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Brady under review by Canterbury University

Written By: - Date published: 7:59 pm, August 17th, 2020 - 99 comments
Categories: China, defence, war - Tags:

Canterbury University is conducting a review of statements made to the Justice Select Committee by Professor Anne-Marie Brady  alleging covert military transfer to China which complainants from other Universities under attack said “contained manifest errors of fact and misleading inferences.” The University would do well to broaden its review to encompass the NATO-funded Canterbury SSANSE which Brady heads. The military-purpose link there is explicit.

SSANSE stands for Small States And the New Security Environment. The project at Canterbury University is described as:

a preparedness initiative examining the defence and foreign policy choices and challenges of small states in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Oceania in the new security environment.

The Canterbury project leader is Professor Anne-Marie Brady. Its principal funder is the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme. The NATO programme states that:

All activities supported by the SPS Programme must address one or more of the SPS Key Priorities. Each activity must also have a clear link to security and to NATO’s Strategic Objectives.

Earlier this year NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg addressed the question of NATO’s strategic objectives in a speech titled NATO 2030. He was asked whether NATO saw China as an enemy. His answer was no, but he went on to say they needed to address the rise of China:

by forging NATO as a stronger political Alliance. We need to do that, we’re working together with partners, not least in the Asia Pacific, including Australia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, which are very close and like-minded partners to NATO.

The single point I wish to make here is that this Canterbury University centre is funded with a political objective, to advance NATO strategic objectives. It would not be funded if it was not doing that.

So Anne-Marie Brady is clearly working to a political agenda, in her case opposition to China, which is the very thing she accuses other New Zealand academics and Universities of doing.

Brady’s papers are heavy on inference. A review by the University is timely and appropriate.

 

 

 

99 comments on “Brady under review by Canterbury University ”

  1. Hanswurst 1

    Has something changed? I'm only aware of an Anne-Marie Brady.

  2. Michael 2

    Brady is clearly linked to US and NATO positions. It would be interesting to know what funding she (and associated entities) receive from both. OTOH, China is engaged in massive espionage efforts (military and commercial) against the West. It would be naive (or worse) not to recognise that Brady may have a point.

    • observer 2.1

      Exactly.

    • Mike Smith 2.2

      The reasons why Canterbury University is reviewing her paper is that complaints have been received that it contains "manifest errors of fact and misleading inferences."

      • McFlock 2.2.1

        Which could be complaints from innocent people and organisations viciously attacked for innocent links, or it could be a number of organisations looking to protect their slightly whiffy cash cows.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          Considering how the Confucious Institutes seem to work I'd guess that its the latter.

        • Lettuce 2.2.1.2

          "…or it could be a number of organisations looking to protect their slightly whiffy cash cows."

          That's exactly what it looks like. Anne-Marie Brady makes a number of assertions about associations between New Zealand's Universities and some of their Chinese counterparts that have links to the Chinese military, or have been accused of committing human rights abuses. The allegations she makes would be highly embarrassing for the New Zealand universities involved if they were true:

          https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/122405759/canterbury-uni-orders-review-into-publication-by-china-expert-annemarie-brady

          The case she raises about Massey University's association with Shihezi University in Xinjiang is particularly troubling. Shihezi University is run by the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps or 'Bingtuan' which is a Chinese paramilitary organisation tasked with colonising Xinjiang with Han Chinese. It operates in much the same way as the Jewish settler organisations colonising the West Bank of Palestine who act with the explicit approval and assistance of the Israeli government:

          https://military.wikia.org/wiki/Xinjiang_Production_and_Construction_Corps

          The Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps stands accused of aiding the Chinese Communist Party in the cultural genocide and ethnic cleansing of Xinjiang's indigenous Uighur Muslim population. It has also been implicated in the facilitation of the Chinese government's programme to send Uighur people to factories around China for the purposes of forced labour:

          https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jul/31/us-sanctions-china-xinjiang-uighurs

      • Gabby 2.2.2

        Those complaints wouldn't have Chinese origins now would they? There seem to be lots of 'errors' in how China's behaviour is seen.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      OTOH, China is engaged in massive espionage efforts (military and commercial) against the West.

      Not to mention their outright hostile grab of international territory.

  3. observer 3

    Here we go again, more special pleading for Beijing. That's the real "single point" of these strange posts, every time. It's depressing.

  4. Ad 4

    So if funding from NATO is your issue, has NATO been such a threat that briefings needed to be provided to our government from the GCSB and NZSIS showing their concern about the growing influence of NATO in the internal affairs of New Zealand …

    https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2017-12/GCSB%20and%20NZSIS_0.PDF

    … or Australia?

    https://www.aph.gov.au/sitecore/content/Home/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/Publications_Archive/CIB/CIB9697/97cib23

    Perhaps Australia and New Zealand need to spend massive funding on the analysed intelligence and cyberwar threat from ….. NATO?

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/30/world/australia/cyber-defense-china-hacking.html

    • Mike Smith 4.1

      The only example of state terrorism on our shores was the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior by the NATO country France's Secret Service. The GCSB and the SIS missed than one too.

