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  1. #476
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    Double post

  2. #477
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    Australia provokes China anger over scrapped deals

    Australia has scrapped agreements tied to China's Belt and Road initiative, prompting anger from Beijing and adding further strain to tense relations between the countries.

    The federal government used new powers to rip up two deals made between the state of Victoria and China.

    Canberra said it was backing away from the agreements to protect Australia's national interest.

    The Chinese embassy in Australia branded the move "provocative".

    It said the action by Canberra was "bound to bring further damage to bilateral relations, and will only end up hurting itself."

    "It further shows that the Australian government has no sincerity in improving China-Australia relations," a spokesperson said in a statement.

    It is the first time Canberra has used the powers to veto deals made by states, local governments or public universities with foreign countries. The laws allow the government to cancel agreements deemed to threaten Australia's national interest.

    In addition to the China deals, Foreign Minister Marise Payne also scrapped agreements with Iran and Syria. They were a memorandum of understanding sealed between Victoria's education department and Iran, signed in 2004, and a 1999 scientific cooperation agreement signed with Syria.

    Senator Payne said the four agreements were "inconsistent with Australia's foreign policy or adverse to our foreign relations".

    Speaking to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, she defended the government's decision and said she did not expect China to retaliate.

    "I think Australia is acting in our national interest, we are very careful and very considered in that approach," she told the AM radio programme.
    Escalating tensions

    The Victoria state's decision to sign up to China's Belt and Road initiative, with two agreements in 2018 and 2019, drew criticism from the federal government, as well as then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

    The sweeping infrastructure project - which aims to expand global trade links - has funded trains, roads, and ports in many countries, but has left some saddled with debt.

    Seen as a bold bid by President Xi Jinping for geopolitical influence the US has been particularly critical of China's so-called "debt diplomacy".

    Xi vows transparency over Belt and Road

    The move to cut ties with the initiative comes against backdrop of deteriorating tensions between Canberra and Beijing.

    China is Australia's largest trading partner and before the pandemic, its biggest source of overseas university students. Relations have worsended in recent years, leading to diplomatic and trade ructions.

    Trade ties have been particularly strained since Australia first called for a rigorous investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic in April.
    2px presentational grey line
    More on Australia-China tensions:

    The year when Australia and China hit 'lowest ebb'
    Australia senator quits over China scrutiny
    Billionaire mocks 'giant baby' Australia

    2px presentational grey line

    Canberra has taken other steps to curtail China's influence in the country, including putting a ban on telecoms giant Huawei from building Australia's 5G network and tightening foreign investment laws.

    Still, the Australian government has denied its new veto power is aimed at China. Senator Payne said local governments and publicly funded universities had notified her of more than 1,000 foreign deals.

    Australia provokes China anger over scrapped deals - BBC News

  3. #478
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    Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo warns 'drums of war' are beating in a message to staff

    One of Australia's most powerful national security figures says free nations "again hear the beating drums" of war, as military tensions in the Indo-Pacific rise.
    Key points:

    Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo says the nation should be striving for peace but "not at the cost of our precious liberty"

    The powerful bureaucrat is widely tipped to take over as Defence Department Secretary later this year

    His message comes as Defence Minister Peter Dutton says war with China should not be discounted

    In an Anzac Day message to staff, Home Affairs Department Secretary Mike Pezzullo said Australia must strive to reduce the likelihood of war "but not at the cost of our precious liberty".

    Mr Pezzullo also invoked the memory of two United States war generals and warned this nation must be prepared "to send off, yet again, our warriors to fight".

    Amid growing military tensions between China and the US over Taiwan, the powerful bureaucrat also highlighted the "protection afforded to Australia" by its 70-year-old ANZUS military alliance with the US and New Zealand.

    "Today, as free nations again hear the beating drums and watch worryingly the militarisation of issues that we had, until recent years, thought unlikely to be catalysts for war, let us continue to search unceasingly for the chance for peace while bracing again, yet again, for the curse of war," Mr Pezzullo said.

