Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Chinese billionaire Xingfa Ma buys two cattle stations in northern Australia

Chinese billionaire Xingfa Ma buys two cattle stations in northern Australia

First posted 15 July 2015 at 8:46 pm
Chinese billionaire and owner of a major ball bearing manufacturing company, Xingfa Ma, has bought two cattle stations in Australia's far north for about $47 million.
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Wollogorang and the neighbouring Wentworth station are located on the Northern Territory and Queensland border and back onto the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Xingfa Ma is one of China's richest men. His company, Tianma Bearing Group, established TBG Agri Holding Limited, in August last year as a subsidiary company in Australia.
The purchase of the two Gulf stations adds to Mr Ma's significant portfolio of Australian properties, which includes Balfour Downs, Emu Downs and Wandanya Station in Western Australia.
He also owns Ferngrove Wine Group, which he has invested millions into since purchasing in 2011.
Lex Heinemann, from Heinemann Rural, said the private sale, which includes 40,000 head of cattle, took three months to negotiate and was finalised on Wednesday.
He said the purchase had been through the Foreign Investment Review Board.
"All that has happened and all approvals have been received. In fact, the property has been settled," he said.
"Yesterday was the day that money changed hands."
Combined, Wollogorang and Wentworth are 705,700 hectares and have 80 kilometres of Gulf of Carpentaria coastline.
The properties have been owned and operated by Territory cattlemen Paul Zlotkowski for decades.
Danny Thomas, from CBRE, was the other agent involved in the sale and said the purchaser would continue to keep the properties as substantial beef operations.
"I think this particular purchaser sees other development opportunities," he said.
"I don't really understand, and I don't know that anybody really does, precisely what he might be thinking.
"But he certainly was very attracted to the fact that it had that long ocean frontage and he was very attracted to how spectacularly beautiful the property is."
Mr Thomas said there was domestic interest in the property.
"I think it [this sale] demonstrates there is renewed confidence in northern Australia," he said.
"To get the record straight, the interest that is in northern Australia at the moment is not exclusively foreign.
"There are a whole lot of companies including the largest beef businesses in Australia who are looking to expand aggressively."
It is the second Northern Territory cattle station to be bought by Chinese interests in the last 12 months, following the historic purchase of Elizabeth Downs by the Sichuan Ying Xiang Group.

Rude Chinese shoppers bully their way in Australian stores

It's not illegal but it's just WRONG': The shocking moment Asian shoppers grab baby formula before Coles staff even have time to put the tins out on shelves - leaving none for other mums Concerned woman shames Asian shoppers lined up to buy of baby formula Asian shoppers told woman to stop filming as they snatched tins of product Hannah Dixon filmed chaos at Coles in Melbourne saying they cheated system 'I know it's legal ... but it's still wrong,' Ms Dixon told the Asian shoppers A concerned woman has been told off by Asian shoppers when they saw her filming them swarming to buy huge stashes of baby formula. Hannah Dixon filmed the moment a huge line of Asian shoppers waited to fill their baskets with tins of baby formula at a Coles store in Melbourne. At least ten people were lined up eagerly filling their shopping baskets straight from a trolley stocked with the formula because the shelves were empty.

ASIO overwhelmed by foreign spying threats against Australia in past year

ASIO overwhelmed by foreign spying threats against Australia in past year

October 18, 2017
The country's top intelligence agency says it has been unable to investigate all "harmful espionage" and "foreign interference" against Australia due to the large scale of "malicious" activity directed here in the past year.

Key points:

  • ASIO says foreign powers attempting to "advance their own country's own political objectives" through interference
  • The ASIO document stops short of identifying countries suspected of spying
  • The assessment follows warnings about Chinese Government interference on university campuses
In its annual report, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) says it has identified "a number of states and other actors conducting espionage and foreign interference against Australia".
"Foreign intelligence services sought access to privileged and/or classified information on Australia's alliances and partnerships, our position on international diplomatic, economic and military issues, our energy and mineral resources, and our innovations in science and technology," the report says.
Over the past 12 months ASIO says it identified "foreign powers clandestinely seeking to shape the opinions of members of the Australian public, media organisations and government officials" to try to "advance their country's own political objectives".
The domestic spy agency found "ethnic and religious communities" were also "the subject of covert influence operations designed to diminish their criticism of foreign governments".
ASIO's assessment follows recent public warnings from Australian officials about the level of Chinese government interference on university campuses.
"Interference by foreign actors can undermine Australia's sovereignty by advancing a foreign state's cause through covertly interfering in Australia's political system and seeking to unduly influence public perceptions of issues," the report says.
The ASIO document stops short of identifying individual countries it suspects of spying, but Government officials believe China is becoming more aggressive with its activities against Australia.
"Foreign interference in Australia's diaspora communities through harassment or other means can erode the freedoms enjoyed by all people living in Australia," ASIO Director General Duncan Lewis writes.
"These activities — undertaken covertly to obscure the role of foreign governments — represent a threat to our sovereignty, the integrity of our national institutions and the exercise of our citizens' rights.
"While the harm from espionage and foreign interference is immediately evident in some cases, in other instances the harm may take years to eventuate.
"Espionage and foreign interference is an insidious threat — activities that may appear relatively harmless today can have significant future consequences."

