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Fortress Australia

Nick Bryant | 09:44 UK time, Saturday, 2 May 2009

"Fortress Australia" is very much in vogue, whether if relates to boat people, swine flu or the nation's long-term defence plans.

So too is the "China syndrome", the wariness in this part of the world about the rise of Beijing.

australianplane.jpgThe two have come together in the 140 pages of the long-awaited Australian defence white paper, which has promised a massive boost in defence spending and which notes that "the pace, scope and structure of China's military modernisation have the potential to give its neighbours cause for concern if not carefully explained."

Two big strategic thoughts appear to underpin the review. The first is that China could become a belligerent power, as it looks to assert its influence in the region. "A major power of China's stature can be expected to develop a globally significant military capability befitting its size," the paper warns.

Certainly, Australia is not predicting a confrontation with China, but it is planning for that worst-case eventuality.

The second major strategic thought is implied rather than explicitly stated: that Australia might not be able to rely on America to underwrite its security, as it has done pretty much since 1941.

So stout self-defence and self-reliance are the watchwords - hence the massive investment in doubling Australia's submarine fleet, and its fighter capability. The navy and air force, which are the linch-pins of the nation's defence, are the main winners. The army, which tends to get used in more offensive situations, is the loser in terms of the allocation of resources.

Welcoming this move, the Sydney Morning Herald has editorialised: "Australia must expect to take a more independent position from time to time. A defence doctrine that emphasises self-reliance is an important expression of that independence."

There are a few delicious ironies here. Australia's Sinophile Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is usually criticised by the opposition for being too close to China. The Mandarin-speaking PM is sometimes called the "roving ambassador" for Beijing in public, and "the Manchurian candidate" in private.

But Malcolm Turnbull, the leader of the opposition, has criticised the review for being based on "the highly contentious proposition that Australia is on an inevitable collision course with a militarily aggressive China." He notes: "China has shown no inclination since the 1970s to export its ideology."

There is another irony. As Australia rethinks its defence needs in response to the rise of China, its ability to foot the bill for this build-up has been compromised by the slowdown of China.

The end of the resources boom, and the massive tax revenues which flowed from it, has meant that gone are the days when Australian military could splurge of expensive luxuries - the Howard government's orders for US Abrams tanks come to mind. It now has to be far more choosy about how it spends its defence money.

The government has not yet indicated how it will pay for the increased defence spending. A return to the halcyon days of the resources boom would certainly help. So paradoxically, China's continued rise will help Australia defend against the China's continued rise.

Comments

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  • 1. At 10:46am on 02 May 2009, NedKelly wrote:

    China is not the worst case scenario. Rather, Indonesian overpopulation.

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  • 2. At 10:48am on 02 May 2009, 1963Tiger wrote:

    A few subs, jets and helicopters will stop China it she wants to invade? Pah!

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  • 3. At 11:04am on 02 May 2009, RL wrote:

    oh, come on, this is getting ridiculous. Australia wants to play the fire, it will eventually burn itself down. To draw China as a potential enemy, Aussie is really making a terribly mistake. Sinophobia does not make Australia stronger, only more stupid.

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  • 4. At 11:08am on 02 May 2009, RL wrote:

    "Australia is not predicting a confrontation with China, but it is planning for that worst-case eventuality" 140 pages of the long-awaited Australian defence white paper is not a defence guide, it is an invitation to conflicts and confrontation. It is all about insecurity deep inside Australian nation and mentality. Australia is going nowhere and end soon.

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  • 5. At 12:49pm on 02 May 2009, onithor wrote:

    China is a nation of bankers, builders, and unabashed capitalists. There military upgrades is cause for cautious concern but not an arms race. Hell, even the white-paper says that they are building up to a level sufficient to their status. With their massive investments in Africa what possible reasons would China have for going to war with Australia? But if war must be fought how long will this military buildup safe Australia from an inevitable crushing?

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  • 6. At 1:10pm on 02 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    There are some further ironies to add to the tale.

    China, throughout the course of its history, has never been an imperialist nation. The word "China", in Mandarin, means "middle kingdom". That is to say that the Chinese have always thought of the country as the "centre of the world" and thus there is, and has always been, little appetite to venture beyond its borders. Certainly China has never occupied another country, unlike some of our western friends.

    China has no aircraft carriers. How do you propose that Chinese soldiers invade Australia? By swimming across?

    The American military budget is as much as 10 times greater than China's budget. America has hundreds of military bases around the world, with many thousands of soldiers in South Korea, Japan, Iraq, Afghanistan and Guam. One needs only a quick glance at a map to see that these places form an encirclement around China.

    Finally, it is said that democracies do not invade each other. That much may be true, but we have seen, again demonstrated by our western friends, that democracies do invade non-democracies. Given that China is part of the latter group, would this not be a reason for China to increase its military strength?

    Hypocrisy and irony should be prescribed in moderate doses I think.

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  • 7. At 1:44pm on 02 May 2009, annatruth wrote:

    I thought Australia was forging closer links with China and was relaint on their trade for our raw material. Well we could threatern them with invation if they do not buy more iron from Pilbara!

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  • 8. At 3:30pm on 02 May 2009, susieq777 wrote:

    I hope when they invade us they are kind enough to bring a large amount of socks and jocks cos we've forgotten how to make our own here :)

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  • 9. At 3:37pm on 02 May 2009, US airspace wrote:

    Beijing_2008 you made China the most angelic country there is. Lets not forget the wars with India, Vietnam, TIBET and the covert support of Vietnam and Korean Wars. China is a threat that is waiting to take Taiwan with force, its even in a law. They see their neighbors as nothing more than their puppets. Hiding under the pathetic excuse of "we've been humiliated for so long" they are the biggest threat to the world, reacting aggressively whenever someone fairly criticises them. China is irresponsible and atrocious. They don't follow ethical principals like US and western nations do, but they are number one support for African authoritarian regimes. They irresponsibly let Iran and North Korea acquire nuclear weapons, and are responsible for the Sudan/Darfur genocide. Australia just like US are concerned about this new power. That's why Australia and Japan together with US should counter the biggest threat Chinese forceful dominance in the region. Australia cant do it alone, and can't relie on its immediate neighbors.

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  • 10. At 3:50pm on 02 May 2009, electrifyingchris333 wrote:

    China is a growing country today that implies imperial aspirations. This is a fact, we see it in Africa already. China is putting a lot of resources in their military so Australia is naturally forced to follow.
    Being a very large country with a small population with at lot of natural resources
    its only question of when, some Asian country wants to expand their lebensraum into Australia. You only need to read history, its repeating itself over and over again.

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  • 11. At 3:58pm on 02 May 2009, scotthamish wrote:

    ''So paradoxically, China's continued rise will help Australia defend against the China's continued rise''

    i love this quote :) so true! australia sells minerals to china and uses that money to defend against china. lol!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 12. At 3:59pm on 02 May 2009, Journoren wrote:

    To Airspace 86:
    'ethical principals' of the US ? you must be joking.....try to read a bit history about what happened in Iran...

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  • 13. At 4:30pm on 02 May 2009, newsjock wrote:

    A prudent move by Australia, especially so under sinophile Rudd.

    Re-equipping the military will take over 10 years the present world slump is irrelevant.

    No one would expect Oz to go to war with China. Unlike the UK, when Australia say "defence", they mean just that.

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  • 14. At 4:36pm on 02 May 2009, US airspace wrote:

    Journore, I meant that US has the moral high ground. Sure there are black marks in history, and yet look at Iran now.

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  • 15. At 4:38pm on 02 May 2009, Wrinklyoldgit wrote:

    Among the lunatic fringe nations on this dirt ball are Iran and North Korea.

    The Gulf Arab countries are scared witless by the prospect of a nuclear Iran enforcing its Shite doctrines on Sunni run Gulf countries, and the North Koreans are to all intents and purposes kept afloat by China.

    With an unpredictable meglo-maniac running North Korea and its nuclear capabilities, one should worry more about North Korea than China.

    Its not the rockets one should worry about, its the container with a nuke shipped to an "enemy" state that should worry the free world more.

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  • 16. At 4:58pm on 02 May 2009, FormerlyOldHermit wrote:

    Just to counter some assertions made by Beijing 2008:

    Firstly, China has occupied independent nations and one only needs to look at Tibet to understand that. Yet that's a completely different issue.

    Secondly, China DOES have an aircraft carrier though it is not commissioned and its use and abilities are questionable (see all about the ex-Soviet carrier Varyag). It is also planning to build further aircraft carriers.

    As for the Aussie defence build up, its fair play to them. They should have a more independent minded force, not one geared to merely supplment US forces in the region. Though on that note, surely it would be wise if Australia was truly seeking to increase its military independence it should purchase its own aircraft carrier(s), something the RAN has been lacking since the 1980s. It would make sense also with the purchasing of the F-35s which the UK are planning to use from their new carriers (if they ever come to exist)

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  • 17. At 6:53pm on 02 May 2009, Kim147 wrote:

    12 submarines - now that's just plain crazy ! What's needed is :- 1) a good complete coverage surveillance - radar and satelite coverage system , 2) complete localised coverage of all the coast line by naval and land based forces , 3) air based forces including a heavy emphasis on low cost craft - ultralights - for localised surveillance - and the use of drones , 4) rapid response forces , 5) good integrated communications . IE. the complete ability to be able to defend Australia . Only 50% max. should be spent on the big toys . A lot can be done , much more effectively , with appropriate use of low cost technology combined with good high technology whilst avoiding big budget items of limited use .

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  • 18. At 7:00pm on 02 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    #9,
    Your comments are unbelievably naive and ignorant, and your remark that the Chinese somehow hide under the excuse of the "century of humiliation" is appalling. Let me address each of the points you raised.

    I did not say that China has never been in a conflict with another nation. I said that China is not IMPERIALISTIC. That must be true if only for the fact that you, and the rest of the world, speak English, and not Mandarin.

    Tibet has always been part of Dynastic China. It is not possible to invade your own country.

    With regards to Taiwan (Republic of China), the law you're referring to is the anti-secession law, which would only apply if Taiwan declared independence. Implicitly, you seem to support any group that wishes to be independent. So perhaps you will now state on record that you support independence for Alaska and Hawaii, and also the repatriation of Native American and Aboriginal peoples? Or is the carving up of Chinese territory your only concern?

    China has no choice but to support Iran and certain African regimes because it needs oil. The West has a monopoly on oil from the Middle East. But unlike some countries, China does not obtain oil from the barrel of a gun. Also, China supports North Korea because it does not want American troops on its doorstop. As I said earlier, American troops can be found in South Korea, Japan and Guam.

    Why don't you ask the people of Iraq (episode I and II), Afghanistan, VIETNAM, Hiroshima, and all the former colonies of the British Empire, whether they agree with your view that the West is principled? And since you obviously care so much about the civilians in Darfur, pick up a tin hat and go fight for them.


    #9 reflects, unfortunately, the prevailing attitude of the anti-China brigade. It must be so painful seeing China becoming stronger. How terrible that when once you gave us opium, you can now only give us debt. And how terrible it must be to grow up in the West thinking that you will rule the world forever, only to discover that there is a peculiar looking race of people on the other side of the world who have the temerity to stand up.

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  • 19. At 9:29pm on 02 May 2009, davidwhite44 wrote:

    Bejing_2008: Tibet was never a part of a country called China. Tibet was a part of the Sino-centric system, as were South Korea, Vietnam and Mongolia. Please do not project a modern nation-state concept onto an ancient legacy as the two are seemingly mismatched. As far as I am aware, under the Sino-centric system, Tibetan people were not swamped with Han immigration - nor were their temples smashed to bits, their language and traditions eroded nor their religions activities watched night and day by Han security forces. But of course, you helped free them from serfdom, so nevermind eh?

    "China does not obtain oil from the barrel of a gun"

    Despite China's continual stance of non-interference in other countries' affairs, China is currently funding the defeat of the Tamil Tigers in an effort to protect its oil supplies in the Indian ocean. They gave six F7 jet fighters last year and in April 2007 Sri Lanka signed a $37.6 million deal to buy Chinese ammunition. So the US troops hold their own guns whereas the Chinese just hand over the guns then scurry back home. At least the US are willing to lose lives, whereas the Chinese are perfectly happy to let the natives do that for them in their attempts to secure oil.

    Let's also consider the following::

    1. Marxist theory states that economic expansion requires materials, and this fact alone, means conflict is inevitable. The Aussies have clearly taken this on board.

    2. Several hundred missiles are pointing at Taiwan.

    3. China spends 30-100 billion US dollars each year on updating its military. Is this all part of the 'peaceful rise'?

    4. ASEAN members and other Asian states are upgrading their military capabilities in direct response to the China threat. This is mainly due to China's historical claims on pretty much any island which they happened to have explored hundreds of years ago.

    Finally, your lofty expectations in China being the next superpower give us a clue as to your real intentions. Since the world's previous superpowers (UK/US) have succeeded through a process of expansion and colonisation, I assume this is what the 'peaceful rise' is really about?

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  • 20. At 9:44pm on 02 May 2009, RL wrote:



    To: 9. At 3:37pm on 02 May 2009, airspace86

    I do not agree your stereotype comments and views.

    Does US and western nations really have ethical principals? No. From Opium war to Second war Japanese invasion, Vietnam war to Iraq war, What was the "ethical principals"?

    The funny thing was that you put "Australia and Japan together with US should ... dominance in the region", your philosophy is that old imperialism sentimental and ambition.

    Again, China has never invaded any other countries, it were border matters with India and Vietnam for the past. Taiwan and Tibet issues are Chinese internal affair, the same you do not want any part of Australia land departed from Australia authority.

    China does not responsible for Sudan/Darfur genocide, Chinese authority does not have any ability to ask what Sudan government has to do, Killing Darfur people do not contribute anything to Chinese nation, but only against Chinese five thousand years moral standard, Buddhism religion and confusions teachings. Quite on contrary, Chinese authority has always stand up against "super" powers bullying to other developing nations.

    Your sinophobia theory, was maliciously plotted by US and Western media and politic motives against communism based on Capitalism propaganda.

    To Australia "white" and "Western" heritage authority, a country was stolen and robbed from Australia Aboriginals, ironically, to copy USA for develop a globally significant military capability really worries me.

    This is not Australia's images what I have learnt for years, a peaceful land and hospitality nation.

    Shame on your comments, airspace86.

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  • 21. At 9:57pm on 02 May 2009, Aremay wrote:

    I would advise Beijing_2008 to read a history book not written by a government which regularly executes its' own people for speaking out, oppresses religious minorities, bans opposition parties, free press, civil society and all the other attributes that together create a democracy.

    China's naval ambitions are limited to her immediate vicinity - but she is developing a nation beyond that. She is a continental power building a navy that she does not need - and maritime historians will tell you any country with a battlefleet that does not need one is an inherently aggressive power - see Wilhelmite Germany.

    Australia's response to such aggression is, therefore, understandable, especially with the United States likely to remain occupied in the Middle East and with Russia in the immediate future. Kim147's suggestion of a perfect information system is every commanders dream, but the fog of war of Clauswitz pervades the modern battlefield as well, and such a system would be incredibly costly to build and maintain. The ability to keep any Chinese fleet far away from her shores must be the focus of the Australian defence establishment.

    Nick - your comment about the irony of China funding a fleet aimed at defending against her is close to the mark, an excellent observation. Bravo!

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  • 22. At 10:45pm on 02 May 2009, RL wrote:


    To 19. At 9:29pm on 02 May 2009, davidwhite44,

    Would you be able to list what US/UK and other western powers have done against humanity for the past in few paragraphs? I bet there would be a new 140 index pages for it. US/UK always criticize China, to diverting international attention for their own war crimes. Why does it not bother you, it is easier for you poke China. When does "Sinophobia" end?


    To 21. At 9:57pm on 02 May 2009, Aremay

    700,000 Australian Chinese residents live in Australia, it is about almost five percent population, would Australian authority get rid off them all for a peaceful mind? Expanding Australian military sounds very silly and scary. That was Nazi starting point.

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  • 23. At 10:47pm on 02 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    #21,
    I am fluent in both the Chinese and English languages. So I have access to both sides of the argument. I'm quite sure you cannot understand a word of Chinese, so it is ironic that you should ask ME to diversify the sources with which I learn about history.

    China's naval ambitions would be limited to her immediate vicinity were China not a large trading nation. But she is, and therefore requires a strong navy to protect container ships carrying, in particular, oil supplies.

    #19,

    Thank for your well balanced comments; certainly a departure from the hysterical retorts of #9. Your knowledge of Chinese history seems to be better than some, but ultimately inadequate. It is true that the Sino centric system prevailed before the adoption, in modern times, of a Westphalian system. The countries that you mentioned - Korea, Vietnam, and also Japan - were regarded as vassals of China that offered tribute to the Emperor, and over which China exercised suzerainty.

    But the point is that local ethnic groups, including Tibetans, were NOT regarded as foreign countries. They were exempt from the Chinese bureaucratic system certainly, but still had to answer to the Emperor. Let me state this very clearly. Xizang (or Tibet for those for can't speak Chinese) has never - I repeat - never been recognised as a sovereign state.

    Even if, and it is a big if, China spent 100 billion US dollars each year on its military, that would still be 1/5 of the amount the US spends (which by the way is just for weapons procurement and paying staff; it does not include the cost of the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan). So that is 1/5 of the US budget, defending a landmass of roughly the same size, but a population four times greater (300 million vs. 1.3 billion).

    I have no intentions. I do not believe in Han Chauvinism. If I have any intention, it is to bridge the understanding between our two peoples. Constructive criticism of China is welcome, but unrelenting China bashing based on ignorance, fear, or a combination of the two, cannot be accepted.

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  • 24. At 11:14pm on 02 May 2009, Kat_monday wrote:

    I fail to see why people are getting upset. If China spends US$100 billion every year on their armed forces (an estimate, I've seen claims between $75 and $150), then Australia is still far behind, the 2007-2008 financial year saw expenditure of around US$16 billion. Surely that's no threat, especially since it is only theory and journalism that ties the extra money for ADF to a 'rising threat' of China.

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  • 25. At 11:42pm on 02 May 2009, US airspace wrote:

    Tofupanda and Beijing2008

    i am not ashamed of my comments, nor could any of you prove that my comments were ignorant or naive.

    To say that if Taiwan seccedes we'll invade them, its pretty much pure intimidation from an aggressor. Taiwan has been democratic, independent, and isolated from China diplomatically and economically. And comparing Alaska with Taiwan is pure nonsense.
    And if China didnot want American troops by its border then it probably shouldnt support their puppet the North Korean dictator. US is there to protect South Korea.
    As for Darfur, I'd most likely take that tin hat and go fight for them because I care for human loss towards injustice, rather than fuel the injustice even further with money and weapons.
    I have no sinophobia nor am i part of anti-china brigade but criticisme is the essential part of speaking your mind, and exercising the right of free speech. China needs not to act so aggressively to criticisme unless it has something to hide, accepting criticism is essential to being responsible. Everyone likes to criticise US from its closest allies to its own people. Thats what it means to live in a free democratic country.

    beijing_2008 said: "And how terrible it must be to grow up in the West thinking that you will rule the world forever, only to discover that there is a peculiar looking race of people on the other side of the world who have the temerity to stand up."

