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"China Makes A Play For Micronesia" Topic

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Tango0113 Jan 2020 10:12 p.m. PST

"In China earlier this month, David Panuelo, the president of the Federated States of Micronesia, climbed the Badaling section of the Great Wall. And, according to Huang Zheng, Beijing's ambassador to the Pacific nation, the countries' "great friendship rose to even greater heights" during Panuelo's visit.

Chinese investment in Micronesia reached similarly lofty levels in conjunction with Panuelo's trip, which marked three decades of diplomatic ties and included meetings with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. Beijing has committed US$72 million in economic development deals, almost as much as its total investment of the previous three decades…."


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Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2020 9:20 p.m. PST

Amazing what a few million dollars can do.

Looks like the Aussies, and even New Zealand may want to take note.

I imagine strategic bomber and naval bases will be coming shortly to the region, along with long-range fighters, SAMS, SSMs, and other stuff too, like in the SCS.

Tango0115 Jan 2020 12:09 p.m. PST



arealdeadone15 Jan 2020 7:03 p.m. PST

Looks like the Aussies, and even New Zealand may want to take note.

Kiwis certainly won't. Their latest defence white paper focused more on global warming. Their military is pitiful ageing 2 frigates (no replacement in site) and 6 P-3 Orions (to be replaced by 4 P-8 Poseidons) and 1 understrength infantry brigade with 2 infantry battalions.

As for Australia, lots of money spent on defence though some of that is being plugged into job creation schemes (eg submarine project which was estimated at $50 USD billion but now is up to $80 USD billion with massive issues between the vendor and Defence Department).

Problem with both Australia and NZ is that the Chinese have been busy infiltrating government, education and other institutions. There have been a couple of prominent cases in Australia where politicians in both parties have been caught with problematic ties to China. The Labor opposition party had Chinese donors delivering shopping bags of money to them. The Liberals also take in huge Chinese donations.

And Australian politicians take on lucrative jobs dealing with Chinese or even working for them after their political career has finished (eg ex trade minister Andrew Robb leased strategic port of Darwin to a Chinese company for 99 years and then got a job managing the company's operations in Australia!).

The Australian economy is massively reliant on Chinese they are major consumer of Australian minerals and Australian education and tourist industries rely on Chinese for revenue. Even the apartment construction boom was reliant on the Chinese.

I think the big take away is that the USA better be wary of both Australia and New Zealand in terms of any future conflict with China.

I think it's a 50-50 right now whether Australia sides with USA in a conflict with China. Despite the rhetoric the economic imperative is too big and there are cultural shifts in Australia towards China.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP15 Jan 2020 11:05 p.m. PST

Although I can't take issue with the factual structure of your post, arealdeadone, I believe your conclusions are a bit far fetched.

China has been using espionage & bribery to gain influence in many countries. OZ is well aware of what they are trying to do in the Antipodes. I see very shaking of this country's Traditional alliances. The US president is fairly unpopular here but even this doesn't seem to matter.

In the future, you may be correct. at the moment, I don't think you are.

Tango0116 Jan 2020 12:36 p.m. PST

Thanks arealdeadone… agree with you….


arealdeadone16 Jan 2020 3:30 p.m. PST

Ochoin, Alas I am not convinced the traditional alliances will hold.

I am shocked at how much the Australian mind set has changed. China is viewed by many as our economic saviour. And some of those many include ex-Prime Ministers ala Paul Keating, ex-Foreign Minister Bob Carr, and high level executives in mining and other key industries. You occasionally get bouts of pro-PRC propaganda even in the nominally conservative Australian newspaper.

Even many normal Aussies I speak to have talked about getting closer to the Chinese and how our alliance with the US is bad especially under Trump. This is especially the case with a few blokes I know who married Chinese women (basically brought a wife from there)!

Then there's the growing Chinese diaspora here (now 5% of the population and fastest growing). These aren't people escaping China, many of them are here because their government supports it and a large minority of them actively promotes Chinese interests ranging from property tycoons buying influence with political parties to university lecturers organising Chinese students to quash pro-Tibet protests.

