political leaders.

  66. Craig Mc

    However, when eager readers examine the relevant article to see this clinching proof that our Defence Minister has been “showered with gifts” by a PLA officer, they only discover she’s on the editorial committee of “Shandong Celebrities Family”, which “has extensive membership within China’s military, the Peoples’ Liberation Army”.

    The classic woolly-headed thinking that’s made Crikey what it is today – a pale imitation of a 70s student newsletter.

    That Rudd hasn’t made Fitzgibbon resign on the spot either says he’s already got a cabinet reshuffle in the works, or is as weak as Budweiser Lite. I guess we’ll find out which soon enough.

    Criticism of Rudd for being too close to China is as dumb as a box of hammers though. Fitzgibbon is the hole in the armor, The opposition should be concentrating its fire there. Sure, call Rudd weak for not doing the obviously responsible thing, but stay away from the rest.

    BTW, Bishop didn’t make the “manchurian candidate” claim – she’s being verballed there.

    As to China “helping” the rest of the world out of the GFC, I doubt it. It won’t be “helping” so much as pressing home a strategic economic advantage. If it was really interested in helping, it would have floated its currency many years ago and allowed some balance in trade to occur. It might feel like help, but we’ll all be sore in the morning.

  67. Paul Burns

    Geoff Robinson @ 62,
    Trouble is, Geoff, Cottle got it wrong. But then again he condemns me for being an empiricist historian. All this is, is another moral panic. They’re never very pleasant, and the people who start them are pretty stupid. Mind you, its probably a very slight improvement on Conroy’s REussian Mafia, because most people (I hope) would dismiss this yellow peril crap as rubbish.

  68. Nickws

    Tim T @ 61: You’ve just decribed what Swan did the other day in blocking Minmetal’s proposed takeover of an asset of Oz Minerals, http://business.theage.com.au/business/swan-blocks-chinese-takeover-of-oz-mine-20090327-9d1x.html.

    The Rio Tinto proposal doesn’t involve Minmetal, but rather Chinalco increasing it’s stake in Rio Tinto. Anyway, AFAIK the Opposition is neutral on the blocking of the first deal and the ongoing second one—Barnaby sounds very out of touch with the conservatives here who’ve slammed the government for blocking the Minmetal deal, as apparently that’s a case of Rudd doing his own ‘yellow peril’ xenophobia act!

  69. Leinad

    I for one welcome our Chinese Madam overlords…

  70. Razor

    The blocking of the Oz Minerals takeover is purely political window dressing – an attempt to appear to stand up to Beijing. The security pretext is a joke.

    And still we have no evidence of the alleged DOD snooping.

  71. joe2

    “And still we have no evidence of the alleged DOD snooping.”

    That is true [email protected] It might be a sign that the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Ian Carnell, is actually doing his job and investigating the allegations, unlike Defence Secretary, Nick Warner, who just seemed to know straight away that none of his team would engage in that kind of thing.

  72. Adrien

    Nick and Katz – If Adrien thinks that the Right is rummaging around for a casus belli that will draw Australia closer to the US in his hypothesised inevitable confrontation with China, I hope the Right will find something more substantial than a couple of suits and some flights to China.
    .
    Adrien, do you honestly believe any Asian nation-state’s political class
    .
    Um I didn;t say anything that even remotely advocates the Howardarian endorsement of non-critical colonial support for Uncle Sam. I merely said I don;t see this Yellow Peril thing at play.
    .
    As a Catholic conservative commentor on foreign policy matters said (and I’m not a Catholic conservative): My views on US foreign policy coincide with the radical Left.
    .
    But unlike most of them I know why there are people like Kissinger. 🙂

  73. Ken Lovell

    That’s a bit harsh joe2. He probably sent out an email to all staff asking that anyone who had investigated the minister should give him details by COB Friday 27 March. Nobody responded so what else can the poor bloke be expected to do? Absence of evidence = evidence of absence, it’s a well-known bureaucratic truism.

  74. Helen

    Down on cyprus avenue
    With a childlike vision leaping into view
    Clicking, clacking of the high heeled shoe
    Ford & fitzroy, madame Liu

    OK, now I’ve got my earworm for today. At least for once it’s a nice one.

  75. joe2

    Yes, I was far too cruel [email protected] Hey, I wonder if Nick is the brother of Dave?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWArUaViXsA

  76. Adrien

    Katz #31 – A more considered reply:
    .
    If Adrien thinks that the Right is rummaging around for a casus belli that will draw Australia closer to the US in his hypothesised inevitable confrontation with China
    .
    Well I didn’t say that the Right was doing that. I’ve received the impression that others here say that. Maybe I’m wrong.
    .
    Fact is both sides of the House, those capable of potentially forming a govt anyway, are more or less uncritical supporters of ANZUS. The ALP less so yes but not substantially. I have a feeling that despite the 2/3 disapproval rating for such a move we will soon be boosting our presence in Afghanistan. Wasn’t one of Rudd’s riffs the anti-war one? I’m reminded of a columnist in The Age who wrote a piece lauding Obama as the leader of the world. I got the impression that she would be highly disinclined to celebrate US hegemony if the GOP were in the White House.
    .
    ‘My hypothesis’, btw, is not mine but standard discourse in the serious literature speculating about Australia’s future foreign policy stance. Yet another way in which we are still the lucky country is our fortunate alliance with the World’s Biggest Power. First the Brits, now the Yanks. This enables us to carry on shangri-la with a defense force of 40 000 to defend an entire continent. It will not last.
    .
    As matters stand, China is on the cusp of world dominance despite having fired virtually no angry shots
    .
    Virtually none? I wonder what the people of Tibet have to say about that? Or those whose lives were ‘improved’ by their education viz The Cultural Revolution. The Manichean view of geopolitics is really the biggest impediment. Just because the US foreign policy is a catalogue of nefarious hypocrisy does not make China the good guys.
    .
    …which is a record more savoury than a nation that has invaded half the countries in the world and has an unhealthy obsession with the preservation of its bodily fluids.
    .
    And when China bumps the US off its hill will it act any differently? Consider the staggering arrogance of the PRC. Look at the excessive and anti-democratic fanaticism displayed during the Olympic Torch run.
    .
    Again I have not seen any substantial discourse that warns of Yellow Peril. Just legitimate concerns about our defense minister and his secret dealings. If this was the Libs you’d all be howling. Instead there’s just the same PC orthodoxy working overtime.
    .
    If you want to think serious geopolitics than consider this. That is the future for good or otherwise.

