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Chinese imperialism and future Australian sovereignty

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2021 5:59 am
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All quiet on the Wuhan conspiracy front, which is surprising given it's airplay over the last few days. My guess is that people know it's too easily spun into the wrong conspiracy. Let's not forget, Chinese crazies spun SARS as US bio warfare way back when. This is even easier done this time, with Trump pulling Predict just two months before the pandemic (a programme which monitored some dozens of novel coronaviruses and trained staff at Wuhan, no less).

Still, the simplest theory is what is known to happen and has happened repeatedly: transmission from animals to humans. The fact the intermediary itself is yet to be identified doesn't change that.

This caught my eye from Biden today:

Quote:
“Here is their current position: ‘while two elements in the IC [intelligence community] leans toward the former scenario and one leans more toward the latter — each with low or moderate confidence — the majority of elements do not believe there is sufficient information to assess one to be more likely than the other,’” Mr. Biden said.

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/05/26/world/covid-vaccine-coronavirus-mask#covid-19-origins-who

This smells like IC shenanigans to me; a jockeying ready to spin as required, with Biden trying to stay ahead of it. It's just too easy to manufacture nonsense at this stage and spin it either as a Chinese or an American conspiracy, depending on which crazies you're trying to incite.

No change from me here: lab error is possible but without reasoned and quantifiable probability itself meets the definition of conspiracy theory and is not even close to being the default explanation here.

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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2021 3:36 pm
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Worth a read.

Quote:
The South China Sea has all the ingredients of a global cataclysm. Greed. Nationalism. Politics. All are conspiring against peace and stability.

And Australia could be the forced to make a tough decision if asked to by the Unite States.

Polytechnic University of the Philippines Geopolitics Professor Richard Heydarian says the political turmoil swirling through his nation’s waters have “all the ingredients of a global cataclysm”.

It’s all about 3.5 million square kilometres of water, broken only by a few reefs, sandbars and rocky islands. About 33 per cent of the world’s international trade passes through its waters. Much of the region’s food is hauled from its depths.

Beijing claims all of it.

And it continues to do so despite the ruling of an international court of arbitration that its claims are baseless.


That’s the background to a political crisis shaking the Philippines to its core. China moved a force of more than 200 maritime militia vessels posing as fishing boats into its waters earlier this year. They’re still there. And they’re enforcing a Beijing-imposed fishing ban on Manila’s subjects in Manila’s waters.


https://www.news.com.au/technology/innovation/military/australias-tough-decision-in-south-china-sea-dispute/news-story/225e6a997d932b1c070fd7839627ccf6

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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 12:11 am
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Lo and behold it's being called the TPP again!

I thought the term was dead in the water, soiled by Trump and more recently replaced by the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP). True, the latter's still got 'TPP' in it, but this is an interesting choice of wording from the BBC. Perhaps a subtle sign of a shift following the British discussions? (Or maybe they just went with it for recognition factor, especially given how long the new agreement name is).

Get Biden on board, add South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand, have India in the wings, and start finding some mutual wins with China.

It seems the most likely vehicle, anyhow. And Australia, please send someone with half a clue and don't let the Glibs wreck it just to win a news cycle.

Quote:
The 11-member Trans-Pacific Partnership trade bloc has agreed to open accession talks with the UK.

The British government, which asked to join the TPP in February, said membership was a huge opportunity in a post-Brexit world.

A working group is now expected to be set up to discuss tariffs and rules governing trade and investment.

The UK is not expected to join the TPP, which includes Australia, Mexico and Japan, until next year at the earliest.

...

China, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand have also expressed interest in joining the TPP, which covers a market of nearly 500 million people.

The US was initially involved in the process to set up the bloc, but pulled out on former President Donald Trump's first day in office in 2017.

The TPP's current members are Japan, Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile and Peru.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-57327372

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roar 



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 9:41 am
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pietillidie wrote:
All quiet on the Wuhan conspiracy front, which is surprising given it's airplay over the last few days. My guess is that people know it's too easily spun into the wrong conspiracy.


