National MP trained by Chinese spies - Politics | PoFo

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Note that National is NZ's conservative party who just won the election. This story broke a little more than a week before the election but curiously it wasn't a big deal. There was very little reporting on it afterwards and the major opposition party, Labour, did not exploit it at all.

Newsroom wrote:
Newsroom Investigation: National MP trained by Chinese spies


A National Party MP who studied at an elite Chinese spy school before moving to New Zealand has attracted the interest of our Security Intelligence Service. The list MP Jian Yang did not mention in his work or political CVs a decade he spent in the People's Liberation Army-Air Force Engineering College or the Luoyang language institute run by China's equivalent of the United States National Security Agency. That agency, the Third Department, conducts spying activities for China. Newsroom has been told that to have taught at the Air Force Engineering College, Yang would have almost certainly been an officer in Chinese military intelligence and a member of the Communist Party, as other students and staff have been. Yang studied and then taught there before moving to Australia where he attended the Australian National University in Canberra. He migrated to this country to teach international relations in the politics department at the University of Auckland. He was hand-picked by National Party president Peter Goodfellow to become an MP on its list in 2011, wooed directly by the former Prime Minister John Key and has been a key fundraiser for National among the Chinese community in Auckland. As an MP he variously served on Parliament's Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (from 2014 until last year), Commerce, Transport and Industrial Relations and Health and Science select committees and is prominent in New Zealand's interactions with the Chinese community and diplomatic and consular missions in Wellington and Auckland. He remains a Parliamentary Private Secretary for ethnic affairs.

Yang confirms

Newsroom has worked with the Financial Times in Hong Kong to investigate Yang's background. We can reveal Yang confirmed in a recorded interview in Chinese with the Financial Times that he attended both military institutions. In his comments to the FT researcher, Yang twice urged her to concentrate on the New Zealand election. "You don't need to write too much about myself," he said, adding later: "As for me myself, actually I don't feel it's necessary to include so many detailed things." Interviewed today, by Newsroom, Yang refused to comment, saying repeatedly on camera: "Talk to my boss" and "I have nothing to hide". He then drove away. Yang later released a statement saying he refuted "any allegations that question my loyalty to New Zealand". The statement said he had been "nothing but upfront and transparent" about his education and employment. Yang challenged those who were "propagating these defamatory statements" to front up and prove them. "This is a smear campaign by nameless people who are out to damage me and the National Party 10 days from an election, just because I am Chinese." An expert in Chinese intelligence Peter Mattis told Newsroom from the US that someone who attended and then taught at the Air Force Engineering College and attended the language institute would almost certainly have been an officer in China's PLA and member of the Communist Party.

SIS interest

Newsroom understands New Zealand's Security Intelligence Service has scrutinised him at times over three years, including interviewing one person about him last year. The SIS said today it would not comment on operational matters, especially investigations involving individuals. A hearing of Parliament's Privileges Committee into intelligence surveillance protocols for MPs occurred in late 2013. If an intelligence agency has cause to monitor an MP, the SIS director or Inspector-General of Intelligence is to brief the Speaker of the House. The Privileges Committee, chaired at the time by Attorney-General Chris Finlayson, polices contempts, which can include anything that could impede or restrict the rights of MPs to conduct their business unimpeded. A Memorandum of Understanding between the SIS and Parliament's Speaker from 2010 says: "The only circumstances in which collection may be directed against a sitting MP is where a particular MP is suspected of undertaking activities relevant to security." It is not known if the Speaker, David Carter, or Prime Ministers John Key or Bill English, who were the ministers in charge of the SIS, have been briefed on Yang's background or the SIS interest. Comment is being sought from Bill English. National Party President Peter Goodfellow claimed in an interview with the Financial Times this morning that Yang's education in China was widely known in New Zealand. Goodfellow said he had “no idea” about any SIS investigation into Yang. “He certainly gave us his full resume with the two universities – an air force academy and the other one,” Goodfellow said. “You’re making a number of assumptions based on his background and I’d be careful unless you have proof of what you’re saying.” He also said Yang’s background was “covered in a review of candidates” by a government relations consultancy, Saunders Unsworth.