    "War might well be folly, but the greater folly is to wish away the curse by refusing to give it thought and attention, as if in so doing, war might leave us be, forgetting us perhaps."
    General Douglas MacArthur (in the centre) inspecting the guard of honour comprising units of the 26th Australian Infantry Brigade of the 9th Australian Division
    General Douglas MacArthur (centre) was quoted during a recent speech by one of Australia's highest ranking bureaucrats.(

    Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial)

    He drew on an address given by US Army General Douglas MacArthur at the West Point Military academy in 1962, where he reminded cadets "their mission was to train to fight and, when called upon, to win their nation's wars – all else is entrusted to others".
    Pyne on potential China conflict
    Soldiers of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) take part in a military parade.

    The chances of a war in the Indo-Pacific region involving China are rising sharply, according to former defence minister Christopher Pyne.
    Read more

    Similarly, Mr Pezzullo also invoked former Army General and US President Dwight D. Eisenhower who, he said, in 1953 "rallied his fellow Americans and its allies to the danger posed by the amassing of Soviet military power, and the new risk of militaristic aggression".

    "Throughout his presidency, Eisenhower instilled in the free nations the conviction that as long as there persists tyranny's threat to freedom they must remain armed, strong and ready for war, even as they lament the curse of war," he said.

    "Today, free nations continue still to face this sorrowful challenge.

    "In a world of perpetual tension and dread, the drums of war beat — sometimes faintly and distantly, and at other times more loudly and ever closer."

    Last weekend, Defence Minister Peter Dutton warned a war with China over Taiwan should not be discounted.

    Inside military and government circles there is growing speculation that Mr Pezzullo could soon take over as Defence Department Secretary, again working under Mr Dutton.

    Earlier this month, Assistant Defence Minister Andrew Hastie reminded Australian military personnel their "core business" will always be the "application of lethal violence" and warned "mission clarity" was vital to their work.

    https://www.abc .net.au/news/2021-04-26/mike-pezzullo-home-affairs-war-defence-force/100096418

  4. #479
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    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has denied a major investment in military bases in northern Australia is aimed at sending a message to China.

    Key points:

    Scott Morrison says all of the ADF's objectives are aimed at pursuing peace
    The Home Affairs secretary has had to defend his comments about "the beating drums" of war
    Beijing has told Australia to stop interfering in China's domestic affairs

    Australia V China-bushmaster-jpg

    At the same time, he has also defended comments made by new Defence Minister Peter Dutton that the possibility of conflict with China over Taiwan should not be "discounted".

    Mr Morrison was in Darwin to confirm a $747 million upgrade to defence facilities in the Northern Territory, part of $8 billion set to be spent on military infrastructure in northern Australia over the next decade.

    The bases are often used for joint Australian-US military training exercises, including an annual rotation of thousands of US Marines.

    Mr Morrison said the goal of properly resourcing the Australian military was aimed at keeping peace in an "uncertain" region rather than preparing for conflict.
    A bald man wearing a blue shirt stands talking to two soldiers dressed in army uniforms
    Defence Minister Peter Dutton acknowledged the possibility of war with China.(

    Department of Defence: Max Bree)

    "All of our objectives through the activities of our Defence Forces is designed to pursue peace," he said.

    "In a region as uncertain as this you need to ensure that you have the Defence capability that enables you to protect and defend Australia's interests in that region.

    "And this enables us to ensure there's an appropriate balance — particularly in partnership with our United States allies to ensure we can promote an environment where peace will be the outcome."

    During an interview last weekend, Mr Dutton observed conflict over Taiwan was a possibility, and that reunification was a "long-held objective" of China.
    Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.
    Play Video. Duration: 1 minute 53 seconds
    Peter Dutton warns about the possibility of conflict between Taiwan and China.

    That prompted a strong response from China, suggesting any progression in China-Australia relations required adherence to its 'One China' policy.

    The Prime Minister said he did not consider Mr Dutton's comments to be inflammatory.

    "I have set out what the government's purposes are here, and I know that's strongly supported by the Defence Minister, who has made the point about ensuring we have appropriate capability," Mr Morrison said.

    "That's the Defence Minister's job, to ensure that we have that capability to deal with any matter of scenarios, and that's indeed what these training environments provide for.

    "That's why you invest $747 million to ensure that your Defence Forces have the best training environments possible to build their capabilities to keep Australians safe."
    Pezzullo defends 'beating drums' of war comments

    Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo is defending his Anzac Day message to department staff, where he said "free nations again hear the beating drums" of war.

    The comments have been viewed as provocative, but Mr Pezzullo denied he was arguing war with countries such as China was inevitable.

