Category Archives: China

‘Can we ever return?’ Tears and heartbreak as Hongkongers leave for a new life in the UK | Hong Kong | The Guardian

Coming: to a country near/around you! (Only there may not be an other country to which you can flee.) mrossol

Aug 13, 2021 by Guardian Reporter

Residents fearing China’s tightening grip are departing in droves, not knowing if they will be back

It was a heartbreaking scene. A family get-together on a Sunday morning, not for a leisurely lunch at a traditional Chinese restaurant, but for a tearful farewell at the airport.

Amid the Covid pandemic, Hong Kong airport is quiet except for twice a day, when long queues form at airlines desks for London-bound flights. Friends and families turn out in droves to see them off – grandparents hand out “lucky money” in red envelopes to grandchildren, aunts and uncles joke with children to lighten the otherwise melancholic mood. With tearful eyes, many stop for a final hug and pose for one last photo with their loved ones before passing through the departure gates. The waving continues long after they have disappeared from view.

Wearing a yellow face mask – the colour symbolising resistance in the city’s 2019 pro-democracy movement – one young woman, who gave her name as Charlie, was among those waving goodbye to her friends. She said she was going to the UK to study to be a psychologist, and was unlikely to return.

“With speech freedom under threat, I would have limited opportunities in Hong Kong. I might be implicated under the [national security] law,” she said.

Victor, a 28-year-old IT professional, likewise blamed the worsening political environment for his departure. “I have no faith in Hong Kong – it is going downhill. I want to be somewhere where there is democracy,” he said.

They are among the tens of thousands of people taking up the British government’s offer of a route to citizenship, after China imposed the draconian national security law on its former colony a year ago. The Home Office expects up to 153,000 people with British national (overseas) status and their dependents to arrive in the UK in the first year, and up to 322,000 over five years. According to Home Office statistics, 34,300 people applied in the first two months after applications for BNO visas opened at the end of January, with 20,600 from outside the country.

The exodus intensified in the run-up to 1 August, when an immigration law allowing the government to bar people entering or leaving the city came into effect. Net outflows of residents in July regularly exceeded 1,000 a day, according to government figures recorded by the former investment banker David Webb.

Hong Kong’s population declined by 1.2% in the past year, including nearly 90,000 more residents departing than moving to the city, government figures released on Thursday showed. The population decrease to 7,394,700 continues the largest fall since the city began keeping comparable records in 1961.

A surge in withdrawals from the city’s mandatory pension fund due to permanent departure also suggested many were leaving for good. According to official figures, in the first quarter of this year, Hong Kong residents planning to leave permanently applied to withdraw HK$1.93bn (£180m) from their MPF accounts – a surge of 49% year-on-year.

A woman takes photos of her friends before entering the departures hall for her flight to Britain
A woman takes photos of her friends before entering the departures hall for her flight to Britain in July. Photograph: Bertha Wang/AFP/Getty Images

China’s intensifying control over Hong Kong in recent years had already prompted many people to contemplate leaving, but the crackdown on the 2019 pro-democracy protests, in which more than 10,200 people had been arrested, and the national security law aimed at halting the movement were the final straw. Nowadays, casual conversations between friends and families often lead to a discussion of not whether they plan to leave, but when.

A changed city

Beneath the usual hustle and bustle, Hong Kong has changed dramatically since the introduction of the law. It enabled the authorities to crack down on almost any form of opposition to China’s rule and undermined a wide range of civil freedoms previously taken for granted. Expressions of dissent can be punished with up to life in jail, with the possibility of being sent to mainland China.

Since its introduction, police have arrested at least 128 people for related alleged offences and targeted opposing politicians and activists, media outlets and employees, churches, schools, and unions.

The knock-on effect is obvious. Street protests have been categorically banned by the authorities, citing the pandemic. A man who allegedly booed the Chinese national anthem while watching an Olympic event at a shopping centre was arrested.

Dozens of civil society groups have closed while many political commentators have quietly left. Official censors have been authorised to ban movies that breach the national security law.

Patricia Chiu, a businesswoman who recently fled Hong Kong for the UK, said it was the loss of the city’s former way of life that broke her heart. Chiu, who had supported young protesters and campaigned for pro-democracy politicians – some of whom are now in custody – feared she too would be arrested if she stayed.