Interest in Yang's background precedes his moving to New Zealand. It is understood some officials at ANU were suspicious of his close ties to China when he worked there. China-watchers suggest someone educated at an elite PLA Air Force Engineering College and then at the Luoyang Foreign Languages Institute would have had to be a member of the Chinese Communist Party to be allowed to stay on and teach. It was considered unusual for someone with intelligence connections to be allowed to leave China for Australia to study, or to have done so without the backing of the party or PLA.

MP Jian Yang beside National leader Bill English and with 'Blue Dragons' supporters at a party policy launch.

Missing decade

Yang's maiden speech to Parliament did not mention his education at the military establishments, although he noted that in 1978, the year Deng Xiaoping began China's economic reforms, "I passed the newly-restored higher education examination and became part of the small group of high school graduates who went on to university". The missing decade in Yang's CV is reflected in that speech. After saying he entered university in 1978, the next date he gives is: "In April 1989, a great opportunity was opened up for me when I received a scholarship to Johns Hopkins University in the United States." The Tiananmen massacre and global controversy in June that year prevented him from leaving for that study. Chinese sources do not discuss where he worked for the next five years but he did attend the Johns Hopkins centre for American-Chinese study in Nanjing for one year.

Active politics

In 1994 Yang began postgraduate studies at the ANU, achieving a doctorate and then taking the job in Auckland. He credits professors Barry Gustafson and Raymond Miller with helping him in his political education in New Zealand and colleagues for encouraging the move from political theory to professional politics. In his maiden speech Yang outlined the failure of socialist economic policies in China before 1978 and its success in introducing capitalism with socialist characteristics, lifting millions from poverty, encouraging entrepreneurialism, personal responsibility, and reward for achievement. "Reflecting on the way in which China has achieved its positive change and development gives me a firm belief that the policies of the National Party are in the best interests of New Zealand," he said. Yang's involvement in the foreign affairs and trade select committee at Parliament did not require security clearances because elected MPs are not subject to the normal public service requirements. He is said to be a central figure promoting and helping shape the National government's China strategy and responsible for its engagement with the New Zealand Chinese community. In 2014, former Prime Minister John Key attended a fundraising dinner organised by Yang for wealthy ethnic Chinese voters, which the New Zealand Herald and Stuff websites reported raised $200,000 for the party's election campaign.

Studying intrigue

The emergence of Yang's study and work at the military intelligence institutions in China has intrigued China-watchers in both Australia and this country. The engineering college is reputedly one of China's 10 top military academies. The Luoyang 'Foreign Language Institute' is part of the Third Department of the Joint Staff Headquarters of the PLA - one of two main military intelligence agencies. The institute, in Henan province in central China, has around 500 teaching staff for 29 languages and has had 50,000 graduates including 100 generals. The Third Department is responsible for China's signals intelligence operations and for providing intelligence assessments based on information gathered. According to author Mark Stokes in his 2015 The PLA General Staff Department, Third Department, Second Bureau, linguists assigned to that section are sent to Luoyang for language training "then assigned to a Third Department bureau for mission specific technical training". Yang is understood to have met his wife, Jane, an IT specialist, at Luoyang.

The China expert Mattis, author of the book Analysing the Chinese Military and a former staffer of the US National Bureau for Asian Research told Newsroom the Third Department covered all forms of signals intelligence. "It could be direction finding for signals, it could be encryption, it could be trying to break the codes of other countries, other militaries - and today that involves computer network exploitation." Asked if it was conducting spying, he said: "Yes. This is the national signals intelligence authority that pretty much every country has. In the US it is the NSA, in the UK it is GCHQ and in Australia the National Signals Directorate." Yang's time at Johns Hopkins Nanjing was a strong indicator of his intelligence involvement as in the era he attended many of the Chinese students were from military intelligence. "It is not definitive, but it is certainly a signal indicator that when combined with others will cleanly identify someone as being a part of Ministry of State Security or military intelligence."

Australia and New Zealand

He said there were two equally plausible scenarios for Yang leaving China for Australia. One was to escape his homeland and put his past behind him to create a new life. The other was to have worked for military intelligence, most likely China's Second Department, dealing in human intelligence. Since coming to New Zealand in 1999, Yang had been active in semi-official New Zealand discussions and events with China, Japan and Southeast Asian countries. In the National Party, Yang is prominent with a large group of Chinese members calling themselves the Blue Dragons and campaigning enthusiastically at events during this campaign, including National's launch at the Trusts Stadium in Henderson on August 27. Asked if it was unusual internationally for someone with a military intelligence background in one country to be an MP in another, Mattis said: "It is something I would have hoped that his colleagues in the National Party would have put to him in the vetting process ... because certainly on its face, it would be quite disconcerting." "There are countries with whom we are friendly, but there are no friendly intelligence services."

