One stereotypical movie scene features an horrific murder or terrible accident, with crowds of onlookers seeking a glimpse of the macabre and a hapless police officer ushering them on whilst repeating “Nothing to see here. Move along”
It’s a scene that we see played out by politicians seeking to hide their lack of insight or cover their shortcomings all too often. In recent times the routine has largely been played out in reference to China.
Dare to mention Chinese student spies, infiltrated Telco’s, corrupt Confucius Institutes, compromised politicians and your concerns are breezily dismissed. “Nothing to see here, move along”
One can understand that response as the health and wellbeing of our economy is substantially tied to China. Chinese students pump billions into our economy every year. Chinese investors bid up property prices. Chinese business people pay above the odds to secure strategic assets including farmland, ports, mines, water and other natural resources. They also feature prominently on the list of political party benefactors.
The Australian Government even sought to enact a Chinese Australia extradition agreement despite the fact that Chinese Courts have a 99% conviction rate, the death penalty prevalent and the regime’s re-education camps are still widely used.
And even though there is ‘nothing to see here’, some significant government agencies and private organisations think there is.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute has released a report by Alex Joske revealing that “hundreds of researchers from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) have made their way into Australian universities, sparking warnings about spying, lying and technology theft.”
“Picking flowers, making honey: The Chinese military’s collaboration with foreign universities” warns China is sending increasing numbers of military scientists abroad to gather expertise and knowledge to bring home. The defence department has warned that researchers from overseas are targeting projects like the $50 billion future submarine program, hypersonic missile research, and other technology such as the over-the-horizon radar system.
The PLA is the military wing of the Chinese Communist Party and, according to the report, scientists from the PLA have come to Australia claiming to be visiting scholars from non-existing institutes.
“Nothing to see here…move along”
Nor should we be concerned about the Chinese Telecommunications company Huawei, that has funded more trips for Australian Federal politicians than any other in the past eight years.
These politicians often return convinced that this benevolent telco is no threat to Australia and should be permitted access to our sensitive telecommunications infrastructure. It’s hard to believe that some of our most senior former and serving cabinet ministers have supported Huawei.
These Manchurian advocates must have missed the obligation that Huawei has under Chinese law to assist the work of Chinese intelligence services.
So too must they have ignored the concerns of our own intelligence agencies who have convinced the government to “ban so-called high-risk vendors…a move widely interpreted as being aimed at Chinese state-owned telco Huawei.”
Finally, the government got something right!
But there is a very important principle at work here. It is very clear that our relationship with China is at once filled with potential prosperity and potential peril. As our economic growth is tied every closer with Sino expansion, the political class will be increasingly loathe to jeopardise that growth by increasing scrutiny and public comment to the Chinese government’s less benevolent actions.
Every week we hear, read and see new evidence that the covert activities of the Chinese Communist Party and their agents are taking advantage of their economic clout. We have a choice to either deal with the problem now – while we still can, or keep ushering everyone away pretending there is ‘nothing to see here’.
It’s clear there is plenty to see if you want to look and that’s why the Australian Conservatives are calling for a Royal Commission into the activities of the Chinese Communist Party in Australia.
We have no qualms with the Chinese people, we welcome them as we do others to enjoy the freedom and beauty of Australia. We can maintain our sovereignty whilst taking their visiting dollars – we just need more politicians with the bottle to stand up for Australia and never sell out.
Things that make you go Hmm…
Libs dodge rainbow rinsers and when it comes to ex-PMs, Malcolm’s shirty but Clive gets creative. Aussies face taxing times, your car may have a deadly airbag as Bunbury has a box office smash. A timely PSA about Christmas parties, meet Geelong’s ‘greedy gran’ and the NT News rejoices a royal knockout recovery.
Shark flies into PC storm, Canada adopts Sharia - God forbid? – apparently not. Muslim nations lift the veil, free speech is an art form and a privilege in England. #MeToo* has a Democrat asterisk, Japan fumbles disability affirmation and privacy now has a price. Apu hangs in there as a Louisiana teacher plays the goon and commie books enjoy a moving experience.