“No one wants to leave, but the situation is worsening all the time,” she said. “Since the passing of the national security law, I’ve been suffering from anxiety. Every day, I worried about [the police] knocking on our doors – the fear was constant.

“I miss the old Hong Kong, the good old days when we were free. We had no democracy but had the rule of law, the freedom of speech and assembly. But now, I don’t think I will ever be able to go back.

I covered Hong Kong for decades. Now I am forced to flee China’s ‘white terror’
Steve Vines
 

“Before I left, I looked at everything and thought that might be the last time I saw them. The Hong Kong that we knew is fast disappearing – the good life we had, the spirit, the culture of Hong Kong. It’s the city where I grew up.”

Chiu said since she might not be able to return, one of her biggest worries was that she might never see her son again.

“I dread not being able to see him again,” she said.

Carol Poon, an accountant who recently left Hong Kong with her young family, also does not anticipate being able to go back. She and her husband decided to move after the introduction of the national security law. “It’s a catch-all law that has no limits … how can we accept it?

“It’s not the same Hong Kong any more. How can we expect our kids to grow up in this environment, where you have to lie or be two-faced to survive?

“When we said goodbye to our parents the night before our departure, we thought it might be the last time we saw one another. We shed a lot of tears. Would we see them again? Can we return? If we go back, can we leave again?”

She said although she wanted her children to integrate into UK culture, it was also important for them to maintain their Hong Kong identity.

“We want to them to remember where they’re from,” she said. “The authorities will call the pro-democracy movement a riot, but we have a responsibility to preserve our memories and our Hong Kong identity. We must live to tell why we had to flee.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/aug/13/can-we-ever-return-tears-and-heartbreak-as-hongkongers-leave-for-a-new-life-in-the-uk?utm_source=pocket-newtab

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CCP at 100 Years: A Century of Killing and Deceit

If you never studied the history of the CCP, this is a very good summary. Unbelievable. mrossol

The Epoch Times,  By Nicole Hao
June 30, 2021 Updated: June 30, 2021
 

Editor’s Note: Some of the accounts in this article contain graphic and disturbing details of torture and other forms of degrading treatment.

Founded in July 1921, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has wreaked death and destruction on the Chinese populace for a century.

Armed with the Marxist ideology of “struggle” as its guiding principle, the CCP has launched scores of movements targeting a long list of enemy groups: spies, landlords, intellectuals, disloyal officials, pro-democracy students, religious believers, and ethnic minorities.

With each campaign, the Party’s purported goal has been to create a “communist heaven on earth.” But time and again, the results have been the same: mass suffering and death. Meanwhile, a few elite CCP officials and their families have accumulated incredible power and wealth.

 

More than 70 years of Party rule have resulted in the killing of tens of millions of Chinese people and the dismantling of a 5,000-year-old civilization.

While China has advanced economically in recent decades, the CCP retains its nature as a Marxist-Leninist regime bent on solidifying its grip on China and the world. Millions of religious believers, ethnic minorities, and dissidents are still violently repressed today.

Below is a summary of some of the major atrocities committed by the CCP in its 100-year history.

Anti-Bolshevik League Incident

Less than a decade after the Party’s founding, Mao Zedong, then the head of a communist-controlled territory in southeast China’s Jiangxi Province, launched a political purge of his rivals known as the Anti-Bolshevik League Incident. Mao accused his rivals of working for the Anti-Bolshevik League, the intelligence agency of the Kuomintang, which was China’s ruling party at the time.

The result was that thousands of Red Army personnel and Party members were killed in the purge.

The one-year-long campaign that started in the summer of 1930 marked the first in a series of movements helmed by the paranoid leader that only grew bloodier and broader with time. The mass carnage lasted until Mao’s death in 1976.

While there’s no record showing exactly how many CCP members were killed during the campaign, Chinese historian Guo Hua wrote in a 1999 article that within a month, 4,400 of the 40,000 Red Army members had been killed, including dozens of military leaders. Within a few months, the CCP committee in southwestern Jiangxi had killed more than 1,000 of its non-military members.

At the end of the movement, the Jiangxi CCP committee reported that 80 to 90 percent of the CCP officials in the region had been accused of being spies and executed.

Family members of senior officials were also persecuted and killed, the report said. The torture methods inflicted on CCP members, according to Guo, included burning their skin, cutting off females’ breasts, and pushing bamboo sticks underneath their fingernails.