Wuhan conspiracy is alive and well no matter how certain bodies try and deflect away from the issue.

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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 03, 2021 10:42 am
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roar wrote:
pietillidie wrote:
All quiet on the Wuhan conspiracy front, which is surprising given it's airplay over the last few days. My guess is that people know it's too easily spun into the wrong conspiracy.


Wuhan conspiracy is alive and well no matter how certain bodies try and deflect away from the issue.

Which Wuhan conspiracy? The American, Bill Gates or Chinese one?

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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 2:38 am
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What an adult might say to China if given the chance ahead of the infantile dunces usually given the task:

Quote:
It is a huge mistake to ignore the benefits that come with more regional autonomy. Consider an alternative history in which the People’s Liberation Army had overrun both Hong Kong and Taiwan in 1949; Sichuan had not been allowed to pursue pilot reform programs in 1975, when Zhao Ziyang was appointed provincial party secretary; and China’s centralization had proceeded to the point that the Guangzhou Military District could not offer Deng refuge from the wrath of the Gang of Four in 1976. What would China’s economy look like today?

It would be a basket case. Rather than enjoying a rapid ascent to economic superpower status, China would find itself being compared to the likes of Burma or Pakistan. When Mao Zedong died in 1976, China was impoverished and rudderless. But it learned to stand on its own two feet by drawing on Taiwan and Hong Kong’s entrepreneurial classes and financing systems, emulating Zhao’s policies in Sichuan, and opening up Special Economic Zones in places like Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

At some point in the future, China will need to choose between governmental strategies and systems. It is safe to assume that relying on top-down decrees from an aging, mentally declining paramount leader who is vulnerable to careerist flattery will not produce good results. The more that China centralizes, the more it will suffer. But if decisions about policies and institutions are based on a rough consensus among keen-eyed observers who are open to emulating the practices and experiments of successful regions, China will thrive.

A China with many distinct systems exploring possible paths to the future might really have a chance of becoming a global leader and proving worthy of the role. A centralized, authoritarian China that demands submission to a single emperor will never have that opportunity.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/xi-jinping-quest-for-centralization-destined-for-failure-by-j-bradford-delong-2021-06

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think positive Libra

Side By Side


Joined: 30 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 11:13 am
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hmmmmm

"We must pay attention to a good grasp of the tone, as well as be open, confident and humble, try our utmost to portray an image of a reliable, lovely, respectable China," Mr Xi was quoted as saying, in a line that appears to suggest a need for change."

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-04/china-signals-shift-in-wolf-warrior-diplomacy/100186166

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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 7:11 pm
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^Yeah, there's no cultural basis for this style of aggression. I have long argued this was a tactical PR switch that has badly backfired. I can just see the returning graduates from Harvard and Yale giving the wrong advice because while being smart, they weren't overseas long enough and certainly weren't assimilated enough while there to understand the dynamics, but due to the status of their degree had authority to advise (just enough knowledge of Western culture to persuasively get it all wrong).

There are some interesting misreads in Asia of Western culture. The feeling from many, rightly to a large degree, is that we take advantage of English and do PR and self-promotion better, whether that's in going for job interviews, delivering sales pitches, or winning friends and influencing people generally, and Asians now need to start asserting themselves. But there's no history of this sort of self-promotional, brash comms in Asia as we understand it, so it's just coming off as juvenile aggression.

The hierarchical and deferential communication of many Asian societies is unfit for a world where the other party just doesn't care as much about age, gender role, bloodline, hometown, family face or university, and these can't be used to deny them a job or their child entrance to a good school, or to punish an uncle. So, this in-group hierarchical communication style is at sea and ends up feeling offended every second sentence.

