Interesting stuff

Blowin's picture
Blowin started the topic in Friday, 21 Jun 2019 at 8:01am

Have it cunts

gsco's picture
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gsco Monday, 10 Jan 2022 at 9:38pm

fair enough etarip.

But I think it's very hard to get a balanced perspective on China by reading, watching and conversing only in the English language with other westerners. You'll only ever be looking at it from the western perspective, belief system, bias, worldview, echo chamber and interpretation of history.

For example, I noticed it mentioned above a number of times that the west has tried to bend over backwards to incorporate China into the global system and institutions. But do you realise that those institutions were established by the west to suit and benefit the west? China had nothing to do with their establishment and structure. So the west is really trying to "bend over backwards" and bring China into a biased and rigged western system that is intentionally designed to suit and benefit the west. China is never going to play that game ever again after its lessons from history. Same with Russia.

Lowy Institute definitely has some highly educated and intelligent people commentating on China, but always remember they also have their own bias, agenda and echo chamber. There's a reason for what they publish, and it's not out of benevolence for the good of humanity. It's to frame things in a particular way.

I personally don't recommend following any of the western media commentary on China.

One thing I found useful over the years is to actually talk to Chinese people. Due to always having one foot in the door in academia over the past 15 or so years as an economics and mathematics lecturer, I was always very open to befriending Chinese international students. Once they got to trust me, which often took some time and effort, I was able to ask - well probe them quite deeply - and talk to them about their and the general Chinese perspective on all kinds of issues. Um...err...my experience is most know far more about Chinese society, history, culture and foreign policy than anyone at the Lowy Institute or any sinologist...

To be honest, in order to kind of round or balance out the western perspective, I'd recommend trying to take an open-minded perspective and putting one's western worldview aside for a minute and take regular notice of Chinese government news websites like say Xinhua or China Daily. One thing I find interesting is their media is not hyper out of control chaotic warfare like ours - it's very sane and balanced.

Of course you could also read full blown university style textbooks and monographs on Chinese history, religion, politics and civilisation etc that are written by Chinese authors and have been translated into English with the intention of presenting things from the Chinese perspective (as apposed to reading from the western perspective).

(btw c'mon etarip go easy on BB, he seems to have had a rough trot lately...)

Actually on that, one final thing I wanted to comment on is China lifting people out of poverty. This idea really intrigued me, and I was determined to find out if it was true. I spent months travelling the Chinese countryside and rural areas of China learning about how Xi claims to have lifted the population out of poverty. It's roughly actually true, and it's not due to adopting elements of western style capitalism. Did you know that the Chinese government literally lifted huge chunks of the very poor, rural population off their lands, often by paying large sums of money to the owners, and put them in brand new units and apartments in towns and cities that were built specifically for this purpose? Then the Chinese government pays them a basic subsistence in order to live, and they don't actually have to work. Usually the rural lands are converted to tourism or large scale agriculture, and then the people who were lifted from these lands are given the opportunity of employment in the resulting use of the land. This has been done on a massive scale across the country. It is quite a sight to witness.

(And actually it was the west that lent a major hand in putting the Chinese population into poverty in the first place...)

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evosurfer Monday, 10 Jan 2022 at 9:42pm

Im simply disgusted and appalled that people who I presumed are Australian citizens
are here defending China after what its done to the world, peoples lives, businesses,
livelihood, sanity, freedom and more. I don't care about their own people its up to
them to take care of that. Then you got China intimidating countries and so on.
You clowns have a good look at yourselves the way of life and freedom you have
you all seriously need a smack in the mouth and shipped to your beloved Chinese
suppressed dictated life. Absolute arseholes you don't deserve to live in Australia.

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etarip Monday, 10 Jan 2022 at 10:07pm

Hey gsco, I’ve said a few times that I genuinely appreciate your perspectives on here. I also respect your approach to discourse. So really happy to keep it going - I’m learning!

There’s a real trap in ascribing bias and malign motivation to Western institutions as much as there is to doing the same for Chinese ones. There is a difference though. With regards to Lowy, I can go online and read their charter, understand their funding model, research their contributors, and know that it is a not-for-profit, non-aligned institution. Do I have the same surety and confidence in Chinese government websites? No. But I’ll look at them. I’ll ask you though, what’s my Chinese counterpart’s, surfing Chinese swellnet, access to resources like Lowy? I reckon absolutely zero.

The other trap is viewing the world as binary - western and the other. It’s simply not representative of how the world operates. There’s so many multilateral institutions from the UN down that simply can’t be dominated by a single country. To assume that the ‘West’ is aligned or synchronized in suppressing China is quite fanciful - look at the EU as a prime example. It doesn’t just play to the US tune on other issues like Iran, so why would it on China? It’s like this self-perpetuating confirmation bias for China doves that they can step no foot wrong in the international arena because the whole system is set up for them to fail - when it’s quite the opposite. The false West / China dichotomy that you present also fails to even consider the perspectives of India, African nations, SE Asia, North Asia… all of whom have their own unique (and often testy) relationships with China.

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bonza Monday, 10 Jan 2022 at 10:22pm

The CCP are bullies. Whether one reads or parrots the accusations of CCP corruption and interference documented via Murdoch news is irrelevant. Prove it wrong or you can make excuses for it.

