Saturday, February 3, 2018

A question posted about China's interference in Australia's politics


Why is Australia so hostile to China?

Fred Fang (2015-present)

Fred Fang

Last month, Dec. 2017, I was in a car in Beijing, and overheard the radio saying that China asked Australia not to “intoxicate” the relationship between the two countries, and its claim of China’s attempt to interfere Australia’s domestic politics is coming “out of thin air”.
This comes as a bit of a surprise for me, as I’ve never heard of the Chinese government issuing such a “hostile” statement towards Australia, a country i lived in for over a decade, and i was curious to find out why China did it.
It turned out the whole issue began with a Chinese businessman making donation (apparently not really a lot of money, AU$40,000) towards Australian politicians, and together with a few other similar issues, the media or whatnot somehow framed it as being China trying to interfere with Australia’s domestic politics.Then Australia was said to draft new laws to upgrade its security measures against possible foreign interference (fair enough). But what realy stirred up the issue, in my opinion, was when the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull did this:And yes, he did it in Chinese, big time!
This went viral on the Chinese side of things, with people laughing at Turnbull for being so dramatic, and articles were cooked up in social media, which pointed at Australia’s awkwardness of being caught in crossfire between US and China, and celebrated China’s rise as new global power…
I don’t know if such statement have helped Mr. Turnbull to win some hearts from the Australian general public or not, i seriously doubt it, but quoting “stand up”, a too-loaded word from Chinese national anthem, a term that represented China’s hundred year humiliation, bloody wars and struggles against external powers or in between its own people, over a petty donation of $40,000 or any other issue for that matter, is just utterly inappropriate, it just cannot be equivalent.
A big mis-use of a symbolic phrase, which the Chinese viewed as either an insult or a joke, and that is why some Chinese people start to think Australia is so hostile and anti-China.I have a feeling that the Chinese users in Quora are so fed up with the western preach of democracy, election, freedom of speech, human rights… so pro-China & CCP, so proud of its achievements, and are so determined to do things the China way. And such attitude is now very popular amongst the young, educated and often English fluent Chinese youth.
But you see, my fellow Chinese, the West has a point.
You can argue that the US is being hypocritical for not practice what it preaches, waging wars around the world, killing tens of thousands, imperialist hegemony, racist, money & oil greedy, yet still stand on the moral highground and point fingers at others.
But you cannot say the same to countries like Australia and New Zealand. They represent a gentler West and a broader global community, which China should closely listen to, and respect even more as itself grows richer, stronger, more powerful and more influential each day.
Democracy, election, freedom of speech, human rights… these are good stuff, and they are in the Chinese constitution as well. The fact that China at this stage may not be in a place to fully implement them, does not mean we are rejecting these values all together. The west preaches this to us, because they really want us to be on the same page with them, to share the same love for humanity, not because all of them are trying to mock on us, and turn our society into turmoil. They preach because they do have a point. And ignoring their voices will turn the new powerful China into the same arrogant hegemony we so accuse of. And mind you, we do have a tendency in history to become a country like that.