Epoch Times Photo
Mao attends a conference related to arts and literature in Yan’an in 1942. (Public domain)

Yan’an Rectification Movement

After becoming Party leader, Mao kickstarted the Yan’an Rectification Movement—the first ideological mass movement of the CCP—in 1942. From the CCP’s base in the secluded mountainous region of Yan’an in the northwestern Shaanxi Province, Mao and his loyalists employed the familiar tactic of accusing his rivals of being spies in order to purge senior officials and other Party members.

All told, about 10,000 CCP members were killed.

During the movement, people were tortured and forced to confess to being spies, wrote Wei Junyi in a 1998 book.

“Everyone became a spy in Yan’an, from middle-school students to primary school students,” Wei, who was then editor of state-run news agency Xinhua, wrote. “Twelve-year-olds, 11-year-olds, 10-year-olds, even a 6-year-old spy was discovered!”

The tragic fate of the family of Shi Bofu, a local painter, was recounted in Wei’s book. In 1942, CCP officials suddenly accused Shi of being a spy and detained him. That night, Shi’s wife, unable to cope with her husband’s likely death sentence, took her own life and that of her two young children. Hours later, officials found her and the children’s bodies and publicly proclaimed that Shi’s wife had a “deep hatred” toward the Party and the people, and thus deserved to die.

Epoch Times Photo
A Chinese landowner is executed by a communist soldier in Fukang, China. (Public Domain)

Land Reform

In October 1949, the CCP took control of China, and Mao became the regime’s first leader. Months later, in the regime’s first movement, named Land Reform, Mao mobilized the nation’s poorest peasants to violently seize the land and other assets of those deemed landlords—many of whom were just more-well-off peasants. Millions died.

Mao, in 1949, was accused of being a dictator and admitted to it.

“My dear sirs, you are right, that is just what we are,” he wrote, according to China File, a magazine published by the Center on U.S.–China Relations at Asia Society. According to Mao, communists in power should be dictatorial against “running dogs of imperialism,” “the landlord class and bureaucrat-bourgeoisie,” and “reactionaries and their accomplices,” who were associated with the opposition Kuomintang.

Of course, the communists decided who would qualify as a “running dog,” a “reactionary,” or even a “landlord.”

“Many of the victims were beaten to death and some shot, but in many cases, they were first tortured in order to make them reveal their assets—real or imagined,” according to historian Frank Dikötter, who has painstakingly chronicled Mao’s brutality.

The 2019 book “The Bloody Red Land” chronicles the story of Li Man, a surviving landlord from southwest China’s Chongqing. After the CCP came into power, officials claimed that Li’s family had stashed 1.5 metric tons of gold. But this wasn’t true, as the family had been bankrupted years earlier due to Li’s father’s drug addiction.

Having no gold to give to the CCP, Li was tortured to the brink of death.

“They took off my clothes, tied my hand and feet to a pole. They then tied a rope around my genitals and tied a stone to my feet,” Li recounted. He said that they then hung the rope on a tree. Immediately, “blood gushed out from my belly button,” Li said.

Li was ultimately saved by a CCP official who sent him to the home of a doctor of Chinese medicine. Even after suffering severe injuries to his internal organs and genitals, Li still counted himself as lucky. Another 10 people who were tortured at the same time as Li all died. Over the next few months, Li’s close relatives and extended family would be tortured to death, one after another.

As a result of the torture, Li—who was 22 years old at the time—lost his manhood. During the CCP’s subsequent movements, Li would be tortured several more times, costing him his eyesight.

Epoch Times Photo
A starving family, date unknown (Public domain)

Great Leap Forward

Mao launched the Great Leap Forward in 1958, a four-year campaign that sought to push the country to exponentially increase its steel production while collectivizing agriculture farming. The goal, as Mao’s slogan goes, was to “surpass Britain and catch up with America.”

Peasants were ordered to build backyard furnaces to make steel, leaving farmland in severe neglect. Moreover, overzealous local officials who were afraid of being branded as “laggards” set unrealistically high harvest quotas. As a result, peasants had nothing left to eat after turning over the bulk of their crops as taxes.

What ensued was the worst man-made disaster in history: the Great Famine, during which tens of millions died of starvation, from 1959 to 1961.