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etarip Monday, 10 Jan 2022 at 10:25pm

Gsco: Most people don’t have the access and opportunity that you’ve had to deal directly with what’s obviously a pretty educated and worldly group of Chinese.
So, people can only deal with what they see happening in the world. Yes, that’s presented through a Western lens, but it’s fanciful to suggest that there’s any other way to ingest this information. You can’t write off someone’s view as being wrong because they’ve sought out knowledge in their own language.
I haven’t personally had a lot to do with Chinese people, outside of Aussies with Chinese backgrounds. Two of my closest school friends had ethnic Chinese backgrounds - Hong Kong and Malaysian Chinese. But they were quite different to each other. More recently, I was fortunate enough to have a classmate from one of my post-grad degrees who is a serving Lieutenant Colonel in the PLA, studying in Australia. He’s a nice enough guy. He asked me to explain ANZAC Day to him, which was hard enough because tbh I don’t even know what it means…
I watched him duke it out with a couple of the lecturers on China issues, in animated Mandarin and broken English. It was apparent though, that he had very little capacity, more likely mandate, for thought outside of a narrow set of speaking points. What was interesting for me was seeing that it was the Asian and Indian students who were most pointed in their criticism of China to him. The Aussies were almost too reserved. He genuinely could not see why a. Anyone questioned the PRC claims in the South China Sea, b. Anyone questioned China’s right to take Taiwan by force, and c. Why Australia even cared about any of this… (Big country small country and all that jazz…)

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boater Monday, 10 Jan 2022 at 10:30pm

gcso if you really want to talk about references / credibility …

Sinocism / Bill Bishop is the China Watcher’s China Watcher. I cited John Garnaut because he has probably had the biggest influence on modern Australian China policy.

I cited Channel 9 because that was who the Chinese consulate passed the list of 14 demands to.

I cited the Lowy Inst because it summarises the full paper here – on SSRN which not many SN readers prob sign up to. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3945451

I cited the Conversation because most SN reader prob don’t subscribe to AJARE. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1467-8489.12422

That is, I cited references to suit the forum – I’m not the sort of researcher that deliberately obfuscates.
The account I wrote is well grounded and documented. If you’re looking for a “new” angle try what you call “sane and balanced” Chinese media like the Global Times.
https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202105/1222899.shtml

I could rave on about an academic topic on this forum, for example a piece we’re writing on China’s dual circulation policy 双循环体系. Here are some refs – but doubt many SN readers read Chinese.
Xi, J.P (2020) Several Major Issues in the Country’s Medium- and Long-Term Economic and Social Development Strategy’”, Qiushi, 31-Oct-2020. 习近平, 国家中长期经济社会发展战略若干重大问题, 求实http://www.qstheory.cn/dukan/qs/2020-10/31/c_1126680390.htm

If you’re questioning my Sinology I propose:
a) we define a Sinologist by qualifications, Chinese reading or speaking level, time spent in China, fieldwork, travel in China, books and publications in international Chinese studies journals, collaborations and projects in China, number of banquets/karaoke sessions, policy impact, anything else?
b) Then you, blindboy and whoever else enter into a bet that I meet the criteria – say $100,000 each.
c) Then I’ll PM my staff profile and CV – to blindboy because I know he’s legit.
d) And then compare to your China credentials.
e) Bet?

You’ll have to excuse me for not posting my name here publicly because as you know there are risks in criticising China. I have a career, friends and colleagues in China, and I travel. Which underscores everything I’m saying about the Chinese regime.

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boater Monday, 10 Jan 2022 at 10:34pm

Blindboy.
1. Think about it – if China claims to have lifted 800m out of poverty, then obviously this many were in poverty. Due to, you know, a stagnant Qing Dynasty, missing the boat on the industrial and scientific revolutions, a disastrous Central Planning era, and biases in the early reform era.
2. For inequality, I was working off a 2018 IMF report https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WP/Issues/2018/06/05/Inequality-in-C.... But yes appears Gini coefficient seems to have decreased over the COVID years. But the (urban-rural) inequalities are deep, China has no redistributive income tax system, so has to resort to edicts like common prosperity. The point is if you think China is a communist model …..
3. As outlined, the point of coercion is to change policy – as it has successfully done with the Philippines, Norway, Sth Korea (and now working on Canada, Aust, Lithuania). China smashed trade on our biggest export items – and then the CN consulate handed over a list of grievances to “fix” relations. If you don’t think that’s coercion then … I this would be completely contrary to accepted wisdom and you’d need a good reason for it.
4. So let me ask again …. What set of grievances do you think Australia should back down on to placate China?
5. Australian has never even considered export sanctions for iron ore etc. or whatever you’re talking about.

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gsco Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 8:57am

etarip they're really cool responses. I recall you commenting when the China discussion previously heated up in here a few times but I didn't respond, my apologies. I'm enjoying the conversation and your own original thoughts and opinions.

etarip wrote:

There’s a real trap in ascribing bias and malign motivation to Western institutions as much as there is to doing the same for Chinese ones. There is a difference though. With regards to Lowy, I can go online and read their charter, understand their funding model, research their contributors, and know that it is a not-for-profit, non-aligned institution. Do I have the same surety and confidence in Chinese government websites? No. But I’ll look at them. I’ll ask you though, what’s my Chinese counterpart’s, surfing Chinese swellnet, access to resources like Lowy? I reckon absolutely zero.

True on the first sentence.

Do you have the same surety? I'd say things are more sure from Chinese govt websites in the sense that it's material published by the Chinese government itself! So you know exactly where it's coming from and its agenda, neutrality and bias..! I find it to be an interesting perspective on how the Chinese government wants the world to perceive things. It's an insight into the mind of the Chinese government, not a gospel of fact or truth.