  77. Adrien

    Nick – Adrien, do you honestly believe any Asian nation-state’s political class (let alone that of the PRC) has the kind of cultural links with the very white, anglophone commenters of LP, that the US Right has with the likes of Greg Sheridan*?
    .
    No I don’t.
    .
    The transnational links amongst the political classes of the English speaking world appear to verge on hegemony thanks largely tom the usual associations, modern communications and the likes of News Ltd. The PRC in particular and Asia in general are another zone with their own culture and governmentality whether or no they possess the apparatus of democracy. Japan, for instance, seems to also be a one-party state by consent.
    .
    But we in Australia have always lived on the fringe between the post-Imperial Anglozone and that of Asia. Our position is becoming significant and both the US and the PRC understand this and may compete with one another to court our favour. At least one foreign policy article I’ve read contemplates Australia’s posture in the event of a Sino-US military conflict and recommends that we stay out of it. This would probably be the least bad of three options and would negatively affect ANZUS. Probably destroy it.
    .
    I’m not saying that LP commentors have any kind of links with the PRC at all. I don’t have that information.
    .
    Where is this `servility’ coming from?
    .
    It comes from the discomfort that one feels at Australia’s xenophobia toward Asia which many in the intelligentsia feel, with reason, is not entirely an historical matter. It is still commonplace in polite circles these days for people to assume that one is being racist if one discusses race.
    .
    A version of said assumption is at play when, in light of legitimate concern about the government minister responsible for adminstrating the defense of this country has been exposed in a relationship with an important figure in the PRC economic apparatus. I read somewhere above that The Age made Ambassador Fu Ying look diabolical or something. I read that article it didn’t do anything of the kind. It simply speculated that Rudd was trying to put a distance between the PRC and himself to avoid the Fitzgibbon fall-out. Standard politics.
    .
    I know I carry no brief for the Tiananmen Square mob.
    .
    I’m not sure what that ‘mob’ has to do with the intrigues of the PRC, but anyway.
    .
    Perhaps you think everyone here defending Rudd and Joel has come out of the old CPA(Marxist-Leninist)?
    .
    What a caricature. Those here defending Joel are doing so because they’re in, or support, the ALP not the CPA (M-L) which btw is now the CPA. They’ve even got a newspaper. They leave months old copies of it in phone booths every now and then so I guess they must be a roaring success 🙂 .
    .
    Again, the concerns about Fitzgibbon’s behaviour are legitimate. I’m happy to have anyone point out a Yellow Peril hysteria to me but thus far I haven’t seen one. He should’ve declared his interests. He didn’t. Time to go.
    .
    Also standard politics.

  78. Katz

    Look at the excessive and anti-democratic fanaticism displayed during the Olympic Torch run.

    Yep, the torch holocaust should go right to the top of everyone’s catalogue of modern atrocities.

    I agree that domestically, during its period of nation-building, the Chinese Communists perpetrated huge and appalling breaches of human rights. Indeed, their record of tyranny rivals the worst in the world. (I count the reduction of Tibet as a domestic event. Others may argue otherwise.)

    However, in its commercial dealings with countries that are sources of raw materials, China has been punctilious in its pragmatic and respectful treatment of its counterparties. At the same stage of US development, the US government was sending dozens of Marine contingents into the Caribbean and Latin America, bullying the “natives” into compliance.

    Will China continue to be so benign? Probably not. Anyone doing business with China Inc. needs to be extremely cautious. Their sheer commercial and financial power are capable of crushing the strongest rivals. This being the case, it would appear, therefore, that it will be China’s rivals that may seek solutions to the dominance of China not in trade and peaceful competition but in other forms of confrontation, including, perhaps, military.

    The nations that may choose to confront China in those ways may well claim necessity and national survival. These, indeed, were the arguments that drove Japan’s attacks on Pearl Harbor.

    I imagine that some Japanese continue to argue that Pearl Harbor was justified. But most of them know that the rest of the world disagrees vehemently.

    Nothing in the ANZUS Treaty compels a military course of action. Any Australian government that may be motivated to take military action in concert with the US against China needs to ask itself whether they are signing up Australia to a US version of Pearl Harbor.

  79. Baraholka

    Joe Hockey and Sharman Stone are continuing to run the Yellow Peril Dog Whistle. In their appearances on ABC’s Q&A of May 7 and May 14 they both emphasised that China will hold significant levels of Australian debt and that Australians should be aware of this, but failed to specifically state why this would be a bad thing.

    http://indifferencegivesyouafright.wordpress.com/2009/05/24/yellow-peril-dogwhistle-familiar-territory-for-liberal-coalition-sickos/