Starving peasants turned to wild animals, grass, bark, and even kaolinite, a clay mineral, for food. Extreme hunger also drove many to cannibalism.

There are recorded cases of people eating the corpses of strangers, friends, and family members, and parents killing their children for food—and vice-versa.

Jasper Becker, who wrote the Great Leap Forward account “Hungry Ghosts,” said that Chinese people were forced to engage—out of pure desperation—in selling human flesh on the market, and the swapping of children so they wouldn’t eat their own.

Across 13 provinces, there were a total of 3,000 to 5,000 recorded cases of cannibalism.

Becker notes the cannibalism in China in the late 1950s and early ’60s likely occurred “on a scale unprecedented in the history of the 20th century.”

Chinese historian Yu Xiguang in the 1980s found an archival photo from his hometown in Hunan Province. It purportedly showed a man named Liu Jiayuan standing beside his 1-year-old son’s head and bones. Liu eventually was executed for murder.

Yu later interviewed Liu’s surviving family members in the 2000s to verify the story. He wrote in a report: “Liu Jiayuan was extremely starved. He killed his son and cooked [the flesh into] a big meal. Before finishing his food, his family members found his crime and reported him to the police. He then was arrested and executed.”

As many as 45 million people died during the Great Leap Forward, according to historian Dikötter, author of “Mao’s Great Famine.”

Epoch Times Photo
Communist Party cadres hang a placard on the neck of a Chinese man during the Cultural Revolution in 1966. The words on the placard state the man’s name and accuse him of being a member of the “black class.” (Public Domain)

Cultural Revolution

After the catastrophic failure of the Great Leap Forward, Mao, feeling that he was losing his grip on power, launched the Cultural Revolution in 1966 in an attempt to use the Chinese populace to reassert control over the CCP and country. Creating a cult of personality, Mao aimed to “crush those persons in authority who are taking the capitalist road” and strengthen his own ideologies, according to an early directive.

Over 10 years of mandated chaos, millions were killed or driven to suicide in state-sanctioned violence, while zealous young ideologues, the infamous Red Guards, traveled about the country destroying and denigrating China’s traditions and heritage.

It was a whole-of-society endeavor, with the Party encouraging people from all walks of life to snitch on co-workers, neighbors, friends, and even family members who were “counter-revolutionaries”—anyone with politically incorrect thoughts or behaviors.

The victims, who included intellectuals, artists, CCP officials, and others deemed as “class enemies,” were subjected to ritual humiliation through “struggle sessions”—public meetings where the victims would be forced to admit their supposed crimes and endure physical and verbal abuse from the crowd, before they were detained, tortured, and sent to the countryside for forced labor.

Traditional Chinese culture and traditions were a direct target of Mao’s campaign to exterminate the “Four Olds”—old customs, old culture, old habits, and old ideas. As a result, countless cultural relics, temples, historical buildings, statues, and books were destroyed.

Zhang Zhixin, an elite CCP member who worked in the Liaoning provincial government, was among the victims of the campaign. According to an account reported by Chinese media after the Cultural Revolution, a colleague reported Zhang in 1968 after she commented to that co-worker that she couldn’t understand some of the CCP’s actions. The 38-year-old was then detained at a local Party cadre training center, where more than 30,000 staff members of the provincial government were being held.

While in detention, she refused to admit to doing anything wrong and stood by her political opinions. She was firmly loyal to the Party but disagreed with some of Mao’s policies. She was sent to prison.

There, Zhang suffered horrendously as officials tried to force her to give up her viewpoints. Prison guards would use iron wire to keep her mouth open and then push a dirty mop into it. They handcuffed her hands behind her back and hung a 40-pound block of iron from the chains. Provincial CCP officials even ripped out all of her hair, and guards would often arrange for male prisoners to gang-rape her.

Zhang attempted to commit suicide but failed, which caused prison officials to step up their control. Her husband was also forced to divorce her. By early 1975, Zhang had descended into madness. In April of that year, she was executed by firing squad. Before being shot, the prison guards cut her trachea to silence her. She died at the age of 45.

During Zhang’s detention, her husband and two young children were forced to renounce their relationship with her. Upon learning of her death, they didn’t even dare cry—for fear that they would be heard by neighbors who might report them for bearing resentment toward the Party.