If you want to get some real insight into the inner workings of the Chinese government, you could get it pretty well straight from the horse's mouth at the National People's Congress, the "highest organ of state power and the national legislature (parliament) of the People's Republic of China" (wiki). And the website of the CPC Central Bimonthly journal that boater provided is also very useful.

Regarding Chinese access to the outside online world, it's basically a myth that there is some kind of "great online wall" and that they can't access the outside world. You can just download VPNs enabling complete and unrestricted access to the internet. Some friends (US, UK, Can and Chinese) are primary and high school teachers in China, and they and the students all have unrestricted access to the whole internet while on campus...

etarip wrote:

The other trap is viewing the world as binary - western and the other. It’s simply not representative of how the world operates. There’s so many multilateral institutions from the UN down that simply can’t be dominated by a single country. To assume that the ‘West’ is aligned or synchronized in suppressing China is quite fanciful - look at the EU as a prime example. It doesn’t just play to the US tune on other issues like Iran, so why would it on China? It’s like this self-perpetuating confirmation bias for China doves that they can step no foot wrong in the international arena because the whole system is set up for them to fail - when it’s quite the opposite. The false West / China dichotomy that you present also fails to even consider the perspectives of India, African nations, SE Asia, North Asia… all of whom have their own unique (and often testy) relationships with China.

You're exactly right about the binary viewpoint, and I've reread over some of my previous stuff in here going back a yr or so and cringed a bit about exactly that!

But make no mistake, the current global political, economic, financial and legal etc institutions and system was architected by the US after it rose to hegemony and dominance out of the ruins of world war II. It doesn't necessarily suite the Chinese case and China is very cautious and selective about how it engages, much to the anger and disgust of the US which just wants every country to engage with the US on the US's terms in order to exploit and make as much money out of those countries as the US can...

etarip wrote:

Most people don’t have the access and opportunity that you’ve had to deal directly with what’s obviously a pretty educated and worldly group of Chinese.
So, people can only deal with what they see happening in the world. Yes, that’s presented through a Western lens, but it’s fanciful to suggest that there’s any other way to ingest this information. You can’t write off someone’s view as being wrong because they’ve sought out knowledge in their own language.

Of course that's correct, impossible to argue otherwise. I was lucky in that regard.

etarip wrote:

I watched him duke it out with a couple of the lecturers on China issues, in animated Mandarin and broken English. It was apparent though, that he had very little capacity, more likely mandate, for thought outside of a narrow set of speaking points. What was interesting for me was seeing that it was the Asian and Indian students who were most pointed in their criticism of China to him. The Aussies were almost too reserved. He genuinely could not see why a. Anyone questioned the PRC claims in the South China Sea, b. Anyone questioned China’s right to take Taiwan by force, and c. Why Australia even cared about any of this…

Yes exactly! And I really like what you mentioned here. Most Chinese equally have ZERO capacity to see a different perspective and side to the story as we do!

One thing I'd mention is boater claimed that he didn't want to publish his identity for fear of repercussion from saying negative things about China. That's not really entirely accurate. I've been pinned down in very animated and heated debates about China, in China, in which I took very careful note of the fire exits out of the unit block or restaurant and very careful note of the next flight out of the country, and after which I nailed timber across every door and window of the unit I lived in! In that regard, you just can't do and say what our media does: spam completely provocative, negative, inflammatory, abusive, baseless, wild lies and accusations about China and the CPC.

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blindboy Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 9:18am

1. "if China claims to have lifted 800m out of poverty, then obviously this many were in poverty. Due to, you know, a stagnant Qing Dynasty, missing the boat on the industrial and scientific revolutions, "

The population of China in 1900 was only 400 million, so your point makes no sense. If we wanted a more realistic starting point for the progressive policies that improved standards of living it would be the deah of Mao, by which time the population was approaching 1 billion.

2. "But yes appears Gini coefficient seems to have decreased over the COVID years."

The drop in the gini coefficient has coincided almost precisely with Xi's time in power.

3. "As outlined, the point of coercion is to change policy..."

My point has never been that China should be trusted. It is that Australia should act in its own interests. I think there are several items on that list, including the call for an inquiry on the origins of the coronavirus and the provocative comments on the South China Sea, which were clearly not in our interests and, I still maintain, were primarily for domestic purposes.

4. "What set of grievances do you think Australia should back down on to placate China?"

This is a pretty silly question. It is not a matter of backing down from an existing position it is about formulating policy based on rational analysis of Australia's interests rather than those of the government or the USA.

5. "Australian has never even considered export sanctions for iron ore etc"

Which is my point exactly. Why haven't we? Because it would have real economic and political consequences.

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indo-dreaming Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 10:42am

You are so wrong Blind boy its in Australia's interest and everyone's interest to know the origins of Covid.

Its also clearly in Australia's interest to cool off the relationship with China a little, sending out the message to the public and business that the China-Australia relationship can't be relied on to be stable moving forward, the message was to diversify.

That can't happen overnight

It was perfect opportunity to send this message, to not send this message and keep on relying on China for so much trade is crazy.

And China should also know how us and other countries feel about the South China Sea.

It was actually very very good leadership.

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boater Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 10:56am

Re above Indo-dreaming 100% agree

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boater Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 11:03am
gsco wrote:

fair enough etarip.

But I think it's very hard to get a balanced perspective on China by reading, watching and conversing only in the English language with other westerners. You'll only ever be looking at it from the western perspective, belief system, bias, worldview, echo chamber and interpretation of history.