    Trust me I love my country, and i've never trembeled at the thought of losing number one spot to China, but i always do question "What do you really stand for?"

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  • 26. At 01:12am on 03 May 2009, RL wrote:


    To 25. At 11:42pm on 02 May 2009, airspace86

    "...Everyone likes to criticise US from its closest allies to its own people. live in a means to live in a free democratic country..."

    Quoted your theory, I do not see a word you criticise your country, not a word worries you that Australia expanding military would bring huge negative impact to the world. I see your moral standard based on your free democratic speech.

    I trust you love your country, but do you love others who live on the earth that is the question.

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  • 27. At 01:48am on 03 May 2009, US airspace wrote:

    tofupanda,

    um im American, check critic comment #14

    and in no way do i see Australia's expanding military would bring huge negative impact to the world, China's yes. Australia is a responsible country or to quote you "This is not Australia's images what I have learnt for years, a peaceful land and hospitality nation. "

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  • 28. At 01:48am on 03 May 2009, Bill wrote:

    Read the paper before you start theorising on our "stupidity".

    The White Paper talks about regional instability and threats which may arise from a competitive China, India and USA. It theorises about the danger this competition could cause to smaller nations like Australia.

    As for China being only Bankers and Traders; ask Tibet what it thinks of this assertion.

    The proposition that Australia could never defend itself is one that has allowed successive Australian governments to do defence on the cheap.

    We can defend ourselves if we are prepared to spend the money and provide the manpower necessary. The aim of the ADF must be to make any attack on Australia so costly to any aggressor that they will think twice before even thinking of it.

    To conquer Australia you can't just land in the North West; you have to transport and supply troops in the South East and South West where the population and manufacturing base is. To do this exposes your lines of communications to attack.

    A strong ADF is the answer and it is the prime responsibility of the federal government to provide for this defence.

    It's time comfortable closeted Australia took up the challenge of defending ourselves. This is what all sovereign nations and their citizens are required to do.

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  • 29. At 02:29am on 03 May 2009, StuartTas wrote:


    China needs to urbanise around 20 million people a year for the next twenty years or so. Within five to ten years India will be embarking on an even bigger urbanisation program. At the same time Indonesia will become resource hungry. Add to the increasing resource demands, a shift in weather patterns, a move from little meat consumption to higher western levels of meat consumption and food production could become an issue. Asia and the Indian sub-continent are the growth areas, and resource confrontation could be a distinct possibility.

    I am a British citizen, and Australia today is far from a white fortress, but it has the right to create an orderly and integrated process of immigration. By 2040 or so 50% of the under 30's will probably be of Asian origin, this is not a racist country. But the UK no border approach has not in my teaching experience or time living in London created a cohesive social fabric. It will in time, but larger influxes create resentment, slow steady influxes just become the order of things and are accepted.

    My children are 1 and 2.5 now and I know that the second language for them to start learning is Mandarin. Australia is simply creating a strong fence, we are not putting up "no one else signs". We are simply putting in some new posts and renewing sections. As to paid for by Chinese exports, yes and other nations buy our exports; better paid for from exports that more overseas borrowing. If I was China I would be far more angry about UK and US over borrowing and spending, causing such a drop in the value of my investments.

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  • 30. At 03:26am on 03 May 2009, moiecoute wrote:

    I don't fear China and I don't think many Australians do either. China wants our resources for its economy. They are a very fragile country internally and have higher priorities.

    What is concerning for me is our former priminister was pro American whilst this one is pro Chinese and we feel usually at the detriment of Australia.

    We should not fear China but we should not be best friends with them look at their history with wars with India, Russia, Vietnam, Invasion of Tibet, current support for North Korea, Burma, obstruction of war crimes court in Cambodia etc.

    As a previous poster said we fear Indonesia more. The dislike from Malaysia and Indonesia from senior parts of their governments towards Australia and Australians. Jema Islamia seeking to create a Pan Islamic state with parts of the top end of Australia and religious differences.

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  • 31. At 03:38am on 03 May 2009, moiecoute wrote:

    One other point to my last post. One thing that multiculturalism and migration has done around the world is develop large internal communities in Western and other countries patriotic to the former countries. This is not big in Australia but it does mean that China can indirectly influence politics through such group by simply not doing anything and letting their groups utilise their 'patriotism'.

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  • 32. At 03:55am on 03 May 2009, klldbbydth wrote:

    It doesn't really matter if China would never invade Australia. Because China and India have been spending so much on arms so have all their neighbours. Our whole region has been engaged in an arms race for a decade now, in some years eclipsing the Middle East as the biggest arms market. It would be totally stupid to pretend that Australia's defence needs can remain unchanged in the face of a huge arms build up across the whole continent.

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  • 33. At 04:01am on 03 May 2009, klldbbydth wrote:

    'But unlike some countries, China does not obtain oil from the barrel of a gun'

    Actually there are Chinese troops in Sudan guarding the oil infrastructure it uses right now. Oil infrastructure it has gained access to by selling weapons to the genocidal government.

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  • 34. At 04:31am on 03 May 2009, Quaffnbrightale wrote:

    There are many interesting angles to this discussion. The recent "China bashing"; Tibet, Darfur, the old-Western Imperialist thing etc...all of these speak of rhetoric that is highly symbolic of political doctrine and dogma that no-one seems to be able to get beyond. From a history perspective - this is merely the turning of a circle...repeat, repeat, repeat...and similarly History tells us that NO nation has the ability to say it is whiter than white...all the finger-pointing in the world will not make up for that

    Now, to the discussion in hand...: Australia finally has woken up to the realities of the region it is in. There is another irony Nick; that Australia is key to providing China with the resources it is acquiring to develop AND enhance, its military to begin with...perhaps now would be the time to stop that from happening before China does get too powerful for OZ (et al) to truly stop them. That way the response from China would tell the world how it aims to develop, more than its "it's ok you can go back to sleep" diplomacy aimed purely at sending the West the signals it WANTS to hear.

    "Since the 1970's...": in Chinese terms that is yesterday...let's face it China has taken 5,000 years to get to this place...Why is it English and not Mandarin we speak because China went to sleep for that long - clearly they are not sleeping now and they are keen to make up for lost time - that should be obvious to all.

    Kevin Rudd is merely doing what Neville Chamberlain did at Munich...realize who he is doing business with and 're-arming' for the inevitable before it truly is too late. Before the PLA does swim across in its ships, subs and aircraft carriers, it is necessary to ensure the PLAN can be dealt with...that is also obvious.

    It is intriguing that when countries continually refer to 'correcting shame' as COMMUNIST China does so much these days - it can only do so and mean so, in one manner...through conflict. Even more intriguing is the referral to the shame suffered by the Chinese Navy against the Japanese in the - wait for it - 1890s...at the recent 60th Anniv of the PLAN...clearly someone hasn't forgotten...so why should the West be lulled into similarly falling asleep? Ironically the naval catastrophe that befell the Chinese Fleet against the Japanese was when China WAS an Imperial nation...talk about selective doctrine and historical convenience...

    The 140 page defence document is intriguing too...isn't this Australia's 'internal affairs' another term bandied about so often these days from certain quarters...? "Beijing_2008" and "tofupanda" both clearly 'love their country' and are definitely apologists for the Central Government...but the West is not fooled...

    The reference to Chinese communities - throughout the world - does mirror someone else's attempt at "nationalizing" or 're-patriotizing' ethnic groupings in other countries to serve their own corrupt doctrines...again in the 1930s...no prizes for guessing who that was and what his purpose was...or the eventual result...

    Clearly the issue of trust is uppermost here...NO-ONE trusts China because the Government and Military of China is such a closed and guarded regime that (ironically) openly tolerates/supports the other corrupt and despotic regimes of the world - for its (perhaps) nefarious purposes - or until it is no longer necessary to do so. Sadly, it does little to help itself in that regard.

    The Central Government says it does not want an arms race...really???? It is certainly going the wrong way about it if that is the case... Open-ness - perhaps about its real military budget and spending etc...might help. WW1 was so all-engulfing because no-one knew who was friends with whom...until it all fell disastrously in on itself. Far from being an 'internal affair' as with other issues as it would like to paint things...it is all about who the world is really doing business with. China needs to realize the West (at least) operates on the "Actions speak louder than words" principle... Don't worry, the West knows only too well what is going on...

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  • 35. At 04:35am on 03 May 2009, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    "China has shown no inclination since the 1970s to export its ideology."

    In the 1970s, Australia did not bear the brunt of China trying to export Maoism; its northern neighbors did. The Philippines is still dealing with a Communist insurgency begun when the PRC exhorted 'overseas Chinese' to overthrow the government and establish a Maoist Communist state.

    China was weak then; if China becomes strong and tries to spread its ideology, then Australia would definitely be in range.

    If Australia sees itself as a protector and stabilizing force in the region, then they could help their neighbors if China become belligerent; the other East Asian countries sure seem to be fearfully anticipating this, and they above all other countries in the world ought to know how China operates.

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  • 36. At 04:53am on 03 May 2009, klldbbydth wrote:

    I'd also like to point out that the Chinese government can blame itself for what it regards as hysteria amongst its neighbours. If it really wants to change the way its military expansion is perceived, the first thing it can do is stop keeping the real size of the PLA's budget a state secret.

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  • 37. At 05:01am on 03 May 2009, GlobalNetwork wrote:

    Another case of white paranoia with non white people. Australia is a Pacific Island dominated and controlled by whites. This was done through the ethnic cleansing of pacific aboriginal natives. So if paranoid white Australians are arming themselves militarily and privately because China is modernizing their country, then my question is who is the threat?

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  • 38. At 05:01am on 03 May 2009, Australian_Interest wrote:

    Australia has other issues it needs to address before spending billions of tax $ on equipment that is not up to the task set out to do. As has been pointed by other commentators it is highly unlikely China will ever invade AU, and even if it ever will, the Chinese military might is much greater than the Australian, it would be like the invasion of Belgium by the Germans. (if AU is still part of the Commonwealth perhaps they can get Allied support to stop China at the Victorian border). In addition, it has been pointed out AU may be under more violent threat from other nations, which are also on the rise. However, power has always and will always be about control of economic resources. I doubt there will ever be a military threat to AU; in this day and age there are more subtle as well as cheaper ways of gaining control of resources, and when it comes to AU this is already well on it's way. Australia's current account has long been negative and we are increasingly seeing the country's economic interests being bought out by foreign interests. On an almost daily basis newspapers are reporting AU organisations going overseas for investments due to the GFC. Furthermore, on a regular basis Chinese (state owned) business is taking majority interests in (mostly resource oriented) AU organisations. When Holden needs to sell out (as Opel is in Germany) no doubt the Middle East will show an interest, as they have with Opel). What's more is that while Rudd is taking money from China in one hand from the resources boom and feeding it into a laughable defence against China, on the other hand Rudd is doing little if nothing to deter China from buying up AU from within and if the opposition dares to say anything about it they are accused of Protectionism. All the while Rudd and his cabinet are receiving gifts from Chinese officials and advocating for China to play a larger role in the IMF, the UN and other global organisations. Once again, it appears Rudd hasn't a clue which side of the fence he wants to be on, and what policy to follow, or does he? To me, Rudd is increasingly looking like a true Machiavelist. In the case of China he is playing a game of let's be friends, then turning around and claiming the country needs a defence force to protect AU from Chinese invasion. In addition, has anyone paid attention the fact Rudd speaks in two tongues. On the international scene he speaks as reading from a textbook; smart, precise and to the point while considering different perspectives. In AU Rudd speaks a populist language of marketing jibe and flash words without content which is leading to high levels of voter popularity.

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  • 39. At 05:10am on 03 May 2009, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    The comments by beijing_2008 and tofupanda are disturbing if they represent the common view of the average Chinese, and what the average Chinese has been taught about their history, and their relationship with their neighbors.

    China has MOST DEFINITELY occupied and annexed other countries. Chinese history is practically one annexation after another. The real China is Hubei Province. The rest is just a collection of conquered states whose inhabitants were either displaced or absorbed--absolutely no different, and probably worse, than white American appropriation of Amerindian lands.

    As already stated by davidwhite44, China has plenty of absurd claims to the Spratlys, Paracels, and Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea from which China has ample room to use as a pretense for war(s) with their weaker neighbors.

    If all of your neighbors fear you--not just resent you or despise you, but FEAR you--maybe you're not as peace-loving as you imagine. China boasts of its (mythical) 5,000 year civilization. Other Asian countries have long national memories, too, and China usually doesn't figure favorably in them.

    In contrast, in a particular Western nation, children are taught from a young age about their country and: its displacement and atrocities committed against the original inhabitants; about the enslavement of people and their descendants; about the conquest of territory of its southern neighbor and pressure on its northern neighbor for territorial concessions; about legal and social discrimination of minorities; about its meddling in the affairs of countries in its region; as well as more noble aspects of their country's history.

    Americans don't hide behind a mythical past that omits all the bad parts of their history and exaggerates the good--it seems that the Chinese do.

    A very crude, incomplete map of Chinese expansions (and occupations) through history. From Wikipedia (so take that into account :-\ ).

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  • 40. At 05:14am on 03 May 2009, Cosmos21 wrote:

    I don't disagree with the idea to upgrade the combat capabilities of the Australian Defense Force but to commit approximately A$20 billion or more of taxpayers' money for the next 20 years without regards to any other potential economic recessions like this recent one is absolutely ludicrous. We should be spending money on boosting the sick economy instead. Create more jobs, bolster up Medicare - It's the economy, stupid!

    Plus, a conflict with China is purely hypothetical whilst the threat of terrorism remains very real so the ADF would do well to heed the advice of their American counterparts instead.

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  • 41. At 05:41am on 03 May 2009, RL wrote:


    To 27. At 01:48am on 03 May 2009, airspace86

    Good to know you are an American, all your "comments" make prefect sense now.

    I can only suggest you, learn to speak Chinese, then you would be able to understand both side of the view. It is ironic that some of you go on and on about Chinese history and internal affairs, do not speak a word of Chinese.

    Old good Chinese Mao's phrase "We will not attack unless we are attacked; if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack" shows that diplomatic relations based on thousand years old Chinese moral standard and philosophy.

    Contrary to Chinese, new immigration countries like US and Australia "white" authorities were built on stolen "blood stained" lands, insecurity rules the diplomatic relations with others, as well as fatal mentality for the nations.

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  • 42. At 06:00am on 03 May 2009, RL wrote:


    To 39. At 05:10am on 03 May 2009, AnonymousCalifornian

    Quote your comments:

    "...In contrast, in a particular Western nation, children are taught from a young age about their country and: its displacement and atrocities committed against the original inhabitants; about the enslavement of people and their descendants; about the conquest of territory of its southern neighbor and pressure on its northern neighbor for territorial concessions; about legal and social discrimination of minorities; about its meddling in the affairs of countries in its region; as well as more noble aspects of their country's history..." "... Americans don't hide behind a mythical past that omits all the bad parts of their history and exaggerates the good ..."


    Well, AnonymousCalifornian, your education has approved failure, for the past you breed Nazi Hitler, modern days, you educated Bush. They are both taught with your moral standards. But they are most evils, brought more disasters to the world. Yes, you do not hide behind a mythical past that omits all the bad parts of your history, but you were also taught being greediness, superior and bully. All the bad parts of your history become to an accelerator for exploiting poorer and other developing nations.

    "World police" role never ends.



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  • 43. At 06:40am on 03 May 2009, Ozman wrote:

    tofupanda, are you employed by the Chinese government's propaganda department? Someone must be paying you towrite all that nonsense.

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  • 44. At 06:50am on 03 May 2009, Yillki wrote:

    We live in a tough neighbourhood so it makes sense for everyone to understand that Australia is well defended and no pushover. I do not see a build up of defensive military assets as being a threat to any other nation in the area. With luck in the future we may adopt a foreign policy more independent of the USA, to whose apron strings we are currently tied.

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  • 45. At 06:50am on 03 May 2009, US airspace wrote:

    tofupanda :

    "Good to know you are an American, all your "comments" make prefect sense now."

    Im glad they do because none of your comments were based on rationality, reality and historical facts but misleading words and just plain arrogant boasting.

    According to a recent AP article Australia is simply upgrading the submarines and frigates, and it is expanding its airforce with newer F-35 jets. Sounds pretty reasonable to me. However, I always wondered what a Chinese white paper would say?

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  • 46. At 06:57am on 03 May 2009, RL wrote:

    To ozman01,

    None pays me, I am not even a Chinese Citizen, I am Australian Citizen, and I am proud of it, but I brought up in both countries, I also proud of my Chinese heritage. I have accessed to both sides of culture. To post my thoughts here just like any of you, in additional, I do not accuse anyone "nonsense" even it was an "nonsense" response.

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  • 47. At 07:05am on 03 May 2009, traducer wrote:

    Well done to the Ozzies for going it alone and not relying on the USA. Perhaps they will lend a hand to us Poms one day when the chips are down eh?

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  • 48. At 08:22am on 03 May 2009, Ozman wrote:

    So, Tofupanda,

    As an Australian citizen you are happy to enjoy the many benefits of a country built, to quote your earlier post, on stolen "blood stained" lands, even though the delights of China beckon.

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

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  • 49. At 08:26am on 03 May 2009, sydneycynic wrote:

    Come on Tofupanda. Do the honourable thing and fess up. You say you're an Australian citizen but it's perfectly clear where your loyalty lies. If the Chinese did ever invade, which I don't think they would, you could always produce a hard copy of your comments. The Chinese would have no doubt that China is where your heart is and your association with Australia is obviously just a marriage of convenience.

    P.S. If I wanted to send you any more correspondence, should I address it to the Chinese Embassy ?

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  • 50. At 08:32am on 03 May 2009, rustynailed wrote:

    Nice rant

    Everything we do is not as a defence posture against China. China is not a threat its a opportunity. China is going to be Australias bread basket for the next 100 years

    Its Indonesia who is the regional threat and dont let anyone think Malaysia has any love for Australia either. Have no doubt about it If China wanted to invade. Only the US could stop it and they are not going to risk nuclear war for 22 millon people on the worlds more sparely populated and under exploited land mass. To be honest I would not be surprised if somewhere in Military Head HQ's of half the planets Armed forces there are war plans involving the conquest of Australia

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  • 51. At 09:21am on 03 May 2009, Fustylock wrote:

    Mr. Bryant,
    Thank you so much for your delightful malapropism in talking about "Fortress China"! We, the general public are certainly beginning to experience "weariness" at the rise of Bejing, now that our clothes and home contents are all tagged with "Made in China" -but our esteemed leaders seem to be suffering "waryiness" at the growing might (economical or otherwise)of our near neigbour. Who checks your typescript,by the way, as there is another grammatical error towards the end, where "splurge of.." should read "splurge on.." Oh, well, you're excused just this once as I really enjoy your "rants"!

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  • 52. At 09:32am on 03 May 2009, lylawang wrote:

    to airspace86ozman01 and some others,
    you don't understand Chinese. If I were you, before posting a comment, I'll first try to understand chinese and their culture and their philosophy.

    thanks for understanding.