    "I heard the Prime Minister yesterday say the same thing at a press conference, where he might or might not have been asked a question that may or may not have been about my Anzac Day message," Mr Pezzullo told an event in Canberra.
    Mike Pezzullo warns 'drums of war' are beating
    Michael Pezzullo looks towards senators out of shot as he gives evidence with an AFP officer sitting next to him

    In an Anzac Day message to staff, Home Affairs Department Secretary Mike Pezzullo says Australia must strive to reduce the likelihood of war "but not at the cost of our precious liberty".
    Read more

    "He said the government's policy is constantly to be working through effective statecraft and diplomacy, but also preparedness — he made explicit reference to the investment that the government's made in our defence capability.

    "Constantly searching for peace in a way that's vigilant as to the risks, but in a way that not only presumes that others want peace, but we're all actively working towards it."

    Mr Pezzullo described his speech as a "personal lament" for peace, on a day when the sacrifice of Australians who have served in the nation's Defence Force was being commemorated.

    "If only the same striving for peace — along with, as Minister [for Home Affairs Karen] Andrews said, 'Being alert to risks without being alarmed by them' — if only the same vigilance, as well as the longing for peace, had been in evidence in times past, perhaps fewer would have fallen," he said.

    "I think [it is] an entirely reasonable point to be making."

    The Home Affairs secretary said public servants, regardless of their seniority, advised on, rather than dictated, government policy.

    "It's terribly important that when secretaries speak, or heads of agencies, we speak about matters of strategy and implementation and administration, but not of policy — which always is a matter for an elected minister," Mr Pezzullo said.

    China urges Australia to 'take its own medicine'

    Mr Pezzullo's remarks came after Australia's top diplomat said China wanted Australia to "compromise on key national interests" before it would resume cooperation with the federal government.

    Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade secretary Frances Adamson made the comments in a recent speech where she outlined a "range of difficulties" Australia was facing with its largest trading partner.

    In response, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wengbin said the change needed to come on the Australian side of the relationship.

    "The root cause of the severe difficulties in bilateral relations is that Australia grossly interferes in China's domestic affairs," he said.

    "[Australia] hurts China's interests and adopts discriminatory trade practices against China.

    "None of the responsibility rests with China. Basically, Australia is telling others to take the medicine when it is sick itself.

    "We hope Australia will look at China and China's development in an objective and rational light and work to build mutual trust and facilitate practical cooperation instead of going further down the wrong path."

    https://www.abc. net.au/news/2021-04-28/scott-morrison-mike-pezzullo-war-conflict-china-australia/100100038


    Nice Bushmaster!

  5. #480
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looper View Post
    as well as then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.


  6. #481
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    Hot off the press from ABC 4 Corners (probably Australia's best current affairs program). 'Poking the Dragon':-




    You're welcome.

  7. #482
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    Wingers that need a rethink.

    As the winemaker suggests, @ 21 minutes, "I'm just a pawn in a political game".

    Plus many companies decisions to exceptionally focus, 95% one company stated, on the Chinese market.

    Yet the imports from Oz into China, are at record levels, @ 37 minutes.

    Oz's citizens interests, the diminishing empires across the Pacific or its UK masters?

    China delivers measurable improvements to its citizens and those of its political, trade and philosophy partners.

    Oz, ameristan and UK?

    One can only hope Oz iron ore prices remain competitive.
    Last edited by OhOh; 29-04-2021 at 12:27 PM.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  8. #483
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    ...additional comment:

    Australia Probe of China Port Signals Trouble for Beijing



    By Jason Scott and Michael Heath
    Tue, May 4, 2021, 7:41 AM

    (Bloomberg) -- Five years ago, Australia’s defense chief dismissed worries over a Chinese company leasing a port used by U.S. Marines as “simply absurd.” Now the government in Canberra is weighing whether to force a sale due to national security concerns.

    Defence Minister Peter Dutton confirmed over the weekend that his department will advise the government on what to do with the port. Asked whether the government would consider forced divestiture, he told the Sydney Morning Herald that officials would consider the national interest.

    The decision risks further hurting China-Australia ties, which have plummeted since Prime Minister Scott Morrison called for an independent investigation into the coronavirus origin and strengthened defense ties with the U.S., India and Japan. It will also have ramifications far beyond Australia as the U.S. pushes countries to avoid cutting deals with Chinese companies on strategic infrastructure investments, from ports to undersea cables to 5G networks.

