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Friday, 12 June 2020 11:39

The China Syndrome

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China is in the news.  With Covid and with trade wars, the world has begun to question its embrace of China over these past decades.  With good reason.  A repulsive regime has been granted the keys to the world economy.  On our watch.



I have mentioned the emergence of strange new political bedfellows before. 

The Clive Hamilton and the National Civic Council unity ticket might just take the cake.  Clive is a leftie from central casting, but he broke from “Team China” with the publication of his book, China’s Silent Invasion: China’s Influence in Australia.  This book exposed China’s by now well-known attempt at world domination through thuggish capitalism and, as Lenin once put it, capitalism’s “highest stage”, aka imperialism.  What a sublimely brilliant strategy the ChiComms have developed.

The National Civic Council (NCC) is the creation of the legendary Bob Santamaria, Mr DLP and the lead agent for Catholic Action in Australia.  Fiercely anti-communist from the get-go, the NCC has been performing yeoman service in the anti-China cause since we were all in short pants.  Its efforts continue, unabated.  They are to be welcomed at a time of general Western subservience to China.

Clive Hamilton has another book coming out next week – Hidden Hand: How the Chines Communist Party is reshaping the World.  Buy it!  Empower lefties who see through the Chinese scam.  Doing so may also dissuade Clive from publishing further books on climate bullshit.

China doesn’t have a very good press at the moment, post-Covid, and opposition to the Chinese regime mounts globally, on a daily basis.  This is occurring both at a policy level (with ScoMo’s efforts), and among the punters who smell a rat or several.  Good.  It is a truly repulsive regime. Consider the following, for starters:

  • All-but-proven Covid dishonesty, about both the causes and the timing of the initial Wuhan outbreak;
  • The controversial and creepy Wet Markets;
  • The relentless buying up of Australia and our core assets – agriculture, businesses, real estate, strategic infrastructure and the rest;
  • Confucius Institutes and the taking over the studentship of Australian universities, generally used as a ticket to permanent migration;
  • The “They took our jobs” syndrome – the outsourcing of our skill set, especially in manufacturing, to a foreign power;
  • 5G and Huawei, conspiracy theories notwithstanding;
  • Brutal human rights abuses at home that are beyond the pale;
  • Security issues and the infiltration of Australian institutions;
  • The regime’s totalitarianism;
  • China’s blatant imperialism and the bullying of other countries that this means;
  • Militarisation and the attempted control of the Pacific;
  • Accelerating immigration to Australia;
  • The buying up of Australian property, thereby inflating Aussie house prices in capital cities;
  • The Belt and Road Initiative and Daniel Andrews’  – China’s Daniel Andrews-abetted strategy to leverage economic influence into political influence in Australia.

Yes the list is long, and growing.  Will it mean that the bell tolls for Xi?  Probably not.  China is too clever, and we are stupid, for that.

The list also suggests – how can the West put up with its own obsequiousness to China?  How did this all happen?

In the words of the British commentator James Delingpole, China is a ‘big thug”.  Yet we are urged by our betters to love it.  To “engage”.

Speaking of Delingpole, we owe him a big favour for drawing the world’s attention to the “how they did it” question.  James has a podcast (who doesn’t, now?) called Delingpod.  James happened to meet at a London dinner party one Stewart Paterson, who has written a book called China, Trade and Power: Why the West’s Economic Engagement Has Failed (2018).

Delingpole described Paterson’s book as “the most important book I have ever read”. 

A big call.

In Paterson’s telling, 11 December 2001 is a highly significant date, far more significant as it happens.  China was allowed to join the World Trade Organisation.  Three months to the day after the World Trade Centre was felled.  Not many people noticed this at the time.  Of the few who did, virtually none would have contemplated what was to follow – China’s takeover of the world.  Following years of lobbying by American corporates, driven by venal profit motive considerations, Clinton cluelessly caved, and Bush 43 cluelessly signed off on the deal.  Then followed merciless outsourcing of jobs to China, especially manufacturing jobs, the global financial crisis, massive western under-employment, trade deficits with China, destructive deflation, turbo-charged globalism, and now China’s status as a world power. 

