While Chinese propaganda depicts Westerners reading bedtime stories to their children about the wonders of President Xi’s One Belt; One Road (OBOR) dream, those that fled China’s totalitarian regime plead with Australians to wake up.
The CCP aims to ‘make foreigners serve China.’ Many billions of dollars are exported here to invest, to buy, to influence and to control. Money comes from the CCP’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which funds OBOR’s projects. When Australia didn’t salute AIIB, Twiggy Forrest, press-conference-saboteur, attacked, saying: ‘China’s not our enemy.’
Sri Lanka sold the Port of Hambantota to China Merchants Shipping Company (Port of Newcastle owners) after a camouflaged promise of a $5 billion and 100,000 jobs mega-facility. Unable to make AIIB repayments, Sri Lanka surrendered a 70 per cent stake. Many dozens of ports are now CCP-strategic assets.
As Clive Hamilton points out in Silent Invasion, ports are CCP’s priority. The Port of Melbourne is part-owned by a company linked to the CCP. The Port of Newcastle is 100 per cent owned by China Merchants so don’t linger or you’ll end up on a Beijing database. In Townsville, where soldiers struggle through feminist-theory courses, Chinese ships export cattle to Huizhou from the Port of Townsville. In the Hunter Valley, Yancoal owns port, rail and coal assets, whose major shareholder is Yanzhou Coal Mining Company. The Chinese owner of the Port of Darwin is known to have operated a maritime militia unit. Such units gather intelligence and intimidate fishers in the seas south of China. In 2013, they began ramming Vietnamese fishing boats to drill for oil in Vietnam’s waters. Resistance to such infringements weakens over time.
For the CCP, owning infrastructure is vital. For Greenies, they can bask in the ‘green’ knowledge that 87 per cent of Australia’s solar panels bought in the last nine months, costing $1,120,491,693, came from China. Our energy invoices likely bolster Chinese bank accounts. China Light and Power owns Energy Australia, one of three big electricity retailers; Alinta Energy, one of Australia’s largest energy infrastructure companies, belongs to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTF) who recently bought Victoria’s Loy Yang B power station. Of Victoria’s five electricity distributors, three are part-owned by State Grid Corporation (Chinese government-owned) as well as South Australia’s transmitting network; Cheung Kong Infrastructure owns other parts and Victoria’s gas distribution network.
The Foreign Investment Review Board recently shirked crucial questions about their procedures for authorising proposals. Delta Energy, the only majority Australian bidder, lost a bid for Loy Yang B to Chow Tai Fook Enterprises (CTF). Delta, 67 per cent Australian-owned, was told by FIRB that Loy Yang couldn’t be more than 47 per cent foreign-owned. FIRB then authorised the sale to CTF, 100 per cent Chinese-owned.
Although Scott Morrison halted the selling of Ausgrid to Cheung Kong in 2016, by April 2017, FIRB approved a $7.48 billion takeover of DUET to a consortium led by Cheung Kong. DUET’s major energy assets included a substantial portion of Victoria’s electricity distribution infrastructure. Bob Carr, with his Chinese-funded think tank, called ScoMo xenophobic (tactic 1.01). We don’t fear foreigners but brutal dictatorships.
After ten cautious years of China-Australia Free Trade Agreement negotiations, Andrew Robb, trade minister in 2013, signed the FTA then fled politics to earn huge medal-salaried-rewards from Chinese companies (including the maritime-militia-lessee of Darwin Port). For Xi, such agreements restore China’s might through economic domination.
The CCP has invested money into our universities and planted OBOR-advocating Confucius Institutes. Drew Pavlou was surveilled and subsequently suspended from the University of Queensland for protesting about Hong Kong. In China, with one CCTV camera existing for every seven citizens, surveillance helps counter China’s five poisons: Tibetan independence, Taiwanese independence, Uighur separatism, Falun Gong and pro-democracy activism. Re-education camps help brainwash dissidents into tolerating Xi’s dream. ‘Re-educating’ Aussie dissidents means dismissing them from university.
Surveillance helps intelligence gathering. Hikvision, who make surveillance cameras, emerged from a Chinese government military institute. Hikvision’s head of research, Pu Shiliang, is reported to direct the tech lab within China’s Ministry of Public Security, which conducts massive video-surveillance programs and which are responsible for suppressing dissidents and for widespread abuse of human rights, including torture. Hikvision may be the largest supplier of internet-enabled video-surveillance equipment in Australia. One industry expert warns: “the Chinese government can log into any camera system at any time.” Australian retailers became wary of Hikvision, preferring Honeywell or Swann brands. Both are manufactured in Hikvision factories.
The National Computational Infrastructure Centre at the ANU installed hardware and software from Chinese company Lenovo in which the Chinese government has a stake. The ANU facility is used by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO. Because the Defence Force relies on BoM for weather reports, backdoors of intelligence gathering open up. As electricity distribution combines with telecommunications, be careful of what you say about China on your smart devices. Although Huawei was banned over security concerns, they’ve sold equipment to Vodaphone, Optus and Telstra.
American allies are prime targets of CCP investment. By aligning US allies with Beijing’s decisions, the US Alliance weakens. With Jacinda Ardern and Dan Andrews signing up to OBOR, the Five Eyes Alliance is greatly compromised. If America and China got to warring, we’re sandwiched. Baby formula and medical supplies disappeared when Mother-China called. Siding with America may mean loyal Chinese companies shut down energy grids, communications, ports, agriculture and we’re toast. Australian assets, once sold, are China’s assets in Australia.
Morrison’s proposed FIRB reforms sound promising. Time will tell. While we self-flagellate on racism and climate change, we’ve armoured a wolf in sheep’s clothing, guilty of immense human rights abuses. But… jobs? If you’re on JobSeeker, we’re selling bonds to China. If reading on a ZTE-little-Trojan-horse phone, delete your history.
Sam McClelland is the Director of True Arrow Events
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