    While Australia has cited national security in to block Chinese companies like Huawei Technologies Co., scrapping an existing deal would be unprecedented in the modern era, according to Hans Hendrischke, a professor of Chinese business and management at the University of Sydney. He noted that China is turning more toward venture capital in developed markets as direct investment becomes untenable.

    “It’s an escalation that’s part of the decoupling process that’s happening globally connected with Chinese companies -- and long-term, major infrastructure investments,” Hendrischke said of Australia’s decision. “There has been pressure on Australia to revoke that deal because it’s seen to clash with U.S. interests.”

    ‘Economic Coercion’

    Back in 2015, when the Northern Territory government sold a 99-year lease for the Port of Darwin to Chinese firm Landbridge Group for A$506 million ($391 million), Australian officials played down any criticism. Dennis Richardson, who was then secretary of the Defense Department, rejected concerns the People’s Liberation Army could gain access to the port as “alarmist nonsense.”

    “The notion that Landbridge is leasing Darwin somehow or other as part of a broader strategic play by China and this gives the PLA navy access to Darwin is simply absurd,” Richardson told lawmakers in Canberra at the time. He said there was no chance of China spying on U.S.-Australian communications because naval vessels go silent in any commercial port.

    In a sign of how rapidly times have changed, Australia’s Home Affairs Secretary Michael Pezzullo last week told his staff that “in a world of perpetual tension and dread, the drums of war beat.” While he didn’t directly mention China, he said free nations were watching “worryingly the militarization of issues that we had, until recent years, thought unlikely to be catalysts for war.”

    China has sought to blame Australia for the downturn in ties while accusing Morrison’s government of “economic coercion.” Asked last week about speculation Australia would move to scrap the Darwin lease, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said his government would “firmly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese businesses investing and operating overseas.”

    “We hope the Australian side will look at bilateral cooperation in an objective and rational light and stop disrupting normal exchange and cooperation with China,” Wang told reporters in Beijing.

    Should Morrison’s government decide to revoke the port deal, it will “most definitely” happen as it has a constitutional right to override laws made in the Northern Territory, as well as additional powers in relation to defense matters, said Donald Rothwell, a professor of international law at the Australian National University.

    “The major issues if the Commonwealth seeks to revoke the arrangement would be the commercial legal consequences,” including penalties or compensation, Rothwell said. While the Port of Darwin’s commercial arrangements aren’t in the public domain, the matter could be settled quickly depending on the position of the federal government, he said.

    Investment Plunges

    Economic ties between the nations have taken a hit in recent years. China‘s trade reprisals at Australia have hit a range of commodities from coal to beef to barley and lobster, while Chinese investment Down Under plunged to about A$1 billion last year from a peak of A$16.5 billion in 2016, according to Australian National University research.

    Even so, the proportion of Australian exports to China climbed to 43% by the end of 2020 even as the relationship unraveled thanks to the relentless rise in iron ore prices as China’s early emergence from Covid-19 spurred demand for the steelmaking ingredient. Major producers have struggled to keep pace with demand from Chinese steel mills, pushing the price to $193 a ton in April, just shy of its 2010 record.

    Although China was the top buyer of Australian wine before the tariffs, accounting for 40% of shipments, strong European sales have helped counter the slump. The key danger ahead relates to international education and tourism, which are currently in stasis due to closure of international borders: China accounts for more than a third of foreign students in Australia and Chinese tourists account for 15% of visitors.
    Despite the hit on some sectors of the economy, Australia’s tough stance on China is likely to play well with voters, according to Natasha Kassam, a former Australian diplomat who is the director of the Lowy Institute’s public opinion and foreign policy program.

    “It would be very significant and send a strong message in terms of future Chinese investment,” she said when asked about the ramifications of a forced sale of the Darwin port lease. “Australia was probably thinking a year ago it could reach a new settling point with China, but that’s proven elusive.”
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  9. #484
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    ‘There will be another big crisis’ if Australia takes back Port of Darwin


    There will be “another big crisis” if Australia rips up the 99-year lease on the Port of Darwin, according to The Australian’s Foreign Editor Greg Sheridan.

    The port was leased to Chinese company Landbridge in 2015 but is currently under review on the orders of the National Security Committee of Cabinet.