We did that! 

US corporates wanted cheap labour.  They got it.  It went straight to the bottom line.  Outsourcing meant that the rich got richer in both Western countries and China, and the middle class at home disappeared.  That is, us.

The West signed its own death warrant, in effect.  Focusing on the Islamic threat post 9/11, real but episodic and run by whacko and ill-disciplined mullahs in caves, we missed the big one in the early 2000s.

China now has 25 per cent of the world’s manufacturing.  Twenty years ago it had a quarter of that.  We in Australia no longer make things.  Until Trump arrived, neither did the USA.  The Chinese love vertical integration, with themselves in control of the supply chains.  That is why they buy Australian farms.  And New Zealand agricultural assets, like Silver Ferns, once a Kiwi commercial and innovation success story.  The dumb Kiwis don’t yet get this.  The pathetic Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, in thrall to the god of FDI – direct foreign investment – sold us out, with no one really watching.  Too much economics textbook learning, and not enough realpolitik.  And policy common sense.

The Western dupes all fell for the meme that if China went capitalist, it would also go liberal.  What idiocy, right there.  They also bought the “free trade at all costs” line.  Free trade was a great theory for an era before technology changed the world, without anyone knowing.  Old globalisation WAS about trade.  Not any more, given the rise of multinationals and enabling technology.

The trick was to allow China to develop its export economy, on which was based its push to, one, raise the living standards of its future capitalists, and two, to screw the entire Western economy.  Which it has proceeded to do, with our supine acquiescence.

The top ten richest members of the Chinese National People’s Congress are worth $185b.  A fine old communist regime, indeed.  The Chines Communist party (CCP) isn’t really “communist” in a Marxist sense.  It is merely authoritarian.  Viciously so.  The way to Chinese wealth is through the Communist Party.  This is a corporatist state, just like all the others.  With kickbacks, crony capitalism, in-groups and thuggery.

It all started with the Deng Xiaoping 1978 reforms, so much welcomed in typical non-seeing fashion by Western leaders.  Deng overturned Mao’s absurd economics but no one ever overturned Mao’s politics.  The democratic dividend never appeared.  With China’s hideous twenty-first century social credit regime, the cultural revolution on steroids, it gets ever worse for the Chinese punters, while their “one per cent” gets ever richer.  Marx would be spinning in his grave.  Lenin would get it, though, entirely.

The whole China Syndrome has been an unalloyed catastrophe for the West, and for the globalisation project.  This has been brought home by the belated discovery by Western countries of the Covid out-workings of Chine imperialism – direct flights from Wuhan to New York and to Rome, the takeover of the Italian textiles industry by the Chinese mafia, the Chinese Big Pharma control of global medical supply chains, the Chinese ownership of the World Health Organisation, and the rest.

The globalisation experiment is now increasingly seen as being dead in the water.  Writers like the late Sir Roger Scruton belled the cat on globalisation in his book  Where We Are: The State of Britain Now (2017), and as did Richard Baldwin, author of The Great Convergence: Information Technology and the New Globalisation (2016).  These writers have drawn back the curtain on the globalisation project and revealed its essential reality. 

Scruton nailed the turning point as the decision by his own British Government to allow foreign ownership of British property at a time when technology was transforming the whole nature of international commerce.  The new, easy moving of people and capital gutted home grown business and national identity and in the process rendered traditional notions of “free trade” obsolescent.   

As Scruton stated:

To suppose that the freedom to move capital and people is as much a part of free trade as the free exchange of goods and services is to jeodardise the very idea of trade.

Baldwin stressed the critical point of a new type of globalisation as being the communications technology revolution of the 1990s that enabled the radical lowering of the cost of “moving ideas” and led to the “great switch of manufacturing jobs” and a whole new meaning of globalisation.  In the event, technology merely enabled the sell-out of Western jobs and skills.

Yes, the West’s forelock tugging to globalisation theory has had grave consequences, China wise.

This new wave of post 1990s globalisation set up the whole scene for China to capitalise on naïve Western free trade thinking.  China rode the wave of globalisation – right to the beach.