As for economic linkages, here's a list of Australia's largest economic trading partners:

China: US$74 billion (29.2% of total Australian exports)
Japan: $26.2 USD billion (10.3%)
South Korea: $13.6 USD billion (5.4%)
India: $10.1 USD billion (4%)
United States: $9.2 USD billion (3.6%)
Hong Kong: $7.9 USD billion (3.1%)
New Zealand: $7.1 USD billion (2.8%)
Taiwan: $6.7 USD billion (2.6%)

Bear in mind Hong Kong is really part of China so the Chinese portion goes to $81.9 USD billion or 32.3% of the total.

China is also currently the largest source of foreign investment in Australia (25% of total).

Any conflict with China would destroy the Australian economy and Australian politicians and citizens view economic matters as more important than any other (eg last election).

By each day Australia becomes more Asian, more Chinese and more integrated to China economically and culturally. This is an active Australian government strategy underpinned by trade, investment, immigration and other laws. It started in the early 1990s under ALP but has never been rescinded by any other government. There are questions now about it but it's not been looked at in serious way (eg no prohibition of foreign donations to political parties and no serious attempts to diversify economy away from reliance on China).

So I maintain that the USA should be wary of Australia as an ally in the future.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP17 Jan 2020 7:03 a.m. PST

Arealededone, you make a strong case but I think you forget that OZ is a multi cultural country with people from a wide number of backgrounds. I would strongly suggest you see a big difference between a fairly awful Chinese government and human beings of Chinese ancestory who want to make a buck, bring up their kids and live happily, peaceably and free.

I think it may be tempting to see a 'Red under every bed' but there's no proof of any more than the usual Chinese attempts to buy and coerce influence. Yes, worrying enough but given the recent exposure and out cry at such Sino shenanigans, I don't think it overly successful. I wouldn't conflate political interference and Chinese investment either. Chinese Australians are overwhelmingly Australians. The many I know have no allegiance to the mainland and are heartily glad to be living in a democracy. Indeed, Chinese generally make excellent immigrants being usually law abiding and hard working. And you are surely not suggesting that China is sending under cover operatives as mail order brides to control fat, irascible old white men? If so, we had better be on our guard against Thailand and the Ukraine, who represent a bigger number of mail order brides.

I know certain ignorant politicians ( a red haired one in particular) try to inflame racism and intolerance here but we have to live with China and we do that by balancing our trading with them with our military alliance to the US.

Trump is certainly widely loathed and despised by Australians but they know he's a temporary irritant and their hearts and minds stay with the US.

So, the future? Maybe Chinese in …50 years? 100 years? I can't speak about that far and the alliance is safe for the next generations.

arealdeadone19 Jan 2020 3:02 p.m. PST

Ochoin, for all of Australia's supposed multiculturalism it is still 85% white European. It's values are still basically British for most of the people.

In any case according to a Chinese defector, multiculturalism is seen as a weakness to be exploited. Indeed this is backed up by research from people such as Dr Robert Putnam who, much to his own disgust, discovered multiculturalism breeds higher distrust, lower political efficacy and less cooperation in communities.

You already have that in Australia with a number of groups Sudanese, Lebanese/muslim, Indians (eg murder and mistreatment of Indian students), and now the Chinese.

Most of those Chinese you mention came here post 1991. They weren't refugees. They are here with the endorsement of their government. Most are the product of a very nationalist based education system.

Most are probably politically inactive. But even if it's 1% that's still 10,000 Chinese actively lobbying and working for the PRC. The actual number quoted is 10% so that's 100,000 out of the roughly 1 million already living here. Then there is some number who retain loyalty to PRC.

A lot maintain significant ties within the PRC. According to some older Chinese communists, PRC loyalists supported by United Front have taken over most Chinese community groups.

The Chinese government engages the diaspora through carrot and stick approach. The carrot is access to business opportunities within China or the country they are in. The stick is removal of these privileges plus action against relatives still in PRC.

Already the local Chinese now protest in favour of PRC expansion into PRC, organise counter protests against Tibetan and other activists and even go so far as to try to hold memorial concerts in Sydney and Melbourne to celebrate life of Mao Zedong.

Check out a book called Silent Invasion by Professor Clive Hamilton of Charles Sturt University . It explains all of the above in details.

The truth is Australians and other westerners don't understand us migrants. As the American soldiers in Full Metal jacket said: "inside every Vietnamese is an American just wanting to bust out."