The disastrous movement ended in October 1976, less than a month after Mao’s death.

The legacy of the Cultural Revolution goes far beyond the lives destroyed, according to Dikötter.

“It is not so much death which characterized the Cultural Revolution, it was trauma,” he told NPR in 2016.

“It was the way in which people were pitted against each other, were obliged to denounce family members, colleagues, friends. It was about loss, loss of trust, loss of friendship, loss of faith in other human beings, loss of predictability in social relationships. And that really is the mark that the Cultural Revolution left behind.”

Epoch Times Photo
A young orphaned Chinese girl sits in a crib at a foster care center in Beijing on April 2, 2014. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

One-Child Policy

In 1979, the regime launched the “one-child policy,” which allowed married couples to have only one child, in a campaign ostensibly aimed at boosting the standard of living by curbing population growth. The policy caused widespread forced abortions, forced sterilizations, and infanticide. According to Chinese Ministry of Health data cited by Chinese state media, 336 million fetuses were aborted from 1971 to 2013.

Xia Runying, a villager from Jiangxi Province who experienced forced sterilization, wrote in a public letter in 2013 that her family requested to postpone the surgery because of her poor health. The local official, however, said that they would do the surgery even if she had to be tied up with ropes.

She began to urinate blood and have headaches and stomachaches after the surgery. Later, she was forced to stop working.

The regime discontinued the one-child policy in 2013, allowing two children. On May 31, it announced that families could have three children.

Epoch Times Photo
A girl wounded during the clash between the army and students on June 4, 1989, near Tiananmen Square is carried out on a cart. (MANUEL CENETA/AFP/Getty Images)

Tiananmen Square Massacre

What started as a student gathering to mourn the death of reform-minded former Chinese leader Hu Yaobang in April 1989 morphed into the largest protests the regime had ever seen. University students who congregated at Beijing’s Tiananmen Square asked the CCP to control severe inflation, curb officials’ corruption, take responsibility for past faults, and support a free press and democratic ideas.

By May, students from across China and Beijing residents from all walks of life had joined the protest. Similar demonstrations cropped up all over the country.

CCP leaders didn’t agree to the students’ requests.

Instead, the regime ordered the army to quash the protest. On the evening of June 3, tanks rolled into the city and surrounded the square. Scores of unarmed protesters were killed or maimed after being crushed by tanks or shot by soldiers firing indiscriminately into the crowd. Thousands are estimated to have died.

Lily Zhang, who was head nurse at a Beijing hospital a 15-minute walk from the square, recounted to The Epoch Times the bloodshed from that night. She woke up to the sound of gunfire and rushed to the hospital on the morning of June 4 after hearing of the massacre.

She was horrified when she arrived at her hospital to find a “warzone-like” scene. Another nurse, sobbing, told her the pool of blood from injured protesters was “forming a river at the hospital.”

At Zhang’s hospital, at least 18 had died by the time they were carried into the facility.

The soldiers used “dum-dum” bullets, which would expand inside the victim’s body and inflict further damage, Zhang said. Many sustained grave wounds and were bleeding so profusely that it was “impossible to revive them.”

At the hospital gate, a critically injured reporter with the state-owned China Sports Daily told the two health workers who carried him that he “didn’t imagine that the Chinese Communist Party would really open fire.”

“Shooting down unarmed students and commoners—what kind of ruling party is this?” were his final words, Zhang recalled.

Then-Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, who ordered the bloody clampdown, was quoted in a British government cable as saying that “two hundred dead could bring 20 years of peace to China,” a month before the massacre in May 1989.

To this day, the regime has refused to disclose the number killed in the massacre or their names, and heavily suppresses information about the incident.

Epoch Times Photo
Two plainclothes police officers arrest a Falun Gong practitioner at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, on Dec. 31, 2000. (Minghui.org)

Persecution of Falun Gong

A decade later, the regime decided to carry out another bloody suppression.

On July 20, 1999, the authorities began a wide campaign targeting the estimated 70 million to 100 million practitioners of Falun Gong, a spiritual practice that includes meditative exercises and moral teachings centered around the values of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, a website for Falun Gong-related information, millions of practitioners have been fired from their jobs, expelled from school, jailed, tortured, or killed simply because they refused to give up their belief.

