Thursday 28th of January 2021

barney between a steel cauldron and a small clay tea pot (probably made in china)....


Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Australia's top diplomat, Frances Adamson, have both set out a vision for Australia that accepts the old order is changing.

In a speech to a British think tank, Morrison sent a message to China that Australia will not be America's "deputy sheriff" and Canberra will not be making decisions based on a choice between Washington and Beijing.

Meanwhile, Adamson candidly argued that Australia "is not about imposing our views on others", adding that "an era within which we felt comfortable has passed".

She isn't telling us anything we shouldn't already have known, but when it comes to China, Australia has been a slow learner. 

Our strategy has been caught between what former prime minister Tony Abbott once described as a mixture of "fear and greed".

The messaging has at times been cringe-inducing. When I lived in China, I lost count of the number of times I heard visiting politicians or business leaders talk about "exploiting" the relationship. We got rich and we assumed China would become just like us.


Read more:

Until Australia gives up its "Five-Eyes" intelligence status, all the words in the world by ScoMo of not being the "deputy bozo" are as uselessly noisy as an empty packet of chips being crushed...



Australian PM Scott Morrison has demanded an official apology from China, after its foreign ministry spokesman urged a probe into recent war crimes allegations with an illustration of a soldier holding a knife to a child's throat.

“Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians and prisoners by Australian soldiers,” Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, said in a Tweet on Monday morning.

We strongly condemn such acts, and call for holding them accountable

READ MORE: NINE Aussie soldiers take their own lives as a war crimes scandal morphs into shambles, with top brass shielded & squaddies blamed

The post was illustrated with a photo collage of a soldier in Australian military uniform holding a knife to a child’s throat, with a caption that read ‘Don't be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace!’


Read more:


See also:


chinese diplomats leaked an extraordinary list of grievances with australia...


what are we doing in afghanistan again?... ah, chasing bin laden in the national interest...


from John R....

While Prime Minister, “Metternich” Morrison, thinks that a cartoon depicting an Australian soldier holding a bayonet to the throat of a child is “contemptable” & “utterly outrageous”, many might wonder how the children murdered by Australian forces in Afghanistan might have felt at the time  (“Chinese digitally altered picture of soldier 'repugnant’”, Canberra Times, November 30th).In the echo chamber that passes for Parliament these days, great independent voices for reason & restraint from all sides could be heard echoing Morrison’s confected outrage, with the alleged “Opposition Leader”, Anthony Albanese, who tried but failed to out virtue-signal the Prime Minister, describing it as “gratuitous, inflammatory & deeply offensive".


Meanwhile, not a syllable uttered by either of the self-righteous hypocrites about the torture of Julian Assange by our “special friends”, Great Britain & the good old USA.


People in glass houses …




Hear hear, John... G



an ugly image indeed...

China’s foreign ministry has rejected calls from the Australian prime minister to apologise over an inflammatory tweet over war crimes allegations, insisting it is Australia that should be saying sorry for the loss of life in Afghanistan.

The Australian prime minister, Scott Morrison, had demanded the Chinese government apologise and take down a “repugnant” foreign ministry tweet that depicted an Australian soldier cutting the throat of a civilian in Afghanistan.

As the outrage over the digitally altered image threatened to sink already tense relations between the two countries to a new low, Morrison said on Monday the Chinese government “should be totally ashamed of this post”, which he said diminished Beijing on the world stage.

He said his government – which has been at odds with Beijing over a range of trade actions taken by China against Australian exports over the course of this year – was conveying its outrage directly to the Chinese ambassador to Australia and would also contact Twitter to demand it take down the post “in the interest of decency”.


Read more:


Read from top.




Question: Have Australian soldiers killed kids (and women) in Afghanistan?

Answer: Yes. In "combat" situation, when Australian soldiers were "searching for Taliban fighters"... in Afghan villages, mostly at night, where there were no Taliban fighters around and "plenty of misunderstanding" of the situation...

War is a bitch for all concerned.