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  • 53. At 09:41am on 03 May 2009, Journoren wrote:

    I reckon this discussion has gone offtrack a bit. My understanding to this issues is that Australia is not simply responding to a 'China threat' but an 'Asian threat'. Virtually all Asian countries are upgrading and modernizing their military, and Australia has to react according. China is one part of the whole story.

    Not sure if any of you guys know a comment made by former Singapore PM Lee Kuan Yew during a television interview a couple years ago. He stressed the need for further economic links between Asia and Australia but he stated Asian nations will 'never regard Australia as family'. Australia's trying to enmesh with Asia (at least under the Labor government), but Asia in general is suspicious of Australia for it stands for 'the West'. As long as this understanding and trust rift still exists, an arm race is inevitable.

    And for Australia, the biggest problem is not military hardware. The real problem for Australia is to find enough people to MAN these equippments. Recent revelation is that the Aussie Navy simply couldn't sufficient staff the current fleet of six Collin Class sub. Young Aussies are continually drawn to the highpaying mining industry. So if China really has an intention to weak Australia's defence, all it needs to do is to keep investing in Australia's mining industry......

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  • 54. At 10:08am on 03 May 2009, wollemi wrote:


    #53

    "Asian nations "will never regard Australia as family'"

    That's wily Lee up to old tricks. At least it's an improvement on the time Lee described Australia as the white trash of Asia
    There is nothing as cohesive as 'family' amongst Asian nations There are recurrent tensions between Singapore and Malaysia, Korea and Japan, China and Japan, Vietnam and China...which make Australia's relationship with the region look benign. There is also quite a lot of racial stereotyping in SE Asia.

    The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) publishes a lot of data on military build up on its website. According to SIPRI China has certainly been doing a rapid build up over the last decade, increasing spending more than threefold and with vastly increased capability to where it was 15 years ago
    It would be sanguine to think this was just their attempt to be accepted as a world power and spooking the neighbourhood was unintentional. Sanguine but.......who knows

    I'm not sure we can pay for all these extra subs etc



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  • 55. At 10:11am on 03 May 2009, Studentofmelbourne wrote:

    A lot of the comments have totally missed the point at best, and naive or completely lack there of in their understanding of international relations at worst. Being a Chinese born Australian, I'm both surprised and pleased at such rare understanding of Asia-Pacific by the Rudd government. In my discussions with native born Australians, either in ordinary chatters or serious debate in the academia, I often found my suggestion that a major conflict in East Asia, especially over Taiwan, is still a distinct possibility being instinctively dismissed. The rebuttals from the sceptics are straight forward and all the same - China would not risk its economic development, and its "peaceful rise" should be taken at face value. It's something that many people here in Australia want to believe, and it's also what the Chinese government and many other Chinese people want them to believe. I'd be writing a book here if I were to explain in detail the Chinese political intricacies, but the Mandarin speaking Rudd put it starkly way back in 1999 as a MP:

    "There is a temptation for those who have witnessed the modernisation of China over the last quarter century to believe that re-unification with Taiwan is no longer taken seriously - that while the Beijing government may make all manner of public pronouncements about the importance of reunification, that in an age of real-politic and global economic integration, that this is done primarily for form. This is a fundamental misreading of the Chinese political psyche." (http://www.asialink.unimelb.edu.au/archived/events/past/past_events_public/troubled_waters_an_emerging_crisis_across_the_taiwan_strait)

    He went on to describe that psyche in some simple statement in the piece, which I find honest and very agreeable (he wasn't PM back then, after all!). Some of the readers pointed out that this white paper is a strong provocation against China, but one could hardly be called scaremongering to call them "panda huggers" because those who feel rightly provoked are most of China's regional neighbours. I don't see anyone speaking on behalf of their fear at China's massive military expansion, so what's going on here? What more can I say about such attitude other than naked appeasement? Like Bryan wrote, Australia is not predicting a confrontation with China, but it is planning for that worst-case eventuality, which is a distinct possibility. At the end of the day, China is run by an Authoritarian regime whose 60 year history has seen war with Vietnam in the 80s, with India in the 60s, in Korea in the 50s, numerous border skirmishes with USSR, several "Taiwan Strait crisis", basically China has warred with all its significant neighbours in the past century. One could certainly argue that it's water under the bridge, and certainly any claims of Chinese expansionism does not do modern China any justice. However, in assessing Asian international relations one must not underestimate the primacy of history and symbolism. With Chinese "national interest" hard to define other than the evident observation of its appetite in broadening its strategic options, the deep seeded mistrust and grudge between the Asian powers could well erupt into dangerous confrontation if anyone, especially China, is tempted to exert itself inappropriately in the eyes of its neighbours due to strategic imbalance. With Australian interests more and more involved in Asian affairs, regional instability is it's our greatest peril. If I'm to agree to the "middle power" role Australia plays in Asian Pacific then we are an important strategic actor in the region, and the increasing cooperation with Japan on top of our American alliance reaffirms which camp we're in if sh*t does hit the fan. In my view, Rudd has juggled the ball well so far, on one hand he conducts affairs in such a way that prioritizes Australian economy and on the other, he doesn't lose sight on some further eventualities that most would summarily dismissed. A former diplomat turned Public Relations king of Australia, my only concern now is that whether I can ever take HIM by his face value. And to those who think I'm spewing cr*p with what I just wrote, let me say perhaps it's not really that naive to keep your eyes only on the gold prize in such a hard economic time, which is also a turbulent time in any regard.

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  • 56. At 10:46am on 03 May 2009, Nelorie wrote:

    Tofupanda and beijing_2008 seem to be propagandists for the Chinese government.

    I note that Tofu Panda is an Australian citizen. You are so lucky to be a citizen of Australia. But I feel you have real deficiencies in understanding Australian culture and values.

    However, both you live in a free and democratic country, that is Australia, where you can rant and rave as much as they like.

    However, they show an astounding lack of knowledge of Chinas history.

    For example, the Chinese came into the Korean War on the norths side, even when there was no evidence of any United Nations desire or plan to cross the Yalu River. So much for Chinese non-aggression. I will not talk about Tibet or Taiwan as they have been dealt with by other readers. I note that China lays claim to almost all of the South China Sea. Hey, just because China is in the name of the sea, does not mean that other nations have to give up their rights under international law and be subservient to the aggressive Chinese.

    And a most glaring omission! One covered up by your so-called benevolent and open Chinese government. The Tiananmen Square massacre! Oh yes, June 1989, and the Chinese Communist were so afraid of losing power that they sent tank and machine guns into the heart of the capital and slaughtered an unknown but large number of students. They were peacefully protesting. You do not see that massive over-reaction in most democratic countries, particularly Australia.

    So, if you not happy in Australia, we all do not speak Mandarin like our Prime Minister, I suggest that you go to some place where you would feel welcome. How about Vietnam, no they dont like you; Japan, no luck there either I would think. The Japanese would look down at your crude manners and bad attitude. The South Koreans, well they were once vassals of the mighty Chinese empire but I do not think they want to be in situation again. You could go to North Korea, a hard-line Marxist-Stalinist regime. But guess what, you would definitely have to conform, otherwise off to the huge labour camps they have and in which people starve and die in huge numbers.

    As for this Middle Kingdom definition; the reason that China considers itself to be the Middle Kingdom is because they consider everyone else to be so inferior that they do not share the earth with other nations, but are between the earth and Heaven thus the Middle Kingdom. Now that is arrogance!

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  • 57. At 11:11am on 03 May 2009, AnonymousCalifornian wrote:

    To the moderators (you could let this through or not; the message is addressed to you):

    Did you alter the link url I provided in my previous post? http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/54/Territories_of_Dynasties_in_China.gif: here is the link I gave. In my post the link does not work because it somehow has become: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Territories_of_Dynasties_%3Cbr%20/%3Ein_China.gif .

    Now it could have just been some strange error on my part (I don't know how exactly I would have gotten that url), but--paranoid me--I'm getting a weird 1984 feeling. You definitely have the right to not publish any comment I send, and technically you have the right to edit my comments. I still would prefer that the latter not be done, and suspect most of the people here would likewise.

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  • 58. At 11:15am on 03 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    Ah, I see some more China bashers have woken up. You can always count on
    AnonymousCalifornian to write some unfounded drivel about China, and to post a link or two.

    Let me address the issue of Tibet for the final time, because it is getting tedious. Let me ask those who claim that Tibet is an occupied/annexed piece of territory. Is that conclusion reached from extensively studying Chinese history (in both the English and Chinese languages), or because the Free-Tibet crowd says so? As I said, it is true that the Sino centric system prevailed before the adoption, in modern times, of a Westphalian system. Korea, Vietnam and Japan were regarded as vassals of China that offered tribute to the Emperor, and over which China exercised suzerainty. But the area of modern day Xizang was NOT regarded as foreign. It was, like other parts of the concentric circle surrounding the Chinese heartland, exempt from the Chinese bureaucratic system, but still answerable to the Emperor.
    And this is not even the point. EVEN IF Tibet was not historically a part of China, though I believe it was, tell me which nation in the world today is not built upon expansion and occupation?

    Also, it is disingenuous to accuse those that defend China of being coerced or paid by the Chinese government to do so. We could equally accuse you lot of being paid by the Free Tibet organisation; these claims and counter-claims will get us nowhere. Suffice to say, it seems some people find it hard to believe that there are Chinese capable of independent thought.

    As a last remark, it should be understood that in future, those who will lead China and take positions of responsibility within the Chinese government will most likely consist of Chinese who have studied and worked abroad (mostly in Europe and North America). Thus, this is the precisely the time to be bridging the gap in understanding between our two peoples, not to create unnecessary friction.
    But if you want to continue with the unrelenting and disproportionate bashing of China and of its political system (the One-Party state of Singapore never seems to be analysed with the same enthusiasm), then it leaves me to say that this will remain long in the memories of those who may lead China in 20 to 30 years time.

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  • 59. At 11:29am on 03 May 2009, Studentofmelbourne wrote:

    I suppose my comment was deferred due to the use of some slangs, so I'm re-posting it.

    A lot of the comments have totally missed the point at best, and naive or completely lack there of in their understanding of international relations at worst. Being a Chinese born Australian, I'm both surprised and pleased at such rare understanding of Asia-Pacific by the Rudd government. In my discussions with native born Australians, either in ordinary chatters or serious debate in the academia, I often found my suggestion that a major conflict in East Asia, especially over Taiwan, is still a distinct possibility being instinctively dismissed. The rebuttals from the sceptics are straight forward and all the same - China would not risk its economic development, and its "peaceful rise" should be taken at face value. It's something that many people here in Australia want to believe, and it's also what the Chinese government and many other Chinese people want them to believe. I'd be writing a book here if I were to explain in detail the Chinese political intricacies, but the Mandarin speaking Rudd put it starkly way back in 1999 as a MP:

    "There is a temptation for those who have witnessed the modernisation of China over the last quarter century to believe that re-unification with Taiwan is no longer taken seriously - that while the Beijing government may make all manner of public pronouncements about the importance of reunification, that in an age of real-politic and global economic integration, that this is done primarily for form. This is a fundamental misreading of the Chinese political psyche." (http://www.asialink.unimelb.edu.au/archived/events/past/past_events_public/troubled_waters_an_emerging_crisis_across_the_taiwan_strait)

    He went on to describe that psyche in some simple statement in the piece, which I find honest and very agreeable (he wasn't PM back then, afterall!). Some of the readers pointed out that this white paper is a strong provocation against China, but one could hardly be called scaremongering to call them "panda huggers" because those who feel rightly provoked are most of China's regional neighbours. I don't see anyone speaking on behalf of their fear at China's massive military expansion, so what's going on here? What more can I say about such attitude other than naked appeasement? Like Bryan wrote, Australia is not predicting a confrontation with China, but it is planning for that worst-case eventuality, which is a distinct possibility. At the end of the day, China is run by an Authoritarian regime whose 60 year history has seen war with Vietnam in the 80s, with India in the 60s, in Korea in the 50s, numerous border skirmishes with USSR, several "Taiwan Strait crisis", basically China has warred with all its significant neighbours in the past century. One could certainly argue that it's water under the bridge, and certainly any claims of Chinese expansionism does not do modern China any justice. However, in assessing Asian international relations one must not underestimate the primacy of history and symbolism. With Chinese "national interest" hard to define other than the evident observation of its apetite in broadening its strategic options, the deep seeded mistrust and grudge between the Asian powers could well erupt into dangerous confrontation if anyone, especially China, is tempted to exert itself inapproriately in the eyes of its neighbours due to strategic imbalance. With Australian interests more and more involved in Asian affairs, regional instability is it's our greatest peril. If I'm to agree to the "middle power" role Australia plays in Asian Pacific then we are an important strategic actor in the region, and the increasing cooperation with Japan on top of our American alliance reaffirms which camp we're in if things do take the wrong turn. In my view, Rudd has juggled the ball well so far, on one hand he conducts affairs with China in such a way that prioritizes Australian economy and on the other, he doesn't lose sight on some further eventualities that most would summarily dismissed. A former diplomat turned Public Relations king of Australia, my only concern now is that whether I can ever take HIM by his face value.

    I'd like to add that I'm tired to seeing other Chinese summarily dismissing arguments against China using the reason that other people can't speak Chinese. It's a sign of desperation and the fact that I haven't met such accusation in real life when I argued against China (although some might be tempted to call me a "traitor"... I wonder who I'm betraying?) tells me that the motivation may be racialist, some sort of post-colonial discourse gone bad. It does not help the debate and only fuels the fire for irrational hostility.

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  • 60. At 11:53am on 03 May 2009, klldbbydth wrote:

    'those who will lead China and take positions of responsibility within the Chinese government will most likely consist of Chinese who have studied and worked abroad'

    Well that's too bad because having lived and studied in China as well as having dealt with overseas Chinese, it's my experience that among the Chinese who have studied and worked abroad the proportion of nationalists and xenophobes is unfortunately no lower. Those who do subscribe to such thinking just manage to seem more culturally open because they are clothed in the Western branded nonsense. Only the ones who decide to become permanent residents seem to end up mellowing out, maybe because they realise the joys of ceasing to give a goddamn about wars or perceived insults that happened decades or even centuries ago - in my experience one of the biggest flaws in the identity of so many old world countries.

    'the area of modern day Xizang was NOT regarded as foreign'

    It was not regarded as foreign, therefore it was not foreign and could be subjugated. That's an interesting take on things. Sounds like another way of saying 'might makes right'.

    'But if you want to continue with the unrelenting and disproportionate bashing of China and of its political system'

    This isn't a discussion about political systems generally, it is a discussion about security in the Asian-Pacific region. As has been amply pointed out, China's closed off secretive political system leaves everyone guessing about what its intentions are. Why would anyone bring up Singapore, of all countries?

    'tell me which nation in the world today is not built upon expansion and occupation?'

    As has been pointed out above, in the realm of security it's not a question of which nations are built on expansion and occupation, which is all of them, it is a question of which nations have recognised and then renounced this history, and which ones continue to entertain nonsensical claims to the territory of their neighbours based on historical grudges and national chauvinism.

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  • 61. At 11:58am on 03 May 2009, Studentofmelbourne wrote:

    Hi moderator, sorry I'm sort of new here and due to the haste in which I posted I wasn't aware that I'm not supposed to post website link in comments, could you please just remove the link and post it please. I'm simply used to citing everything someone else has said.

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  • 62. At 12:14pm on 03 May 2009, Studentofmelbourne wrote:

    Ok I guess I'll just have to re-post the whole thing again:

    A lot of the comments have totally missed the point at best, and naive or completely lack there of in their understanding of international relations at worst. Being a Chinese born Australian, I'm both surprised and pleased at such rare understanding of Asia-Pacific by the Rudd government. In my discussions with native born Australians, either in ordinary chatters or serious debate in the academia, I often found my suggestion that a major conflict in East Asia, especially over Taiwan, is still a distinct possibility being instinctively dismissed. The rebuttals from the sceptics are straight forward and all the same - China would not risk its economic development, and its "peaceful rise" should be taken at face value. It's something that many people here in Australia want to believe, and it's also what the Chinese government and many other Chinese people want them to believe. I'd be writing a book here if I were to explain in detail the Chinese political intricacies, but the Mandarin speaking Rudd put it starkly in a speech in my university way back in 1999 as a MP:

    "There is a temptation for those who have witnessed the modernisation of China over the last quarter century to believe that re-unification with Taiwan is no longer taken seriously - that while the Beijing government may make all manner of public pronouncements about the importance of reunification, that in an age of real-politic and global economic integration, that this is done primarily for form. This is a fundamental misreading of the Chinese political psyche."

    He went on to describe that psyche in some simple statement in the piece, which I find honest and very agreeable (he wasn't PM back then, afterall!). Some of the readers pointed out that this white paper is a strong provocation against China, but one could hardly be called scaremongering to call them "panda huggers" because those who feel rightly provoked are most of China's regional neighbours. I don't see anyone speaking on behalf of their fear at China's massive military expansion, so what's going on here? What more can I say about such attitude other than naked appeasement? Like Bryan wrote, Australia is not predicting a confrontation with China, but it is planning for that worst-case eventuality, which is a distinct possibility. At the end of the day, China is run by an Authoritarian regime whose 60 year history has seen war with Vietnam in the 80s, with India in the 60s, in Korea in the 50s, numerous border skirmishes with USSR, several "Taiwan Strait crisis", basically China has warred with all its significant neighbours in the past century. One could certainly argue that it's water under the bridge, and certainly any claims of Chinese expansionism does not do modern China any justice. However, in assessing Asian international relations one must not underestimate the primacy of history and symbolism. With Chinese "national interest" hard to define other than the evident observation of its apetite in broadening its strategic options, the deep seeded mistrust and grudge between the Asian powers could well erupt into dangerous confrontation if anyone, especially China, is tempted to exert itself inapproriately in the eyes of its neighbours due to strategic imbalance. With Australian interests more and more involved in Asian affairs, regional instability is it's our greatest peril. If I'm to agree to the "middle power" role Australia plays in Asian Pacific then we are an important strategic actor in the region, and the increasing cooperation with Japan on top of our American alliance reaffirms which camp we're in if things do take the wrong turn. In my view, Rudd has juggled the ball well so far, on one hand he conducts affairs with China in such a way that prioritizes Australian economy and on the other, he doesn't lose sight on some further eventualities that most would summarily dismissed. A former diplomat turned Public Relations king of Australia, my only concern now is that whether I can ever take HIM by his face value.

    I'd like to add that I'm tired to seeing other Chinese summarily dismissing arguments against China using the reason that other people can't speak Chinese. It's a sign of desperation and the fact that I haven't met such accusation in real life when I argued against China (although some might be tempted to call me a "traitor"... I wonder who I'm betraying?) tells me that the motivation may be racialist, some sort of post-colonial discourse gone bad. It does not help the debate and only fuels the fire for irrational hostility.

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  • 63. At 12:35pm on 03 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    What's the big deal about neighbors being wary of China? China is a big country, a regional power. It's natural if some neighbors are wary. Look at India. It is the regional power in South Asia. Tell me, which of its South Asian neighbors is not wary of it or in fact dead again it? Or take the case of the US and its South American neighbors. How many really love 'big brother' America? How about Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia for starters?

    klldbbydth says:
    "As has been pointed out above, in the realm of security it's not a question of which nations are built on expansion and occupation, which is all of them, it is a question of which nations have recognised and then renounced this history, and which ones continue to entertain nonsensical claims to the territory of their neighbours based on historical grudges and national chauvinism."