Following on from the above, Australia is finally doing something about the CCPs influence in universities. The other four “five eye” nations (of course there is no such thing as an Anglosphere) are cooperating.

Chinese Government intrusion into Western universities sparks push for collective action
Exclusive by Defence reporter Andrew Greene
Updated 33 minutes ago

Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.

VIDEO: DFAT boss issues 'respect' warning to Chinese students (ABC News)
RELATED STORY: DFAT boss issues 'respect' warning to Chinese studentsRELATED STORY: Universities urged to be vigilant over Chinese influence on campusesRELATED STORY: China's security obsession a point of national pride
MAP: China
The fear of Chinese Government intrusion into Western universities is sparking a push by Australia's closest allies for a more coordinated response to Beijing's aggressive tactics.

Key points:

Five Eyes partners considering collective response to threat of foreign interference
Head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade warns Australian universities needed to be resilient
Australia is taking a leading role in the discussions
Having observed attacks on academic freedoms in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — discussions have begun in diplomatic and security circles about whether the Five Eyes intelligence partners should respond collectively to the threat, so there are no "weak links" which can be exploited.

So far nothing formal has been proposed but senior national security figures have told the ABC Australia is taking a "leading role" in publicly highlighting the situation.

The concerns over China's activities were brought starkly into focus last week in a rare public speech by the head of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Frances Adamson, who warned Australian universities needed to be resilient to foreign interference.

"The silencing of anyone in our society from students to lecturers to politicians is an affront to our values," Ms Adamson told the Confucius Institute at Adelaide University.

International experience

United States

According to the New York Times over 300,000 Chinese nationals now study at US colleges, more than five times the number recorded a decade ago.
Chinese Students and Scholars Associations have drawn criticism for their on-campus activities in trying to silence groups whose views do not align with Beijing's.
United Kingdom

In August Cambridge University Press announced it would reinstate online journal articles critical of Beijing which it had blocked in China at the request of the Communist government.
The incident has highlighted the pressure exerted on British academic institutions by the Chinese Government.
New Zealand

The smallest of the Five Eyes intelligence partners is seen by analysts as a "soft" target for Beijing's growing "soft power" diplomacy.
Diplomatic figures believe China's interference on New Zealand campuses is similar to the tactics employed in Australia.
Her contribution has been noted by senior government figures and the diplomatic community as a deliberate and important acknowledgement of the gravity of the situation.

Ms Adamson's intervention is the latest in a series of tougher statements from Australian officials condemning Beijing's activities, which began with the Prime Minister's comments on the South China Sea during the Shangri-La dialogue in June.

"Australia is giving China what it wants in terms of education for its students — so it's time for the Federal Government to insist the Chinese comply with Australia's values and interests," a senior foreign diplomatic figure told the ABC.

The Canberra based diplomat concedes any move by Australia to clamp down on Chinese interference would need to be matched by other Five Eyes intelligence partners who compete heavily to attract the same international students to their universities.

One of the most senior national security figures in Australia says there is now a "like mindedness and shared understanding" among Five Eyes allies of how China's pervasive and subversive influence has penetrated into each nation.

Earlier this year a Four Corners investigation revealed the extent of influence by the Chinese Communist Party on international students studying in Australia.

Last year security concerns were raised over plans to install Chinese-owned technology on a powerful supercomputer used by government agencies and Australian universities.
The difference between the frenzy in the US over Russia and the silence in NZ over China is quite amazing. The only news outlet which seems to be interested in covering this in a bit more detail is Newsroom. Here, it quotes a high ranking politician from each of the major NZ parties. Bill English, a conservative, actually tries to divert attention away from China to Australia of all countries. And the Labour guy, Little, is of course nothing but predictable: we need to be careful because diversity. But best of all is the "expert" who implies Australians have psychological issues because of WWII. :roll:
Newsroom wrote:
China’s influence back in the spotlight

As an Australian senator has resigned over his links to China, some in New Zealand are pointing to a newly-released document as highlighting concerns about the country’s influence here. But there is debate over the significance of China’s efforts. Sam Sachdeva reports.