    “It would seem strange to me to set up a review if you didn’t plan to take some action at the end of the review,” Mr Sheridan told Sky News.

    “After all, what government ever sets up a review without knowing what it wants the answer to be?”

    He said there are “contradictory dynamics” in relation to this issue and if there is any divestment it will end up costing the government "quite a bit of money - and that's as it should be".


    “If we do this, bad as things are between China and Australia right now, there will be another big crisis,” Mr Sheridan said.

    “Because what China particularly hates is when we take actions which damage its international reputation, and this would be such an action.”
    ‘There will be another big crisis’ if Australia takes back Port of Darwin (msn.com)


    The direct cost to cancel the lease would exceed $500mm. The indirect cost, in terms of lost trade and investment, plus being landed back with a loss making port lease that stands Buckleys chance of attracting any Chinese shipping trade, incalculable. I wonder if they will do it anyway? That's how stoopid politics is these days, and how little thieving pollies give a ferk about taxpayers money.


    Last edited by sabang; 06-05-2021 at 09:21 AM.

  10. #485
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...FTFY:

    ‘There will be another big crisis’ if Australia takes back Port of Darwin

    There will be “another big crisis” if Australia rips up the 99-year lease on the Port of Darwin, according to The Australian’s Foreign Editor Greg Sheridan.

    The port was leased to Chinese company Landbridge in 2015 but is currently under review on the orders of the National Security Committee of Cabinet.

    “It would seem strange to me to set up a review if you didn’t plan to take some action at the end of the review,” Mr Sheridan told Sky News.

    “After all, what government ever sets up a review without knowing what it wants the answer to be?”

    He said there are “contradictory dynamics” in relation to this issue and if there is any divestment it will end up costing the government "quite a bit of money - and that's as it should be".


    “If we do this, bad as things are between China and Australia right now, there will be another big crisis,” Mr Sheridan said.
    “Because what China particularly hates is when we take damage its international reputation, and this would be such an action.”

  11. #486
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    When the lease was being signed- Australian Defence Force chief Mark Binskin said that spying could be done more easily by “sitting on a stool at the fish and chip shop on the wharf” than via signing a 99-year lease.

  12. #487
    Thailand Expat tomcat's Avatar
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    ...^takes some folks a while to see the completely obvious error of their ways...

  13. #488
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    Jealous of our superior lifestyle, quality of life, social benefits, public facilities and basic wages then, americano?
    I for one wish to preserve and enhance the Lucky country- you just wanna make us more like your poor country!
    I guess misery loves company.

  14. #489
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    The port was leased to Chinese company Landbridge in 2015 but is currently under review on the orders of the National Security Committee of Cabinet.
    Landbridge is a company working within China's "belt and road" trade initiative.
    Just tell them that they don't need a port in Australia now that the trade between the countries has been drastically reduced.

  15. #490
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    Now the government in Canberra is weighing whether to force a sale due to national security concerns.
    One hopes the legal lease is more legally binding than the central governments "RULING" on The Commonwealth State of Victoria's legally signed agreement.

    Quote Originally Posted by sabang View Post
    The direct cost to cancel the lease would exceed $500mm. The indirect cost, in terms of lost trade and investment, plus being landed back with a loss making port lease that stands Buckleys chance of attracting any Chinese shipping trade, incalculable
    The public destruction of The Commonwealth of Australia's agreements are "determined" by H.M. Government Governor General. His power is derived from Washington via London.

    Others may assume Canberra's word is similar to The LORDS opinion of ameristani "agreements".

  16. #491
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    now that the trade between the countries has been drastically reduced.

    Consider it done-



    China suspends China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue indefinitely



    Beijing has cut off all diplomatic contact with the Australian government under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue, a key channel of communication between the two countries.

    The move, announced by China's National Development and Reform Commission on Thursday morning, will make the task of repairing already strained diplomatic relations even more difficult as it will block contact between key government officials below the ministerial level under the dialogue.

    The decision is the first major Chinese government response to the Morrison government's cancellation of Victoria's Belt and Road agreement in April.

    The dialogue was established in 2014 in Beijing as a forum for the Australian treasurer, trade minister and the chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission to discuss trade deals.

    The Australian dollar fell quickly on the news, dropping 0.4 per cent to US77.16¢ after earlier trading at US77.58¢.