    OK, since you have renounce your history,if you are white Australian, go back to Britain/Europe and give back the land to the Aborigines. If you are white American, go back to Europe and give back the land to the native Indians. That's a good test of your sincerity. Afterwords, just words are cheap.

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  • 64. At 12:40pm on 03 May 2009, RL wrote:



    Ozman1 and Sydneycynic

    I understand that hurts your feeling I am an Australian citizen for criticizing Australian diplomatic relations and some of foreign policy. I criticize Chinese authority for their wrong doing as well at many Chinese language discussion websites, it is shame that you cannot read them.

    My loyalty is based on the knowledges of my experiences for living in both continents. I am honored to be an Australian because it is a peaceful country, it's metropolitan and diversity. I was not expecting Australian would be next imperialism country like USA.

    China expanding military defense makes sense because geographically China was a heavily targets and invaded country for the past, but if Australia wants to play the same against China, just theoretically not making any sense no rational, out the characters.

    Live in Australia, I am more worrying that Indonesia and Malaysia muslim extremist fundamentalism would change the way of Australian living, not China. To project China "superpower" as your potential enemy, does not make Australia more powerful. It is most silly thing to do. It is sinophobia syndrome.

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  • 65. At 1:12pm on 03 May 2009, Studentofmelbourne wrote:

    jimmy3333, you are exactly right, it's natural if some neighbors are wary, Australia is reacting as such, just like how Pakistan is wary of India and Venezuela is wary of the US. What's more stark is that all these relationships are characterized by fundamental ideological or religious differences. The uncomfort stirred is certainly a big deal for us, for the Pakistanis, and the Venezuelans all the same because it's a matter of national security. So I don't quite get what you're trying to get across. And s far as I, as an Aussie, is concerned, this White Paper has also been long due because our Defence Force has been in a shamble for a decade. We've got undermanned AND unoperational hardwares, our only combat ready troops are the few battalions of SAS. This White Paper makes a lot of sense for Australia in general, the only thing I think we should really scrutinise is how on earth we're gonna pay for it.

    tofupanda, may you not be overplaying hyperbole by accusing Australia, I mean c'mon, Australia, of imperialism? Please, chill out. Let's just put our China syndrome aside for now... we, a nation of 21m, have got only a few battalions of land force to protect the 6th largest country in the world. The last White Paper was in 2000 and it lead us to buy expensive toys we can't even use. Give me a break. I suggest you go and read the White Paper yourself. And please stop the excessive victimization of China, you can forever play the history card and you will forever be right, but the times have changed, China is strong now and it's others' turn to feel worry, where's the empathy for other you're demanding so badly? Finally, I'm intrigued by many of your implicit assumptions, just why do you think Australia wants to be "powerful", I think the white men in this country are STILL at the stage of wandering on the issue of how to properly treat the aboriginals. You're getting a bit too far ahead of yourself perhaps, for goodness sake it seems you're stuck in 1648.

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  • 66. At 1:17pm on 03 May 2009, Journoren wrote:

    hi studentofmelbourne, are you from mel uni? glad to see an alumnus here!

    I think China's previous war with its neighours has little to do with its political system. It's simply consequences of geopolitics, which will be themes of conflicts in the future. I do agree with Beijing_2008 in stating China's not 'imperalistic' or 'expansionist'in nature but i found Smauel Huntington's asessment compelling. China WILL seek an East Asia hegemony once it's back on its full strenght due to its historical position in hierarchical command structures of East Asia Confucian Sinic civilizations. As Mark Twin once famously commented, history might not repeat itself but it certainly rhyme a lot. A China hegemony in East Asia is certainly not in the interests of the US and Australia so my prediction is similar as yours, that future conflicts are inevitable. Whether it will play out in terms of military confrontation is hard to say but i reckon Australia's stepping in the right direction. Military builtup is to a large extent a deterrence to war, as has proven by the Cold War.

    I reckon language is a crucial part in bridging understandings between different races and cultures. For instance some Chinese political discourse such as Taoguangyanghui needs to be understood in a Chinese way. The straighforward translation is highly ambiguous and leaves too much to the imagnination. But i agree with you that language should not be used as a ulimate weapon in countering criticisms.

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  • 67. At 1:21pm on 03 May 2009, RL wrote:



    To 56. At 10:46am on 03 May 2009, Nelorie


    You obvious have real deficiencies in understanding Chinese culture and values. How would you criticise me lack of knowledge of Chinese history if I read from both sides?

    Do not you insult me have real deficiencies in understanding Australian culture and values, for living in Australia for 15 years as a high tax payer, I contribute to the country much more than many of you are on the benefits. I think you have real deficiencies in understanding modern Australian multicultures and diversity values.

    You have no rights to ask me to go away from Australia, because it is my country, I have a basic moral standard that not being a racist as you are. I live in China and Tokyo as well as traveling to Europe many months a year, I keep my Courtesy, Manners and Politeness, with my good understanding of others, for not being stereotype. Quite to the contrary for what you described me being "crude manners and bad attitude", do not you use Japan and South Korean against me, my Japanese and South Koreans colleagues are best friends of mine.

    Dear Nelorie , how many continents have you lived in? How many foreign languages do you speak? How many foreign friends do you communicate with? Your comment shows you need bit update.

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  • 68. At 1:27pm on 03 May 2009, Quaffnbrightale wrote:

    StudentOf - very glad you re-posted... see my earlier comment re: Kevin Rudd and Neville Chamberlain.

    It is disturbing that tofupanda and his 'friend' consider the upgrade of Australia's navy as a "huge negative impact to the world." - yet no concern (as an "Australian citizen" - you'd think tofupada would be glad there are land-stainers around that actually would want to protect his barbeque lifestyle...while he back-stabs the very same for doing the very same) about the cause of what brought it about...i.e the secretive and non-information from China that arouses the very suspicions you proclaim shouldn't exist...don't you spot the connection TP/B_2008...? or are you concerned that you might not be able to exploit the duality of your identity for too much longer...?
    "...140 pages of the long-awaited Australian defence white paper is not a defence guide, it is an invitation to conflicts and confrontation. It is all about insecurity deep inside Australian nation and mentality. Australia is going nowhere and end soon." your words TP...doesn't sound very Australian does he? Re-arming is perhaps not a bad thing with attitudes like this from your own citizens of convenience - tell me are you going to one going back to China to be among that new band of leaders you harp on about? If so, the quicker the West re-arms the better...

    Clearly the sentiment about Australia's ignorance and domination by China bacause the Oz military is apparently incapable anyway flies in the face of this odd remark - especially from a so-called 'Aussie' - something fishy here - anyone spot what it is???

    Displays of weaponry 'naval prowess', talk of reversing shame... Suppression of Tibetans in their own country...(how dare they not be so appreciative of our non-invasion, invasion)...in 1950 - just why was it Mao - nice friendly Mao (is that the same Mao who caused the death of 36 million people in botched 'five-year plans...?), decided on sending in the PLA to 'his own' country then...clearly are of no concern to you two either...

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  • 69. At 1:34pm on 03 May 2009, sydneycynic wrote:

    "Tofupanda", with a pseudonym like that I don't expect you've ingratiated yourself too much into the Australian way of life. May I suggest "Dinki-Di Panda" if you want to form a bridge between both countries.

    I'm interested to know about your past protestations/criticisms of the Chinese Government. You say I can't read them and I can only assume this is because they don't exist. Alternatively, you might be referring to the fact that they are written in Chinese and you have adopted the rather prejudiced approach that I could not read them. I suppose you can read all the Chinese dialects i.e. Cantonese, Mandarin, etc. Even if you had written them I wonder where they were sent from. If they were from inside China, I wonder why you're not in a "re-education camp".

    I would agree with your suggestion that Australia's proposed increased expenditure is a waste of money. After all, with people like you living on dry land I don't see how spending a ton of money on submarines and ships is going to help. If hostilities were to break out and China was the aggressor, it would interest me to know whether you'd fight for Australia, a country you profess to have some loyalty towards.

    You say Australia should be more worried about Malaysia and Indonesia. I don't have a problem with those countries (as I don't have a problem with China and the specious proposal that they'll invade Australia). This is something I was at pains to point out previously but you must of lost it in the translation. What I have a problem with is Chinese nationalists who are masquerading as good Australian citizens.

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  • 70. At 1:57pm on 03 May 2009, klldbbydth wrote:

    'OK, since you have renounce your history,if you are white Australian, go back to Britain/Europe and give back the land to the Aborigines. If you are white American, go back to Europe and give back the land to the native Indians. That's a good test of your sincerity. Afterwords, just words are cheap.'

    No, that's just nonsensical and irrelevant. Aside from the fact that what you assert would lead to everyone endlessly migrating and 7 billion ultimately ending up in a valley in Africa, what we're talking about here is defence and security. My point was that we don't make stupid claims to sovereignty over our neighbours, whereas some other nations still do immature things like fire ballistic missiles over them during their elections. You, on the other hand, just seem to be using this discussion as a pulpit to bash other countries.

    'for not being stereotype'

    You're a non-anglophone (yes, still, sorry) ultra-nationlist who comes to Australia, harps on about ancient history and irrelevant grudges, gets bristled at any criticism of your country of birth and doesn't understand the culture, as evidenced by elitist comments like 'I contribute to the country much more than many of you are on the benefits'. A stereotype is exactly what you are.

    'What I have a problem with is Chinese nationalists who are masquerading as good Australian citizens.'

    They're good for a laugh though aren't they?

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  • 71. At 1:57pm on 03 May 2009, Studentofmelbourne wrote:

    Hi Journoren! Yes I am, in fact I'm a current student there haha. Excuse me if I appear imprudent, I've still got a lot to learn in the now severely under-funded Arts faculty.

    Anyways, I think I've seen a view similar to yours in Henry Kissinger, who expressed that geopolitics dictated that China is fated to confront with the hegemony of the West - the USA. Intuitively I find that, along with Huntington's assessment, very agreeable but so far I haven't found a good way to express them proactively because there is such a huge degree of implicit pessimism associated with them that corners one into cold hard realist calculation of inevitable conflicts. Among the urban Australian public, liberal institutionalism is favoured, just like how we rush to embrace any rosy notions of the world. That's why I actually foresee this White Paper will be a hard sell because it invokes so much grand fears and rhetoric, "Yellow Peril", "East vs West", "China syndrome", "Sinophobia" whereas in many strategists eyes this is simply a logical extension of Australian defence policy with added emphasis on the increasing volatility in the region. Many argue that in Australia, the realist separation of domestic and foreign policies does not apply as well but Chinese speaking PR king Rudd's China worry tells us this is an issue that just can't be compromised.

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  • 72. At 2:10pm on 03 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    Studentofmelbourne,
    You have quoted,
    "At the end of the day, China is run by an Authoritarian regime whose 60 year history has seen war with Vietnam in the 80s, with India in the 60s, in Korea in the 50s, numerous border skirmishes with USSR, several "Taiwan Strait crisis", basically China has warred with all its significant neighbours in the past century."

    The reason that I have mentioned that it's no big deal that some neighbors may be wary of China is because some people, including you have mentioned China's supposed belligerence (example such as you quoted above) as reason for this behavior. If that is so, what about India's main neighbors such as Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh) which openly shows no love at all for India? Infact, Pakistan's reason for existence seems to be just to be a thorn in India's side. And what about land-locked Nepal who seems to prefer to more closely align with China than India? So, the conclusion by your logic is that India is very belligerent towards its neighbors . And I would not even go into the case of America with its South American neighbors.

    Infact whatever clashes China has with its neighbors in the last 60 years is actually China trying to reassert its territorial integrity after the last 100 to 200 years of the imperialistic powers slicing, grabbing and pillaging and dismembering its territory.

    If you want to consider number of military clashes with other countries, it is infact Uncle Sam who has overwhelmingly been involved in the most military conflicts and killings with other countries since World War II.

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  • 73. At 2:24pm on 03 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    klldbbydth,
    No, no need to go back to Africa. Because when human beings first migrated out of Africa, the rest of the world was virgin land with no pre-existing homo sapiens. You only have to go back to the last place you come from. :)


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  • 74. At 2:34pm on 03 May 2009, klldbbydth wrote:

    Well I was born in Perth and being a foetus I didn't have much choice in the matter, so I think I'll stay here thank you very much.

    'Infact whatever clashes China has with its neighbors in the last 60 years is actually China trying to reassert its territorial integrity after the last 100 to 200 years of the imperialistic powers slicing, grabbing and pillaging and dismembering its territory.'

    Oh jeez the old infinite virtue of the oppressed argument. In case you hadn't noticed, Britain, France et al don't have any colonial possessions in Asia anymore. The countries against whom China it 're-asserting its territorial integrity' are other post-colonial sovereign countries, so the fact that China got hard done by in the Opium Wars offers no justification for such behaviour as the Spratly Islands have often borne witness to.

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  • 75. At 3:03pm on 03 May 2009, Studentofmelbourne wrote:

    jimmy3333, I think you're absolutely wrong to say I think China is belligerent. I did not state, and it certainty was not my intention to explore, who was the instigator of these conflicts. I wrote "any claims of Chinese expansionism does not do modern China any justice" and I clearly mentioned those in relation to the primacy of history in Asian diplomacy. I'd like to stress again, China's authoritarianism compounded with past records with neighbours is a very reasonable potential for conflict.

    You're right about many things, indeed one can say the rivalry between India and Pakistan is much more perilous and immediate because they last fought a decade or so ago and are both nuclear armed. The Mumbai bombing just showed us in front of our eyes how contingent the threat of war could be. But no one is downplaying the situation in South Asia, in fact the US is re-orientating their force to deal with that region, and because of that the US recently rejected Rudd's China worry and I think that was partly responsible for rigorous response in the White Paper because Canberra seems it necessary to dip in to maintain Asia-Pacific strategic balance as US will evidently decrease its commitment in the West Pacific. And why would we worry less about India, but China? Because at the end of the day, South Asian nations are democracies who enjoy a more cordial relationship with the US and Australia, we have much much more diplomatic leverage against them than China; China will rival the US in the future, but Japan will still remain a significant player, and the implication of a conflict involving these powers paints a much darker scenario; lastly, you are right about many things, but don't treat Australia as some neutral country who assesses all conflict regions in the world in the same way and have the same impact on us, we are a Western liberal democracy in East Asia, it's clear with camp we are in and we know who will cause us more pain if stuff happens.

    I can assume that it is the case that the clashes China has with its neighbours in the last 60 years is actually China trying to reassert its territorial integrity, but that will make no difference to our strategic outlook as far as the Australian national interest is concerned. Like I said because, I did not seek to explore who is belligerent. In a sense you could be giving me more reason to worry, it tells me that China will NOT hesitate to reassert what it seems as its territorial integrity. War is war, everyone has their own justification. But ultimately, what we, Australians should be concerned with here, is that conflict between China and its neighbours is one of the worst things that can happen to us and we should do something to mitigate against this eventuality. And like I said before, enough on the victimization of China, how about go read, for example some Vietnamese literature and see for yourself how Vietnam rank its fear of China and the US. Heard of Tran Hung Dao? Claimed to be one of the best generals in the world for his patriotic resistance against imperial China. You know, other Asian countries have their own histories and sensibilities too.

    I have to point out that the deficiency in your analysis is that you do not have the Australian national interest in mind. I agree with most of the things you say, you can rave on about how USA has done horrible things and I criticize the US as fervently as I do any other regimes which I'm displeased with. But at the end of the day the thing that counts is, Australia fighting the US is a fairytale but a conflict with China isn't.

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  • 76. At 3:16pm on 03 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    klldbbydth says,
    "Well I was born in Perth and being a foetus I didn't have much choice in the matter, so I think I'll stay here thank you very much."

    How about sincerely making-up for the sins of your forefathers since you have "renounced history"?

    On the topic of colonial possessions, did Britan and the West really wanted to give up their territories if they have not been forced to by events after World War II? Did Britain professed wanting to give up its territories before World War II? No, it was because Britain was exhausted by the War. Britain has lost a tremendous number of lives in the War. Britain was bankrupt financially. Britain did not not relish losing more lives by fighting with its colonised subjects. France only gave up Vietnam because it was forced to by defeat at Dien Bien Phu. Likewise, the Dutch wanted to keep Indonesia but for the Indonesian rebellion . (And btw, the Germans lost their colonised territories by default since they lost in the war.) If not because of all these, would you think the West will have given up their colonised possessions?

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  • 77. At 3:30pm on 03 May 2009, davidwhite44 wrote:

    As per usual, any discussion on China with overseas Chinese fall into the 'you can't speak our language so you can't understand us' scenario. This really smacks of desperation. On this basis of course, 99% of Chinese (outside of the education system) do not understand a thing about the West, since they do not speak English/French/German etc, nor do they understand Tibet for that matter as Tibetan is hardly the vogue language on Wangfujing or Nanjing Lu.

    I must add that the attitudes of overseas Chinese here are not typical of your average mainlander who find notions of superpower status laughable. I suspect that the parents of overseas Chinese felt some guilt about leaving the motherland and attempted to install some fervent nationalism into their children.

    Finally, Rudd's Mandarin is intermediate as best but I guess most people are none the wiser.

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  • 78. At 3:48pm on 03 May 2009, Studentofmelbourne wrote:

    lol people, last time I check, Opium War and Dien Bien Phu were not in the defence white paper and when I googled for "the mystical grand judge of historical blame games" the top result was about Halo 3. So I guess we can play some strategic games to recreate what could have happened if the Nazis won the war, Mughals stayed in India, Sui dynasty won at Salsu, Mongols prevailed in Ain Jalut or Howard signed the Kyoto. Ah the intriguing "what ifs" of this world.

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  • 79. At 4:16pm on 03 May 2009, Journoren wrote:

    One last post before i go to bed. Studentofmel, i found your closing summary really amusing and it's spot on.
    Interestingly enough, Australia's first war as a nation is not Gallipoli, but the invasion of China. Chinese history book usually starts China's 'period of humiliation' in modern history with the so called 'eight nation invasion of CHina'. This is an inaccurate account, for Australia as a newly formed nationstate actually sent troops to China alongside the British forces.
    A real war between Australia and China is something most of us don't want to see (I reckon you as a CHinese-Australian don't want to see this worst eventuality too).As you said, what we should do is to 'mitigate this eventuality'.
    One question come to my mind now is, how will this new defense white paper affect Australia's public diplomacy to China ? The offical Xinhua news agency has reported it as it is, without mentioning anything related to China. But some 'patriotic'papers such as the Global Times in China has already labled Australia as disseminating the 'China threat'. The image of Australia among general population is at its all time high in China with the help of mandarinspeaking, cartooncharacterlike Kevin Rudd. Will this white paper adversely affect public perception in China towards Australia ?