For example, I noticed it mentioned above a number of times that the west has tried to bend over backwards to incorporate China into the global system and institutions. But do you realise that those institutions were established by the west to suit and benefit the west? China had nothing to do with their establishment and structure. So the west is really trying to "bend over backwards" and bring China into a biased and rigged western system that is intentionally designed to suit and benefit the west. China is never going to play that game ever again after its lessons from history. Same with Russia.

Lowy Institute definitely has some highly educated and intelligent people commentating on China, but always remember they also have their own bias, agenda and echo chamber. There's a reason for what they publish, and it's not out of benevolence for the good of humanity. It's to frame things in a particular way.

I personally don't recommend following any of the western media commentary on China.

One thing I found useful over the years is to actually talk to Chinese people. Due to always having one foot in the door in academia over the past 15 or so years as an economics and mathematics lecturer, I was always very open to befriending Chinese international students. Once they got to trust me, which often took some time and effort, I was able to ask - well probe them quite deeply - and talk to them about their and the general Chinese perspective on all kinds of issues. Um...err...my experience is most know far more about Chinese society, history, culture and foreign policy than anyone at the Lowy Institute or any sinologist...

To be honest, in order to kind of round or balance out the western perspective, I'd recommend trying to take an open-minded perspective and putting one's western worldview aside for a minute and take regular notice of Chinese government news websites like say Xinhua or China Daily. One thing I find interesting is their media is not hyper out of control chaotic warfare like ours - it's very sane and balanced.

Of course you could also read full blown university style textbooks and monographs on Chinese history, religion, politics and civilisation etc that are written by Chinese authors and have been translated into English with the intention of presenting things from the Chinese perspective (as apposed to reading from the western perspective).

(btw c'mon etarip go easy on BB, he seems to have had a rough trot lately...)

Actually on that, one final thing I wanted to comment on is China lifting people out of poverty. This idea really intrigued me, and I was determined to find out if it was true. I spent months travelling the Chinese countryside and rural areas of China learning about how Xi claims to have lifted the population out of poverty. It's roughly actually true, and it's not due to adopting elements of western style capitalism. Did you know that the Chinese government literally lifted huge chunks of the very poor, rural population off their lands, often by paying large sums of money to the owners, and put them in brand new units and apartments in towns and cities that were built specifically for this purpose? Then the Chinese government pays them a basic subsistence in order to live, and they don't actually have to work. Usually the rural lands are converted to tourism or large scale agriculture, and then the people who were lifted from these lands are given the opportunity of employment in the resulting use of the land. This has been done on a massive scale across the country. It is quite a sight to witness.

(And actually it was the west that lent a major hand in putting the Chinese population into poverty in the first place...)

Cgso ……
I know what you’re talking about with Chinese students … good insights from smart kids that of course know China. But having taught and supervised many, there are invariably problems in critical thinking - partly because they’re worried their Chinese classmates are going to report them back home, and partly b/c of the Chinese education system. In this regard, incomparable to the calibre of analysts at Lowy that etarip linked to. Although think tanks are under pressure to simplify things for the public and policy-makers.

It’s a bit similar to the state media you cite (China Daily and Xinhua). Of course there’s good info on what’s happening from within China, but any “stable and balanced” analysis is within the boundaries of censorship of an authoritarian regime that ranks 177 out of 180 in the World Press Freedom index. https://rsf.org/en/ranking/2021 (AU is 24). If you’re getting your info from state media, it explains why everything you’ve written in the last 2 days are CCP talking points – without a single reference.

If you’re not reading modern Western writing – Geremie Barme, Jude Blanchett, Michael Pettis, Scott Rozelle – then you’re not in the game. If you’re taking seriously the ramblings of Jiang Shigong about redefining human rights, then you’re genocide denialist. If you follow Chen Hong on AU-CN relations … it’s a joke.

The best popular / state sources from within China are probably Caijing – if you can you read Chinese - who even tried to report the COVID situation accurately & constantly on the cusp of being shut down. Or Sixth Tone has some v good social stories.

Your claim that Chinese media is not inflammatory. Here’s the Editor in Chief of the state paper Global Times Hu Xijin - https://www.memri.org/tv/chinese-journalist-xijin-australia-chewing-gum-...

Having spent at least ten times more time than you in rural areas of China, your depiction of happy farmers being “relocated” etc. is like the Truman show. There are protests every single day in rural China about land appropriation, relocation, under-compensation. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10670564.2020.1790897

Rural China has abysmal child education and health levels. https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/I/bo61544815.html

So cgso … you ask me for China credentials. What are yours?

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blindboy Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 11:04am

".....its in Australia's interest and everyone's interest to know the origins of Covid."

Australia's call was counter productive. It made an open inquiry much less likely.

"It was perfect opportunity to send this message, to not send this message and keep on relying on China for so much trade is crazy."

Tell that to the numerous businesses that saw their income drop to zero overnight or are now facing long term declines. It is easy to come up with average numbers or projections that predict "we" can afford it at a national level.......it's a bit tougher on the level of the individual business.

"And China should also know how us and other countries feel about the South China Sea."

China could not give a rats about how we "feel" about the South China Sea....get used to it. It's not going to change.

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Blowin Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 11:25am

“Australia's call was counter productive. It made an open inquiry much less likely.”

Lol.

China : “Well, I was going to be upfront and honest about what went on in the biolab at Wuhan, so that we could get to the bottom of the most influential situation in modern global history, but I really didn’t like Scott Morrison’s tone do now I’m going to deny the world any answers to the problem.”

