For 30 years Australia has enjoyed an economic boom thanks to investments from and exports to China, but the benefits from mutual trade have mostly enriched the corporations instead of the general public.
For too long Australia’s politicians have been accustomed to attending parties and seminars hosted by China’s state-owned enterprises and organizations who have the plan for BGY schemes. Few Australians would be aware of that.
China’s state-owned companies like Shenhua Group, Yancoal, and other mineral giants have bought lots of mines in Australia; BHP and Rio-Tinto have to kowtow now to the Chinese government to retain their share in global dominance. In the desert of Western Australia, the CCP-controlled businesses even built an airport that can be used for purposes beyond the mineral trade.
In the agricultural sector, COFCO has the final say in the trade of grains. Glencore and other service companies in food exports have worked carefully to comply with the CCP government’s certification and quarantine rules.
The Free Trade Agreement does not seem to favor that much the Australians as it does to Chinese businesses.
In the education and academic field, Australian colleges and universities, though under constant cyber attacks from the CCP government, have been appeasing to the Chinese government for the easy revenue from Chinese students.
Academic freedom and independence has been sacrificed by the introduction of Confucius Institutes into the education grounds. Funny to say that the insertion of thoughts has nothing to do with Confucianism, but closely related to the communist ideology.
China-funded programs are positive initiatives that make a serious contribution to Chinese literacy in Australia, and Australian literacy in China. But they have clearly become problematic due to the nature of the Chinese government’s sensitivities.
In an extraordinary decision, on Friday last week the government of the state of Victoria decided to shine the colors of the PRC flag across a number of Melbourne’s landmark buildings to demonstrate solidarity with Chinese-Victorians whose businesses had been (unfortunately and ridiculously) avoided due to the coronavirus outbreak. The impulse to demonstrate solidarity with the local Chinese community was a positive one, yet the way in which this was demonstrated was both strange and troubling.
The Guardian reports, China’s number two diplomat in Australia, Wang Xining, has defended shocking footage showing people suspected of having coronavirus being forcibly pushed into vans as justified, and described the detention camps used to hold an estimated one million people, mostly Uighurs, as “training centres” whose residents are “mostly” there voluntarily.
In a rare public appearance on the ABC’s Q&A on Monday night, Wang grimly held to party lines even as he was laughed at by audience members for his defence of the Chinese government’s treatment of Uighurs and challenged by other panellists over the country’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
The deputy ambassador also walked back his previous criticism of the Australian government’s decision to impose travel bans on people coming from China as “panic and overreaction”, saying he commended the response of Australian medical authorities to the coronavirus outbreak.
Wang also claimed, incorrectly, that “many” people are held in the camps voluntarily, and said Australian defence minister Marise Payne had been “misinformed” when she described China’s treatment of the Uighur as being “disturbing”.
The Australians are generous. It has allowed the “representatives” of the Chinese government to continue telling lies and deceive the general public, including people from the local Chinese community.
No wonder Neil Mitchell said the Australian government is “selling out our national dignity for bowing to China.”
These days, students from China begin arriving in Australia after coronavirus quarantine time in third countries; Australian universities have paid each student a bonus of $1,000 for them to come back.
Life will go on, but Australians shall think over whether to bow to the Communist regime or factually help the Chinese to overthrow the dictatorship and welcome a democracy in China.
There shall not be a middle way there good for Australia’s future.