In 2019, an independent people’s tribunal in London confirmed that the regime had carried out forced organ harvesting “on a significant scale” and that imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners were “probably the principal source.”

He Lifang, a 45-year-old Falun Gong practitioner from Qingdao, a city in Shandong Province, died after being detained for two months. His relatives said there were incisions on his chest and back. His face looked as if he was in pain, and there were wounds all over his body, according to Minghui.org, a website that serves as a clearinghouse for accounts of the persecution of Falun Gong.

Epoch Times Photo
A perimeter fence is constructed around what is officially known as a vocational skills education center in Dabancheng, Xinjiang Province, China, on Sept. 4, 2018. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Suppression of Religious and Ethnic Minorities

To maintain its rule, the CCP regime transferred a large number of Han ethnic people to Tibet, Xinjiang, and Inner Mongolia, where ethnic groups live with their own cultures and languages. The regime forced local schools to use mandarin Chinese as the official language.

In 2008, Tibetans protested to express their anger at the regime’s control. The regime, in response, deployed the police. Hundreds of Tibetans were killed.

Since 2009, more than 150 Tibetans have self-immolated, hoping their deaths might stop the regime’s tight control in Tibet.

In Xinjiang, the regime authorities have been accused of committing genocide against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities, including detaining a million people in secretive “political reeducation” camps.

Last year, the regime in Beijing set a new policy that mandated Mandarin Chinese-only teaching in some Inner Mongolia schools. When parents and students protested, they were threatened with arrest, detention, and job loss.

The regime also uses a surveillance system to monitor ethnic groups. Surveillance cameras were set up in Tibetan monasteries, and biometric data are collected in Xinjiang.

Eva Fu, Jack Phillips, Leo Timm, and Cathy He contributed to this report. 

https://www.theepochtimes.com/

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China’s Threat to Bomb Australia Shows Need for Aussie Nuclear Deterrent

I fear “they” (western governments) are not taking this issue seriously enough. mrossol

The Epoch Times – 5/11/2021  By Anders Corr

China’s state media recently threatened a military attack against Australia with both long-range H-6K bombers and missiles. The threat came the same day that Australia’s prime minister expressed support for Taiwan and said that, “We always have stood for freedom in our part of the world.”

China’s latest threat, made on May 7 by the editor-in-chief of the Global Times, Hu Xijin, reveals Australia’s military vulnerability to a far larger and more powerful nuclear-armed China. The Global Times is controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

Given Hu’s threat, which is consistent with the larger pattern of China’s aggression, the United States and allies should immediately support Australia in obtaining an independent submarine-based nuclear deterrent, so that Australia can join countries such as the United States, France, Britain, and India as powerful global defenders of freedom and democracy. The independent strength of individual members of an alliance improves the overall strength of the alliance.

Australia has a limited window of opportunity in which to go nuclear, after which China’s rising power and regional hegemony will make an independent nuclear Australia impossible. At that point, which could be as soon as 5 or 10 years, the window will close and China could more effectively use nuclear brinkmanship, control of Asian seas, check book diplomacy, and its economic trading power, to break Australia from its allies, and bring it under Beijing’s dominance.

NATO should welcome Australia into its alliance as a full member, before China has a chance to create a territorial dispute down under, and thereby make Australian accession more difficult. If Washington came under the influence of Beijing, the bilateral U.S.-Australia alliance would be useless to Australia’s defense.

NATO should no longer be a purely Atlantic affair, given globalization and the rise of China. What matters today in choosing our closest allies is not geography, but shared values in support of democracy, as well as the inclusion of a broader diversity of allies, including countries like Saudi Arabia and Vietnam, that will strengthen the alliance in resisting Beijing’s growing preponderance of power. Today, China has strong alliance partners in Russia, Iran, and North Korea. Welcoming Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, and other autocratic powers into an alliance with democracies will keep them from turning against us, and strengthen us all.

The Global Times article includes a prominent photo of an H-6K nuclear-capable bomber flying in formation with two Chinese military Su-35 fighter jets. The caption notes that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force (PLAAF) conducted “patrol training over China’s island of Taiwan on Friday.” The planes reportedly flew over the Bashi Channel for the first time, marking a “new breakthrough in island patrol patterns.” China almost daily threatens Taiwan’s sovereignty with fighter jet flights that force Taiwan to scramble, and thus degrade, its own jets in defense. China also frequently pushes its land, maritime, and air boundaries against Japan, India, Bhutan, Myanmar (Burma), Vietnam, and the Philippines. The same may soon be true for Australia.