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  • 80. At 4:39pm on 03 May 2009, toughbilili wrote:

    For Chinese commentors who state that Australians don't understand Chinese so they can't understand China, please remember that during WWII, the Japanese generals who led the invasions in China could speak Chinese, some of them even professed to love Chinese literature like Tang poems, but that did not stop them from treating the Chinese brutally during the war. No doubt they also used their knowledge of the language to gain advantage in subjugating the Chinese people. Thus knowing Chinese does not mean people will automatically understand or sympathize with China.

    For commentors who think China is not to be trusted to be peaceful because it is not a democracy, just look at the US, it is a democracy but it is now fighting two wars and have hundreds of military bases around the world. Therefore, the system of government is no indicator of whether a country is peaceful or not.

    In the blog, Mr. Bryant makes an interesting point: 'Australia's Sinophile Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is usually criticised by the opposition for being too close to China.....But Malcolm Turnbull, the leader of the opposition, has criticised the review for being based on "the highly contentious proposition that Australia is on an inevitable collision course with a militarily aggressive China." He notes: "China has shown no inclination since the 1970s to export its ideology."'

    It is my belief that this white paper on defense is no more than politics at play. Rudd's political nemesis Turnbull is trying to score points by making Rudd appear to be too soft on China. He tries to portray China as a threat to Australia. Rudd responds with plans to build up the military to show he is not soft on China. This results in Turnball contradicting himself by admitting that China is not a threat in order to critcize Rudd's defense plans. The white paper is realy Rudd government's response to the "Turnball Threat" rather than the "China Threat".

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  • 81. At 4:59pm on 03 May 2009, Quaffnbrightale wrote:

    Journoren

    Why should it affect public perception in China of Australia:

    1) No-one is allowed an opinion in China without it being approved by the Communist Party - unlike Australia

    2) The only public perception is what the CP say it is...ditto...

    3) "Public Opinion" - In China??? Isn't that an oxymoron???

    4) What has this to do with China after all...Isn't this Australia's "internal Affair"?

    Lastly...Taiwan...basically isn't this whole issue less about 're-unification' than it is a way to measure the response from the West in general? It presents some interesting parrallels to the Anschluss of Austria in 1936...in many ways. Naturally if there is no capability to respond, then so much the better from China's perspective...however the opposite is also true...perhaps hence all the furore from China about the Aussie upgrade...

    Not good to hear about the US downgrade of East Asia in favour of West Asia...almost inviting trouble to happen...More than likely all of this is being weighed in the minds of the PLA commanders in their wargame scenarios...

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  • 82. At 6:03pm on 03 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    So to add a summary note to what I had said about colonial possessions which was actually in response to what Studentofmelbourne said, "In case you hadn't noticed, Britain, France et al don't have any colonial possessions in Asia anymore."

    The reason they don't have colonial possessions anymore has nothing to do with their altruism. Their hands were forced on this, they could not have held on to these lands even if they have wanted to.

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  • 83. At 6:39pm on 03 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    toughbilili says,
    "For Chinese commentors who state that Australians don't understand Chinese so they can't understand China, ......... knowing Chinese does not mean people will automatically understand or sympathize with China. "

    I don't think that they mean that you will symphatize with them if you know Chinese....
    What they mean is that if you know Chinese, then you will have recourse to the Chinese speaking world which is... a very vibrant world unto itself. You will be able to explore the Chinese websites and you will be able to read the blog discussions. Then you will not be so likely to throw ignorant drivel like those by Quaffnbrightale such as " No-one is allowed an opinion in China without it being approved by the Communist Party - unlike Australia".

    I would say the Chinese do have the best of both worlds, they do learn English in school and therefore they can enter the English-speaking world as well as the Chinese.

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  • 84. At 05:31am on 04 May 2009, wollemi wrote:


    #79
    Probably a bit pedantic, but Australia's first war as a nation was not the Boxer Rebellion, it was WW1. The forces which went off to China were labelled colonial (as they were to the Anglo Boer War)and the decision to send them was made by the colonial governments. From both conflicts they returned to the newly federated Australia

    jimmy3333

    Regarding colonial possessions in the Asia Pacific region,...after WW2 some of the European Empires just saw that the 'use by date' for imperialism had finished. They voluntarily relinquished control of their possessions as Britain did through much of its Asia Pacific Empire. Others took a bit more persuading as the Dutch did in Indonesia
    It was to a large extent prompted by the Pacific War as the European Empires found themselves unable to defend their Asian and Pacific colonies

    The issue is that the age of imperialism is over, and has been for decades

    Also...regarding this idea of immigrant Americans/Australians/NZers/Canadians returning to wherever.
    What would you say to Maori, who nowadays are all mixed race. Stay? or 'return' to Britain?

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  • 85. At 05:36am on 04 May 2009, wollemi wrote:

    How much of this problem of military build up relates to China not being involved in security alliances in the region and is Taiwan the stumbling block to that?

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  • 86. At 06:01am on 04 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    I brought up the topic of western colonialism to explain that there was nothing altruistic actually about Europeans giving up their colonies. They were compelled to. It was not tenable for them to keep the territories anymore.

    After Britain was forced to relinquish their crown jewel India, it was easy for them to give up the rest. They no longer have any motivation to keep the other territories. You can say they gave up the 'ghost', so to speak.

    Maoris can return to Britain if they think they are more white than Maori otherwise they should stay. :)

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  • 87. At 06:12am on 04 May 2009, wollemi wrote:


    'Maori can return to Britain...'

    Complete with cannibalism? You must see the absurdity of the 'return to' statements, jimmy. Contemporary people are not their ancestors

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  • 88. At 06:27am on 04 May 2009, klldbbydth wrote:

    'What they mean is that if you know Chinese, then you will have recourse to the Chinese speaking world which is... a very vibrant world unto itself'

    I know Chinese and have been to China and the first thing that hit me walking down the street is how many people there are openly xenophobic.

    'I suspect that the parents of overseas Chinese felt some guilt about leaving the motherland and attempted to install some fervent nationalism into their children.'

    In my experience it's the bourgeois lot who take on this nationalist mentality, as has been the case in societies everywhere. The blokes who dig holes in the street and sweep the floors are too busy with other things to get hot under the collar over the contents of a south Pacific country's defence documents.

    'The white paper is realy Rudd government's response to the "Turnball Threat" rather than the "China Threat".'

    These things take years to research and draft. Moreover, they are essentially the product of the military, the intelligence agencies and the Defence Department bureaucracy - not the Department of PM and Cabinet, which is the production line for knee jerk populist ideas. A defence white paper can't be cooked up to suit the 24 hour news cycle.

    'How about sincerely making-up for the sins of your forefathers since you have "renounced history"?'

    No, because even if I did want to move to Britain I can't get a visa or citizenship on that basis. Herein lies the problem with your claim that 21 million people have to move back to their respective ancestral countries to prove that they don't subscribe to imperialism. We'll just have to put up with having cordial relations with all of our neighbours, although some countries in the region can't even manage that apparently.

    'The reason they don't have colonial possessions anymore has nothing to do with their altruism. Their hands were forced on this, they could not have held on to these lands even if they have wanted to.'

    I didn't say it was a matter of altruism, because it doesn't matter. Like everything else you say, this is an irrelevant distraction. The point is that the countries which have to deal with China's military expansion are not ex-colonial powers, they are ex-colonies like Vietnam, Taiwan and the Phillipines, so you can forget all this nonsense about China re-asserting itself against the imperialists.

    'Therefore, the system of government is no indicator of whether a country is peaceful or not.'

    Yes, it is. America might bomb people all the time, but it has never gone to war with another Western democracy. In fact, to my knowledge no Western democracy has ever done so.

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  • 89. At 07:22am on 04 May 2009, Quaffnbrightale wrote:

    Jimmy3333


    "Ignorant drivel...?" perhaps you would like to respond to this then?


    122. At 09:27am on 06 Aug 2008, whinejunkie wrote:
    The actual freedom situation in China is :

    1. No meaningful political elections.
    At the village and town levels, there are some elections. but the candidates must first be approved by the ruling Party. And the government officials use all kinds of unlawful tactics to control the process, including intimidations. Further, the power of the elected representative is very restricted.

    2. No, there is nothing to protect people who criticize the government. Sometimes the authority will let you off, sometimes it locks you up, in other words, you run your own risks. The authority wields its power arbitrarily and at will.

    3. There're no "independent" trade unions.

    Actually, there're no "independent" organisations of any sort. The Party doesn't allow "independent" organisations. There aren't even "independent" charity organisations. Even the Chinese Red Cross is under the control of the Party.

    There're no "independent" religious organisations. A person can do his or her own religious worship.

    The key words are "independent" and "organised". these are the taboos.

    4. Freedom to travel is conditional and approval from the authority is required. There's no gauranteed right to travel.

    All in all, the so-called freedoms you see in China today are conditional, and without gaurantee. The authority exercises its power arbitrarily and at will. What was allowed yesterday may well be prohibited today. Oftentimes the Government releases one dissident and locks up another one at the same time, just to create the illusion that they are improving.

    As far as "Europeans" giving up their colonies were concerned A) Britain is/was not EUROPEAN (maybe it will be one day...)...and more importantly B) actually as far as the UK was concerned, the election of a 'socialist' government literally just after WW2 i.e. Labour (note: FREE elections) was on the basis that the old ways were no longer valid and that 'Empire' was an anathema to those that had just fought for freedom from oppressive tyranny... However it still has to reach completion...still 60 years later...and counting...Hong Kong was merely one more in the list of remaining entities.

    Clearly though you are another *yawn* apologist - that cannot separate Communism from "Chinese"...otherwise you and your fellow sycophants would realize that the prospect of future 'humiliation' is nothing more than Communist rhetoric drummed up and designed to prop up an otherwise defunct/ bankrupt (in the political sense)/ corrupt and dysfunctional regime.

    Australia is no more a realistic threat (and never was) to China anymore than Guatemala is in danger of becoming Sub-Sahara African...

    This hoo-hah over the RAN is pandering to the worst part of humanity and that is quite simply mutual distrust coupled with self-interest in holding onto power. Another aspect of this 'debate' is the mis-representation from Nick Bryant himself..."Fortress Australia" come-on give us all a break - as if...the world's longest coastline 'defended' by probably the world's smallest navy - except New Zealand and Switzerland...get real. Australia's only defence is in fact its sheer size and emptiness!!!!

    Why all the bother...why the 'interest' from China...because it too loves to paint the picture of suspicion - otherwise the communist government has no basis for remaining clutching onto power. As much as "the West" demonizes China - actually the COMMUNIST govenment - NOT CHina itself...so China (i.e. the COMMUNIST Government) does exactly the same. Actually the only shame that needs to be reversed is the pitiful explioitation of the Chinese People by the COMMUNIST government. Ignorance...good word - only wrongly directed Jimmy3333...

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  • 90. At 07:23am on 04 May 2009, Ron666 wrote:

    'Maori can return to Britain...'
    "Complete with cannibalism? You must see the absurdity of the 'return to' statements, jimmy. Contemporary people are not their ancestors"

    There isn't actually much cannibalism in Britain at the moment. This may change if the ecomomic situation gets any worse however :)

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  • 91. At 07:47am on 04 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    Ahh...Wollemi, Maoris returning are "whites". So whites pracrice cannibalism.

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  • 92. At 08:52am on 04 May 2009, Richard Ure wrote:

    The pen (for signing cheques) is mightier than the sword. Why would China need to invade when it has so much in the bank? And if we could not prevail in Vietnam and Afghanistan is looking shaky, why pretend to defend against the Middle Kingdom? This is the thinking of boys who want an excuse for bigger toys, not the fears of Australians many of whom have Chinese people as neighbours.

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  • 93. At 09:07am on 04 May 2009, wollemi wrote:


    #90

    'There isn't actually much cannibalism in Britain at the moment This may change if the economic situation gets any worse however'

    We taste like pork apparently. I suppose the swine flu gives extra flavour

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  • 94. At 09:29am on 04 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    Quaffmnbrogjtale said,
    "Britain is/was not EUROPEAofN (maybe it will be one day...).."

    Britain not in Europe? Then where is Britain?

    Britain is of course EUROPEAN though in the days of Empire, it thought it was special (better than continental Europeans) and did not want to be identified as such.

    Only one more example of your ignorant drivel ... [YAWN..]

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  • 95. At 10:53am on 04 May 2009, Nelorie wrote:

    Dear TofuPanda

    I quote you: "How would you criticize me lack of knowledge of Chinese history if I read from both sides?"

    Both Sides - Ha, u seem to be pushing one agenda here, and that is that China is perfect.

    Just because you pay tax does not make u any better than any other Australian - you can not buy your esteem, only earn it.

    Many others pay tax. And why do you denigrate the people on benefits - Age Pension - too old; Veteran's Pensions - fought for our country. Is that the way you think?

    I understand multicultural values as I have worked with many different communities in Australia. From my contact they generally are very happy to be here and away from their motherland.

    In regard to going away from Australia, given your comments, you would appear to be much happier in China.


    I did not criticize you in particular about your manners, I just criticized the Chinese - you say you are Australian.

    I have lived in many places. I have visited many Asian countries, including yours. Most people in China are very helpful. My issue is with the Chinese Governments policies and their secretive methods.

    You say I know little of China. I note you did not mention Tiananmen. A little oversight perhaps.

    Moreover, some of the great and traumatic failures of Chinese Government policy below.

    To Start, how about the 100 Flowers Movement; the Great Leap Forward which resulted in mass starvation; the Cultural Revolution which resulted in mass disruption to peoples lives at least and many deaths.

    The One Child Policy which sees baby girls left at the roadside and rubbish tips. The forced abortions should a second pregnancy be discovered. The persecution of Christian groups, and other religious movements.

    Given the above, I can understand your desire to migrate to Australia.

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  • 96. At 11:00am on 04 May 2009, hizento wrote:

    Half of all Australians are ethnic Chinese or East Asians. Australia relies on China to buy their commodity and cannot survive on its own. China would not want to attack Australia because many Australians are Chinese and that include highly skilled professionals. Australia should become a natural ally of China and should fear USA. There will come a day in the not too distant future an ethnic Chinese PM running Australia much like Obama in the US.

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  • 97. At 1:26pm on 04 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    #95

    "The One Child Policy which sees baby girls left at the roadside and rubbish tips."

    I fail to believe any mother would do that. Most, if not all, are in orphanages, or in the homes of Westerners. And it is not the One Child Policy that results in the gender imbalance, it is the deep-rooted culture (not just in China) that favours boys over girls. Do you not think before you speak?

    Anyway, the Chinese government has done you a favour. Had an extra 300-400 million Chinese being born, you would be freaking out.

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  • 98. At 4:34pm on 04 May 2009, LIm Kheak Wei wrote:

    To AnonymousCalifornian #39.You said that "original" China was only from modern Hubei province in China?The present majority Chinese are called Han Chinese after the Han dynasty.It was and is not a racial classification.My ancestors were from southern China and people like me are as Hans as those from Hubei even though we cannot communicate verbally,looked different and eat different food and can even have different religions.China has always been a secular,non racist and inclusive nation far far longer than most countries.That is why today despite its size and both geographical and biological differences,92% of the 1300+ million Chinese feel that are of a single race despite the differences.So do not think that only western countries today are the tolerant,inclusive and secular.We have been there long before you.

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  • 99. At 6:28pm on 04 May 2009, _coke_ wrote:

    Hizento. "Half of all Australians are ethnic Chinese or East Asians."

    What utter nonsense.

    "Australia should become a natural ally of China and should fear USA. There will come a day in the not too distant future an ethnic Chinese PM running Australia much like Obama in the US."

    Obama isn't Chinese, he's mixed race with a Kenyan father and an American mother. The other part of your post implies a threat to Australia. Maybe Australia is absolutely right to boost it's defence?

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  • 100. At 8:06pm on 04 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    What he means is that Obama, being a black which is a minority race in America now is president of America. Similarly, an ethnic Chinese may one day yet become a PM of Australia. I don't see any implied threat in any part of his post. Your xenophobic imagination must be running wild...

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  • 101. At 11:04pm on 04 May 2009, _coke_ wrote:

    Ah Jimmy, the old racism/xenophobe card eh? If you can't argue with someone, you can always insult him.

    Australia is absolutely right to defend herself, Indonesia would love to kick Australia for the trouble it had over East Timor.

    There's more chance of a Chinese descendent becoming PM of the U.K. than Australia, there's far more of them here. Particularly in Liverpool which is home to Europe's oldest Chinese community. I think I'll go and see Mr. Lung for my monthly supplies of rice, noodles and soy sauce.

    Idiot.

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  • 102. At 02:14am on 05 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    There's nothing to argue there. What he means is very obvious but yet you can't get it. You are not very intelligent, are you?

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  • 103. At 03:01am on 05 May 2009, Quaffnbrightale wrote:

    Jimmy3333

    yet again -"ignorance" is being applied in the wrong direction...oh dear - must be all that indoctrination...

    At the risk of going completely off-subject...and therefore prone to the discretion of the moderator...Actually, Britain is on a different tectonic plate to Mainland Europe...it is moving - albeit incredibly slowly...to the North... one obvious concern being the eventual fate of the Chunnel (The Channel Tunnel) to those in the know...

    Historically, politically, militarily, ethnically and linguistically, the English (in particular) have always been rather distinct from their European neighbours...hence the reference to Britain not being "EUROPEAN". You need to do more research before proclaiming ignorance in others - clearly you do not understand the West just because you seem to be able to communicate in English...obviously your language and/or historical, political knowledge/ awareness does not stretch that far or deep. I note however there is no refutation of the other points raised.

    And the wearying and oh so tedious descent into insult, counter insult continues...*yawn*...which really indicates that very few have any further real insights to offer...other than picking up on nuances of history, subtleties of distinction and the odd word or two. Yet again, the Nationalists on both sides drown out sensible commentary...and don't bother with the "he/she started it" nonsense...what little intelligence remains would surely be insulted too.

    But it does tend to indicate the nature of modern Chinese nationalism that has reared its head and it is very loud and clear. The shift of the focus of the 'discussion' to being Chinese this or Chinese that being ELECTED to this or that country merely indicates that this is so. If that would make life easier for the PLA to invade I am not so sure - I hesitate to think that those ELECTED to power would so easily want to become 'puppets' of a Motherland regime...or would be there only to 'invite in' the PLA due to 'Chinese interests' being at risk...again shades of the 1930s...? If this is 'peaceful' China...then as #99 _coke_ mentioned perhaps the extra defence really is needed...if only to make it more of a fight.

    "Peaceful rise"...eh? Until the advantage has been gained, the 'enemy' pacified or otherwise neutralized - made ineffective... I have read "The Three Kingdoms"...and I understand it completely...

    Yes Jimmy3333 what was meant was and IS VERY obvious...thank you for clarifying the true nature of Modern China and in particular modern Chinese living in the West...it is good of you to share such a valuable insight...for revealing the hidden agenda...before it is too late. As mentioned before, the West knows what is going on and hopefully Australia's move is the beginning of what should be a suitable response...

    Thatcher talked about 'the enemy within'; the evil of extreme Socialism and the Communist fringe that had gained footholds in Trade Unions; John Major mentioned traitors within his party... From the tone of your and other "Chinese" responses to this question - it indicates perhaps ("perhaps" only because most Chinese left China and have truly understood and treasured many aspects of The West for a very good reason) that there are others with more sinister aims to be concerned about. I guess "Since the 1970s" really means that since then Maoist China was sending over chinese all over the world for the day when China will rise up and... I'll leave the rest to your imagination...