    In a rare public proclamation published on the government website, the commission said Australian government officials had launched a series of measures to disrupt normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Australia "out of a Cold War mindset and ideological discrimination".

    "Based on the current attitude of the Australian Commonwealth Government toward China-Australia cooperation, the National Development and Reform Commission of the People's Republic of China decides to indefinitely suspend all activities under the framework of the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue," it said in the statement.

    China suspends China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue indefinitely (msn.com)


    I don't blame them, one iota. Explain this to your kids, if you're aussie. They just got a lot poorer. Fortunately I don't have any.

  17. #492
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    Sounds a Canberra power over Vic thing. Also, a whole lot of being a good US lapdog.

  18. #493
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    One presumes China has alternate coal suppliers lined up.

  19. #494
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Also, a whole lot of being a good US lapdog.
    ...next steps: reduce diplomatic personnel to a bare minimum to reduce opportunities for Chinese hostage-taking...reduce/cancel flights to the mainland/increase flights to all countries on its perimeter...establish regular naval patrols in the south China Sea in conjunction with the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and the US...then pause, sit back and complain about yellow peril...

  20. #495
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    They should appoint you a 4 star General TC. You are very good at losing wars.

  21. #496
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    Why is Australia’s elite apparently so keen on a ‘kinetic’ war with China, when it would be catastrophic for their country?
    a good question...

  22. #497
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    OZ v ....

    Israeli company denies 'security rumours' as Defence removes multi-billion-dollar technology and quarantines Army IT systems


    "Defence has begun stripping Israeli-developed technology from Army equipment because of fears it could be used to harvest sensitive data from military hardware and systems.

    The company in question, Elbit Systems of Australia, has "strongly" rejected what it claims are "security rumours" connected to its multi-billion-dollar Battle Management System (BMS).

    However, the ABC can reveal Army Headquarters last month issued a directive ordering Defence to "cease use" of the Elbit BMS Command and Control (BMS-C2) in preparation for a replacement system.
    "The employment of the BMS-C2 system version 7.1 within Army's preparedness environment is to cease no later than May 15 2021," the order states.

    Military sources have told the ABC that Defence believes the Elbit technology may compromise sensitive data, triggering a directive that it "not be configured or accessed" on certain Army systems.

    Elbit's BMS, introduced a decade ago, allowed Army commanders to replace maps and analogue radios with advanced digital, encrypted technology and networks to better coordinate their units in the field and to protect classified information.

    Army's directive last month also demanded items such as USB memory sticks and software "be withdrawn from issue to users and consolidated and quarantined by signals support staff".

    "Defence is to cease use of the BMS-C2 in accordance with timings in order to prepare for the transition to an interim Battle Management System capability."

    In a statement, Elbit Systems of Australia managing director, retired Major General Paul McLachlan, strongly rejected suggestions the company's product posed any risk.

    "Elbit Systems of Australia strongly refutes the security rumours raised in recent media articles," Major General McLachlan said.

    "Elbit Systems of Australia utilises secure software development processes in collaboration with the Department of Defence, including the provision of all source code."

    Major General McLachlan added: "Elbit Systems of Australia will continue to work closely with the Australian Defence Force to deliver its network capability requirements."

    The Defence Department and federal government are yet to comment on the decision to stop using Elbit equipment, which has begun to receive significant media attention in Israel."

    Israeli company denies '''security rumours''' as Defence removes multi-billion-dollar technology and quarantines Army IT systems - ABC News



  23. #498
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    J’Accuse! Peddling government propaganda, media over-hypes “drums of war” with China

    by Brian Toohey | May 11, 2021

    The use of disinformation campaigns and cyber attacks by China and other authoritarian states has rightly attracted much criticism in the mainstream media. However, the US and its democratic allies decades ago pioneered the use of disinformation in their own propaganda. Brian Toohey reports.


    With few exceptions, Australia’s mainstream media has joined government ministers, senior public servants, generals and prominent US-funded think-tanks in implicitly drumming up support for a war with China. In the process, it has often abandoned accuracy and balance.
    Take the May 4 article in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, which stated that “democracies are just learning” how to compete with authoritarian states such as China, Russia, Iran and North Korea in “grey zone” tactics involving “cyber attacks and disinformation campaigns” somewhere between war and peace.
    (Editors Note: take the latest Weekend Australian too.)
    The claim is false. The US and its democratic allies long ago learnt to spread disinformation as part of a huge propaganda campaign. The New York Times, for example, published two major articles on the topic in December 1977, “Worldwide Propaganda Network built by the CIA” and “CIA: Secret Shaper of Public Opinion”.

