The ‘Australia has hurt China’s feelings’ line is ‘rhetoric and propaganda’
Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Peter Jennings says the statement that Australia has hurt the feelings of the Chinese people is “propaganda and rhetoric.”
China’s Deputy Head of Mission in Australia Wang Xining spoke to the National Press Club on Wednesday, and delivered a speech highlighting the supposed strength of the relationship between the two nations.
Mr Wang told the press club that China was singled out when Australia called for an independent inquiry into the COVID-19.
He said such action had hurt the feelings of the Chinese.
“This phrase, hurt the feeling of the Chinese people, is an interesting one,” Mr Jennings told Sky News host Peter Gleeson.
“It gets used quite often. The Communist Party is trying to create a narrative which says that the party is the people and the people are the party and if you say anything which is nasty about the party, critical for example of the Chinese mismanagement of the virus, then you are insulting the people.
“It’s just propaganda and rhetoric. We need to stop taking it at face value and realise what it is that’s being served up to us.”
Much of the best of Australia is ‘already owned’ by Chinese interests: Alan Jones
Sky News host Alan Jones says the prime minister now wants to focus on national interest after much of the best of Australia is already owned by Chinese interests.
“Does it matter, therefore, who runs the country, if you don’t own the place?” he said.
On Thursday the Prime Minister announced new foreign policy legislation which will give him the power to knock back deals by state governments which threaten Australian sovereignty.
“Where any foreign government seeks to undermine the sovereignty of Australia’s foreign policy by seeking to do deals with subnational governments, Australia needs to protect itself from that,” Mr Morrison said.
Mr Jones said although targeting the activities highlighted in the bill is important, there are longstanding foreign ownership issues that are not addressed.
“But I compile a list as long as my arm, of foreign ownership that has been signed off when Scott Morrison was Treasurer,” he said.
“Chinese interests own over 30% of Australian foreign-owned farmland. All the dairy farms in Tasmania. Beef farms, avocado farms, water, coal, iron ore, they want to get a hold of our energy down the whole Eastern seaboard.
“This was all approved by the Foreign Investment Review Board when Scott Morrison was Treasurer.
“A Chinese energy and infrastructure group has a 99-year lease on the port of Darwin, for next to nothing, $506 million. And now we are going to act in the national interest.
“Spare me the humbug. The horse has bolted.”
We’re all ‘asleep at the wheel’ being seduced by China
Sky News host Alan Jones says we all may be becoming Neville Chamberlains, asleep at the wheel and seduced by the Chinese Communist Party.
“Without being alarmist – and there are enough of them in positions of political leadership in Australia already – … China’s behaviour mirrors the rise of the Nazi Party in the 1930s,” he said.
It comes as revelations have emerged around China’s Thousand Talents Program which seeks to harness the innovation and scholarship of international universities to strengthen its own position.
“In short, increase its power in its rivalry with the rest of the world.”
Australia has been ‘kissing the hand that holds the whip’ in China
Former speaker of the house Bronwyn Bishop says Australia needs Prime Minister Scott Morrison to succeed in passing his proposed legislation to demonstrate “the commonwealth really does run foreign affairs.”
The Morrison government will next week introduce legislation to parliament seeking the power to tear up agreements with foreign powers seen to be going against Australia’s national interests.
On the list of 42 agreements that would come under review, 27 related to China, the most significant of which pertained to Victoria’s participation in the “Belt and Road” initiative.
The plan would cover agreements made by all federal, state and local governments and universities.
Ms Bishop said there was a need for the proposed legislation to go through because up until now, Australia had been “kissing the hand that holds the whip”.
She said this proposed legislation demonstrates that to be a strong Australian was to care about the national interest, it did not mean entering into an agreement with communist China and neither did it mean expelling a student for criticising communism.
“You don’t side with a communist regime against our Australian people,” she said.
“We need the Prime Minister to make those points strongly.”
Government to do ‘everything it can’ to stop interference
Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan says “the Australian government wants to do everything it can to get on top of this” amid revelations the Chinese government is targeting Australian universities.
The Chinese government is recruiting Australian scientists and academics to a secretive research program called the Thousand Talents Plan by offering lucrative incentives.
The program obliges its recruits to abide by Chinese law and religious practice and requires their inventions be patented in China, but offered recruits profitable salaries and additional perks.
“What we are doing is working with the universities that they have a clear understanding that are entered into by our scientists and our researchers,” Mr Tehan told Sky News host Andrew Bolt.
“We have put specific requirements on our universities to understand exactly what arrangements their scientists or their researchers are entering into … and to make sure all that is done within Australian law.
“We’ve also made sure there is very close collaboration between our intelligence agencies and our universities to ensure that if there is malpractice taking place, if there is illegal activity taking place, then that will be acted upon.”
Mr Tehan did not shed light on how many Australian scientists had been signed up to the program.
“If there are more measures we need to put in place, we will put them in place.”
If there were a major war, ‘the West would need to be prepared’
Former defence and intelligence official Ross Babbage says the West should be careful if it were to fight a major war against China because the logic of Chinese military strategic history is substantially different to what’s practiced in the West.
“Chinese doctrine, Chinese planning, and the whole logic of Chinese strategic history and how they’ve fought wars in the past, is substantially different to that in the west,” Mr Babbage told Sky News.
“If there were to be a conflict in the Indo-Pacific against China, (Western countries) perceive it as being relatively short, very violent, very high technology, highly networked.
“It would be essentially done and dusted within a couple of months at most.
“They’re not structured really, in a military sense, and with logistic systems and so on, to sustain for an extended period.”
Mr Babbage said the Chinese were structured to fight a long war, and to sustain and not give in.
He said China’s military tactic would be to sew division and make it look as though their high-tech opponents could not sustain.
“We’ve got to be very careful we don’t set ourselves up for that if we ever have to fight a major war in this theatre,” he said.
“If there were to be a major war which involved the Western Allies, and particularly the United states and ourselves … it would spread, in my view, geographically.
“We have to be prepared for the fact that we will not be immune.
“There will be efforts to strike some elements of our own interest very directly.
“We need to be prepared for a wide range of possibilities there.”
Source: Sky News Australia