AKA “ Well , the girl has been brutally raped and I’m the prime suspect with all evidence pointing towards me being the rapist but the girl who’s been raped is using unpleasant language so I won’t cooperate with the investigation.”

Keep on victim blaming there bloke!

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blindboy Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 11:33am

If you assume that China was never going to have an enquiry then Australia's call was a complete waste of time that contributed to lots of hard working Australians losing big chunks of their income. As for the rest it just reveals, yet again, that for you everything comes down to sex or violence...or even better both together.
There was an intelligent discussion going on here before Swellchan's fuckwit in chief butted in. Fuck off.

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Blowin Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 11:57am

Not really. The world needed to be shown the depth of China’s contempt. Up until that point China has been a more than equal participant in the ongoing global discussion on the virus, even after the many obvious attempts to direct the outcome of the situation entirely in China’s favour ie the Chinese obfuscation and denial about the details of the virus when it first emerged and China’s conscious choice to seed the virus throughout the globe rather than close their international borders as they had their domestic borders.

China was extremely vocal during the early stages of the outbreak. China was not shy in throwing its weight and power into the discourse. After China was shown to not have a single inclination to genuinely assist in th3 international effort to assess the origin of the virus , no one has given a second glance or thought towards China.

And the belated and necessary detachment from China was in no mow and limited to discussion of the virus. The moment that China refused the good faith mission to reveal the origins of the virus was the moment that the Globe saw the true face of the CCP.

They may still be a major economic player but their soft power and cultural momentum into other nations took a direct hit. Not a moment too soon either.

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boater Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 11:58am
blindboy wrote:

If you assume that China was never going to have an enquiry then Australia's call was a complete waste of time that contributed to lots of hard working Australians losing big chunks of their income. As for the rest it just reveals, yet again, that for you everything comes down to sex or violence...or even better both together.
There was an intelligent discussion going on here before Swellchan's fuckwit in chief butted in. Fuck off.

Well actually the original Chinese reporting on COVID was a systematic cover up. Australia thankfully had the guts to call for an international inquiry, which was then joined by the international commnity, including China.

Then China acted like the fragile dicatorship it is by dishing out trade punishmment. Contrary to what you say, all the evidence shows that this didn't cost "hard-working Australians big chunks of their income" bla bla. As mentione above, AU export of the affected commodities INCREASED. Farmers had miners had a record season and prices (a few costs for some logs, lobsters, wine). And as Indo says, we got the wakeup call to diversify.

Good outcome all round. So, again, what exactly is your problem with AU govt policy on China?

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Blowin Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 12:09pm

Even if China was the world’s sweetest nation , Australia was too overly reliant on it for trade. Diversification of trade partners is an incredible outcome. A necessity if a nation wants to preserve its sovereignty and political independence.

Metaphor : An obese person who gets a lift to work each day with a bullying gronk who constantly berates them. Finally the obese person stands up for themselves and tells the bully to get fkuced. It’s all doom and gloom when the obese person has to get up half an hour earlier to walk to work but soon the walk to work makes them lose weight , feel great and the bully is out of their life.

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gsco Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 12:19pm

cool reply boater, nice to have you in here. I was trying to be courteous to blindboy by allowing you to take up his questions.

boater wrote:

I know what you’re talking about with Chinese students … good insights from smart kids that of course know China. But having taught and supervised many, there are invariably problems in critical thinking - partly because they’re worried their Chinese classmates are going to report them back home, and partly b/c of the Chinese education system. In this regard, incomparable to the calibre of analysts at Lowy that etarip linked to. Although think tanks are under pressure to simplify things for the public and policy-makers.

It’s a bit similar to the state media you cite (China Daily and Xinhua). Of course there’s good info on what’s happening from within China, but any “stable and balanced” analysis is within the boundaries of censorship of an authoritarian regime that ranks 177 out of 180 in the World Press Freedom index. https://rsf.org/en/ranking/2021 (AU is 24). If you’re getting your info from state media, it explains why everything you’ve written in the last 2 days are CCP talking points – without a single reference.

Maybe you misunderstood but that's kind of exactly what I was looking for in the students and online commentary: actual authentic - and indeed completely one-dimensional and biased - Chinese perspective from actual Chinese people. I can find more than enough US/UK/Aus perspective material online from many high level and intelligent think tanks and academics, some of which you've mentioned. But I think it's important to get a balanced and deeper picture from all angles, or at least understand other perspectives, including and importantly from one's own personal experience, which as a sinologist I know you very strongly also strive for and work towards.

But I can say that I've had some quite deep conversations about the Chinese economy with Chinese students doing PhDs and postdocs in economics and finance. I haven't seen that level and depth of knowledge and insight about China from a western commentator or think tank.

boater wrote:

If you’re not reading modern Western writing – Geremie Barme, Jude Blanchett, Michael Pettis, Scott Rozelle – then you’re not in the game. If you’re taking seriously the ramblings of Jiang Shigong about redefining human rights, then you’re genocide denialist. If you follow Chen Hong on AU-CN relations … it’s a joke.

The best popular / state sources from within China are probably Caijing – if you can you read Chinese - who even tried to report the COVID situation accurately & constantly on the cusp of being shut down. Or Sixth Tone has some v good social stories.