He said Australia’s more aggressive approach was perhaps due to a “sense of vulnerability to the Asian threat”, given it was bombed in World War II while New Zealand was more distant.


Politicians downplay threat

National leader Bill English said “the exercise of foreign influence” was not new to New Zealand, pointing to efforts in the past by Russia, the US and China, as well as Australia.

“Of course there is a pretty pervasive, potentially pervasive influence from Australia where they own our banks and insurance companies and there is a lot of tension around that, where Australia would prefer we didn’t regulate our own financial sector, they would prefer to do it from Australia.

“That’s a much more immediate offshore influence, I think, than any of the others.”


Little said he would not go into the details of which communities were the subject of attempts at influence.

However, he said concerns about Chinese influence in Australia, including reports of political candidates with links to Chinese intelligence agencies, did not need to be mirrored here - possibly a reference to National MP Dr Jian Yang and his ties to Chinese intelligence, as first reported by Newsroom.

“We want to have a Parliament that is as reflective of the New Zealand population as possible. We need people of ethnic Chinese descent in our Parliament, we have that at the moment, so we’ve got to be a little bit careful that we don’t buy into some of the issues raised in other countries as being a negative for New Zealand.”

@Kaiserschmarrn the shit is really hitting the fan over here. And about time. The problem with progressive, enlightened Westerners is that they have no moral compass at all. The sooner a few of these unprincipled opportunists are charged with treason, the better.

Sorry fo not being racist, but I can’t blame the Chinese for this. It is wholly the fault of the white PC traitor class.
The documents show Yang referred to his work and study history in China - 15 years in total from 1978 - as solely with "Luoyang University".

It has subsequently been revealed Yang graduated with an undergraduate degree from military-linked institutions the People's Liberation Army Air Force Engineering Academy, and later lectured at the elite spy school the Luoyang Foreign Languages Institute.

In a note accompanying the release, Immigration New Zealand said: "We note that Mr Yang met all the requirements under the relevant legislation at the time of his residence application and no character concerns were identified at the time."

Questions to Immigration NZ about whether recent concerns about the level of Yang's disclosure, or subsequent character concerns, had triggered investigations at the department were answered in a statement by INZ Assistant General Manager Geoff Scott.

The National Party was "fully aware of my background before nominating me as a candidate and I have not been interviewed by the SIS about any matters", he said.

"I am no longer a member of the Chinese Communist Party and have not paid a membership fee or had any connection with the Party since I left China over 23 years ago."

In the Financial Times expose breaking the story last month, co-credited with local outlet Newsroom, the Foreign Languages Institute was said to specialise in "training both openly acknowledged military intelligence officers and 'secret line' deep cover agents".

The report also said the Security Intelligence Service (SIS) had begun investigating Yang's background and were interviewing people as recently as last year about the matter.

In a press conference after the report of his background broke, Yang said he had served as a civilian officer in the PLA and was required to not to name the institutions as a condition of being allowed to leave China. ... d=11934852

This Chinese MP clearly lied about his educational background when he immigrated to New Zealand in 1999 because Beijing requested him to do so. But he only worked as an English teacher at the spy institution and he is unlikely to be actively spying for Beijing, while his security clearance may be revoked as a cautionary measure. In other news, a North Korean agent was arrested in Sydney.

Looks like the Germans are getting upset with Chinese attempts to gain influence. This is apart from the Europeans getting worried by China trying to buy up every high tech firm in Europe.

Germany says China using LinkedIn to recruit informants

China is using social media outlets to recruit German informants, says Germany's spy agency. (Photo: Kyra Preston)

BRUSSELS, 11. DEC, 09:25
The German domestic intelligence agency (BfV) says China is using fake profiles on social media to target German officials and politicians.
"This is a broad-based attempt to infiltrate, in particular, parliaments, ministries and government agencies," said BfV head Hans-Georg Maassen on Sunday (10 December).

Maassen said more than 10,000 Germans have been approached by the alleged ruse from Chinese profiles posing as reputable professionals on social networking site LinkedIn.
The BfV released around half dozen fake LinkedIn profiles of young attractive Chinese professionals.

Among them is Laeticia Chen who supposedly works at the China Center for International Politics and Economy. Another, Eva Han, is from the China University of Political Science and Law.

The people behind the suspected profiles attempt to link to others, asking them to contact them. The BfV says the moves are designed to possibly recruit high-ranking officials to become Chinese informants.

