The Chinese Challenge WITHIN Australia


2017-08-29 The PRC is not simply playing classic global power politics.

They are working within key allied nations, including key ones like Australia and the United States, to achieve their power ambilitions.

In an interview earlier this month, Ross Babbage, the Australian strategist discussed the challenge as follows:

We then discussed the nature of the challenge posed by the illiberal powers.

“If we focus on the Chinese and the Russians, they’ve had a substantial level of success in the last decade because they’re applying many more instruments of national power in a focused way and taking greater risks to achieve strategic success.

“They are applying economic tools, information warfare tools, geo-strategic tools, espionage, cyber as well as diplomatic and military tools, working within the liberal democracies to influence public opinion and coerce governments and they are doing so within integrated strategies.

“And even if they themselves are rivals, they are playing off of each other’s efforts to create a learning curve with regard to how to enhance their power at the expense of the liberal democracies.”

“In contrast, the liberal democracies have yet to recognize neither the true nature of the challenges nor the need to enhance their arsenal of integrated tools to deal with them.

“And notably, governments are not focused on the internal challenge which the penetration of the Chinese and Russian operations into European, American and Australian societies is posing.”

And here there is a clear parallel to what the German government did in the run up to World War II in terms of augmenting their domestic influence in France, Britain and other European societies.

“In spite of leadership differences, the liberal democracies have far more in common than they differ. There is also a generational challenge. Since the end of the Cold War, the stark contrast between democratic and authoritarian values have not been as clear to our publics, especially to our younger people.

“Yet the Chinese, the Russians, the North Koreans and the Iranians, just to mention the most prominent authoritarian powers, have little in common with our values. We are paying a big price for not highlighting the true nature of the illiberal regimes to our publics.

“Recently, the Prime Minister of Australia, despite his difficult initial discussion with President Trump, made it clear that the North Korean threat to the United States and Australia created common cause and the need for a common response.

“The fundamentals of the ANZUS alliance remain as relevant as ever. The PM was very clear that a thuggish regime with nuclear weapons threatened our way of life.

“We need more recognition of this and preparation for the contest and conflict starring us in the face. This is the real world; not the world we wish we were living in.”

“Part of the problem here, in my view, is that we have not done a good job of telling our publics about the appalling track record of the Russians, and the Chinese, and the others.

“There are some notable exceptions.

“For example, a really good series of reports on ABC Australia in June highlighted the Chinese penetration of Australia, their cyber operations, their attempts at bribery and corruption and the threat which these operations pose to Australia.

“This series triggered further press reporting and to government decisions to review policies and legal frameworks to deal with the internal espionage, cyber and broader challenge posed by the Chinese and others.”


Credit: ABC News, Australia

“There is, however, a long way to go. We need to focus much more strongly on the global competitors who don’t share our values and who are working actively to damage us seriously or bring us down. We need to make our own public’s aware of what’s going on, but also project information and other operations back into the counties that are dominated by these kinds of regimes.

An article published in the Australian Financial Review and dated August 29, 2017 focused directly on the challenge posed by Beijing stirring up “red hot patriotism: among Chinese students studying in Australia.

“The challenge for [Australia] is, how do we cope with the fact that our single biggest customer is instructing students and teachers to have red hot patriotic sentiment when they are in Australia,” said Mr Garnaut said.

He was quoting President Xi, who has previously listed “red hot patriotic sentiment” alongside economic power, abundant intellectual resources and extensive business relations as important strengths that will help realise the collective Chinese “dream”.

“One of [Chinese President] Xi Jinping’s objectives has been to ensure that the party can project its interests into the world, including following Chinese people wherever they go.”