The emerging, latter day questioning by those on the right of the globalisation gospel, such as it is, is welcome.

But the West is stuck with the whole WTO infrastructure and its own servility to the Chinese trading god.  We now understand what has happened.  And we are powerless to respond.  Spectator Australia columnists say – stop buying Chinese.  Great!  That will stop it.  Mere right-of-centre virtue signalling.

The Australian enablers of the Chinese capitalist-imperialist play are there for all to see.  Bob Carr.  Shanghai Sam Dastyari.  Alexander Downer.  Bob Hawke.  Andrew Robb.  Daniel Andrews.  Political chancers in the cause of their own bank accounts, as it turned out.  They all enriched themselves in the process.  It is almost as if an Australian parliamentary career is merely a step along the path to Chinese enabled wealth and influence.  They have turned out to be servants of the Chinese ruling class, ironically.  Thirty pieces of silver, indeed.

It might be said that it all started with Richard Nixon and Gough Whitlam, in the naïve 1970s.  As Rob Stove has argued:

Nixon’s … sin was his kowtowing to communist China, which by the early 1970s had already eliminated (according to the most cautious statistics available) 15 million Chinese. The result over the next half-century was to destroy the Anglosphere’s entire manufacturing base, and to ensure the global spread of Wuhan’s silent killer.

Second order, useful idiot enablers in the 2000s include all those DFAT types who cheered on the Chinese Free Trade Agreement and its associated diplomatic charades.  Good work if you can get it.

We sold out, in the name of Australian exports and living standards.  Well meant, no doubt.  The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

What of the Chinese infiltration of our cultural institutions?

The Chinese Confucius Institutes have thirteen centres in Australia.  We have struggled to get even a couple of Western Civ centres promoted by the Ramsay Centre.  It has been like drawing teeth.  The University of Queensland cheers on the other side, utterly forsaking its role at a promoter and an enabler of free thinking and scholarship.

What a disgrace.

This is merely one of many, many examples of venal Australian subservience to a ruthless, foreign imperial regime, to whom we owe neither respect nor subservience.  The crimes of xenophobia and racism are routinely cited as a way of silencing dissent in the face of Chinese diplomatic and economic aggression.  The racism card is now everywhere, endlessly played by dupes, useful idiots and unknowing, teenage, communist fifth columnists.

This is masterful soft power, at which the Chinese are past masters.  What are the gnomes in Canberra doing about all this?  Well might we all ask.  And the progressive left claims to be against imperialism.  The left has sold out everything it once stood for, and against.

Thank God for Clive Hamilton.  And the NCC.

According to Wikipedia:

"China syndrome" is a fanciful term—not intended to be taken literally—that describes a fictional result of a nuclear meltdown, where reactor components melt through their containment structures and into the underlying earth, "all the way to China."

Well, as it has happened, China has itself drilled all the way through the earth’s core to the other side – us.

As for Jack Nicholson, he of the cut nose when roughed up in the movie Chinatown, well he might now well argue that we in the West have had our noses well and truly cut by Chinese not-so-soft power.  Actually, we have cut off our noses to spite our faces.  At the moment, the focus, of course, is on China’s role in the global spread of the virus that has crippled Western economies.  That is only the start of it.

China wins.  Always.

Read 1972 times Last modified on Monday, 22 June 2020 23:58
Paul Collits

Paul Collits is a freelance writer and independent researcher who lives in Lismore New South Wales.  
He has worked in government, industry and the university sector, and has taught at tertiary level in three different disciplines - politics, geography and planning and business studies.  He spent over 25 years working in economic development and has published widely in Australian and international peer reviewed and other journals.  He has been a keynote speaker internationally on topics such as rural development, regional policy, entrepreneurship and innovation.  Much of his academic writing is available at
His recent writings on ideology, conservatism, politics, religion, culture, education and police corruption have been published in such journals as Quadrant, News Weekly and The Spectator Australia.
He has BA Hons and MA degrees in political science from the Australian National University and a PhD in geography and planning from the University of New England.  He currently has an adjunct Associate Professor position at a New Zealand Polytechnic.