“Given that Australian hawks keep hyping or hinting that Australia will assist the US military and participate in war once a military conflict breaks out in the Taiwan Straits, and the Australian media outlets have been actively promoting the sentiment, I suggest China make a plan to impose retaliatory punishment against Australia once it militarily interferes in the cross-Straits situation,” writes Hu. He therefore thinks that China has a right to attack Australia, and apparently believes that a war over Taiwan is not a question of if, but when.

“The plan [to attack Australia] should include long-range strikes on the military facilities and relevant key facilities on Australian soil if it really sends its troops to China’s offshore areas and combats against the PLA,” Hu writes. “If they [Australian hawks] are bold enough to coordinate with the US to militarily interfere in the Taiwan question and send troops to the Taiwan Straits to wage war with the PLA, they must know what disasters they would cause to their country.”

Such fighting words follow the Global Times’ demonization of Australia, and the entire Five-Eyes Alliance (United States, Britain, Canada, and New Zealand) as an “axis of white supremacy.” This characterization is obviously false given the multiethnic nature of these democracies’ leadership, including former U.S. President Barack Obama, current U.S. Vice-President Kamala Harris, and current New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta. Yet, the accusation will have currency with some given the colonial history of the Five-Eyes countries, and their current very public and laudable attempts to combat racism within their borders.

Protestors attend a rally for the Uyghur community
Protestors attend a rally for the Uyghur community at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on March 15, 2021. (Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

Conversely, China’s all-powerful 7-member Politburo Standing Committee are all Han males who resolutely deny the existence of racism in China while at the same time engaging in genocide against their Uyghur minority. The real “axis of racial supremacy” is therefore not between the Five-Eyes, but between Beijing and Moscow.

Australia is not the only country that needs an independent nuclear deterrent and membership in NATO. A similar logic applies to other democracies, including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, New Zealand, Ukraine, and Georgia, that are under threat from powerful nuclear-armed dictators. All of these countries should be encouraged to join NATO and obtain independent submarine-based nuclear deterrents.

NATO should also strengthen itself by encouraging its most powerful and democratic members, including Germany, Italy, and Canada, to obtain independent nuclear deterrent forces. Against a nuclear-armed foe, no country can entirely rely on another for its defense. Frequent breach of contract between democratic allies, such as the United States and Canada, Britain and the European Union, and Italy and Ireland, over vaccines and personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic, proves that even democracies violate agreements with each other over issues of far less consequence than military conflict in the nuclear age.

Only democracies should have nuclear weapons, because only democracies have the sovereign legitimacy that free and broad-based political participation provides and that tends to (but unfortunately has not always) limited the use of such weapons against civilian targets. But democracies should come to the defense of allied autocracies, for example Saudi Arabia, which is under military pressure from Iran, and Vietnam, which is under threat from China. Maintenance of global political diversity requires the protection of these less powerful autocracies, with all their failings, from larger autocratic threats. Less powerful autocratic allies will eventually undergo a natural and peaceful political evolution towards democracy and improved human rights.

Democracies must not only defend themselves, but the international system of diverse nation-states, in order to keep China and Russia from creating a sufficiently powerful alliance to fold the world’s less powerful states into their plans for regional hegemony and the resulting balkanization and destabilization of the post-1945 rules-based international system. States under threat from these aspiring illiberal hegemons must band together in a powerful alliance, but be sufficiently strong individually, to independently defend their own sovereignty.

Anders Corr has a BA/MA in political science from Yale University (2001) and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University (2008). He is a Principal at Corr Analytics Inc., Publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. He authored “The Concentration of Power” (forthcoming 2021) and “No Trespassing,” and edited “Great Powers, Grand Strategies.”

https://www.theepochtimes.com/chinas-threat-to-bomb-australia-shows-need-for-aussie-nuclear-deterrent_3809456.html

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China’s Ban on Australian Exports Requires a Unified Response by Allies, Especially the US and Canada

It is super disappointing when the West does not support its own allies in the fight against CCP. Why are we backfilling supplying China when Australia is paying the price?? mrossol

The Epoch Times.  Updated 5/3/2021,  By Anders Corr

Allies really shouldn’t throw each other under the bus when it comes to China. Just the opposite.