The truth is further from the truth. Most migrants don't want to lose their culture or their ties to the old country or anything much anymore. They want economic benefits of living in the west, be it better paid jobs or social welfare

I am a migrant as are my parents. They hate Australians who they regard as uncouth and stupid. So do a lot of their ex-Yugoslav friends. But they like the economic benefits of living in Australia, and in particular for my parents the Australian social welfare, which they have sponged off since 1989 (they only came here in 1982).

b[]Finally I don't believe Australia would be willing to sacrifice it's economy to aid USA

The Australians have shown to be willing to vote in governments who are openly climate change deniers and who are willing to dismantle social services in favour of tax cuts.

For all the rhetoric, both sides of politics get closer and closer to China and do more and more to placate the Chinese.

I don't see this population or the political elites who represent them to be willing to destroy the economic well being of the country just to maintain the US alliance or even to stop serious Chinese aggression against Taiwan or Japan.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP19 Jan 2020 3:24 p.m. PST

I think we must live in different countries because I don't recognise your Australia.

I'm sure you don't mean to imply that Sudanese, Lebanese, Indian etc Australians are in any way inferior but your comments could be so interpreted. Australia's strength is multi culturalism. Minor incidents aside it is a remarkably harmonious society. Try to focus on the Big Picture.

In my family's case migrant too- we now have Italian and African additions to my Celtic (ie not British) stem we are Australians with a global and not parochial view of things. We can argue about dismantling which social services but these are piffling little things in a country with a national health scheme and NDIS scheme, mandated pensions, compulsory super annuation , education, unemployment benefits etc etc. Australia has a long way to go before it is not a country where most of the budget is spent on social services.
195 billion or 38% of the federal budget was spent on social programs and welfare last year.

BTW which government are climate change deniers? There isn't one in federal, state or my local government. The only party that promotes that fiction is the red headed party and its so called populist leader. They get about 5% of the vote.
As for your dubious calculation of possible Chinese spies, tell me what are these accountants, small business owners and dentists supposed to do?

Both mainstream parties hang their political hats on the US alliance. As recently as the war against ISIS, the ADF was fighting along side Americans. They've sent ships and planes into disputed territory in the South China Sea. I can't see any wavering at all in the alliance, despite Trump.

I'm afraid I'm not a big fan of conspiracy theories. JFK was not killed by the mafia.

arealdeadone19 Jan 2020 5:38 p.m. PST

I am not talking about them being "inferior" rather that we have growing culture clashes within this country and merely put some examples up of recent schemes.

As for health scheme etc:

- NDIS is privatisation of many existing public services and has failed to meet up with demand. It has ramped up cost of many professions (eg psychologists now charge $200 USD an hour under NDIS). My department is now unable to recruit many allied health professionals because the hourly rates are 25-30% (mere $100,000 USD per annum) of what the private sector gets from NDIS). The private sector also picks and choses their clients.

So the poor miss out because the private sector doesn't like complex cases and the public sector is unable to hire sufficient staff because private sector is too lucrative!

Meanwhile 1270 people have died whilst waiting for NDIS and the government recorded an underspend of $4.0 USD billion plus in NDIS because it has made it so convoluted to access the scheme!

- Universal health cover. Medicare increasingly failing to cover costs thanks to caps on indexation. Eg locally I pay $87 USD for a 5-10 minute doctor's appointment. Medicare covers about $38 USD (44%). There is a system for poorer systems but many doctors including specialists will not offer discounts for the poor.

- Medicare does not cover any dental whatsoever. State governments offer free dental to the poor but they have to go on waiting lists and in many instances are still required to pay hundreds, if not thousands for urgent dental care.

- Cost of medical cover in Australia has grown so much that now many people are willingly missing treatments for chronic conditions or obtaining medicines then need. This even includes cancer sufferers!




- Pension/unemployment benefits these are increasingly unlivbeable on. Have you completely missed the debate on raising the Newstart allowance (something both major parties don't want to do?).

By the way I am a health bureaucrat. I see the impact of increasing privatisation all the time.

It's horrifying when services are privatised and then you see a report that the private sector is only spending 30-40% of each dollar on actual service delivery and pocketing the rest (even not-for-profits which is essentially a con to avoid tax). Compare this to when those services were government run and 80%-100% of the funding was used for actual service delivery.