No matter how good "our" intentions are, there is no place for Aussie soldiering overseas. Why is Scomo so insensed about the "picture"? Answer: because it represents a reality about our political ideals and intents gone arse up. It goes straight to the heart of the matter. Rather than fight the picture, find the courage to apologise and retreat.



Please also understand the bigger game being played...

facts, fiction and rumours...

As Peter Hartcher tells us that "Twitter post garbage the clearest sign yet of desperation in Beijing", it could be that he misunderstands the game being played. 


Here is another positioning of "America's deputy sheriff":


Rumor: Using satellite images, a report titled "Documenting Xinjiang's Detention System" by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute claims to have identified many detention centers in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

Fact: Buildings with outer walls, which were all identified as detention centers by the ASPI report, are in fact civil institutions.

Using satellite images to prove the existence of detention centers in Xinjiang is "absurd" and "misleading", said Ilijan Anayt, a regional government spokesman, at a news conference.

The "detention center" in the city of Turpan mentioned in the report is a local administrative building, and the "detention centers" in Kashgar prefecture are care homes, logistics parks and schools, he said. Ilijan also presented photos of the buildings that were alleged to be detention centers or forced labor sites.

Xinjiang is open so there is no need to learn about it through satellite images, Ilijan added.


Read more:


So what? The Australian government has tried to flex muscles with moral fibres that are a bit pissy. Hong Kong, the Uygurs, etc... All we got in return is a sharp "get stuffed". No, contrary to what Peter Hartcher tells us, China isn't desperate. We are desperate if someone must be desperate. China does not need us. What it deserves is a bit of recognition from us. Daily, the Chinese are progressing, improving, reducing poverty through specific programmes as well as becoming secularly intelligent. We, on the other side, are led by an evangelical moron who is adapting to the surroundings like a chameleon, one minute claiming "freedom", the other doing some clamping down. Should you be a worker for our glorious private enterprises, you might get the sack... like the 2000 ground crew for Qantas — possibly replaced by road workers on contracts. I feel we shall enjoy flying Chinese airlines in the future as it seems their government, whether we like it or not, is looking after its workers.

So, the way we see it, we make mistakes and we've got a few rogues elements in our army... and the Chinese are all rogues because... Ease up. Make amend. While Assange is still in a UK prison, with don't have a broken leg to stand on.


Now for our government to "demand" (ask gently) that all charges against Assange be dropped, this would be swell. FREE ASSANGE TODAY...



Read from top.

not a moment of panic in china...

As usual, Cathy Wilcox expresses a million words in an image:


pong diplomacy


Read from top... especially 

facts, fiction and rumours...


This image reminds me of my own (done more than 15 years ago) when downer was whatever annoying the Chinese... 

like a sadfly...




See also: 

Buzzy Bee Clowner


This one below as well, published on April first 2005


listen guys

listen guys



spies inside the tea pot...

Media in the Asian Century: Read all about our media expertise on China!


By HAMISH MCDONALD | On 18 December 2020

This week Sharri Markson exposed the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the British MI6 and others for a gormless bunch of gumshoes and naifs.

On Monday, the investigations editor of The Australian told us “the Chinese Communist Party has infiltrated the Australian, British and United States consulates in Shanghai, with a government-run recruitment agency placing advisers into Western embassies for more than a decade”.

Along with reporters Jared Lynch and Remy Varga, Markson had gone through a CCP membership list with the names, jobs, birthdays and ethnicity of 1.95 million of the party’s 92 million members.

“An investigation by The Australian has found that at least 10 consulates in Shanghai have CCP members employed as senior political and government affairs specialists, clerks, economic advisers and executive assistants,” they reported. “Foreign affairs experts warn the employment of CCP members in the consulates, some for up to 16 years, could be part of a “state-sponsored spy ring”, while intelligence officers labelled it a breach of protocol and a risk to national security.” Lots were working in local branches of foreign companies.

The list, dated in 2016, came from a database accessed by unknown activists in Shanghai, and circulated around various dissident groups, before coming to the recently formed Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China in September, whose Australian members are led by Liberal MP Andrew Hastie and Labor senator Kimberley Kitching. No prizes for guessing Markson’s source then. The Australian’s distinguished media partners in this drop were Britain’s Mail on Sunday, Belgium’s De Standaard, and some unnamed Swedish journalists.