China banned Australian coal exports in October, and over the next five months, those exports dropped from over 3 million tons per month, to zero. American coal producers lifted some of those sales, with quantities sold increasing from about zero that month to 663,000 tons in March, according to China’s customs data.

China’s increased coal exports from the United States thus hit two birds with one stone. First, by punishing Australia, in part for rejecting Huawei (at America’s request, awkwardly), and second, by helping China meet its obligation to purchase another $52.4 billion of U.S. energy from 2020 to 2021, per former President Donald Trump’s Phase One trade deal of January 2020.

Trump put America first with his trade deal, but ignoring America’s allies as China’s punitive tariffs thrash each in turn like oxen on Beijing’s plow, making them suffer, and driving them in China’s preferred direction. Where America was first with its allies, it could now come in last.

On April 28, Japan was the latest country to approve Beijing’s Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which excludes the United States. All of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, known as ASEAN (Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand), plus South Korea, New Zealand, and Australia, are also in the process of joining RCEP. The agreement is another step towards Beijing’s dream of hegemony in Asia, which would push U.S. military bases and trade completely out of the region.

Epoch Times Photo
President Joe Biden (L), with Secretary of State Antony Blinken (2nd L), meets virtually with members of the “Quad” alliance of Australia, India, Japan, and the United States, in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington on March 12, 2021. (Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images)

Canada also benefited from Australia’s loss. That cold nation to our north exported 2.2 million tons of barley to China from the 2020 to 2021 harvest. This more than doubled the 2019 and 2020 exports, according to the Canadian Grain Commission. Meanwhile, Australia lost about 15 percent in unmilled barley export revenues to China (A$90 million). Why? China’s deep-cutting 80.5 percent “anti-dumping” duties levied against the back of Australian barley in May.

You can be sure that Australian barley and coal producers are screaming bloody murder to their elected representatives in Canberra (the ones that listen, because they get paid to). They will be asked exactly what Beijing wants them to be asked. Australia must cave to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s wish list. Invite Huawei into Australian information networks. Stop being friendly to Taiwan. Stop complaining about genocide against the Uyghurs. Stop encouraging the United States through joint naval operations in places like the South China Sea. In other words, stop being Australian.

There is a better alternative to the kowtowing of Australian sovereignty to Beijing in order to sell it the coal it will use to power its industry, build its military, and claim hegemony over Asians, Pacific-Islanders, Aussies, and Kiwis. Not to mention, pollute the world into catastrophic environmental decline.

Allies like the United States and Canada, instead of throwing Australia under China’s bus when it’s down and out, should support all their exporters, of whatever nationality, when they are sanctioned by Beijing.

The governments of the three countries, as well as other big allied exporters to China, like Japan, South Korea, Germany, Brazil, Vietnam, and Malaysia, should form a government-backed exporters’ confederation that guarantees the purchase of exports when those exports suffer due to sanctions from Beijing. This amounts to official insurance for exporters against the CCP’s trade tantrums. It could be self-funding through minor international levies imposed on exports to China in good times. This would be an international sellers cooperative to pressure Beijing into being a reasonable international citizen, rather than an aspirant to hegemony, at no cost to taxpayers.

Next time China sanctions Australia’s barley producers, for example, the export federation would work to find alternative markets at the same or greater price as China would have paid. Failing which, the federation would guarantee to buy the barley outright, or make the farmers whole.

Barley harvest
Barley harvest in Grenfell, New South Wales, Australia, on Nov 12, 2007. (Greg Wood/AFP via Getty Images)

This would remove a vector of Beijing’s influence on the governments of our democracies. No more would these barley producers be put in the unenviable position of needing to sinicize Australian government policies in order to ensure their barley sales.

Free the barley!

Anders Corr has a BA/MA in political science from Yale University (2001) and a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University (2008). He is the principal at Corr Analytics Inc., publisher of the Journal of Political Risk, and has conducted extensive research in North America, Europe, and Asia. He authored “The Concentration of Power” (forthcoming 2021) and “No Trespassing,” and edited “Great Powers, Grand Strategies.”

https://www.theepochtimes.com/chinas-ban-on-australian-exports-requires-a-unified-response-by-allies-especially-the-us-and-canada_3798287.html

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