Commonwealth still claims it all as increased spending even if it gobbled up on bloated salaries for company executives and health professionals. From experience I can tell you Commonwealth government grants units only care that the money has been spent, not how its spent.

As for climate change, again you don't seem to be living in Australia or pay any attention to national politics:

- government cancelled carbon emissions tax in 2014!
- Australia is one of the largest per capita polluters.
- Australian emissions are well above in OECD and Australia ranks low on climate action.
- Most of Australian emission reductions are based on accounting practices. Actual emissions have grown since Kyoto.
- Australia is 2nd highest coal exporter in the planet and is not looking for any policies to reduce that.

In 2019 Australia voted in favour of a pro-coal government that promises to not introduce emissions tax or do anything meaningful about climate change.

The current government's action on climate change is minimal. They are essentially deniers.

arealdeadone19 Jan 2020 5:46 p.m. PST

And links to Chinese spying and infiltration:






I could go on and on.

And how United Front infiltrates Australia (and elsehwere eg Chinese communities in San Francisco and Vancouver are heavily infiltrated) certainly no JFK conspiracy




PDF link

I really get the impression you don't actually live in Australia given how little you seem to be aware of public issues that are constantly in the news.

Tango0119 Jan 2020 10:34 p.m. PST



Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2020 12:52 a.m. PST

arealdeadone, thank you for your response. I'm afraid I don't want to go to the trouble of refuting it chapter & verse because it's apparent you see what you want to see. And are quite good at finding sources that back you up. I, unfortunately, find these sources to be dodgy, at best.

I'm afraid I can't agree with the extreme spin you seem to put on, well, everything.

I'm sure you do understand that I agree there are issues with much of what we're discussing but, and here's where we differ, I think we're managing…..this excludes, of course, your opposition to MC &, it seems, some ethnic groups making up the Australian population. I'm sure you don't mean it but you are in danger of coming across as intolerant or worse.

And finally,

constantly in the news
. Well, I'd argue your guilty of hyperbole again. And perhaps it's time to turn off TV, ignore the blogs and actually look around at what in reality is a fairly stable, mostly prosperous and relatively happy society.

arealdeadone20 Jan 2020 7:24 a.m. PST

Ochoin it reeks of patheticness to accuse someone of racism without even attempting to dispute any of their points and merely disregarding their sources as dodgy despite many of them coming from well regarded media companies.

Your final point indicates that you are happy to live in denial with little carefor the environment or increasing inequality and social issues as wellas stagnating living standards plaguing this country, an attitude you share with the elites. I take it you grew up and lived a privileged Anglo Saxon background?

Maybe this is a case of "ok boomer"?

arealdeadone20 Jan 2020 7:43 a.m. PST

Oh and this just in from War Is Boring – more Chinese spies, this time in Florida. Or is this just racist propaganda from a dodgy media source?


Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2020 2:56 p.m. PST

How did I know you'd ignore the fact that I agree with most of your list of issues (from climate change, to Chinese influence) and pretend I'm living in Cloud Cockoo Land? Your problem is you distort things beyond any sensible limits. For example, the original topic of this thread. No one seeking an ounce of credibility would suggest the end of the OZ-US alliance is imminent. Or even possible given present circumstances.

And your use of the word "privelaged" says so much about you. Are you going to wax lyrically about sustainability now? Applying labels to people (see below) is not a great look.

Apart from the fact that you know nothing about me (Anglo-Saxon? Forsooth!) and apart from the fact you did label ethnic groups rather than individuals, your world view is seriously distorted, you are seemingly one of these people who see doom and destruction everywhere and do not let reality intrude. You're not a "glass half empty" sort of person so much as someone who'd use his AK47 to shoot the glass to shards so no one else could enjoy a drink.

Clearly a waste of time to "discuss" anything with you but I have to know: are you happy?

arealdeadone20 Jan 2020 4:07 p.m. PST

You never agreed on climate change or Chinese influence. You in fact completely disregarded all my statements with handwavium (archetypal middle class response really) or relegated them to "some issues."

As for ethnic groups, here's a mindblowing idea there is a thing called culture and it's more than just simply different food and clothes. It's how you think about the world. It's values on everything from eating out to gender relations to raising their kids to the meaning of life.