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  • 104. At 03:18am on 05 May 2009, LOLchina wrote:

    beijing_2008 makes me laugh!

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  • 105. At 03:46am on 05 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    Quaffnmbrigttale said,
    "I note however there is no refutation of the other points raised. "

    Actually, the truth is I didn't bother wasting too much of my time over your ignorant drivel . I am sure a lot of people just skip over your ranting. What a waste of time otherwise !

    Britain not being European is just an artificial construct according to the whims of the Englishman whose views nowadays does not count very much anyway. Geographically, Britain is European and that's it.





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  • 106. At 05:30am on 05 May 2009, pciii wrote:

    hmmm, in all this China bashing/defending, seems like most people are missing the point slightly. Australia has identified a potential threat from China in years to come, mainly because it would have the ability (weapons, a massive army, a lack of will from USA to defend Aus) and the desire (minerals, fuel, space) to move against Australia. Powerful nations all over the world have stepped in militarilly whne they have the ability to do so, regardless of their style of government.

    I don't think many people believe it's a likely threat, but that doesn't mean too much if you don't prepare and it does happen. The Australian Government believes they have the ability to protect against this happening and have outlined how they intend to do so.

    So far, so good. The problem seems to be paying for this new hardware, given all the previous military upgrades that have gone before. The costings look shaky, and that's before you start to consider that military projects are nearly always late and over-budget.

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  • 107. At 07:31am on 05 May 2009, Quaffnbrightale wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 108. At 07:53am on 05 May 2009, Troy_ACT wrote:

    _coke_

    You said

    There's more chance of a Chinese descendant becoming PM of the U.K. than Australia, there's far more of them here.

    I would just like to say that you are wrong, and there is barely 400,000 Chinese Britons in the UK, while there are over 650,000 Chinese in Australia.

    Also Australia has roughly 21 million people while the UK has over 60 million. So percentage wise and in numbers Australia has more which means there is a much higher chance of a Chinese PM here.

    Now a Pakistani or Indian PM of the UK i could see, but a Chinese one? defiantly not.

    (here in Australia we usually say Paki as that is not offensive here)

    Next time research your information or you seem ignorant.

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  • 109. At 08:09am on 05 May 2009, Quaffnbrightale wrote:

    Seems to me jimmy3333 has nothing better to say than "ignorant drivel..." to everything someone says that he has no answer to...ahh the old 'waste of time' retort...the exchange of ideas and added information to enable someone to understand more about the world...apparently of no value...can't say I am surprised...

    At the end of the day this is a forum - a discussion...all views are equal - much like in a democracy. Reasoned debate and discussion...Ancient Greece, enlightenment, sharing of information...the advance of Mankind...all of this seems to be an anathema to you...I hope this does not bode ill for the future of mankind...and future dealings with China in particular...do you have anything meaningful to add to the discussion...about RAN upgrades...we are all ears...

    Well said paulcrossleyiii...a complete on-target response. Though will Australia and Australians (et al - take note) take heed of this or is the 'weariness' that Nick refers to an indication of cultural/ political/ economic appeasement?

    Is this the 21st Century version of which was seen in the 1930s over Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan? Where the complacency of the West emboldened those with high and mighty views of themselves and actually added to the furnace of war rather than douse them as was much vaunted by politicians and public at large alike...? Will the talk of 'dis-armament' between US and Russia - lead to military thinkers and planners further east to conclude the West neither as the stomach for or capability for at least a credible self-defence...

    Are Australians going to consider the short-term sacrifice of mere paper to be less or more worthwhile for the longer term benefit of further generations of Australians actually being around or more to the point of not having to fight a conflict that could have been prevented much earlier....your thoughts sir...

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  • 110. At 08:09am on 05 May 2009, blended_purple wrote:

    China was not imperialist historically, but that is irrelevant, because it was not a capitalist, or semi-capitalist, state during that time.

    Capitalism requires imperialism of some sort, or the protection of an imperialist ally.

    That's what China, still a poor country on a per capita basis, will find out and what its leadership does not understand. This is the same leadership who bought a bunch of basically worthless paper from the U.S. government.

    Look at a map. China is surrounded by foes, and its communities are not well liked in the ASEAN countries. Yet, capitalism has unleashed an expansionist element within the Beijing leadership. This promises a collision of powers in the future, possibly the not to distant future.

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  • 111. At 08:11am on 05 May 2009, blended_purple wrote:

    It's funny hearing Euro's talk about the United States. You are really clueless.

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  • 112. At 08:46am on 05 May 2009, Quaffnbrightale wrote:

    Jimmy3333 thinks no-one but Chinese have anything valid to say at all...especially about China and blended_purple thinks only "Americans' can talk about America and that "Euros" as he refers to them - are "clueless". Hmmm - curious...isn't this is a discussion about Australia and its response to the current conditions....is it not???

    Tell me purple...who got us into all this mess - not just once but twice...just who is 'clueless...' here...? Oh enlightened one...what pearls of wisdom therefore do you have - as an American...?

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  • 113. At 4:28pm on 05 May 2009, TrnOvrANwLeaf wrote:

    Gosh. I've lost track of the above 112 write-ups but here is what I have to say about Fortress Australia.

    Obviously, the odds of Chinese invading us is thinner than a nano film but this is not the primary reason why Defending Australia was drafted. It's a matter of Australia being able to project our defense forces as far as possible from any sea and air offensive. It talks about the military build-up in our regional, some of which unexplained. Besides, Kevin Rudd has ascertained that we should work with China on economic and security matters. That's a pretty balanced approach to me.

    As to the off-road discussion on China, the Chinese Government, namely the Chinese Communist Party, is inherently not a political system in which democratic institutions can exist. I believe even people in China acknowledge this, privately or otherwise. Nonetheless, it appears its current approach is to tackle the economic side of things, that is, to make everyone rich and stem any civil unrest that could topple the party.
    However, there should be no opposition that, in the long run, if people in China don't want to miss out on life, that means if they want to enjoy their social, cultural and political rights, a new form of government has to replace the current one. This will by no means by an easy task, considering the diggers in China are sworn to protect the party before the country. I suspect this change is not going to happen in this century.

    As to keeping the picket fence at a right angle, being an Australian with Hong Kong heritage who has met a number of people from China, I have to say that Chinese citizens don't actually get to chose their form of government, nor do they have any say about what it does, adding the fact their corridor to the world is severely constricted, it might be constructive to keep in mind(well imagine if the scenario is too remote) their perspective and context when reading their posts.

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  • 114. At 4:46pm on 05 May 2009, TrnOvrANwLeaf wrote:

    Might I add the fact that the rationale behind arguing with a person who, through no fault of their own, has been solely subjected to 'facts' that their government wants them to hear since they were born is, to put it bluntly, nil.

    This is not to say such an exchange of thoughts shouldn't take place, but rather, it is beyond meaningful to tramp beyond 'an exchange of thoughts'.

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  • 115. At 9:09pm on 05 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    #113, 114
    "Might I add the fact that the rationale behind arguing with a person who, through no fault of their own, has been solely subjected to 'facts' that their government wants them to hear since they were born is, to put it bluntly, nil."

    This would be entirely true if the Chinese commentators on this blog were Mainland Chinese. But most, if not all, are overseas Chinese, with the same access to the media/range of opinions as you have.

    So, please, do not be so arrogant as to think that you have a monopoly on moral excellence, or the "truth".

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  • 116. At 11:42pm on 05 May 2009, TrnOvrANwLeaf wrote:

    #115 beijing_2008

    It's utterly unimaginable to read your comments with the knowledge that you have the same access to information like I do.

    And please don't tie this to morality. This has nothing to do with it.

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  • 117. At 04:10am on 06 May 2009, TrnOvrANwLeaf wrote:

    May I also ask how you have gathered that few, if any mainland Chinese comment on this blog?

    Besides, what's your point about 'the "truth"'? This is about facts, not truth or lies.

    Don't you find it quite incredible that a person enjoying the rights and privileges of a democracy can detest it with so much hypocrisy?

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  • 118. At 09:55am on 06 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    "May I also ask how you have gathered that few, if any mainland Chinese comment on this blog?"
    Those that criticise China have excellent English. I would be delighted if Mainland Chinese had such good English, but broadly speaking they do not. Those that defend China have already stated that they are overseas Chinese.

    "It's utterly unimaginable to read your comments with the knowledge that you have the same access to information like I do."
    More humility, please.

    "Don't you find it quite incredible that a person enjoying the rights and privileges of a democracy can detest it with so much hypocrisy?"
    On the contrary. I hope that, in time, China can move towards a new paradigm in political governance. But I know, and you know, and I know that you know, that this is not what we were talking about.

    Is free speech only valid as long as it agrees with your sentiments? i.e. that China is evil.


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  • 119. At 11:21am on 06 May 2009, TrnOvrANwLeaf wrote:

    Okay, maybe I should retract 'utterly' from my response as a mark of humility.

    But if you had carefully read my posts #133 and #144, it would have been obvious that I don't think 'China is evil'. If I were to use the word evil, I would have said 'the One Party Communist Government of China' is evil.'

    Such obvious signposts would include, among others: 'the Chinese Government', 'the Chinese Communist Party' and '(people living in China)...through no fault of their own...' Note I never put the blame on the people of China who don't have control of what the Communist Party decides to do.


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  • 120. At 11:29am on 06 May 2009, TrnOvrANwLeaf wrote:

    Besides, how have you observed that I was suppressing your free speech? I mean you are not on you way to a reeducation camp, are you?

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  • 121. At 12:07pm on 06 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    Actually I am. I'll put forward your name for recommendation.

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  • 122. At 12:19pm on 06 May 2009, TrnOvrANwLeaf wrote:

    I'll go pack and get ready now.

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  • 123. At 1:59pm on 06 May 2009, Zakmann wrote:

    Australia is a country with a small population and a vast shore line. We also have a number of northern neighbours that at most tolerate us as we are culturally Western. This cultural difference often results in misunderstanding between Australia and Asian nations at a political level and at times outright disagreement on humanitarian issues.

    We are a relatively poorly defended country when our land mass is taken into account however, except for Indonesia we are fortunate enough to be placed geographically some distance from China. The result of this is that any invading force of necessity will have very long supply lines and an investment in offensive armoury (the Airforce and Navy) on our part will not only be a good deterrent but should also prove effective if Australia is forced to protect itself.

    Why would any one bother to attack Australia it would not be to settle here in any large numbers the country would struggle to sustainably support 40 million especially if climate change has its predicted drying effect over the continent. What Australia does have in huge amounts and that we supply to China and the rest of the world at some expense are both Energy and Mineral Resources.

    Why would China be interested? Not, for empire in the traditional sense of the word though certainly in an economic sense. But, what is even more vital to China is to under pin its emerging social structure and the stability it gives to the Centralised Government in Beijing. This stability is now built on and firmly anchored to the capitalist based system that China is building its wealth on and that is now driving its own internal development. Disruption to this development is something that the Government in Beijing looks upon in horror due to the difficulty the Centralised Government has had in the past in controlling its huge population. To put it simply the Chinese population is now used to an increasing quality of life and a chance for their children to succeed where just a generation or so ago people lived and died for the Communist Party and received little in return. Expectations in China have increased and the people will not tolerate any thing less than what they have now. If China or any Northern neighbours see a requirement to secure their supply of Energy (e.g. Natural Gas) and Mineral Resources then Australia is a reasonably obvious target in a world with an unstable economy and facing an uncertain future due to Climate Change.

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  • 124. At 2:59pm on 06 May 2009, sydneycynic wrote:

    Okay, there's been enough talk. We've already won half the battle as the Chinese are in a terrible state over Australia's imminent invasion of their mainland. I have formed an advance party who will leave Manly Pier at 9.00 am tomorrow. It can't be any earlier than that as the fresh friands don't arrive at the cafe before 8.30. Myself and my crewmates, Captain Pugwash,Seaman Stains, Popeye and Captain Queeg will then row towards China and proceed to take over the country. We'll first take back Hong Kong as it was never China's anyway and then we'll drop by Taiwan and drop off some ICBM's. We'll swing by Tibet and tell the Dalai Lama to hang in there because he's on a winner.

    By my reckoning everything should be done in time for us to be back at Brookvale Oval to watch Manly Rugby Club go round on the weekend.

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  • 125. At 5:49pm on 06 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    #124,

    Excellent. We shall repel your invading forces with chopsticks. Captured crews will be forced fed Chinese food rich in Monosodium glutamate, to ensure that they would be in no shape physically to return to battle.

    Then, a Chinese Junk will reach Indonesia where it, too, will drop off a couple of ICBMs. Thereafter, a counter attack will be launched on Australian territory in order to return the land back to the Aboriginals.

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  • 126. At 5:55pm on 06 May 2009, NueWurldOrdaa wrote:

    After reading the preceding 124 comments I can say that I've learnt just a little more about Australia's defence plans for the next 20 years in a period when the balance of power in West, South and East Asia will change dramatically. There's also been some good, incidental discussion of issues relating to China, particularly from some open-minded people supporting the White Paper.

    There's also been a lot of circular non-discussion by some Chinese PSB drones, who profess to be Australian citizens. Still can't get out of that divide and conquer mindset, can you guys?

    For mine, the open and clearly stated plans to increase Australia's defence and force projection capabilities over the next 10 years seem responsible in a region where China and India's economic and military growth are leading to a general arming of many nations in the region.

    As others have stated, the actual hardware choices can not please everyone, nor can they fulfill every role, we might wish they could. The cost of the whole exercise is also not insignificant, but as one person mentioned, we've basically been doing defence on the cheap for quite a while now.

    The defensive Chinese (Australians???) seem to take umbrage at any slight mention of China in any remotely negative sense, no matter how realistic or pragmatic the mention is. This is the way of Chinese mainlanders. While most people in China are friendly and interested in the outside world, the indoctrination to be suspicious of outsiders, and the nationalistic chip on their shoulders (maintained by the (now sorely misnamed) Communist Party of China (CPC)) relating to past harm done to Chinese honour, means that they are very defensive in the face of criticism, and their education system deliberating avoids teaching critical thinking skills.

    Note that the events that they use to support the case of their national honour being harmed took place many decades, or even one , two, or more centuries ago, but are still used by the CPC to distract the people's attention away from the CPC's many deficits. Not least of which is that they (the CPC and their cronies) are a modern aristocracy and in full control of a totalitarian apparatus controlling Government, Courts, Police, Military and the media. Whatever "communism" they ever had disappeared decades ago in a frenzy of corruption, "GuanXi" and "MianZi" induced nepotism, and general greed. "Opening up" was mismanaged and only enhanced the corruption. Despite a general rise from poverty for 100's millions of people, the wealth gap between rich and poor has gone from virtually nothing to among the most extreme in the world in just 30 years. The common people are mistreated and very much second, or third, class in "New China".

    As many mention, besides the "Tibet has been a part of China for 5000 years" type rubbish, the human rights of citizens, both Han and minority cultures, are abused on a daily basis. People, such as rights advocate HuJia, who should be national heroes for their tireless and courageous efforts to help the less fortunate, are instead thrown into jail and hard labour "reeducation" camps.

    China has US$2 trillion in international investments, while 1 billion Chinese people have relatively little education, and a consequent lack of opportunities to find higher income jobs. The younger generation among these rural poor have ideally had at least 9 years of schooling, but that won't help them in China's burgeoning knowledge economy, and there is little effort to increase educational opportunities for the next generation thus dooming them to also eat the crumbs from the developing cities. When people do get jobs, worker's rights are frequently trampled on by bosses and managers with the knowledge of local government.

    I won't go into the myth of Chinese non-aggression during recent and past history, it's been well dealt with already. I will reiterate that the Chinese are not winning friends with their mercenary business practices (supported by intergovernmental relationships) in South-East Asia, South America, and Africa, and other developing countries with whom they claim to be friends. i.e. they can't play the victim card anymore, since they are acting as a bully these days themselves.

    Finally, I have no problem with a Chinese rise in the 21st Century, it is the full right of 20% of the world's population. I do have a big problem with the hypocritical CPC using the ignorance of their own people for their own gains.

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  • 127. At 6:08pm on 06 May 2009, NueWurldOrdaa wrote:

    To beijing_2008. Showing your Chinese nationalist stripes with your name there. Considering the Beijing Olympic Games was the Games to which the world was not invited... Most foreigners in China before the Games, on business, or working (as ESL teachers, etc.), were forced to leave, and then it was difficult for any foreigners to get in to China until weeks afterwards.

    It was also the Olympic Games to which China's minority ethnic groups were not invited, with a bunch of Han children being dressed up in ethnic clothes and presented to the world... Just one of many shams.

    It was also the Games where the host nation didn't inform the visitors, nor its own citizens, that many of the milk products they were drinking and eating (for several months at least) were contaminated with a toxic substance.

    I don't see how you can write as an Australian, and then defend a Chinese Government which misleads the world in so many ways. Yet you ask us to trust it in military matters where China's own plans, and expenditure are anything but clear.

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  • 128. At 6:12pm on 06 May 2009, geminichild wrote:

    all of the posts up to now is just a cover for all of your favorite pastimes, which is to bash the u.s.a. anyway and everyway that you can. the usa is in the position of darned if you do, darned if you don't. until the time you need the u.s.a. to pull your chestnuts out of the fire, then it's where's unca' sam, why aren't they defending us, they know we can't do it on our own! don't hate the usa because they don't need any of your help. they only ask for other country's help, so those countries can stop whining about the usa going it alone. if those other countries weren't holding them back, they could take the taliban, iraqi insurgents, tamil tigers, somalian pirates, etc. etc, with one hand tied behind it's back. and that includes china, russia or any other country inclined to challenge the usa's strength, and resolve. all the other countries want to do is talk, and never accomplish anything. so this blog was just an escuse for nationalistic chinese, and appologetic austrailians to bash the u.s.a. "FORTRESS AUSTRAILIA" my foot!!!

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  • 129. At 10:53pm on 06 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    #127,
    "To beijing_2008. Showing your Chinese nationalist stripes with your name there".
    Which is ironic given that your name precisly describes how the world will be shaped in the next few decades, with China at the helm. Lovely choice of name, thanks.

    "Considering the Beijing Olympic Games was the Games to which the world was not invited".
    What? So the Chinese athletes competed against themselves? The many hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors were but a figment of the imagination?

    "with a bunch of Han children being dressed up in ethnic clothes and presented to the world..."
    Nobody claimed they were from minority groups.

    "Just one of many shams".
    Bitterness is not good for your health.

    "I don't see how you can write as an Australian"
    Who said I was Australian? I wouldn't want to live in a country that is occupying Aboriginal territory.

    It seems when it comes to China bashing, some people lose all rationality. Maybe, just maybe, China is not as bad as it is portrayed in the media.