Honestly, I just don't know about all this "reading about" people's opinions about China. I think personal experience and talking to Chinese people are equally important. I don't think a person knows anything at all about a country unless they've actually lived there and can read history in that country's language. But thanks for telling me what and who I should be reading...! You sound like a real authority...

boater wrote:

Your claim that Chinese media is not inflammatory. Here’s the Editor in Chief of the state paper Global Times Hu Xijin - https://www.memri.org/tv/chinese-journalist-xijin-australia-chewing-gum-...

Of course lots of inflammatory material exists in the Chinese media, and the Global Times website is a go-to for comedy and entertainment... I really like how Australia regularly takes their bait hook line and sinker...! But those Chinese government news websites I linked are much more sane and sensible that our western media - I doubt you could deny that?

boater wrote:

Having spent at least ten times more time than you in rural areas of China, your depiction of happy farmers being “relocated” etc. is like the Truman show. There are protests every single day in rural China about land appropriation, relocation, under-compensation. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10670564.2020.1790897

Rural China has abysmal child education and health levels. https://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/I/bo61544815.html

That's great that you've done that. As a sinologist I'd expect that you've spent 100 times more time in China than me - it would be embarrassing not to have.

I think your point about the relocation of rural Chinese is correct, but you don't need to provide a reference to back it up since I've seen it with my own eyes and talked to people who were relocated. One thing I didn't like was yes a lot of rural Chinese seemed to have perfectly good, happy and wealthy lives, just not in the ways the CPC "measures" or quantifies poverty and wealth. Yes I saw many of them that didn't want to be taken from their livelihoods that they were happy with. I also didn't really like the new lifestyle situations they were located into, even just due to simple things like the architecture and town planning etc.

One thing I'd ask you is did you notice the quite comical rorts many of the rural Chinese got away with and got quite wealthy out of? My understanding was there was a rule whereby how much the rural Chinese got paid for their properties was tied to the level/size of their farms and output of produce. So when the rural Chinese caught wind of the government intending to come along and "lift them out of poverty" they would go to town upscaling their farms in order to make it look like they produced way more on a larger scale than they actually did. It seemed that the government kind of new about and expected this and viewed it all as part of the negotiation process...

Regarding rural health and education, I could make reference to the same situation for our Aboriginal Australians, but again references mean nothing to me since one can see that with their own eyes.

boater wrote:

So cgso … you ask me for China credentials. What are yours?

Actually much of what you've done so far is what I would consider as making the logical error of appealing to authority. You're kind of tying to establish yourself as an authority on the issue, and also referencing other "authorities" and telling me what and who I should be reading, etc, in a way that because you and they are "authorities" then I should just believe what you and they are saying as gospel fact and truth without question, and if I don't agree then I'm wrong because I'm not an "authority" or "in the game" with the right opinions or reading the right people...

Maybe avoiding that fallacy in logic and argument would be better, and instead a better way to go would be to debate issues at hand in terms of logic, reason, evidence and personal experience?

So I may I ask you:

What would be your personal opinion and perspective on say the Taiwan issue, or the South China Sea issue, in terms of the current circumstances, their history, the players involved and their actions and objectives, who are the aggressors, who is in the right or wrong, is there even a right or wrong at all, how Australia should approach the issue...?

Maybe you could do this by giving your actual original personal opinion without reference to "authorities", so what you actually think for yourself?

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Blowin Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 12:25pm
brutus wrote:

BB ..what if the reverse happens and China just bans all exports to Australia?

blindboy wrote:

boater, you would need to back up the claim that China "put 800 million people into poverty" since I can find no evidence for it. Your claim that China is one of the most unequal countries in the world would appear to be just a straight up lie as its gini coefficient is lower than that of the US and numerous other countries. Quoting John Garnaut's views on China ignores the fact that he is likely to be biased as well as having been found unreliable when losing a significant defamation suit brought against him for accusations of bribery by a Chinese businessman. On the 14 "demands", they were not demands, merely a list of ways Australia had offended them. For the rest, we continue to engage with China, as we always have, on our own terms and for our own benefit. If attitudes in government were as tough as you suggest we would ban iron ore shipments.......have you got the figures on that? I suspect that even the dodgiest calculation would find a greater impact than $24 a head.

Then the rest of the world is given a real time education on how little they want anything to do with China. The world then stops buying from China and China goes arse up.

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blindboy Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 12:35pm

By the time Payne made her call US Senator Tom Cotton had already tweeted that the virus might have come from the Wuhan lab and, probably as a response, China had already imposed restrictions on the publication of research on the origins of the virus. She achieved nothing but a further politicisation of the issue. Does anyone really think it had any hope of changing Chinese policy?
Despite the hysterics research has continued and the evidence continues to build, most recenly with the discovery of two previously unknown viruses closely related to covid, that it is a zoonotic disease. The evidence for a lab origin remains weak and circumstantial. Of course if the government had actually focused on managing quarantine and obtaining sufficient timely supplies of vaccines instead of playing strong man for domestic political reasons, we would have had far fewer covid deaths.

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Blowin Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 12:49pm

Incorrect.

It was Payne’s stridency which generated momentum for the international research team which went to China to find evidence about the origin of the virus.

The research team was obstructed and stymied at every turn by Chinese authorities.

The CCP’s concerted effort to curtail the investigation, led in good faith by an international delegation, had nothing to do with domestic politics in Australia.

Please stop victim blaming. It’s entirely transparent and unbecoming.

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blindboy Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022 at 1:03pm

"It was Payne’s stridency which generated momentum for the international research team which went to China to find evidence about the origin of the virus."