One's individual personality is not created independently in a vacuum. It's influenced by culture be it national or ethnic or classes or whatever. It can be different in even within countries.

A person growing up in a lower class "bogan" neighbourhood that goes to a poorly funded public school is going to have a completely different mindset than a middle class person who went to a private school.

It will be completely different in other nationalities and cultural groups. And they're not all so obsessed with individualism like you middle class white types. Many focus on the collective (eg Chinese guanxi or Hindu caste).

Culture provides a fair bit of predictability in people's behaviour. It essentially provides a bandwidth under which individuals are framed.

Maybe you don't see that because I suspect you're part of the majority middle class ingroup in Australia. I see it cause I grew up in multiple separate cultures (Yugoslav v Australia, lower class v middle class, true multicultural Sydney (Harris Park, Cabramatta, Mt Druit) v predominantly white Tasmania). I've been poor for most of my life and have clawed to the upper working class/lower middle class.

I actually hate the Australian upper middle classes (and I worked as a junior stockbroker at one stage so got meet a few them unfortunately). Whenever I speak to them, they are very predictable in their condescending manner, their wannabe exclusiveness, their inability to understand any perspective than their own and their males constant whinging about how they are over taxed, interspersed with bragging about how they worked out to pay their employees less or scam the system.

As for Celtic, I assume that's Irish or Welsh so it might as well be Anglo-Saxon. As stated you're part of the majority middle class white ingroup who are the main beneficiaries of the current system and who tend to live in this haze of privilege where they don't see the reality of the world.

As for happiness, yep I am happy for the most part. Could do with a bit more money to buy toy soldiers with, be able to afford to fix the gutters and fences and odd European holiday, but hey nothing's perfect.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP20 Jan 2020 7:54 p.m. PST

You wrote, "We've never had it better as a race…" On the Iran Attacks thread. That tells me all I need to know about you. You hate this group and hate that group. A lot of the hate is racial. Is hate your version of happiness?

Welsh or Irish are the same? I'm neither but again, that speaks volumes about your ability to speak from ignorance. A very self satisfied corner to fight from.
Clearly you are a put upon victim and I must, perforce, be privelaged, or Anglo Saxon, or a businessman or lacking a social conscience or a climate change denier. All swings and misses but don't let that stop you.

Need to buy more toy soldiers? Can't afford to fix a leaky gutter? This years trip to Europe is out? Wow! Talk about First World problems. Poor in Australia compares how to poor in Somalia or Vietnam?

I'll know you'll want the last word. Of course with your rather impressive ability to listen exclusively to the narrative that runs through your head, that seems redundant. This conversation has been disappointing in that despite my trying to keep it civil, your dismissive attitude made it impossible. However, feel free to give a wrap up while I check under thebeds for those carmine hued creatures you seem to see everywhere.

BTW was it my flippant remarks about Hansen that angered you? I do apologise but I can't take her or her views seriously. Fortunately that's true for a vast majority of Australians.

arealdeadone20 Jan 2020 8:35 p.m. PST

You keep accusing me of racism? Is that all you know? Seriously.

As for your attempts for the to keep the conversation "civil", they were mere dismissals of facts I presented and repeated accusations of racism (maybe of rich white guys, sure, I certainly do not begrudge the PRC its ambition or its people's work ethic).

Here's another hint you probably won't understand: discussing culture is not racism. I'd say it's actually more racist to assume everyone is the same (and that is same is basically a middle class white individualistic consumer).

We get into problems in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya etc etc because it is assumed they are the same as the middle and upper class white people interfering in their countries and societies. We attribute no agency or perspective or value sets to them. White people assume others just need white people compassion and white people consumer goods and everything will be alright.

As for Hansen, no idea what you are talking about? Did you make comments about Pauline Hanson here cause I can't see them even with a search of this thread? I have never voted for her or her clueless party. I've voted Greens more times than any centre right or right wing party.

As for first world problems, well you asked me if I was happy so I answered. The topic is not Somalia or Vietnam, it is Australia and its future course which is very much reliant on China for any prosperity.

If you believe Australia can be economically dependent on China and still act as an effective US ally against Chinese expansionism, then you are completely delusional.

Go to war with the US against China on say Taiwan and the Australian economy collapses overnight. No Aussie government would allow that, nor would the people condone that.

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