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  • 130. At 11:42pm on 06 May 2009, pciii wrote:

    #128 Gemini. Maybe the USA gets bashed so often because there's so many opportunities.
    Part of the thrust of this defence paper is to reduce reliance on the USA, manly because of a recognition that the USA's conventional forces could become stretched very thinly as China expands it's own navy/airforce.
    The flipside of :"all the other countries want to do is talk, and never accomplish anything" is of course:
    "All the USA does is act without thinking, usually in it's own interests, but screwing things up even more in the process". Of course both of those views are a long way from the truth.

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  • 131. At 02:34am on 07 May 2009, NueWurldOrdaa wrote:

    #129 BJ2008, I watched both Chinese and English language broadcasts of the Olympics opening ceremony and it was clearly stated that the children *were from* the 55 ethnic minorities. It was only revealed after the event that that was a lie. The surprise and furor amongst Chinese netizens *in China* also shows that you are wrong. Of course, as usual, such free expression, on this and the other Olympic shams, was quickly suppressed by the CPC.

    It would have been like white Australians dressing up and putting on dark paint and "representing" ATSI peoples at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Obviously, the Australians didn't do that, and the world saw many proud Aboriginal people on stage and the track, even displaying their cultural flag. Aboriginals and their many Anglo, etc., supporters were also free to protest and express their views in the Games city, Sydney, and elsewhere preceding, during and after the Games, all in full view of the international media.

    As I described in my own post, the current century will likely be the Asian century. It's not certain that China will be a leader though. The way China treads on the toes of her "friends" all the time I suspect she will be more of a snotty nosed, loudly whining loner. On the other hand, the Chinese people are also counting the days when they can be rid of the corrupt CPC aristocrats, who have had no real mandate for the past 40 or 50 years, if ever, in any case.

    The current leaders, HuJintao and WenJiabao, are making some (token) efforts to improve the lot of the working class and rural people in China, however it is really only because their hands were forced by the extreme mismanagement of the country by preceding leaders. It is probably only delaying the CPC and the PLA military's removal from governmental power. I hope it happens peacefully, but it very likely won't, and then most likely modern warlords will control a fragmented "China" once again (so much for 5000 years of "civilisation"...).

    Of course, that's all if China's fast declining environmental conditions, air, ground and water pollution, and an imminent acute shortage of water for agriculture and city water supplies, due to the accelerated melting of glacial ice on the Tibetan plateau, don't collapse Chinese society first. Both the above scenarios will lead to many millions of Chinese people trying to flee the resulting chaos and starvation causing a greater burden on the world, all due to the arrogance of the CPC aristocracy.

    Of course, the Tibetan plateau glaciers also feed important rivers going into India, and S-E Asian countries too, so they are rightly very concerned whether, or not, China will be responsible in regards to water management. Many signs are already pointing to "not". For that, and many other reasons, it's much more likely the ADF will have to deal with a China vs. Asia military dispute, rather than a China vs. Australia war. I think the White Paper pretty obviously says this anyway, and Chinese CPC protestations are just the usual beat up.

    Overall, I'm happy for you to reinforce the view that most Chinese PSB drones, like yourself, still cannot, or will not (knowing the weakness of your own position?), use logic and fact to argue your case. It just shows all the more clearly the weaknesses in Chinese debating and discussion skills where bluster, circular arguments, and a person's (usually embellished) background is considered more important than actually debating the points posed with logical argument supported by evidence and proof. Your posts rarely answer the questions posed to you. For instance, you pointedly avoided responding to my thesis that the world is unlikely to trust the Chinese government on serious military matters, when it shows time and again that it misleads its own people and the whole world on many more mundane issues.

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  • 132. At 02:35am on 07 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    LOL. These white Australians when they are asked to return the land to the aboriginies, they give all sort of excuse like 'Britain won't want me back and won't give me citizenship'. I don't see what's the problem. Since the West has collectively "renounced" their evil history, they can always come to a consensus to lift whatever bureaucratic barriers there are.

    It's like a robber now enjoying the spoils plundered from his victims and then saying he is now sorry.

    Hey,Give back the spoils to your victims !!! Don't just continue enjoying the spoils !!!

    As usual, talk only is very cheap.

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  • 133. At 11:30am on 07 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    #131,

    "...like yourself, still cannot, or will not (knowing the weakness of your own position?), use logic and fact to argue your case"
    I have debated at the Oxford Union, so I doubt debating with you would be much of a challenge.

    "*were from* the 55 ethnic minorities"
    There are 56 minority groups in China. If you knew anything about China, you would have known that. Now, I don't know why the organisers couldn't get actual minority children to take part. What may have happened was that they tried to get only child actors or those from performing arts schools to participate, and I suspect that there were not too many of those around from minority groups. But I don't think there was anything sinister about what happened.

    "the Chinese people are also counting the days when they can be rid of the corrupt CPC aristocrats"
    So this was the sentiment of every 1.3 billion Chinese that you have spoken to? You must be thirsty from all that effort.

    "(CPC)... who have had no real mandate for the past 40 or 50 years, if ever, in any case."
    Their mandate was to kick out imperialists like your forefathers. How terrible that one should have the audacity to not want to be occupied (a bit like the Aboriginals really).

    "The current leaders, HuJintao and WenJiabao"
    It is Hu Jintao, and Wen Jiabao.

    "...are making some (token) efforts"
    If moving 400 million people out of poverty (UN statistic) is just a "token" effort, then you must be doing extraordinary things every day in your life.

    "most likely modern warlords will control a fragmented "China" once again"
    And there you have shown your true colours. After all, why take on China economically, scientifically, culturally or militarily when you can just pray for its complete collapse. Now we understand your intentions very well.

    "due to the accelerated melting of glacial ice on the Tibetan plateau"
    You read that yesterday on the BBC website.

    "Chinese people trying to flee the resulting chaos and starvation causing a greater burden on the world"
    I thought you really, really, really cared about the Chinese? So you would be happy to take some refugees into your own home?

    "Overall, I'm happy for you to reinforce the view that most Chinese PSB drones..."
    So those Chinese that disagree with you are "drones"? By the same logic, since you disagree with us, you are a drone too.

    "the world is unlikely to trust the Chinese government on serious military matters"
    Yes, we should obviously trust the US on world military matters, a nation that has invaded more countries in the last 50 years than China has in its entire history.

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  • 134. At 2:41pm on 07 May 2009, JWSydney wrote:

    Wow.
    Alot of vitriol on this blog.
    Firstly, this defence white paper, most of the stuff in it, has been openly planned for years.
    The 100 jets have been in development for almost ten years, and Austrlia has openly told everyone they were gonna buy 100 of them, to replace the 70 F/A-18s Australia currently operates, years ago.
    The new airwarfare destoryers are already in the inital stages of production and were ordered over a year ago. Same for the helicopter carriers and the new frigates and patrol boats were mooted some time ago.
    Most of the aquisitions are years in the planning.
    The only thing that's new is the descision to double the submarine fleet to 12 subs, basically one squadron, not exactly an armada.
    Also Australia is planning to purchase slightly more helicopters and support aircraft than was expected.
    None of this is remarkable. The Australian military is still miniscule compared to China's, or most any of the major Asian powers. It's a high technology force, but small and only capable of a defensive effort against any large conventional force. It would be ludicrous to think Australia could undertake any real offensive operation against a country like China, Indonesia or India. We've got eight battalions of infantry, that's about 6,000 soldiers. Scary stuff.
    There's no need for all the fuss, Australia's never had the money or population to maintain a large standing defence force, and probably never will. At the end of the day, any major regional military conflict Australia became invovled in would be at the instigation of another more powerful nation, like the U.S., Japan, China or India.
    We can't afford a real war, the ADF is just there in case there is one.
    The idea is to hope for the best and plan for the worst, otherwise what's the point of having a military force at all? There'd be no point in Australia maintaining a navy at great expense, if that navy can't defend it's coastline.
    That's all this is about.
    Enough about China.

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  • 135. At 4:48pm on 07 May 2009, TrnOvrANwLeaf wrote:

    I know this blog entry can't possibly fit this post but here you go.

    Justice is innate to us all. Even primates exhibit this quality. There will always be the drive for justice where justice isn't served.

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  • 136. At 00:58am on 08 May 2009, BryantObsessed wrote:

    well, China now beats sport for the big blog response topic.


    pandering has never helped Australia. to either US, Europe, or Japan and China.

    I was happy that the Australian government was building a white paper that started with truths evident to them and everyone else, including the Chinese.


    A fine start, long way to go.

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  • 137. At 2:02pm on 08 May 2009, sydneycynic wrote:

    Beijing_2008 appears to be a very angry person. It occurs to me that he could be a Chinese Olympic athlete suffering from "roid rage". Just in case Beijing_2008 doesn't know what steoids are the Chinese commonly refer to them as "turtle juice".

    I note there is constant reference to Australia's theft of the country from the aboriginals. Even though this alleged theft took place 200 years ago by people born elsewhere, it should be noted that these people were mainly transported to the country and forced to fend for themselves. They are no better or worse than the refugees who continue to arrive to this very day. If we were to adopt Beijing_2008's approach we would not accept any of the people from Afghanistan,Pakistan,Sri Lanka etc.

    On the subject of theft I would contend that any alleged theft by Australian ancestors took place hundreds of years ago. This is in stark contrast to China's ongoing theft of other country's intellectual property. This is indicative of the fact that the last original thoughts coming out of China was when Marco Polo visited China 700 years ago. Since then they can hardly claim to produce anything like the car, plane, penicillin,TV,computers etc. When they do make something the headlines read, "CHINA MAKES BABY FOOD / HUNDREDS DIE". Who'd of thought it was beyond a billion people to work out how to mash a banana.

    I note beijing_2008 previously stated that he debated at the Oxford Union and he deigned it beneath him to discuss matters with people who raised issues about China. I would suggest that making such egocentric, arrogant and unsubstantiated statements only reflect poorly on yourself and your countrymen. Unless you can prove such grandiose statments I don't see why anyone would either believe them let alone be impressed by them. If there is anyone out there gullible enough to believe beijing_2008's grand description of himself you should be pleased to know I'm William Shakespeare, Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela all rolled into one.

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  • 138. At 4:06pm on 08 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    #137,
    "Beijing_2008 appears to be a very angry person"
    I will ignore your personal attacks.

    "If we were to adopt Beijing_2008's approach we would not accept any of the people from Afghanistan,Pakistan,Sri Lanka etc."
    Err, you don't anyway. Australia's immigration policy must be one of the most intolerant in the world. It's of the "please come if you are of a certain skill level and skin type; otherwise please kindly stay out" variety. I think I'm right in saying that, of all the nations in the world, Australia has the least number of people per square kilometer.

    "This is indicative of the fact that the last original thoughts coming out of China was when Marco Polo visited China 700 years ago"
    How, then, do the Chinese continue to dominate Mathematics Olympiads (the Chinese team has come top each year for the past 10 years), and other science Olympiads; as well as earning several Nobel Prizes in the past few decades? It is also leading in nanotechnology and stem-cell research. And this is just in terms of scientific achievements.

    "...claim to produce anything like the car, plane, penicillin,TV,computers"
    Everything in your house is made in China. We went to sleep for a few hundred years. Don't worry, we have fully awoken, and we will eat you for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

    "CHINA MAKES BABY FOOD / HUNDREDS DIE"
    4 kids died.

    "Unless you can prove such grandiose statments"
    I would if I could, but I don't think I'm allowed to give personal details on the BBC.

    Mate, I do feel for you. I imagine it must be really tough growing up thinking you will rule the world forever, only to discover that that might not be the case. Every dog has his day.
    Now step aside cordially for China, thanks.

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  • 139. At 01:58am on 10 May 2009, JWSydney wrote:

    Your views are pretty offensive Beijing-2008.
    To say this :
    "We went to sleep for a few hundred years. Don't worry, we have fully awoken, and we will eat you for breakfast, lunch and dinner."
    Seriously, what is your problem?

    Nationalism is for fools, patriotism for scoundrels.
    Get over yourself.
    Besides, militarily and economically the US still has the wood on China and will for many decades to come. Any realist would see that. But your arguments seem to often not be based on a pragmatic assesment of the situation, but rather some vitriolic, nationalistic fervour.
    This Australian military build up is nothing for China to be concerned about, and if you had any sense, you'd see that.

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  • 140. At 04:56am on 10 May 2009, NueWurldOrdaa wrote:

    Exactly right JW, he's (she's? It's possible BJ2008 is female, but usually they are the very impotent male type) very offensive. That's what these PSB drones (here in China they call them "FenQing") are paid to do; redirect and dilute meaningful discussion about China/CPC related issues with a mix of a feigned indignant and 'holier than thou' attitude (often with violent tones), and outright immature, illogical and irrational non-argument. They disavow any responsibility of the CPC for any problems in China. It really is ridiculous, and quite like living in a "Bizarro" world... "The Emporer's New Clothes" could have been written about the CPC, and life in China generally, as there's frequently a clear disconnect between the reality here, and what the Chinese Government and Chinese media (all Govt controlled of course) collectively say.

    As mentioned above, the Chinese Govt and media like to point to the occasional errors and misinformation put out by some western media sources, but don't follow that up with the acknowledgement that within hours, or certainly a day or two, the error is very publicly corrected (by a contrite media vendor taking responsibility for the error of the reporter/s or editor/s involved), and in any case where the error was deliberate the reporter/editor involved may be heavily reprimanded, sanctioned, or even be sacked and banned from working as a reporter.

    All very different to the secretive propaganda apparatus of the CPC and its XinHua "news agency"... This apparatus frequently covers up very serious crimes for months (e.g. poisoned milk products, SiChuan school construction quality) or even years (e.g. Tian'AnMen Square massacre). The Chinese like to criticise Japan for selectively rewriting history, in relation to their wartime aggression, but no-one rewrites history, almost on a daily basis, like the CPC. Absolutely Orwellian!

    I see in his (her?) previous reply to me, he failed to address any of my points and tried to redirect with some positive CPC spin on quite a few of the issues. No surprise really, since he obviously knows how weak his case is.

    Regarding HuJintao and WenJiabao, I doubt you won any Oxford Union debates by pointing out a missing space... but, then again, PinYin is not a language, it's a pronunciation system, so the space matters little. In fact, when written in Chinese characters the 3 characters would have no space between them at all either. I'm sure that Mr Hu and Mr Wen would inform you that they have actually had very little to do with bringing the 300-400mil Chinese out of poverty, which began 30 years ago with China's tentative "opening up".

    They would both, in all likelihood, tell you to direct your praise to Mr DengXiaoping. I was, in fact, referring to the efforts of Mr Hu and Mr Wen (over the past 7 years) to begin to address the enormous problems of corruption in Chinese politics, administration, law and business, with a VERY high percentage of officials having their hands in the till (stealing Govt, i.e. the people's, money), and abusing their power to manipulate almost every situation they're involved in. It really is very insidious. Of course, if Mr Deng had instituted better checks and balances on the opening up process, most of the corruption could have been avoided, I think. In which case, probably many more people could have been brought out of poverty in that time frame. Only 800mil to go now... As I mentioned in a previous post, its interesting that China has invested all that money (US$2trillion) overseas instead of doing more to help its own people.

    Actually, regarding science BJ2008 is quite right. If you don't give children a real childhood, and force feed them Math from 3 years old, your country too can win Math Olympiad prizes. I guess China doesn't spend so much time studying ethics and social science though... All this pressure on kids to "succeed" academically, combined with a distinct lack of social outlets, or even public sports grounds, etc.,means that China is fast becoming one of the youth suicide capitals of the world. Once again the mismanagement of Chinese society by the CPC for its own gains is causing pain for all Chinese people.

    Finally, no, I didn't read about China's (and south and S-E Asia's) looming water crisis a few days ago on the BBC website. It's an issue (one of very many global and Asia-Pacific issues) I've been following for quite a number of years. China's rapid desertification is already a problem at crisis level, but Chinese people hear little about it. If BeiJing itself weren't so directly affected by all these problems I very much doubt that China would be paying much attention to environmental problems at all. As it is, they have finally begun to give its Chinese environmental protection agency a few teeth, however, corruption still impedes it doing what needs to be done. It's yet another way that the CPC has failed to take care of the Chinese people.

    So, the eyes of the world are not blinkered by the CPC/XinHua propaganda apparatus, we see through all the CPC lies very easily. Hence, the world will continue to assess the CPC Chinese Government policies based on deeds, not words.

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  • 141. At 05:41am on 10 May 2009, jimmy3333 wrote:

    JWSydney, You seem quite a reasonable even-handed sort of fellow. However, your criticism of beijing_2008 seems to be rather one sided. And there is no need to bristle at his remarks.

    One only has to look at the China bashers. See how they thunder and bluster and generally throw a lot of BS.

    beijing_2008 was just doing his bit by cooly and calmly defending China. And I would say he did a rather commendable job there. The China bashers must now all be gnashing their teeth in impotent frustration. :)

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  • 142. At 08:58am on 10 May 2009, JWSydney wrote:

    I have no problem with rational debate.
    I do have a problem with offensive remarks like "we'll eat you alive".
    Particularly since this miitary build up is in reaction to Chinas' and will have absolutley no influence on Chinas' ability to pursue its' interests.
    What's good for the goose is good for the gander. I have a problem with Australians who make racist and xenephobic remarks about China and the Chinese people. I have the same problem with Chinese people who make offensive comments about Australia.
    Frankly, I find the view that China will 'eat Australia alive' as both ridiculous and insulting.
    China is one of the most powerful countries in the world, and will be for the rest of our lifetimes. That's fine, and is just the nature of politics and nations. Big country, massive population, alot of money equals power and influence.
    It'd be nice though, if they weren't basically a dictatorship which suppresses human rights.
    Anyway, what has this got to do with the ADF?
    Does anyone think Australia's gonna start some kind of war with China (or anyone for that matter)?
    Like our 12 subs (that we won't even have the crews to man) are gonna take on the whole Chinese navy?

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  • 143. At 2:14pm on 10 May 2009, TrnOvrANwLeaf wrote:

    Far out. Being an Australian with a Hong Kong heritage, I feel embarrassed, bordering ashamed, by some of the comments made by diehard anti-so-called-China-bashers posters.

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  • 144. At 2:25pm on 10 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    #142,
    I apologise if that particular comment caused offense. It was meant to be a statement of hyperbole. Sorry nonetheless.

    #140 rant is, at best, naive, and at worst the rant of a fool.

    He (she?, probably a she) says it's okay to write "HuJintao".
    Is it okay, therefore, to write JohnSmith? It should be spelt "Hu Jintao" because "Hu" is a surname. It has nothing to do with pinying, phonetics or transliteration.

    She says errors in western media sources are "quickly corrected".
    That is not good enough because the original message - invariably that China is evil - has already been imprinted into the minds of those who read the story originally.

    She says China "has invested all that money overseas instead of doing more to help its own people."
    China invests overseas PRECISELY to help its own people.

    She says "pressure on kids to succeed academically... once again the mismanagement of Chinese society by the CPC for its own gains is causing pain for all Chinese people."
    This, ladies and gentlemen, is a statement of true idiocy. Every Chinese kid has to work hard because there are a few MILLION other kids vying for the SAME College position. How would a non-CCP government change this reality?

    She says that "China is fast becoming one of the youth suicide capitals of the world". Don't confuse China with Japan.