Add that to the fact that yes, working in a second (or third or more) language is absolutely disempowering because you just can't say what you mean exactly, or pick up nuances, or wield language artfully, which is incredibly frustrating. To make it worse, the other party might have a harsh Liverpudlian accent, cluelessly use local sayings or complex words, or purposely do so just to be an ass.

This causes even more resentment in individuals who are also subject to racist or imperialist Western comms in business, social media, study abroad, travel, etc. (It happens *regularly* in business; I used to audit Western Comms for Korean companies to make sure they understood tone and meaning for negotiations, dispute resolution, etc. It wasn't pretty because the arrogant Western counterparts didn't realise they were being monitored and let out the ugliness for all to see).

Add that to a percentage of people who are just angry about stuff and need a scapegoat ("Westerners!"), and you have a lot of resentment just waiting to find outlet, and to be given the green light to break custom and face ("well, if this is the game they're playing, let's give it back...").

Clearly, Xi made an enormous tactical error responding to Trump with tit-for-tat aggression. I can see how they got it wrong ("Trump was elected by them, that's what they're really like, the internet is full of this, their media is full of this..."), but they misjudged the fact that Trump was a one-off crazy and social media lowlifes are considered trashy unemployable scumbags, so all they were doing was following pigs into the mud.

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David Libra

Speak about destruction


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:06 pm
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These are interesting insights, PTID, thanks. Ultimately, though, I do wonder how much a lot of this matters – the Government account Twitter sabre-rattling on both sides may get the partisans at home excited, but I get the feeling that high-level international diplomacy has always been able to fairly easily sort bark from bite. By the same token, that mutual wariness presumably doesn't go away if the tone is more formal/polite.
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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


Joined: 03 May 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 04, 2021 8:25 pm
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One of your more coherent posts Ptiddy, but IMHO you have it wrong.

You've conflated the experience of the average asian in western society with the agenda of the CCP. The two are unrelated.

The CCP doesn't act without thought. They've gone from from passive/assertive diplomatically to aggressive, that's a deliberate tactic. It's also a great way of feeling out who is going to be a potential problem and who isn't with your ultimate agenda.

Publicly punish Australia for perceived slights, see who protests and who doesn't. Dialling things back is easy when you have that kind of purchasing power, it's the equivalent of WW1 tactic of sending in a small expendable incursion of troops to test defences.

The CCP is playing the long game, China always has, it's their nature.

They're also playing the propaganda game aimed largely at their own subjects who are increasingly mobile and all round the world. Positive propaganda about Chinese superiority to harness nationalistic leanings combined with harsh behind the door reprisals for any who offend.

The CCP will dial back the aggression when and if it suits them. Think of them in terms of a corporate with a vision and mission statement.

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pietillidie 



Joined: 07 Jan 2005


PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:23 am
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David wrote:
These are interesting insights, PTID, thanks. Ultimately, though, I do wonder how much a lot of this matters – the Government account Twitter sabre-rattling on both sides may get the partisans at home excited, but I get the feeling that high-level international diplomacy has always been able to fairly easily sort bark from bite. By the same token, that mutual wariness presumably doesn't go away if the tone is more formal/polite.

Well, it matters precisely because of the nationalist populism involved. Once Xi unleashed that aggressive, confrontational can of worms he trapped himself into needing to constantly deliver on it to feed nationalist fervour. But it has backfired because while good for the crazies at home, it's absolutely terrible international PR. The part I think you underestimate by reducing it to diplomatic discussions over tea is that populist forces need to be sated everywhere, and that means winning hearts and minds of the citizens whose diplomats are working the angles. If the average EU or British or Australian citizen hates them, that pressures politicians who in turn pressure diplomats. And he's failing very miserably at doing that, which is a good thing: macho thug misreads tea leaves.

I was simply explaining why I think he got it wrong based on my experience and ongoing reading of Asian culture.

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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 12:57 am
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stui magpie wrote:
One of your more coherent posts Ptiddy, but IMHO you have it wrong.