"Chinese intelligence services are active on networks like LinkedIn and have been trying for a while to extract information and find intelligence sources in this way," said the BfV.

The allegations of Chinese spying are not limited to Germany.

China has also been accused of trying to meddle with Australian elections and domestic affairs. China has denied the allegations.

But last week, Canberra announced a raft of new laws to crack down on any such efforts.

In November, the US Congress said Chinese news media outlets like Xinhua act as an arm of China's state intelligence agency and demanded that they register as foreign agents.

The US also has CIA spies inside China. According to the New York Times, up to 20 CIA spies have either been killed or imprisoned in China between 2010 and 2012.

The broader China move appears to be part of a larger effort by the Chinese state to create a mass surveillance network.

In 2015, it began building SkyNet, an internal country-wide system that uses millions of CCTV cameras to track and probe their own citizens at home using facial recognition technology.

Some 170 million cameras are already installed nationwide with plans to erect another 400 million over the next three years.

Here’s another article on China. Seems the honeymoon with the West is over.

One thing that annoys me about these articles is that they often blame Trump for the decline in US and thus Western influence. I’d say it has been 25 years of hubris and interventionist foriegn policy that is to blame for Western decline. Though internal factors like neo-liberal economics and the effect of PC on freedom of debate must be mentioned to.

China refutes Germany's unlawful information gathering allegations
Germany's intelligence service recently released details of an elaborate Chinese intelligence scheme to gather information about officials and politicians through social media

ANI | Hong Kong
Last Updated at December 12, 2017 10:28 IST
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China's leaders vehemently deny that they interfere in the internal politics of others or that they pursue hegemony - because they are not like others.

However, that proclamation of innocence has been shown to be a bald-faced lie through various revelations this past week.

For instance, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), Germany's intelligence service, released details of an elaborate Chinese intelligence scheme to gather information about officials and politicians through social media.

The BfV took the unusual step of calling out China by stating, "Chinese intelligence services are active on networks like LinkedIn and have been trying for a while to extract information and find intelligence sources in this way."

The BfV identified fake profiles featuring professional-looking people. German security officials said 10,000+ German citizens had been contacted on LinkedIn but warned, "There could be a large number of target individuals and fake profiles that have not yet been identified."

This demonstrates growing realization in Europe and the USA about covert Chinese activity overseas.

Or take Chinese attempts to influence Australian politics.

A study of electoral commission data showed nearly 80 percent of foreign donations to Australian political parties since 2000 bore links to China. The monetary figure amounted to just AUD12.6 million but, alarmingly, in 2015-16 alone 94.4 percent of foreign money came from Chinese nationals or entities.

In response to growing recognition of the problem, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull took a long-overdue vow on December 5 to clamp down on internal meddling with new laws on foreign interference and foreign donations.

He insisted they were "not about any one country", though they came amidst a slew of exposures where Chinese largesse influenced Australian politicians.

When introducing the proposed legislation to the lower house, Turnbull said, "Media reports have suggested that the Chinese communist party has been working to covertly interfere with our media, our universities and even the decisions of elected representatives right here in this building. We take these reports very seriously." Under the proposed law, it would be a crime to covertly act on behalf of a foreign entity to influence a political or government process.

Chinese officials were furious with Turnbull's announcement:"It poisons the atmosphere of the China-Australia relationship and undermines the foundation of mutual trust and bilateral cooperation. We express strong dissatisfaction with that and have made a serious complaint with the Australian side."

The Foreign Ministry's statement that "China develops its friendly relations with other countries on the basis of mutual respect for.non-interference in internal affairs" was paradoxical given that it was commenting on Australian internal affairs in direct response to Chinese behaviour.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang also complained, "Such remarks simply cater to the irresponsible reports by some Australian media that are without principles and full of bias against China." This reflected a default setting for China, where any criticism directed against China is always a sign of bias.

China will have to tone down its defensive indignation. Kneejerk buzzwords such as "bias", "anti-China", "hysteria" and "prejudice" need to disappear. China has great difficulty receiving criticism and it normally lashes out in response. It does not yet see that criticism can improve relations, rather than taking each one as a relation-ending slap in the face.

Chen Yonglin, a former Chinese diplomat who defected to Australia in 2005, is under no illusions about China's strategy. He told The New Daily, "Western democracy is now under attack from the Chinese regime." Indeed, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation recently said it had identified up to ten political candidates at the state and local level who it believed had close ties to Chinese intelligence agencies.