Yeh right. There was always going to be a WHO inquiry. The inteference of politicians making statements implying that China had deliberately caused the pandemic just made the whole process more difficult.....and brought unnecessary blowback on Australian businesses.....but ramble on if you must.

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boater Friday, 14 Jan 2022 at 11:17pm

GSCO. Excuse the late reply – the waves have been good.

My long posts were in response to your comments “To be honest there is nothing new or original you've said in your response that I haven't read on news.com.au or in here, and that I couldn't rip off for myself from the western media in 5min”. “And the West criticises China for all kinds of things the West doesn't really know anything about or understand”.

So I took the time to post the most authoritative & recent academic sources on China. And now you turn around to say that you don’t want expertise or references from authorities – just opinion from personal experience. Make up your mind.

A few points. 1. IF (as you claim) you are a genuine mathematician and economist in academia you would understand that referencing is the basis of scientific inquiry. 2. You made no attempt to critique the actual content of the papers. 3. Dictatorships work by deriding science and pushing subjective assessment – of which they are the sole arbiter. 4. By your own admission you know FA about China except from a few conversations, a bogus trip to China and reading state-owned Chinese media. 5. And yet you mange to deliver pitch-perfect Chinese Communist Party talking points. How is that? I’ll tell you how. You’re a CCP shill.

The problem you have is that most Australians see straight through your propaganda (as shown by many comments in this thread), and as soon as you run into someone that knows the content, your arguments evaporate.

You want my “opinion” on Taiwan and South China Sea? Here it is – keep the status quo on Taiwan, and enforce The Hague ruling on SCS. Here’s another. The Aust govt (once again) made the right call of a diplomatic boycott of the Beijing winter Olympics (about to start in a few weeks) for systemic human rights violations.

You want stories from personal experience (many years) in China? Here’s one. I went to a big festival cultural event in Lhasa. Truckloads of PLA soldiers lined up to crowd out, humiliate and provoke thousands of Tibetans – with machine guns – so they had an excuse to either arrest or shoot. That’s China for you.

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boater Friday, 14 Jan 2022 at 11:19pm
blindboy wrote:

1. "if China claims to have lifted 800m out of poverty, then obviously this many were in poverty. Due to, you know, a stagnant Qing Dynasty, missing the boat on the industrial and scientific revolutions, "

The population of China in 1900 was only 400 million, so your point makes no sense. If we wanted a more realistic starting point for the progressive policies that improved standards of living it would be the deah of Mao, by which time the population was approaching 1 billion.

2. "But yes appears Gini coefficient seems to have decreased over the COVID years."

The drop in the gini coefficient has coincided almost precisely with Xi's time in power.

3. "As outlined, the point of coercion is to change policy..."

My point has never been that China should be trusted. It is that Australia should act in its own interests. I think there are several items on that list, including the call for an inquiry on the origins of the coronavirus and the provocative comments on the South China Sea, which were clearly not in our interests and, I still maintain, were primarily for domestic purposes.

4. "What set of grievances do you think Australia should back down on to placate China?"

This is a pretty silly question. It is not a matter of backing down from an existing position it is about formulating policy based on rational analysis of Australia's interests rather than those of the government or the USA.

5. "Australian has never even considered export sanctions for iron ore etc"

Which is my point exactly. Why haven't we? Because it would have real economic and political consequences.

Of all this blindboy, I can only make sense of your point 2.

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AndyM Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 at 6:39am

“ "if China claims to have lifted 800m out of poverty”

But the ethos of the CCP is that “ we will make you rich but we will not make you free“.

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blindboy Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 at 7:47am

Sorry boater, I can't help if your comprehension level is so low you do not understand plain grammatical English.

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Cockee Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 at 10:13am

'plain grammatical English'? The correct expression is 'plain English'. Love it when BB gets his arse handed to him on a plate - well done boater, blowie, et al.

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blindboy Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 at 10:25am

"'plain grammatical English'? The correct expression is 'plain English'."

Who wouda gessed Cockee is a gramma nerd!

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Cockee Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 at 10:42am

Not A Grandma nurd but if your gona try to score cheep points of someone best you not make yourself the object of derision in the process - just sayin'.

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blindboy Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 at 11:12am

"You want my “opinion” on Taiwan and South China Sea?"
Not really, I have much better informed sources.
"You want stories from personal experience (many years) in China?"
See above.

Your problem boater is either your low comprehension or your existing bias prevents you understanding my actual opinions. As I have said repeatedly on these forums over many years, China is an authoritarian nation that oppresses its own citizens and will act ruthlessly in its own interests internationally.
Similarly I have consistently said that Australia needs to act in its own interests. If it is to take the high moral ground it has to achieve something significant. Posturing over Taiwan is pointless. Demanding human rights for the Uighers is pointless. Demanding an international enquiry in accusatory tones when one was going to happen anyway was worse than pointless. The end result of these actions is that whatever small influence Australia may once have had on Chinese policies is now gone. You may also remember that the accusations that China deliberately caused the pandemic led to a disgraceful outbreak of anti-Asian racism in Australia. That's what happens when irresponsible governments act in their political interests rather than the interests of the nation as a whole.

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Robo Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 at 7:19pm

We have some choncas next door, nice people, best thing is they can’t see over the fence lol

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Sprout Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 at 7:57pm

Crazy ash from an underwater volcano. Must be Cody below it too.
https://edition.cnn.com/2022/01/15/asia/tsunami-warning-tonga-volcano-in...