You've conflated the experience of the average asian in western society with the agenda of the CCP. The two are unrelated.

The CCP doesn't act without thought. They've gone from from passive/assertive diplomatically to aggressive, that's a deliberate tactic. It's also a great way of feeling out who is going to be a potential problem and who isn't with your ultimate agenda.

Publicly punish Australia for perceived slights, see who protests and who doesn't. Dialling things back is easy when you have that kind of purchasing power, it's the equivalent of WW1 tactic of sending in a small expendable incursion of troops to test defences.

The CCP is playing the long game, China always has, it's their nature.

They're also playing the propaganda game aimed largely at their own subjects who are increasingly mobile and all round the world. Positive propaganda about Chinese superiority to harness nationalistic leanings combined with harsh behind the door reprisals for any who offend.

The CCP will dial back the aggression when and if it suits them. Think of them in terms of a corporate with a vision and mission statement.

Have you been watching Monkey again? The CCP are far less mythical council of all-wise darkness and far more a bunch of drunk womanising bozos sapping the life out of genuinely talented people to maintain petty regional fiefdoms. There is no 'nature' or way or mystique about them.

Xi is a narcissistic conservative thug in the Netanyahu mould and part of a nationalistic hard-line faction of the CCP, itself a bunch of grifting bozos. Meanwhile, most Chinese folk are just trying to form a workable identity somewhere between the cringe of shame as the world's washing lady and the delusion of imperial domination.

This is a major difference in perspectives. You and I are looking at very different things when we see China. I've had a very close look at the Asian elite from China and Southeast Asia (where Korean firms do most of their manufacturing), both through formal business comms and dinners and drinking nights. I'm telling you, there's nothing surprising to see: no great a store of wisdom, no less nonsense, probably even more clueless and cringeworthy theories about the world, more managerial irrationality, the embarrassing farce of strict hierarchy and nepotism, and on. Think of any clueless government department and ministry you've ever known, or any incompetent manager who gets moved sideways for wrecking the joint, and that's a lot of what you're going to find.

The CCP will be no different. The party will be rife with clueless, ill-equipped fools, like all fawning elites, who know nothing about the wider world but are connected by birth or have leverage over someone somewhere. Then there are the ones who spent five minutes getting an MBA in the US and think they have Western culture sussed. Even more clueless. There's just nothing special to see here.

The Korean dictators were complete clowns, as was Pinochet and the Soviets, surrounded by bumbling dimwits in a farcical organisational culture. This doesn't mean they were harmless — far from it — but that they were nothing close to masterminds and always close to falling apart. The oppression could still go on for decades, but more likely the ruling faction becomes a parody of itself and the subject of eyerolls all round.

The Berlin wall fell after the gap between reality and pretence became unsustainable and indeed pointless. People eventually tire of being part of a giant cabal of losers and laughing stocks. The feeling of isolation, deprivation and cringe becomes the real weapon here. And the tighter they try to control the information or use counter-propaganda, the more farcical they get.

Case in point: Xi's public shift via official announcement was hilarious. "We are announcing we got our PR wrong and we are now officially nice again". It's deserving of meme after meme of mockery, not suspicions of imaginary Confucian 5D chess. All-powerful and all-wise my arse. More like a competitor in another faction pointed out the hash Xi has made of China's international PR, having reduced it to infantile Trump insults. Xi's response? The worst cringe in international PR history since Trump himself.

Don't fall for the all-wise Confucian council and leader schtick. Go ask anyone who's spent time with the powerful and their minions across developing Asia. It's a right clown show; you wonder how anything gets done in the end. (It gets done by people studying and working day and night despite the clueless fools in charge.).

This makes dealing with our own losers and laughing stocks a matter of priority, because you can't point the way forward if your own system is a bloody clown show. Honestly, Captain Hillsong as PM and Dumbo Dutton as Minister of Defence? Is that a joke? Boris Johnson. Brexit. Donald Trump. Backward America. No wonder the CCP fancies itself.