This issue of Chinese influence-peddling via both individuals and organizations is one that countries are going to have to increasingly confront. In Australia, for instance, the last census revealed that 1.2 million people declared themselves of Chinese heritage, including 600,000 born in China. There are also more than 170,000 Chinese students studying at Australian universities too.

New Zealand is concerned too. In a recent briefing document to the incoming prime minister, the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) warned, "New Zealand is not immune to the threat of espionage by foreign states, nor to foreign efforts to interfere with the normal functioning of government or the rights of New Zealand citizens. Such activities in New Zealand over the past year have included attempts to access sensitive government and private sector information, and attempts to unduly influence expatriate communities."

It continued, "NZSIS continues to see foreign powers conduct espionage activity and other hostile state-sponsored activities (including foreign interference) against New Zealand and New Zealanders. Foreign intelligence services pursue information, both classified and publicly available, to support the objectives of their respective governments."

Apprehensions about China are growing, and rightly so. China is a communist party-controlled police state, with President XiJinping's policies more repressive than those of his predecessors. For instance, religions are increasingly being persecuted. The government ordered churches to take down their crosses, and to replace pictures of Christ with images of Xi.

For too long, people in the West have been naive and ignorant of the reality of China's politically repressive system. The revelation of China's nefarious behind-the-scenes manipulation far from its shores is therefore welcome.

J. Michael Cole wrote in The National Interest, "It would be foolish to deny that China is now a major and rightful player on the international scene. It would be equally dangerous to assume, as it seeks to rewrite the rules of the game, that we are dealing with an ordinary country. China is a successful authoritarian party-state the likes of which the world has never seen before."

Another issue is that of blatant hypocrisy. China has imposed extremely strictures on foreign companies and NGOs and enacted laws against interference at home. So why is Beijing furious at other countries implementing laws that do not even come close to China's draconian regulations?

China is known to petulantly punish others too, examples being those bold enough to have met with the Dalai Lama, or the Norwegian government's awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Last year Foreign Minister Wang Yi launched an embarrassing tirade against a Canadian journalist when she questioned him on China's human rightsrecord. Browbeating journalists, perhaps because they get away with it at home.

Or take the irony of China hosting the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen from 2-6 December. Xi was quoted, "The development of the internet knows no national or sectoral boundaries. The sound use, development and governance of the internet thus calls for closer international cooperation and joint efforts to build a community of common future in cyberspace."

Similarly, Xu Lin, the director of the Cyberspace Administration of China, called for countries to respect China's cyberspace sovereignty and policies. Yet cyberspace in China is becoming more and more tightly patrolled. A crackdown on virtual private networks (VPN) is just one symptom, and popular sites such as Google, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook all remain blocked.

Ironically, the 1,500 participants at the World Internet Conference were permitted unlimited access to the internet, in sharp contrast to the rest of China where it falls under the tightly controlled Great Firewall. Even as China lauds frontier technologies, its security organs are using the same advances to suppress communications.

Even worse, China is working aggressively to get other countries to sign onto its vision for the internet, and such conferences give a veneer of respectability to China's position.

Or what of China's hypocrisy in hosting the South-South Human Rights Forum in Beijing? Some 300 delegates heard about a "human rights development path with Chinese characteristics" from one of the most repressive regimes in the world. Wang Yi crowed, "There's no one size fits all approach in human rights practices. No one is in a position to lecture others on human rights."

The irony! While telling others they are not fit to lecture on human rights, he did precisely that.

Wang pointed to the alleviation of poverty as his country's contribution to improving human rights. However, the NGO China Human Rights Defenders fought back, saying in a statement, "The 'secret' of the 'China success' hinges on squashed protests, silenced complaints and swollen jails and extrajudicial holding cells. Under Xi Jinping, the government has escalated suppression on civil-political liberties, closed down space for civil society, and persecuted lawyers and activists who come to the defense of victims of social-economic rights violations and assist them in seeking redress."

The danger of China's agenda was succinctly summed up by the Washington Post: "While the Chinese Communist Party historically dedicated itself to defending its domestic repression and strict social controls, Beijing under Xi Jinping is increasingly promoting that system as a model for development abroad while working to define global governance to cement Chinese practices."