The reporters got some of the usual suspects to fulminate, including “Charles Sturt University public ethics academic and China specialist” Clive Hamilton and ASPI head Peter Jennings. Another was the Henry Jackson Society in London, self-appointed defenders of democracy. “It is extraordinary that some countries have persisted in employing locally engaged staff in China when these threats have been clear for some time,” said spokesman Samuel Armstrong.

He said the employment agency sending these staff to foreign missions  “looks and smells like a well-organised, state-sponsored spy ring … The Australian government has done a good job at eliminating long-term security risks from China but Foreign Minister (Marise) Payne will need to urgently explain how such a glaring intelligence threat came to be normalised in one of DFAT’s missions.”

As for Britain, one such party plant worked just downstairs from the MI6 floor in its Shanghai consulate. “Anybody walking past her office and up the staircase she could identify as an intelligence officer to pass back to the Chinese Communist Party,” Smith said.

By the time readers got to the end of the report and its follow-ups, they might have noticed some caveats and back-tracking. Former diplomats based in China, such as Kevin Rudd and Geoff Raby, pointed out that diplomatic missions kept locally engaged staff out of protected areas. Employers said they did not ask staff about their political affiliations. And with businessman Chau Chak-wing’s recent defamation successes in Australian courts no doubt in the minds of News Corp lawyers, the article stressed that “there is no evidence that anyone on the party membership list has spied for the Chinese government”. It also acknowledged that “many become members to boost their career prospects”.

After some days, Markson’s bombshell was more like a firework vanishing into smoke, as was her scoop earlier this year about a “Five Eyes dossier” pointing to a Wuhan laboratory as the likely source of the Covid-19 virus. That turned out to be a US State Department collection of press clippings.

Beyond the cringe

Pulled out of the list for special mention was the name of Chen Hong, the professor at Shanghai’s East China Normal University specialising in Australian studies, who had his multiple entry visa cancelled in September after ASIO and federal police conducted raids to break up a suspected foreign interference ring. The listing, editorialised The Australian, “leaves no doubt” about his views.

This was news to Chen. “Through the kind offices of The Australian and some other Australian media outlets, I became a member of the CPC without even knowing it,” he wrote in China’s tabloid Global Times. Actually, he had never been a party member, and had tried to tell this to the newspaper.

The professor suggested that those in Canberra hunting for “reds under the bed” would do better heeding the advice of the Australian literary critic A.A.Phillips, who first talked of an Australian “cultural cringe” in a famous essay for Meanjin in 1950: “”The opposite of the Cringe is not the Strut, but a relaxed erectness of carriage.”

Trading threats

The trade punishment of Australia under Scott Morrison’s government continues to ratchet up, with China effectively confirming an embargo on Australian coal, worth $14 billion a year, that has been in effect already for several months. Lost markets in China are now more than $20 billion a year.

It has led to a certain amount of defiance in the media. Sacked minister and  Barnaby Joyce fan Matt Canavan suggested a levy on iron ore sales to China. In the News Corp tabloids Ellen Whinnett reported that the Five Eyes were consulting about how to band together to help out Australia with counter trade sanctions on China, not reporting that Canada is already moving to replace our coal sales.

But doubts are creeping in, even in some unlikely places. In The Australian, under the headline “Do you know what you are doing, PM?”, columnist Katrina Grace Kelly, normally a pro-Coalition attack-dog, said that after the bushfires and coronavirus, Australia needed the trade war with China “like we need a hole in the head”.

“Do you even know what you are doing? That is the question industry leaders would love to ask Scott Morrison and his team. Our political leaders appear inept and the Prime Minister’s angry response this week to an offensive image gave an impression of weakness.”

New man of steel

Not to worry, though. According to her paper’s political editor Dennis Shanahan, the Beijing tweet “has put new steel into the Prime Minister’s spine”.

