These are interesting times in which we live. China like Islam has grown in favor with the majority of people in spite of the evil they produce. As for China recently I came across a pdf https://www.uscc.gov/sites/default/files/Research/China’s%20Overseas%20United%20Front%20Work%20-%20Background%20and%20Implications%20for%20US_final_0.pdf entitled ‘U.S. – China Economic and Security Review Commission Staff Research Report’ written August 24, 2018. Also on the front page of the document it said ‘China’s Overseas United Front Work Background and Implications for the United States’.
Further down on the front page was a ‘Disclaimer: This paper is the product of professional research performed by staff of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, and was prepared at the request of the Commission to support its deliberations. Posting of the report to the Commission’s website is intended to promote greater public understanding of the issues addressed by the Commission in its ongoing assessment of U.S.-China economic relations and their implications for U.S. security, as mandated by Public Law 106-398 and Public Law 113-291. However, the public release of this document does not necessarily imply an endorsement by the Commission, any individual Commissioner, or the Commission’s other professional staff, of the views or conclusions expressed in this staff research report.’
On page 3 the documents explains that ‘China uses what it calls “United Front” work to co-opt and neutralize sources of potential opposition to the policies and authority of its ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP).’ THAT’S A VERY IMPORTANT STATEMENT!
Living in Australia curiosity got the best of me and I had to see what this document had to say about Australia and China’s relationship. I found that the word ‘Australia’ appears 71 times, Australian 52 times and Australians 14 times. Let’s consider what this paper has to say on Australia.
The first time Australia is mentioned is on the Table of Contents Page where is says ‘Political Interference in Australia and New Zealand.’ The second is on Page 3 saying ‘The CCP continues to lay the groundwork in the United States for United Front operations that could be similar to those that have achieved success in some U.S.-allied countries (e.g., Australia and New Zealand, where the CCP has effectively monopolized Chinese-language media outlets and taken over Chinese community organizations).’
Page 7 of the document says ‘Chinese intelligence services have been known to coerce overseas Chinese to function as operatives targeting other overseas Chinese in both the United States and other countries, indicating that these agencies actively participate in overseas Chinese work that seeks to hide official connections. In January 2018, Chen Yonglin, a former Chinese diplomat who defected to Australia in 2005, told Radio Free Asia (RFA) that the Chinese government uses both threats and rewards to incentivize Chinese students abroad to act as CCP informants.’
On Page 15 it says ‘As concerns over China’s overseas United Front activities have grown, reporting and analysis have brought to light a few examples of Chinese influence campaigns notable for their characteristic United Front tactics and clear intent to influence policy toward China in the United States and other countries. These cases include United Front influence on academic and policy discourse in the United States, political interference in Australia and New Zealand, and political warfare in Taiwan, which are discussed further in this section.’
What we read on Page 16 is scary but not surprising that ‘Australia and New Zealand have received a great deal of political donations and media investment from United Front affiliates since the mid-2000s and have even seen United Front and PLA affiliates hold political office, raising deep concerns over the CCP’s exercise of undue influence on Australia and New Zealand’s policies toward China.141 China’s United Front work has targeted a range of Australian and New Zealand organizations and actors and achieved significant success exerting political influence, controlling important media outlets, and subverting narratives China believes to be unfavorable to its interests.
Political Influence: According to Clive Hamilton—a professor of public ethics at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia whose book on CCP influence in Australia was initially canceled by three separate publishers due to fears of potential lawsuits from Beijing—United Front organizations groom members to participate in politics in target countries, both as candidates for election and as staff in important positions.142 The Australian Security Intelligence Organization has reportedly estimated at least ten recent Australian state and local government political candidates are connected to Chinese intelligence agencies.143 United Front activities in Australia have involved political donations, influence operations targeting high-ranking politicians, and harassment of members of the Chinese-Australian community. Huang Xiangmo, a China-born permanent Australian resident and real estate magnate who was president of the Australian chapter of the UFWDsubordinate organization CPPRC from 2014 to 2017, has been a key figure in these events due to his significant donations to Australian political parties.144 An Australian senator, Sam Dastyari, who had argued in favor of China’s position on territorial disputes in the South China Sea while standing byMr. Huang’s side, announced in late 2017 he would resign from Parliament after it was revealed he had warned Mr. Huang that the latter was likely being surveilled by Australian intelligence agencies.145 Senator Dastyari had previously faced criticism for allowing a bill incurred by his office to be paid by Mr. Huang’s company.’