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Distracted Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 at 9:31pm

There was even a warning for tsunami impacting Lord Howe and Norfolk Island from that volcano
http://www.bom.gov.au/tsunami/lordhowe_alerts.shtml

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suchas Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 at 9:32pm
Sprout wrote:

Crazy ash from an underwater volcano. Must be Cody below it too.
https://edition.cnn.com/2022/01/15/asia/tsunami-warning-tonga-volcano-in...

Gif of the eruption-

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blackers Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 at 9:40pm
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Sprout Saturday, 15 Jan 2022 at 9:42pm

Wow, looks like Tonga copped a bit.

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Cockee Sunday, 16 Jan 2022 at 4:06pm

Boring. Can't wait for the annual swellnet shit fight over Australia Day to begin.

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seaslug Sunday, 16 Jan 2022 at 5:40pm

Might be forgotten this year because of the covid shit fight :|

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batfink Sunday, 16 Jan 2022 at 6:21pm
Blowin wrote:

It was Payne’s stridency which generated momentum for the international research team which went to China to find evidence about the origin of the virus.

Just Olympian levels of delusion there.

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Blowin Sunday, 16 Jan 2022 at 6:34pm
seaslug wrote:

Might be forgotten this year because of the covid shit fight :|

Case numbers will be on indisputable decline by then.

The doom sayers have about a week of solid fear wanking left before the dismaying reality that their systemically validated excuse to publicly emote is on hold again.

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Cockee Sunday, 16 Jan 2022 at 7:55pm
seaslug wrote:

Might be forgotten this year because of the covid shit fight :|

Not a chance in Hell slug. Be assured the usual combatants will be more than up for the fight.

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chook Monday, 17 Jan 2022 at 11:13am
udo wrote:

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2022/01/14/oregon-marijuana-legal...

in summary -- since weed was legalised in oregon there has been an increase in illegal weed growing...
so weed wasn't really legalised, was it.

Interesting things going on in Aust. Weed being sold over the counter from main street, weed-branded stores without prosecution. I'm loving the little bottles of weed-infused olive oil tincture. Licenses being given out for farming five acres of weed.
We are over the hump. There's no turning back now. Zion bound!

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boater Monday, 17 Jan 2022 at 5:13pm

OK Blindboy

1. Lifting millions out of poverty. Why on earth would you cherry-pick a start date of Mao’s death (1976)? China is talking about the glorious achievements of the CCP, so why not from the start of CCP rule (1949)? When the CCP unleased an insane development strategy, mass population growth (born into poverty) and starvation.

5. Australia hasn’t applied export sanctions (incl on iron ore to China) –because it wouldn’t be very smart economically, we have a major stake in rules-based open global trade, and take obligations to WTO & ChAFTA seriously (unlike China).

3-4. AU China policy. The 14 grievances are a list of policies that China doesn’t like & is trying to change. The majority aim to defend Australian sovereignty. E.g. banning Huawei, Huang Xiangmo, foreign interference, calling out cyber attacks, federal govt veto power, foreign investment etc. (Other things CN didn’t like is parliament not ratifying an extradition treaty with CN, taking them to the WTO). I think you’re saying you’re fine with these, right?

Your main quibble was about the COVID inquiry. Which may make up 1/100th of our overall CN policy (and I argue above was justified anyway).

And now you’re saying we shouldn’t “demand human rights for Uyghurs” or “posture over Taiwan” because it’s “pointless”. That is, we should throw these populations – along with our values on human rights, democracy and strategic interests in the region – under the bus because there’s nothing we can do about it.

That’s a pretty bleak capitulation – and a poor assessment of our options, alliances and instruments. You offer no solutions. Your contribution is to whinge about (bipartisan) policy of your own country trying to deal with intense threats from China. China loves westerners like you, along with big business and tankies.

Re your point about how you don’t want my opinion on Taiwan and SCS. I only mentioned these because GSCO asked me to (nothing to do with you).

Re. your claim “I have much better informed sources”. What are they? You’ve gone through this whole debate reference-free. You don’t seem to have much direct experience to China, so where did your hazy ideas come from?

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blindboy Monday, 17 Jan 2022 at 5:42pm

"Why on earth would you cherry-pick a start date of Mao’s death (1976)?"
After Mao died Deng Xaioping began introducing the economic and cultural reforms that began China's transition to the current blend of capitalism and communism. By 1980 China was an utterly different country.

" Australia hasn’t applied export sanctions (incl on iron ore to China) –because it wouldn’t be very smart economically......"
I agree, but it would be about the only action we could take which might have an impact.

"That is, we should throw these populations – along with our values on human rights, democracy and strategic interests in the region – under the bus because there’s nothing we can do about it."
We did not throw anyone under a bus. We are not to blame for the human rights situation in China, well not beyond our enthusiasm for their consumer items which are often produced under exploitative and oppressive working conditions. We should have chosen our battles to preserve the little influence we had rather than throwing it away for no gain to us or change in Chinese policy.

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Supafreak Monday, 17 Jan 2022 at 7:19pm

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velocityjohnno Tuesday, 18 Jan 2022 at 3:23pm

This could be quite interesting, as in, may you live in interesting times kind of interesting.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/17/major-us-airline-ceos-warn-5g-could-grou...

Do we live in a time when nobody bothers to think of implications of the introduction of new technology? 1 day to go - anyone got a deus ex machina handy?

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blackers Tuesday, 18 Jan 2022 at 4:04pm

".. anyone got a deus ex machina handy?" Got it on a t-shirt if that's any help VJ.
More seriously, could it possibly just be another Y2K moment?