      • Ad 4.1.1

        Seriously, implying that NATO was to blame for a 35-year-old French act shows that you had actually lost your mind.

        From the late 1960s New Zealand government along with hundreds of thousands of Kiwis and others across the Pacific and the world saw French nuclear testing, not NATO nuclear testing, as a real regional threat to New Zealand. No-one missed it.

        Brady is in good company, Canterbury University is not.

        https://www.csis.org/analysis/countering-chinas-influence-operations-lessons-australia

      • Ad 4.1.2

        And of course the obvious point is you're flat wrong:

        France is not a member of NATO.

        So implying that Professor Brady should not belong to an institute that is funded by NATO because … France was a NATO member and …. France bombed the Rainbow Warrior …

        … just gets more stupid the more you actually write it out as a sentence.

        • Pat 4.1.2.1

          you may wish to check that

        • lprent 4.1.2.2

          Not sure which period you’re referring to.

          I believe that France fully returned about a decade ago (yep – 2009).

          Read the historical background

          It was a founding member of NATO. De Gaulle withdrew in 1966. But France had effectively resumed most cooperation without being in the command structures in 1974.

          Sure in the 1980s at the time of the Rainbow Warrior it wasn’t a full member. However it was a very close and full-blown ally.

      • Grafton Gully 4.1.3

        While the definition of state terrorism is moot, it could be argued that the British invasion of the Waikato in July 1863 is another example of state terrorism on our shores.

        "The Kīngitanga had been formally established in 1858. The government saw its refusal to sell land as an impediment to European settlement. Kīngitanga warriors fought in Taranaki in 1860–61, fuelling fears that the movement posed a challenge to British sovereignty. In January 1863, Governor George Grey announced his intention to dig around the Kīngitanga until it fell."

        https://nzhistory.govt.nz/british-forces-invade-the-waikato

        “State terrorism” is as controversial a concept as that of terrorism itself. Terrorism is often, though not always, defined in terms of four characteristics: (1) the threat or use of violence; (2) a political objective; the desire to change the status quo; (3) the intention to spread fear by committing spectacular public acts; (4) the intentional targeting of civilians."

        https://dema.az.gov/sites/default/files/Publications/AR-Terrorism%20Definitions-BORUNDA.pdf

  5. McFlock 5

    The NATO research funding is an issue, but so is any Chinese defence funding. The "primary research" thing is bullshit: it's still being funded to help produce state of the art bang-bangs, just like US primary research funding. I know some academics who don't care about that, but I also know other academics who make a conscious decision to avoid that sort of funding from any power bloc.

    It doesn't invalidate the research outputs, though. What does that is consistent errors in fact with a bias, or defamation. Might be quite the long-term argument, though.

  6. Aw c'mon China is never wrong? Beijing is the fount of all knowledge?

    Putin is all of the above?

    Trump is all of the above?

    The list is endless.

    Might as well include NATO, Arabian /moslem states as well.

    It is absolutely certain NATO spies on NZ. Everybody else does.

    Are you suggesting that China would not?

    • In Vino 6.1

      peter sim

      The situation is not as simple as you suggest. In 1949 the US-favoured Kuomintang Govt of China was booted out because the vast majority of Chinese favoured Mao's Communists. Being poor losers, (and rabidly anti-Communist) the USA helped the Kuomintang to retreat to the Chinese territory of Taiwan.

      Small wonder that modern China sees Taiwan as part of China.

      To make it worse, we, with the USA, then recognised Taiwan as the only true China, and for a whole 30 years we closed our eyes and ears to the real China. The US Navy stopped the Red Chinese from instantly invading Taiwan, which, as winners of a civil war, they should have been able to do.

      Only in 1979 did we and the US finally admit that China officially existed. But we now pretend that Taiwan is totally independent. Do you expect the Chinese to respect such lunacy?

      What I find distressing is that you seem to have no idea of the idiotic policies that we have pursued, Did you know that the USA saw Tibet as the 5th Province of China until 1949, but when China turned Communist, the USA miraculously turned Tibet into a proud, independent and "free" country.

      Your ignorance of the true nature of world politics makes you look like a dumb, propagandist, busily lining up all our innocent youth with your one-sided propaganda, to be cannon fodder in the next needless war being pushed by rampant idiots behind the US Govt.

      I am not saying China is innocent – they never were, But neither is the USA.

      Try watching Oliver Stone's Doco history of the USA if you want to improve your depth of vision.

      Putin is no angel either, nor was Stalin. But if you think our side is angelic, you are sadly deluded.

      • observer 6.1.1

        NZ does not "pretend that Taiwan is totally independent". NZ has the same diplomatic position as most UN countries – officially recognising Beijing as the capital of "one China", but having a pragmatic relationship with Taiwan.

        Taiwan is a democracy. Its people have a high level of freedom. That matters (to them, if not to people in safely distant armchairs).

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        Chinese territory of Taiwan.

        Actually, it was Japanese territory at the time.

        The US Navy stopped the Red Chinese from instantly invading Taiwan, which, as winners of a civil war, they should have been able to do.