On Page 17 we read of a Chinese student ‘while attending Australia National University in the 1990s, Mr. Yang was the president of the CSSA there, long before he moved to New Zealand, naturalized, and entered politics.’ Continued on Page 17 is ‘Controlling the Media: Dr. Chau Chak Wing, a China-born Australian citizen, business magnate, and member of the CPPCC,* has also been prominent in United Front operations in Australia, both via donations and by seeking to exert control over Australia’s formerly vibrant Chinese-language media landscape.153 According to an editor at a pro-Beijing publication in Australia cited by the Sydney Morning Herald, “Nearly 95 percent of the Australian Chinese newspapers have been brought in by the Chinese government to some degree.”154 Australian National University professor Bates Gill and independent researcher Linda Jakobson cited the Australian New Express Daily as a particularly striking example of Chinese government influence, which Mr. Chau praised for “never hav[ing] any negative reporting [about China].”† 155 According to John Garnaut, Dr. Chau “made himself known as the point man for organizing the Chinese diaspora in Australia” using his “Beijing-friendly Chinese media empire.”
Subverting Unfavorable Narratives: United Font work in Australia aimed at both Chinese and non-Chinese communities has attempted to “influence the choices, direction, and loyalties of its targets by overcoming negative perceptions of CCP rule in China and promoting favorable perceptions,” according to Professor Hamilton and Mr. Joske.157 They argue that in the 2000s, “trusted individuals sympathetic to the CCP, encouraged by the [Chinese Embassy in] Canberra … and [Chinese] consulates, took over most of the established Chinese community and professional associations in Australia.”158 They argued further that CCP officials “typically aim to guide … rather than directly control” these organizations.159 CSSAs have been very active in Australia, as well;‡ according to Mr. Joske, CSSA executives in Australia are “prolific in their output” of pro-CCP statements, and each year they travel to Canberra at the Chinese Embassy’s cost “to discuss the latest party doctrines and collaboration with the embassy.”160 In 2013, then Chinese Ambassador to Australia Ma Zhaoxu, in an act emphasizing the close connection, personally presented awards to CSSA members in recognition for being “outstanding cadres,” with the implication being that the recipients were essentially CCP officials.’
If we believe China hasn’t got its sights on a takeover we are blind! A footnote on Page 17 tells us that ‘In 2014, People’s Daily reported China had become the top country of origin for international students in Australia and praised these students for being “determined to work hard to realize the great China Dream.” As of July 2017, students from China comprised approximately 29 percent of Australia’s 564,869 international students. Australian Department of Education and Training, International Student Data Monthly Summary, July 2017.’
Page 18 tells us that ‘According to Mr. Joske, CSSAs do not fairly represent either Chinese students in Australia or the interests of the Chinese diaspora in the country; in addition, Chinese-Australians have been instrumental in exposing the CCP’s covert influence operations. Importantly, the investigative journalism at the center of the ongoing debate in Australia over CCP influence has made specific claims about a few individuals that have engaged in questionable behavior rather than broad assertions about Chinese-Australians in general. However, CSSAs and other CCP-backed groups have demonstrably carried out United Front activities in Australia. Mr. Joske argues the CCP exploits Chinese students to expand its influence and has fostered the idea among Chinese-Australians that the liberal West and supporters of freedom are China’s enemies.’
A footnote on page 18 states ‘In March 2018, scholars of China and of the Chinese diaspora published an open letter expressing concern that the debate in Australia surrounding “Chinese influence” risked threatening intellectual freedom and civil liberties. Days later, a second group of scholars signed an open letter arguing that an open debate on CCP influence operations in Australia is “essential to intellectual freedom, democratic rights, and national security”; both letters agreed authorities should take action to counter unacceptable forms of influence when evidence of it exists. Open Letter Respondents, “China’s Influence in Australia: Maintaining the Debate,” Policy Forum, March 27, 2018.’
On Page 19 I was surprised that the then Prime Minister Climate Scammer Turnbull had anything to say critical of the CCP but ‘Prime Minister Turnbull argued further that refusing to seriously address the question of political interference by the CCP is also not helpful, and he warned the CCP that Australia is open and optimistic, but not naïve.’ On the same page it says ‘Australia and New Zealand are useful case studies in how these kinds of networks function in advanced stages, and they serve as warnings to other democracies that may be targeted in the future.’
Page 20 tells the reader that ‘Both Taiwan and Australia, which have long been testing grounds for United Front tactics and are intimately familiar with these operations, can play an important role in coordinating international best practices for responding to the CCP’s subversion of democracy abroad.’
This is frightening how much influence China has on Australia in the media, political and educational fields. It will be interesting to see what 2021 brings Australia as China flexes its muscle even more if President Trump is deposed.