29 June 2014

China dominates Chinese Australia media

John Fitzgerald from ASAN, Swinburne University, has written a piece on why values matter in Australia's relationship with China entitled, oddly enough, precisely that.

You need to pay attention because:
New Zealand Overseas Chinese specialist James To observes that Beijing has gained overwhelming dominance of Chinese language media in Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands following a concerted effort at content placement and media industry networking by China’s embassies and consulates in the region. This effort is part of a larger proactive strategy of “group management, extra-territorial influence, counter-infiltration, and counter subversion” targeting Overseas Chinese communities generally—particularly Chinese students abroad—to ensure their loyalty to Beijing wherever they happen to be domiciled.
Fitzgerald's conclusion:
It was all very well to respect the value differences that separate Australia from China while each country went about its business. This may have been the case in Prime Minister Howard’s day, but it is certainly not the case today. China is determined to change the status quo in the region, to project its values through public diplomacy, and increasingly to link trade and investment with political trade-offs. In Australia, the CCP is mobilizing and policing its diaspora to flaunt its distaste for liberal-democratic values. Howard used to say that Australia faces a phony choice between its economic interests and its basic values in balancing relations with China and the United States. The problem for Prime Minister Abbott is that it may no longer be Australia’s choice whether or not to exercise even a phony choice. In arriving at this point, Australians have handicapped themselves by ceding too much to China on national values and reflecting too lightly on the universal character of their own.


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