    She says "Hence, the world will continue to assess the CPC Chinese Government policies based on deeds, not words."
    I fully concur. Prepare to witness the glorious rebirth of a nation.


    I would like to have a substantive debate with people on this blog. I would very much like to offer some thoughts of intellectual mileage (for instance on Confucius, China's political reform, Chinese identity), but given the lack of intelligence displayed on this page, it would be like talking to a brick wall. Actually, it would be like giving caviar to a pig.

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  • 145. At 2:56pm on 10 May 2009, TrnOvrANwLeaf wrote:

    #144 beijing_2008

    You do understand typing up the way you do with boorish, pathetically derisive and brick-walling piggish language only serves to discredit yourself and your words.

    I am confused. Up there when we were corresponding, you seemed to realise that a one party Communist system doesn't deliver, now you have a new worldview?

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  • 146. At 06:40am on 11 May 2009, sydneycynic wrote:

    beijing_2008 is first going to eat me alive and then I'm going to witness the rebirth of a glorious nation. I guess that can be explained by the possibilty that there may be some type of confucian belief in reincarnation. The more likely reason would be due to some type of mental deficiency/aggression on the part of the author. If eating me alive was just hyperbole, I would like it placed on record that I still find the more minor offence of, say, just chewing on my leg as unacceptable.

    If beijing_2008 does ever debate at the Oxford Union I want to be there. He/she seems like a class act, "NOT".

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  • 147. At 12:12pm on 11 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    I don't think #146 appreciates the subtlety of the English language.

    Perhaps going back to school may help the above author to understand the difference between literal and figurative speech.
    Moreover, I was careful to state "the glorious rebirth of a nation", not the "rebirth of a glorious nation". There is obviously a difference; pity the above author does not have the linguistic ability to detect it.

    As I say, you cannot give caviar to a pig.

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  • 148. At 1:59pm on 11 May 2009, OZ_Observer wrote:

    I tried giving caviar to a pig, and to my surprise it appreciated it. It must be one of the clever ones from the Animal Farm!

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  • 149. At 2:48pm on 11 May 2009, sydneycynic wrote:

    Ding ding class is in. Now beijing_2008 stop looking out the window and start paying attention. I should point out to you that there was nothing figurative refered to in your hyperbole. Now if you said you were using metaphorical hyperbole you would have had a point. You see, a metaphor is when you apply a figurative use of terms. Hyperbole, when used on it's own is merely an exaggeration. Seeing you didn't do this it was reasonable to assume you had cannibalistic tendencies.

    Even though I've assisted you in your personal development please feel free to insult me again. It's all water off a duck's back. Ducks,pigs, whatever.

    I won't be replying anymore so don't think my future silence means anything other than I'm bored with you. I've got better things to do.

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  • 150. At 11:38pm on 11 May 2009, JWSydney wrote:

    If an American said that they were going to eat China alive, I'd think that Beijing-2008 would have a very big problem with that. Of course I don't think you are literally going to eat me and my family. It's the implication of what you're saying, i.e. that China is going to absorb other countries and impose itself on them, and that either this is morally fine or that, if it is morally wrong, you have no problem with that.
    It's indicitve of the attitude of a nationalist, and I despise nationalism.

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  • 151. At 00:34am on 12 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    Dear Sydney and Sydney (which incidentally reminds me of a certain phrase D and D'er),

    It is amusing to see that that remark has generated such furore, with Cynic in particular giving me an English lesson. He has unleashed what can only be described as a grand and sumptuous proliferation of polished and articulated adverbial phrasing. Though the latter fragments of my discourse are, admittedly, playfully ironic.

    Look, gentlemen, it was an unfortunate execution of the English language and for which I have already offered an apology. I hope you can both accept it.

    I did not mean that China is going to impose itself on other countries. China has never shown the slightest desire to export its ideology. If anything, I was trying to suggest that, given China's huge population, we will likely see in future more Chinese dominating different fields, such as science, culture and sport.

    A final remark. If I am able to pass on any insight to our western friends, it is that Chinese "nationalism" is a necessary (but not sufficent) condition to ensure the survival of China as a concept, and as a nation state. If you don't quite understand what I mean by this, consider its history. Prehistoric China gave rise to Ancient China, which gave rise to Dynastic China (Qin, Han, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming etc) which has given rise to Communist China. Each generation having believed that a different, better place, beckons us, and that we will not find it in the hills of Shandong, the lakes of Jiangxi, the hutongs of Beijing or the skyscrapers of Shanghai. But rather, we will find it in my hearts. Thus the day that Chinese "nationalism" disappears is the day that Chinese civilisation ends.

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  • 152. At 09:32am on 12 May 2009, JWSydney wrote:

    I don't know Beijing, I find you mildly rude.
    Like when you referanced me to a movie about being really dumb.
    But whatever, this has nothing to with Australia.
    I get the impression that you have a chip on your shoulder, a massive chip. Maybe that's justified, maybe not, but it doesn't lend itself to a rational, dispassionate apraisal of the situation.
    What are your actual views on Australia's investment in defence?
    Do you honestly think it is in anyway a threat to China?
    Do you believe that any defence planner would ingore the rapidly expanding Chinese navy (as well as the expanding militaries of dozens of Asian countries, particularly India and Indonesia) when planning the development of a coastal naval force capable of defending it's massive coastline? It would be irresponsible for Australian military planners not to invest money in maintaining a navy and air force at least capable of the self defence of the Australian mainland.
    The irony is that even with this increased investement, Australia is still not truly capable of repulsing an asault on behalf of any major military nation with a blue water navy.

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  • 153. At 12:59pm on 13 May 2009, TrnOvrANwLeaf wrote:

    beijing_2008

    Can't you argue in a civil manner without throwing mockery in your comments? You are embarrassing me.

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  • 154. At 03:15am on 16 May 2009, NueWurldOrdaa wrote:

    Unfortunately, the whole problem is that BJ2008 is NOT "arguing" with us at all. He's fundamentally not responding with point and counterpoint addressing and criticising others' ideas in an educated way. He's essentially just repetitively spouting diversionary CPC nonsense and explicitly failing to respond to anyone's valid points in any direct (or even indirect) way in almost all cases.

    That's the sad thing in China. It's not the validity of your argument, nor the strength of your evidence that wins, it's the volume of your "voice", and the amount of bluster you can maintain, whilst dribbling ancient, trivial idioms, that usually triumphs, especially if you can intimidate the opposing party by pulling "rank", social status, age/"experience", or connected friends, to support yourself and your non-argument. As I've said before, it's a Bizarro World over here.

    For a 5000+ year old culture, you'd think they would have developed, and embraced, enlightened, logical, and critical thinking, but in large part due to the amount of time China spent being run by frequently corrupt officials it instead developed a culture of selfishness, nepotism and anti-intellectualism.

    There are plenty of smart people here, of course, but they are profoundly shackled by the prevailing CPC led repression and lack of venues for free and frank social discourse. Just look at the way the Charter 08 academics and thinkers are currently being harassed and imprisoned, following the December 08 publishing of a petition to call attention to China's responsibilities on Human/Civil Rights as expressed in China's own constitution, and in China's signing of the international Declaration of Human Rights. It should not be a contentious document at all!

    Not to mention going back 20 years to TianAnMen Square (June 4th 1989) and the murderous repression of the students and workers involved, and the purging of open minded CPC members who were seeking democratic Government reforms at that time. e.g. the late, purged CPC senior leader ZhaoZiyang, whose memoirs are about to be published.

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  • 155. At 12:23pm on 16 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    #154, World-class nonsense.

    I have provided, in ALL my above posts, a direct response to EVERY single point that has been raised by others. You say that I "repetitively spout diversionary CPC nonsense".
    Is freedom of speech, then, only valid if the opinions aired are in line with the China Threat/Yellow Peril view that prevails in the Western media?
    Just as criticism against China should not be taken as an attack on Chinese people in general, by the same token, defence of the policies of the Chinese government should be miscontrued as somehow pontificating the Party line. Grow up.

    I have always argued that the success, indeed survival, of the Chinese state in the long run depends on it adopting a more enlightened system of political governance; though the new paradigm need not necessarily be based on the Western model.

    The world threw a hissy fit when Japan rose in the middle-to-late 20th Century. Now it's China turn to get a tongue lashing. Perhaps in a few hundred years it will be Africa's turn. One thing is clear, though, and that is that some countries (who shall remain nameless) are on a irreversible decline into irrelevance.

    Now be a good boy and go learn some Mandarin.

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  • 156. At 08:01am on 17 May 2009, NueWurldOrdaa wrote:

    I think I have worked out that you're no Oxford scholar at all. Nor do I, you'll be pleased to know, still think you are an adult "CPC drone". Clearly, you're just another immature, Chinese CPC zealot, undergraduate student overseas who uses the anonymity of the Internet to big note himself in order to try to "win" arguments, without actually responding to the contradicting issues raised by those with opposing views.

    You said: "Now it's China turn to get a tongue lashing." This is perhaps the most rational thing you've stated on this forum. I personally wouldn't have used those words, but the reality, to which you have (inadvertently?) alluded, is that as China takes it's place on the world stage, and stands tall with the shadow of its influence cast ever further it is natural for China's policies and actions to attract greater scrutiny, comment, and criticism. It's obvious, isn't it? Yet frequently you, and the Chinese leadership generally, act surprised and whine that it's unfair, or it's "interference in China's "internal affairs"". Well mate, welcome to the globalised world. "Opening up" has many meanings and outcomes. America's "opening up" after WW2 certainly brought them plenty of criticism. Overall, I think they take it on the chin pretty well. What you don't acknowledge is that the USA's "friends", i.e. Australians like me, and even her own citizens, also throw plenty of flak at America's post cold war hegemony. Especially during the time of leadership of both George Bushes, senior and junior. I have marched in the streets on a number of issues, from the original US invasion of Iraq, to giving support to the stolen generations in Australia.

    Now, I see you've said "I have always argued that the success, indeed survival, of the Chinese state in the long run depends on it adopting a more enlightened system of political governance", so I expect on your next trip "home" to China (maybe on June 4th this year?) you'll be stopping by the Great Hall of the People in Tian'AnMen Square to petition the government to redouble their efforts to speed up this political change and to correct the massive problems of corrupt officials at all levels of Chinese CPC Government. Before you leave your adopted country make sure you take your Chinese passport so you can use it to reenter your "home" proudly as a Chinese citizen. Also, before getting on the plane, be sure to email the CCTV News channel and tell them what you are planning to do so that they can meet you at the airport with cameras rolling. I'm sure they'll offer to drive you to Tian'AnMen Square themselves.

    Let's see how your "criticism", actually you're just repeating what the CPC Government themselves have said they will do, goes down. But, don't let my pessimism dissuade you from this venture. You'll be walking in the footsteps of people like ZhaoZiyang, to whom I referred in my last post, but you didn't seem to notice... Not much has happened in that regard over the last 20 years, but perhaps your petition will tip the balance?

    You raise the issue of my learning Mandarin, assuming I know none. First, I will give you credit for your level of English. You appear to have reached at least an IELTS 8.5 level. Very creditable, and very rare in China. Although, if you really did an IELTS test, and failed to address the point of the question at hand, in the same way that you generally do here, then you would not score so highly.

    Regarding my own grasp of Chinese, which you obviously, but wrongly, contended was non-existent, comparatively I am at about 4.5 to 5.0 level. I'm let down by my hand-writing, which I rarely practice, otherwise I might claim 5.0-5.5 level. By no means, could I successfully study a university course using Chinese language as the medium, but for a wide range of everyday issues (e.g. watching and chatting about the CCTV News channel, i.e. NOT the English language CCTV9) it's sufficient.

    Unfortunately, such rational pragmatism and realistic honesty don't stop a large proportion of my students (mostly IELTS 3.5-5.0) thinking they have the right to pass (Mummy and Daddy having paid their fees) the Academic English and University preparation skills course, on which I teach in China, without doing any work to achieve the course goal of reaching an IELTS 6.0 equivalency, or, more importantly, learning the academic skills required for Western university education. Skills which we in the West start learning from grade 4 or 5 in primary school. Rather than working hard to "catch up" to the level of Western high school graduates (those with a view to university), these Chinese students seem to consider it a waste of their time to have to learn how to research and write an academic essay with citations, rather than just copy and plagiarise the whole thing as the Chinese education system seems to have taught them.

    Bear in mind that they should have entered this course at IELTS 5.5 and the problems endemic in China become even more apparent. People trying to elevate themselves without bothering to actually do any work to learn the prerequisite skills. It's also symbolic of China's spoilt one child generation of rich parents who teach their children that arrogance, cutting corners, and trampling over the rights of others is the way to get ahead. I fear when this arrogant generation take the reigns of power in China, especially as the children of CPC types are the most arrogant and elitist. Reinforcing the view that the corrupt, totalitarian CPC Government is just a self serving aristocracy.

    Which brings us back to the issue of international trust of the Chinese CPC Government. You protest that you do respond to all comments from others directly, yet I note you said:

    She (sic) says "Hence, the world will continue to assess the CPC Chinese Government policies based on deeds, not words."
    I fully concur. Prepare to witness the glorious rebirth of a nation.

    Me: How does that respond to my argument? I had already stated my position that China is rising, and deservedly so, as it comprises 20% of the world's population.

    I ask again, why should the rest of the world, including those countries China assumes its status as a "developing" country would imply should be their "friends", such as S-E Asia, S. America, and Africa, trust China's corrupt CPC Government as they undertake their own secretive military expansion all the while building increasingly intimidatory relationships?

    A few of your other "direct responses":

    She (sic) says errors in western media sources are "quickly corrected".
    That is not good enough because the original message - invariably that China is evil - has already been imprinted into the minds of those who read the story originally.

    Me: Invariably? "China"? I think most are talking about the COPC and PLA, aren't they? Not really "China". You deny foreigners have the intelligence to differentiate, but you're very wrong. In any case, my original point was about China's CPC Propaganda Dept.and the XinHua "News Agency" completely fabricating facts about important national and international events. You did not address this. I made the comparison with western news organisations to show the contrast.


    She says China "has invested all that money overseas instead of doing more to help its own people."
    China invests overseas PRECISELY to help its own people.

    Me: Why not build a proper universal health and welfare system? It seems to outside observers that keeping money away from the common people in China just allows the corrupt officialdom more opportunity to siphon it off for themselves and their families. Furthermore, when money is spent inside China, e.g. the current stimulus package, it almost invariably goes to massive state enterprises where large parts of it are divvied up by the corrupt officials. Admittedly, some does get spread around though... to the officials' relatives and their "associates".


    She says "pressure on kids to succeed academically... once again the mismanagement of Chinese society by the CPC for its own gains is causing pain for all Chinese people."
    This, ladies and gentlemen, is a statement of true idiocy. Every Chinese kid has to work hard because there are a few MILLION other kids vying for the SAME College position. How would a non-CCP government change this reality?

    Me: Umm, let me think for 1.5 nanoseconds... Build more educational institutions? Especially in remote areas, so as to avert the perpetuation of the massive city vs country economic imbalance. I think you have, to put it mildly, overstated the statistics there too. Half the Chinese school population has little opportunity to proceed past a year 9 education, so the reality is that they were NEVER challenging for those university places. Chinese CPC drones (and CPC zealot overseas students) love to use China's "large population" as an excuse for absolving themselves of responsibility for almost everything, at the same time as they brutally enforce their own "right" to bear that responsibilty.


    She says that "China is fast becoming one of the youth suicide capitals of the world". Don't confuse China with Japan.

    Me: Wow, Oxford Union material right there folks... Not! I make a valid point, which should be a serious concern of all mature Chinese people, and that's all you can say to deal with it.


    The Chinese people are obviously going to be in good hands when you get your overseas Bachelors Degree and head back "home" to China where you walk into the special employment position arranged by your Daddy. Of course, this will be much elevated above your real experience and training, but that's how things work in the corrupt, totalitarian, dog eat dog, CPC (mis)managed state of modern China.

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  • 157. At 11:07am on 17 May 2009, beijing_2008 wrote:

    You have, surprisingly, made a lot of good points, and have shown, at least to me, a remarkable level of insight of China that is rarely seen among Western critics.

    You have right in saying that a significant minority of Chinese undergradautes and, more worringly, postgraduates, think that it is reasonable to plagarise. But this occurs usually at the lesser institutions. There has been a lot of debate in China about the state of the education system, in particular on "rote" learning. The argument for it is that it's believed to be the most fair way to test candidates in the College Entrance Exams. A legacy of Confucianism that no doubt will be looked at again in due course.

    You are right in saying that China should do more in education and healthcare. And it is. Very recently, a policy was passed to make healthcare accessible to ALL urban and rural residents, including forcing state hospitals to lower drug prices, medical supply prices and medical checkup fees. But I don't think you appreciate how difficult it is to provide universal healthcare to 1.3 billion people. BILLION. To put that into perspective, if you were to subtract 1 billion from 1.3 billion, you would get the population of the United States. I suppose it's hard to get a sense of proportion from living in a country of only 20 million people (equivalent to the population of Shanghai).

    You are right in saying that there is a lot of corruption at the provincial level. Without wishing to break the first code of a Model United Nations debate, that is, to accuse another nation's administrators of being corrupt too, nevertheless we see in Britain - the mother of all democracies - that its leaders are corrupt to the core. Expenses for moat cleaning?

    Let's talk about political reform for a bit, since you are so keen on helping the Chinese people (I bet you donated a huge amount of money to the Sichuan earthquake).
    A necessary condition for a democracy is a multi-party system. A necessary condition for a multi-party system is a difference in ideology. China has at least 800 million peasants. How do you distinguish between one party's claim to be supportive of the farmer, and the other party's claim to be EVEN more supportive of the farmer?

    Regards

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  • 158. At 02:06am on 18 May 2009, NueWurldOrdaa wrote:

    BJ2008: While I'm not a big fan of the term "peasants", especially in the 21st Century, it's good to see you put your arguments in a much more objective and logical way.

    Addressing your last point first. It would be a start to educate the poor rural folk, so then they could judge for themselves the merits of each parties' proposals. It would also help to allow (I mean REALLY allow, before you tell me China already has other "parties") independent political parties to freely promulgate their views and policies.

    I donated a sum to the International Red Cross, as opposed to the corrupt CPC controlled Chinese Red Cross, for the purpose of SiChuan earthquake relief. I added a bit extra to account for the tax that would be applied when the IRC brought the money into China.

    India has a population rapidly approaching China's, and a smaller land area too, yet they have a multi-party democracy. Other countries have cities larger than most Chinese cities, and yet they can still provide services to all the people in a more (Tokyo) or less (Mexico City) orderly and organised way. Pure numbers are not a sufficient reason for most of China's deficiencies. Poor, unskilled, and corrupt, management is a much greater cause of China's civil woes.

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  • 159. At 01:21am on 16 Jun 2009, cloudstreet wrote:

    Just for the information of Beijing 2008 and Tofupanda the Australian population is outnumbered by Chinas By Approximately 70 to 1 and and unlike china australia does not maintain an arsenal of nuclear weapons so i think the Australian "threat" may be of a minor nature.

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  • 160. At 11:26pm on 23 Jun 2009, holiday-rentals wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

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