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Last edited by pietillidie on Sat Jun 05, 2021 10:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 05, 2021 9:30 pm
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pietillidie wrote:
roar wrote:
pietillidie wrote:
All quiet on the Wuhan conspiracy front, which is surprising given it's airplay over the last few days. My guess is that people know it's too easily spun into the wrong conspiracy.


Wuhan conspiracy is alive and well no matter how certain bodies try and deflect away from the issue.

Which Wuhan conspiracy? The American, Bill Gates or Chinese one?

Well, who'd have guessed? The latest flurry of coverage gained a few clicks, excited a few loons and added absolutely zero scientific evidence.

This piece will walk you through the main evidence as it stands. As the quote below shows, it comes to much the same conclusion I came to above. You can't will solid evidence into existence. It might come — I obviously accept less likely and even unlikely stuff happens — but that's a not a basis for making sound decisions given what is known at any one time. Hoping reality miraculously ends up aligning with the itch in your underpants for resurrecting Donald Trump's political career will forever lead you into a ditch with the cult leader himself.

Quote:
If we are to take an alternative seriously, it cannot just consist of circumstantial evidence with enormous gaps separating the steps; you would need concrete evidence. Unless that evidence arrives, the “lab leak hypothesis” will remain a conspiracy theory, while the zoonotic origin hypothesis remains overwhelmingly supported by the evidence at hand.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2021/06/03/the-wuhan-lab-leak-hypothesis-is-a-conspiracy-theory-not-science/

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stui magpie Gemini

Oh, the Premiership's a cakewalk


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 1:30 pm
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Quote:
"Intimidation and humiliation: China has suffered such intimidation for over 170 years. It will never happen again."

With those words China's Deputy Ambassador to Australia Wang Xining, in an interview with the ABC this week, reminded us of arguably the single most important thing we need to understand about China.

China's return to global power – and in China it is seen as a return, not rise — is about history: remembering history, avenging history and creating history.

Modern China is forged in the "hundred years of humiliation": the national narrative that makes a virtue of suffering; that refuses to forget what China sees as the domination and exploitation by foreign powers.

It is a paradox: a country that wants to remind the world of its greatness yet also clinging to an identity of victimhood.



Really good article from Stan Grant.

Stan interviewed Deputy Ambassador Wang Xining on his ABC program.

Quote:
Our interview came after the summit between Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers, Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern, who presented a united voice on China.

They raised questions about economic intimidation; human rights, and China's claims on and militarisation of the disputed islands of the South China Sea.

To China's ears, two sovereign countries expressing their concerns and emphasising their values and interests, sounds like humiliation again.

Wang called the Morrison-Ardern statement "regrettable". That is entirely predictable.

China has a siege mentality and an underlying fragility. It sees every criticism from outside as an attack and has shown it will retaliate.


Yep, either suck up or get smacked. And it is deliberate.

Quote:
Everything China does is with an eye to history. Xi Jinping has a long view.


https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-06/china-rule-the-world-wang-xining-global-order/100190208

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pietillidie 



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:55 pm
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^That's a good piece and I think it's a good lens for looking at nations and nationalism, not just China. Most of the people who wave the flag aggressively are doing so to convince their fragile selves. Canadians, not so much.

South Korea has a very similar fragile bipolarity, but is incentivised to keep the shame-driven anger in check internationally because its neighbours are Russia, China, Japan and North Korea. Instead, the wrath gets turned on domestic minorities and random sods on the internet, with daily mob beat downs and doxxings set for 4pm sharp.

To extend the metaphor, multipolarity is the solution to bipolarity, both in terms of global power and for individuals. Globally, this is why the EU is so important as the third stable bloc and power centre. Domestically, this is why South Korea needs more avenues for personal fulfilment and expression, something that is happening with younger generations, but needs to be enshrined in 'get out of my face and let me enjoy my life as I choose' laws at some point.

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