Two Quebec inmates took part in massive fentanyl distribution ring linked directly to China: U.S. prosecutors

Two Quebec inmates 

took part in massive 

fentanyl distribution ring 

linked directly to China:

U.S. prosecutors

On Tuesday, federal prosecutors in the U.S. announced 

that charges had been laid against several people — 

including five Canadians — in the still-unravelling case

Image result for Feds Indict Chinese Nationals for Fentanyl Sales

[What is Canada waiting for, what is the matter with the Canadian Government, why cant they
name the country that this drug is coming from, why are they dithering
when so many lives have been killed! Canada appears cowardly in this whole mess.
Call out China,the source for all these deaths immediately or 
stand down as a government and let another take charge.]

It could easily have been overlooked as another sad-but-inevitable outcome of the fentanyl scourge sweeping North America.
But the overdose death of an 18-year-old in North Dakota in early 2015 sparked a global investigation that has uncovered a massive illicit drug-distribution network spanning the U.S., Canada and China.
On Tuesday, federal prosecutors in the U.S. announced that charges had been laid against several people — including five Canadians — in the still-unravelling case. Indictments allege the buying and selling of synthetic drugs took place over the dark web using virtual currencies and a slew of aliases, such as “Phantom Pharma” and “Toxic Storm.”
According to court documents, two individuals — a Canadian and a Colombian national — helped orchestrate the movement of drugs while they were serving time in Quebec’s Drummond Institution, a medium-security prison.
“Synthetic drugs, in particular fentanyl, are a major threat to both our countries,” Joanne Crampton, assistant commissioner with the RCMP, which assisted in the investigation, said at a press conference in Washington, D.C.
“Fentanyl trafficking is a worldwide problem — it knows no borders. We must intercept drugs before they reach our communities.”
The investigation began in January 2015 following the death of Bailey Henke, 18, in Grand Forks, N.D. He had overdosed on powdered fentanyl while playing video games with his buddies.
Local authorities learned that the drugs had been purchased online from a seller in Portland, Ore. The seller, in turn, told investigators he had acquired the drugs from Canada.
The fentanyl overdose death of 
18-year-old Bailey Henke in 2015 sparked
a global investigation.Facebook