    CIA developed media network

    The series explained how the US had developed an extensive network of more than 800 newspapers, news services, magazines, publishing houses and broadcasting stations, most overseas, to covertly promote American influence. The CIA even funded the Australian magazine Quadrant. Lincoln White, the US Consul General in Melbourne in the mid-1960s, later told me that the CIA station chief Bill Caldwell had a journalist on the The Age who “put our side” of the Vietnam war.
    Within the CIA, the massive disinformation operation was dubbed “Wisner’s Wurlitzer” after the first head of covert action. The New York Times said Wurlitzer was supposedly capable of “orchestrating in almost any language anywhere in the world, whatever tune the CIA was in a mood to hear”.
    The establishment of Radio Free Europe to broadcast into the Soviet countries and Radio Free Asia to broadcast into China are some of the better-known examples. The agency belatedly realised that hardly anyone owned a radio in China and tried to launch radios in balloons over China, but they blew back towards the launch site in Taiwan.
    More conventional techniques often succeeded, particularly when the CIA surreptitiously gained control of existing media organisations or otherwise co-opted local journalists and broadcasters.

    Iraq war based on disinformation

    More recently, some Anglo-Saxon democracies have relied on disinformation to build a case for starting wars. Before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, George W Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard justified their calamitous act of aggression using nonsensical claims, masquerading as intelligence, about Iraq’s (non-existent) weapons of mass destruction.
    This belligerence, in clear violation of the “global rules-based order”, led to an ongoing violence and a terrible refugee crisis, exacerbated by the war in Afghanistan and other parts of the Middle East. Although China engages in harsh internal repression, Australian journalists routinely refer to Chinese “aggression” offshore without acknowledging that it is minuscule, unlike that unleashed by American and Australian democracies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam.
    Nor are the democracies novices in other grey zone activities. The US has a long history of interfering in other countries. Among multiple examples, the US and the UK in 1953 covertly overthrew a democratically elected, secular Iranian prime minister, who wanted to nationalise the foreign companies exploiting country’s oil. The coup masters installed the dictator Pahlavi Reza whose corruption and brutality led to the Iranian Islamic revolution in 1979.
    In 1956, the US intervened covertly to stop an internationally agreed election to unify Vietnam going ahead. President Eisenhower said in his memoirs that he intervened because he believed (correctly) that the North’s leader Ho Chi Minh would easily win the presidency. Without foreign interference by a democracy, there would have been no subsequent war in which as many as 3 million died. Even today, Vietnamese children are born with deformities caused by the American planes spraying dioxin, a persistent toxin, during the war. There are no comparable examples of China engaging in grey zone warfare where it has overthrown an important government or stopped a key election.

    Pine Gap’s key role

    The cyber warfare capabilities of China and Russia are dwarfed by those of the US and its allies. The combination of the vast cyber capabilities of the US National Security Agency and those of the American military can destroy hospitals, power stations railway lines and other infrastructure in cyber attacks that go well beyond the grey zone.
    Australia’s mainstream media regularly highlight grey zone activities involving Chinese intelligence-gathering activities without a balancing mention of the much more valuable intelligence gathered by satellites linked to US bases in Australia such as Pine Gap. The ABC has highlighted how Chinese “spy” ships can eavesdrop on military exercises off the Australian coast. The US and Australian military don’t care – encryption ensures that nothing of consequence is intercepted.
    Pine Gap, however, collects almost all telecommunications and radar signals within China, plus detecting the infrared heat radiated from missiles and planes. This enables the US to pinpoint targets in real time during a war with China. These benefits far outweigh the value of Australia contributing a couple of frigates and a squadron of F- 35 fighter planes to a future war with China.
    If China were foolish enough to attack its sovereign province of Taiwan, that would deserve strong condemnation, but not necessarily military intervention. Almost every country has officially recognised China’s sovereignty over Taiwan. In the 1950s and 60s, countries such as Australia and the US not only recognised that Taiwan was part of China, they promoted the fiction that China was ruled from the Taiwanese capital of Taipei.
    Against this backdrop, outside intervention in Chinese military action against Taiwan would need to meet a higher standard than an attack by one sovereign country on another. If China were sensible, it would guarantee Taiwan autonomy, subject to an agreement that it would not host foreign military bases.
    The Australian and US policy of encouraging Taiwan to take bolder steps towards total independence only risks a terrible war — China will never willingly allow Taiwan to host foreign military bases, just like America would never allow military bases of hostile foreign forces so close to its mainland.
    No criticism of our draconian laws