As China sashays onto the center of the international stage, Xi has pitched China as respectable elder statesman. As President Donald Trump ensures that American influence wanes further internationally, Xi has sensed the opportunity to assert a greater foreign influence. However, his narratives need to be questioned and exposed.
@Kaiserschmarrn the shit is really hitting the fan over here. And about time. The problem with progressive, enlightened Westerners is that they have no moral compass at all. The sooner a few of these unprincipled opportunists are charged with treason, the better.

The problem is that most people have no moral compass at all, foxdemon. Most people are not motivated in their behaviour by strongly held personal moral principles, but merely by the desire for higher social status and tend to act in accordance with social expectation. In other words, they do what they think they can get away with, and wish only to be thought to be 'normal' or socially acceptable. Hence, we get things like the attempt to gain a higher social status through virtue signalling, and an almost infinite moral and ideological flexibility. This is just the way it is, the way it's always been, and probably the way it always will be. Once you understand that, everything begins to make sense.
@Potemkin yes of course. Damn monkeys!

Here’s an article from the Australian educated left posted on Menadue’s blog (he is a former staffer in the Whitlam government). They take a hyper critical view of America but strangely quite on anything China does wrong. The APSI articles I often link to represent the Australian educated right, who are hyper critical of China yet apparently blind to anything America does wrong.

Of interest is Thakur’s insight into the changing global norms. I agree with him that this is the central issue. China under Xi Jinping is building a new world order based on pan-Arianism and the West, particularly America, will be casted in the role of the ‘evil other’, to solidify Chinese dominance over the global south.

Most Chinese martial arts movies deplict this scenario with some evil white dude as the protagonist to the noble Chinese dude.

Rei should be ecstatic. Finally she is getting what she wants. A pan Asian racialist, and defiantly not liberal, world order. The only thing not to her liking would be the animosity between China and Japan.

← JOHN MENADUE Repost of a Submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual AbuseLAURIE PATTON. Setting the Record Straight – The Australian newspaper publishes rebuttal to Internet Australia attacks →
RAMESH THAKUR. Australia charts a flawed foreign policy course
15 December 2017
Australia’s 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper sketches the global geopolitical transition with remarkable precision and elegance and the document is exceptionally strong on principles, rules and norms as the foundation of world order. The word “rules” is used 70 times, “norms” 22 times, “principles” 15 times and “international law” 26 times.

The paper documents how a connected world is becoming more competitive and contested, reshaping world order and putting global rules and institutions under strain. These present opportunities alongside threats. The most consequential challenge for Australia is the growing power, wealth and influence of China enabling it to contest U.S. primacy.

Australia’s response is to restate the fundamental importance of the U.S. alliance as the core of strategic and defence planning and encourage a strong U.S. security and economic engagement with the Indo–Pacific region. Canberra will look to stronger bilateral engagement with China but also to enhanced engagement with the regional democracies of Japan, India, Indonesia and South Korea.

However, the paper suffers from three conceptual flaws of direct relevance also to Japan’s foreign policy. It ignores the emerging split between the geopolitical balance of power and the normative centre of gravity; fails to connect changing geopolitical equations to the evolving normative structure; and artificially conflates the Pacific and Indian ocean regions. It betrays a transactional approach to foreign policy, not a commitment to a norm-based security order.

International politics used to be a struggle for power. Now it is a struggle for the ascendancy of competing normative architectures for world order conducted on two axes. The first axis consists of military power, economic weight and geopolitical clout; the second, of norms, principles and ideas. The two can be congruent or divergent.

The world’s geopolitical balance circa 1945 is reflected in the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) but the normative centre of gravity is the General Assembly (UNGA) where all 193 member states have one vote each. There have been three recent instances of UNGA asserting normative primacy over UNSC geopolitical dominance. In 2016 UNGA inserted itself into the process for selecting the ninth Secretary-General; all previous choices had been made solely by the UNSC and ratified by UNGA. Had a similar process of public consultations with all member states and civil society been followed in 2006, the charisma-challenged Ban Ki-moon would most likely have faltered. Nor would Antonio Guterres have succeeded last year under the old process.

Second, a new nuclear ban treaty was adopted by 122 states on July 7 despite the unanimous opposition of the five permanent UNSC members (P5). Third, on Nov. 20 in an unexpected contest for re-election to the International Court of Justice (ICJ), India’s Dalveer Bhandari defeated Britain’s Christopher Greenwood. Going into the voting, Greenwood had the support of 9 of the 15 UNSC members but Bhandari had almost two-thirds support in UNGA. For the first time since 1946, a P5 member will not have a judge on the ICJ. Thus the era of P5 privileges may slowly be coming to a close.