His point of contact, according to court documents, was Daniel Vivas Ceron, a Colombian national who, at the time, was serving a sentence in Quebec for attempted murder. He said he communicated with Vivas Ceron via email and WICKR, an app that encrypts messages and deletes them after a certain period of time.
An undercover U.S. Homeland Security investigator began to communicate with Vivas Ceron, negotiating multiple purchases of fentanyl using bank wires and Bitcoin virtual currency. The drugs were shipped to the undercover agent from Canada and China.
In June 2015, officials searched Vivas Ceron’s prison cell and recovered a phone, SIM cards and documents containing notes of his correspondence with the undercover agent, according to court records.
The following month, as Vivas Ceron was in the process of being deported to his native Colombia from Canada, he was rearrested in Panama City under a U.S. warrant. Vivas Ceron, 36, was extradited to North Dakota earlier this year and is awaiting trial.
Meanwhile, investigators set their sights on other people in the network. On Tuesday, federal prosecutors in North Dakota and Mississippi announced that grand juries had returned indictments against two Chinese nationals accused of being involved in the manufacture of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, and five Canadians and three American residents accused of being involved in trafficking and distribution.
Daniel Vivas Ceron, a Colombian national who was serving a sentence in Quebec for attempted murder. 
One of the Canadians, Jason Joey Berry, 34, of Quebec, was incarcerated at Drummond Institution in Quebec at the same time as Vivas Ceron and is identified in court documents as having a leadership role. The other four Canadians, all from Quebec, were identified as: Xuan Cahn Nguyen, 38; Marie Um, 37; Vannek Um, 39; and Linda Van, 25.
The two Chinese nationals are Xiaobing Yan, 40, and Jian Zhang, 38.
Zhang, according to court documents, operated under the business name “Zaron Bio-tech” and played a leadership role.
Yan, meanwhile, operated websites using different names and company identities and also operated at least two chemical plants in China capable of producing fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, it was alleged. Federal prosecutors said he monitored legislation and law enforcement activities in the U.S. and China, “modifying the chemical structure of the fentanyl analogues he produced to evade prosecution.”
“(Zhang and Yan) and their respective associates represent one of the most significant drug threats facing the country — overseas organized crime groups capable of producing nearly any synthetic drug imaginable, including fentanyl, and who attempt to hide their tracks with web-based sales, international shipments and cryptocurrency transactions,” said Robert Patterson, acting administrator of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
U.S. authorities use a graphic to illustrate an international fentanyl network at a Department of Justice press conference announcing indictments in the case, Oct. 17, 2017. Sul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
According to the indictments, the co-conspirators “used computers to order and sell substances online using internet sites that are specifically designed to be hidden from the public.”
Prosecutors allege these drugs were shipped from Canada and China and then distributed across the United States, resulting in the deaths of Henke in North Dakota, and at least three other deaths in North Carolina, New Jersey and Oregon.
The allegations have not been proven in court.
At least 10 other individuals in North Dakota and Oregon have already pleaded guilty in connection with the investigation.
One of them, Brandon Corde Hubbard, the person in Portland who sold the drugs that led to the death of Henke, reportedly told a court last year: “I hurt a lot of people. Being a drug dealer is not something I aspired to. I know what I did was wrong. I’m truly sorry.”

Here comes the new boss...Global Governance According to China

Global Governance According to China

Chinese party congress: 'Global governance' under Xi Jinping

Chinese party congress:

'Global governance' under Xi Jinping

Beijing: The eyes of the world will be on Beijing on Wednesday, as Chinese President Xi Jinping delivers the Communist Party's report on China's direction for the next five years.
Australian anxieties over its largest trading partner's strategic intentions may find some answers if, as expected, Mr Xi articulates his vision for his country's role in the world as a major power.
The signs are China's more assertive new foreign diplomacy will be showcased at the party's national congress in a way not previously seen.
Mr Xi is also expected to consolidate his grip on domestic power at the twice-a-decade meeting.
Around 2200 delegates will meet to usher change through the party's Central committee, up to the 25 members of the Politburo, and finally the seven-member Standing Committee.
Mr Xi will serve a second term as general secretary, and is referred to as the party's "core".
But in a further elevation, the party's constitution will be amended to insert a "theory" from Mr Xi, to rank alongside contributions from Mao Zedong and the great reformer Deng Xiaoping.
The official China Daily newspaper editorialised on Tuesday that China's "new diplomatic thinking" could form the basis of this theory.
Mr Xi has clocked up 570,000 kilometres on his chartered plane in five years, spending 193 days abroad on 28 visits to 56 countries in five continents, according to the party's mouthpiece the People's Daily.
The newspaper devoted seven pages to Mr Xi's international diplomacy on Monday, including his contributions to economic globalisation, China hosting the G20, establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank - and his frequent flier mileage.

"They were largely domestic issues until now. But thanks to the opportunity opened up by Trump, and Xi's assiduous work over the last few years on the foreign policy side, this will be the first global party congress," says Professor Brown.
"It's a recognition that only as a global actor can China become great even in itself. This congress is part of the search for validation."
Hong Kong Baptist University's head of government studies, Jean-Pierre Cabestan, says over the past five years Mr Xi has promoted China to the "top of the great power game, helped by the difficulties of the US".
Mr Xi has created a "new myth" that China is the best student of economic globalisation, and has been "very good" at positioning itself at the top of the fight against climate change, he said.
It has also been very active within United Nations peacekeeping operations - the theme of the Chinese blockbuster film, Wolf Warrior 2.
But China's rise to economic dominance has not been easy, said Professor Cabestan, as it "has seen a lot of push back from neighbours".
There were domestic concerns that the Belt and Road Initiative, Mr Xi's signature foreign policy to create trade routes by offering billions of dollars for countries to invest in infrastructure, could be "too heavy handed and too visible" prompting pushback.
People's Daily said Mr Xi had made Chinese diplomacy more strategic and pro-active. It listed the disputed Diaoyu Islands, East China Sea and South China Sea as core issues where China had "clearly showed its standpoint ... and won major victory".