    The head of Home Affairs Michael Pezzullo told a parliamentary committee last year that he regularly briefs more than two dozen journalists. Most seemingly repeat what he has to say on a non-attributable basis. In a recent speech, Pezzullo said the “drums of war” were beating and Australia must be prepared “to send off, yet again, our warriors to fight”.
    He said Australia must strive to reduce the likelihood of war, “but not at the cost of our precious liberty”. Few senior public servants have done more than Pezzullo to bring about draconian legislation curtailing Australian liberties.
    In one example, long jail terms can now apply to anyone who “harms” relations with another country, whatever that is supposed to mean. Yet many of the journalists who rightly condemn Chinese authoritarianism fail to criticise the harsh provisions in this legislation.
    Some Australian journalists prefer to use national security sources to foster fear of China. These sources helped generate excitable media reports about an important Chinese spy defecting to Australia. The “spy” was a fake and perhaps the journalist an unwitting recipient of disinformation.

    J'Accuse! Peddling government propaganda, media over-hypes "drums of war" with China - Michael West


  24. #499
    Your local I.Q. Monitor
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh View Post
    One hopes the legal lease is more legally binding than the central governments "RULING" on The Commonwealth State of Victoria's legally signed agreement.Or the free trade agreement with China

    The public destruction of The Commonwealth of Australia's agreements are "determined" by H.M. Government Governor General. His power is derived from Washington via London.

    Bullshit. His power is symbolic. He can be sacked by the Australia government. The Queens direction of the governor general is given on the advise of the Austalian government.

    Others may assume Canberra's word is similar to The LORDS opinion of ameristani "agreements".
    What ever Australia does it cannot count on any help from the USA NZ Europe or UK. They will most likely be falling over themselves to take up the export short fall from australia.

    Meanwhile the iron ore price has gone through the roof from $91 in May 2020, when the chinese put an 80% tarriff on Australian Barley, (so much for an FTA with China) to $218 today. The Chinese are not stupid enough to put a ban on the biggest iron ore producer in the world which no other country can match in quality or quantity. To do so would affect the Austrlian economy quite badly and would see the price soar to a level that would severely effect Chinese production and be catastrophic for their manufacturing sector and economy. There increased need for steel has caused the price to rise to a point where the banning of coal and barley has had no effect on the Australian govts revenue.
    It has shown the Chinas' cavalier attitude to agreements signed between govts in good faith and they can never be trusted to keep their word. from the Hong kong agreement on.
    IMO they are on a collision course for War with the West. Neither side will be winners but the resulting western world sanctions and blockades will cripple them for years to come.
    Last edited by Hugh Cow; 13-05-2021 at 08:02 AM.

  25. #500
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    the iron ore price has gone through the roof from $91 in May 2020, when the chinese put an 80% tarriff on Australian Barley, (so much for an FTA with China)
    Panic buying by world buyers to protect themselves from even higher prices for iron ore?

    All FTAs have agreements and clause including barley and iron ore.

    Barley was one issue, iron ore is another. Was the barley issue solved, is there an iron ore issue, other than suppliers getting richer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Cow View Post
    It has shown the Chinas' cavalier attitude to agreements signed between govts in good faith and they can never be trusted to keep their word
    You may find it was The Commonwealth of Australia that is reneging on singed agreements contracts at it's masters bidding.

    China Exports By Country

    Australia $53.48B 2020

    China Imports By Country


    Australia $114.8dB 2020


    2.1% of China Exports

    42 % of The Commonwealth of Australia exports go to China

    4.5 % of The Commonwealth of Australia exports go to UK

    4 % of The Commonwealth of Australia exports go to ameristan

    China Exports By Country


    China Imports By Country

    Australia Exports By Country
    Last edited by OhOh; 13-05-2021 at 11:50 AM.

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