“One fake image on Twitter has changed the dynamic of the relations between Australia and China, drawn the incoming Biden administration to Scott Morrison, even before the new US president is sworn in, and totally changed the domestic political equation for Anthony Albanese and Labor,” Shanahan intoned.

ASPI’s Peter Jennings had no doubts about how to shape up to China. “Australia has a brilliant opportunity to shape Joe Biden’s strategy for the Indo-Pacific in a way that will secure a major increase in American military power in the region,” he wrote in his weekly column for the same newspaper, going on to say: “We should propose to Biden that elements of the US 1st Fleet should operate out of Stirling in WA and from the Port of Darwin. If Singapore is reluctant to host a land-based headquarters, then we should offer to be the host.”

Brilliant! And next week, Jennings took it further. “Here’s a priority list for Marise Payne’s foreign arrangements taskforce to apply the government’s new veto power: Victoria’s Belt and Road Initiative memorandum of understanding with China; a dozen Confucius Institutes at Australian universities (NSW removed one from its Department of Education last year); and, at last count in 2018, 1741 agreements between Australian and Chinese universities…”

But Payne’s department might need a bit of spine-stiffening too. “We must also hope DFAT’s foreign arrangement taskforce won’t go the way of the Foreign Investment Review Board and conclude that its core task is to facilitate keeping and making foreign agreements as the most important objective. We need a tough national security mindset to look after Australia’s interests. DFAT will need help on that front.”

Which is strange. Wasn’t David Irvine, former ambassador to China and former chief of both ASIS and ASIO, made chairman of the FIRB precisely to bring in a national security eye? But he’s been reported showing signs of weakness lately, forcing Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to countermand his OK for China’s Mengniu to buy out the Lion Dairy from its Japanese owners.

Meanwhile, The Australian’s Ben Packham reported this week on a new Tax Office study showing offshore buyers are snapping up prime agricultural land across the country, with foreign farm ownership surging in the eastern states. North American buyers are leading the charge, Chinese investment is up marginally and UK owners have reduced their holdings by 860,000 hectares.

Pat on head for Hartcher

Only the most dedicated loyalists of Rupert Murdoch will plough through the turgid weekly column of former editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell in The Australian’s Monday media section. It’s usually a predictable rant at the lefties of the ABC and the former Fairfax papers.

This week, however, Mitchell was full of praise for Sydney Morning Herald international and political editor. He had “hit the mark” with his December 1 column,  arguing “the evidence reveals that the supposedly mighty regime of strongman Xi Jinping is the one feeling the strain”. This was a column that we singled out for attention as notably strident, so we are rebuked.

Mitchell noted sorrowfully that “Many in the Australian media have always supported the Labor lines of former prime minister Paul Keating and former NSW premier Bob Carr: that our economic future rests with China, which will inevitably become the world’s most powerful nation militarily and economically. It’s been the line from the Department of Foreign Affairs for decades. But events may yet prove it wrong. And we can of course trade with China and preserve our US alliance.”

Pots and kettles

Press gallery stenographers continue to report the pronouncements of our leaders with an admirable lack of irony and comment.

We can only savour the straight reporting of Morrison’s comment on the coal embargo that it would slow China’s progress to the net-zero carbon emissions promised by Xi Jinping for 2060, given the lower calorific value of alternatives. “As a result, that would be a bad outcome for the environment,” Morrison said on Tuesday, only four days after missing out on a speaking slot in the virtual Climate Action Summit because of his government’s failure to set a zero-emission target date.

Then there was Alexander Downer warning business leaders that they risked alienating the public, their customers and their staff if they sided with China against the Morrison government to “push up their share prices”.

The former foreign minister who pulled Australia out of international maritime tribunal jurisdiction and sent ASIS to eavesdrop on the Timorese leaders during sea boundary negotiations told an Asialink forum that “Making the rules-based international system work, making sure that there is an appropriate balance of power in the Indo-Pacific region … making sure that Australia maintains its networks around the world with countries which are its natural friends and allies — all these things are more important than just money.”


Read more:


See toon at top.