The final flaw is that although Australia faces both the Pacific and Indian oceans, there is no strategic integration between the two. The regional dynamics among the states around the two oceans are totally different. While China is contesting U.S. strategic primacy in the Pacific, India as the dominant Indian Ocean power has edged steadily closer to the U.S., Japan and Australia. While it makes sense for Canberra to push for closer ties to Delhi and encourage a growing Indian footprint in Southeast Asia, the “Indo–Pacific” is not a coherent analytical frame, merely a convenient device for incorporating India in an anti-China strategic arc.

Australia strongly supports continued U.S. global leadership and pledges contributions to coalition operations to underwrite global and regional security, but in the very next paragraph emphasizes the importance of “collective efforts to limit the exercise of coercive power” (p. 7). In recent decades the U.S. has exercised coercive power far more than any other actor, often with Australia as a coalition partner, including in violation of international law in Iraq in 2003. Yet all the examples of impermissible behaviour cited in the document are to actions by Russia, Syria, North Korea and China.

The vision outlined is of the rear-view mirror of a world already fading from memory, namely the liberal international order created and underwritten by the U.S.-led West. This would deny China agency as the rising power to write global rules and design and control the institutions of global governance. An editorial in the South China Morning Post, “Australia turns its back on the new Asia with white paper,” correctly concluded that Canberra has chosen to stick to the U.S. line rather than recognize the reality of China, work to improve relations with Beijing and commit to global organizations.

Thus the white paper calls on all parties to accept the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s 2016 ruling on the China–Philippines maritime territorial dispute. Noting that Canberra is not a party in the South China Sea disputes, China’s foreign and defence ministry spokespersons criticized Australia for “carping” and “irresponsible” comments, insisting that “interference from countries outside the region can only complicate the… issue and will be of no help to regional peace and stability.”

The paper boasts that “Australia is a principled and pragmatic member of the United Nations” (p. 81). Moreover: “Threats to international rules come from countries directly challenging, ignoring or undermining international law” and from the emergence of new rules and norms “that are not consistent with Australia’s interests and values” (p. 82). The last is tacit admission that Canberra supports a rules-based order only if the West gets to write, police and enforce the rules. Yet the document is right in noting that the leash function of strong rules is “becoming more important to Australia as the distribution of power changes in the international system” (p. 82).

On nuclear matters, the paper repeats the familiar mantra of the nuclear powers that a complex security environment requires “a patient and pragmatic approach” that imposes immediate, precise and binding non-proliferation obligations against vague, indefinite and rhetoric-only promises of disarmament. It restates the importance of the U.S. nuclear force for the security of U.S. allies. And it simply ignores the adoption of the U.N. nuclear ban treaty, pretending it does not exist. All of which suggests that Australia is neither principled, pragmatic nor U.N.-friendly in its strategy of global engagement in reducing nuclear risks and eliminating nuclear threats.

This article first appeared in The Japan Times, on 8 December 2017

Ramesh Thakur is a professor at Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
ThirdTerm wrote:This Chinese MP clearly lied about his educational background when he immigrated to New Zealand in 1999 because Beijing requested him to do so.

Yes, he said the Chinese government told him to lie on the application. Whether active spying is involved or not, questions need to asked about loyalty and whether we can trust he has NZ's best interest in mind. We are very uncomfortable today with questions like this and China is aware which is why they quickly resort to calling us racist or biased against Chinese people at every opportunity. The problem is exacerbated by our own politicians often doing the same, giving the impression that they are at least ambivalent.

It doesn't help that we keep insisting that this is not about Chinese immigrants which isn't entirely true. As the NZ intelligence report states, one way China is trying to gain influence is through the Chinese expat community.

foxdemon wrote:Looks like the Germans are getting upset with Chinese attempts to gain influence. This is apart from the Europeans getting worried by China trying to buy up every high tech firm in Europe.

When Juncker said in his address to the union speech "we are not naive free traders" - making him sound a bit like Trump - he was referring in part to the Chinese shopping spree in the EU. So far it's mostly talk but I guess that's better than nothing.

"human rights development path with Chinese characteristics"


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