        Actually, it appears that the civil war still ongoing as there's been no peace treaty. Same as in Korea.

        Only in 1979 did we and the US finally admit that China officially existed. But we now pretend that Taiwan is totally independent. Do you expect the Chinese to respect such lunacy?

        Actually, it was more that we (and the US) realised that we couldn't ignore the PRC any more and was looking at it as a vast, untapped, market for our capitalists to export to.

        And I expect the PRC to accept the conditions as laid down for joining the UN one of which happens to be the right of a people to self-determination. The PRC is preventing the people of Taiwan from doing that.

        Taiwan is a mess and no one seems to be interested in un-messing it.

        • In Vino 6.1.2.1

          It was Japanese territory until the end of WW2, when the USA agreed with Kuomintang that it was Chinese again. (It had previously been Chinese when China was strong..)

          Easy for us to see the "people's" right to self-determination. This usually applies to what we think should be independent countries. Also easy for the Chinese to see it differently. Our application of those UN principles has been riddled with hypocrisy, and it is strange for us to suddenly ask China to do for Taiwan (which it sees as its own territory) what the USA was unwilling to do for Vietnam, where the USA actually had no business to be.

          Perhaps we can agree that territorial aggression is committed by both sides, instead of portraying just one side as the evil force of darkness.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.1.1

            It was Japanese territory until the end of WW2, when the USA agreed with Kuomintang that it was Chinese again.

            According to the wiki that i linked to there does seem to be some doubt about that.

            1947 – 228 Incident

            When the 228 Incident erupted on 28 February 1947, the U.S. Consulate-General in Taipei prepared a report in early March, calling for an immediate intervention in the name of the U.S. or the United Nations. Based on the argument that the Japanese surrender did not formally transfer sovereignty, Taiwan was still legally part of Japan and occupied by the United States (with administrative authority for the occupation delegated to the Chinese Nationalists), and a direct intervention was appropriate for a territory with such status. This proposed intervention, however, was rejected by the U.S. State Department. In a news report on the aftermath of the 228 Incident, some Taiwanese residents were reported to be talking of appealing to the United Nations to put the island under an international mandate, since China's possession of Taiwan had not been formalized by any international treaties by that time and the island was therefore still under belligerent occupation.[6] They later made a demand for a treaty role to be represented at the forthcoming peace conference on Japan, in the hope of requesting a plebiscite to determine the island's political future.[7]

            After that, it gets murkier as nations start changing positions and accepting the PRC as China while also hedging on the ROC being Taiwan.

            And, yes, the West is just as guilty of ignoring the UDHR (and every other part of international law) as anyone else when it comes to promoting their own interests. To me this means that the UN should start enforcing them vigorously which, of course, isn't going to happen as none of the major powers want it to.

          • SPC 6.1.2.1.2

            We can probably agree that Taiwan would have no problem being a regional area of China if it was democratic.

            And that Chinese actions in Hong Kong have made diologue with Taiwan less hopeful, thus the recent belligerent show of force across the strait

  7. Wayne 7

    Do you have the same concerns about the Confucius Institute at Auckland University?

    As long as the funding source is clear and is not obviously against NZ interests I think such funding is OK. NZ has a lot of official contacts with NATO including an Ambassador to NATO.

    I also think Universities need to be very careful about investigating people speaking to a Select Committee of Parliament. It can easily look like the suppression of democracy, and will be certainly construed as such.

    • Peter 7.1

      I don't disagree about the need for universities to be very careful about investigating people speaking to a Select Committee of Parliament. It can easily look like lot of things including the suppression of democracy. Does that mean that universities not worry about such activities or just accept what is said even if they have what would seem to be legitimate concerns?

      Should manifest errors of fact and misleading inferences just be allowed to slip by and become accepted as factual?

    • McFlock 7.2

      Then there's the entire principle of academic freedom.

      Newspapers, select committees, journals – academics can say what they want in public as part of their role unless it's demonstrably fabricated, and there's an academic process for fabrication.

      If I wanted to comment publicly using my professional role and employer as credentials for my authority, I can't. Academics can. Been eroded a bit in the last 30 years, but they generally have to be spouting outright bullshit to get biffed officially ("restructuring" is a whole other shady matter).

      • barry 7.2.1

        In academia you are allowed to be wrong. What is not allowed are Plagiarism and Fraud. Ethics violations are pretty bad too.

        In this case the research could be checked for matters of fact. If there are errors she is allowed to defend them or correct them. The Select Committee is not an academic journal so her submissions are not peer-reviewed and they cannot be withdrawn by an editor.

        • McFlock 7.2.1.1

          They can't be withdrawn, but if the university review finds that the claims in the submission were outright bullshit (aka "fraud") and it's totally clear-cut, that might be an interesting situation.

    • barry 7.3

      Are you saying that the Confucius Institute has military funding?

    • Draco T Bastard 7.4

      Do you have the same concerns about the Confucius Institute at Auckland University?

      Yes, I do:

      “The fundamental point is the interference in the education process of another country by a country which is used to suppressing academic freedom,” says one senior US professor whose desire to remain anonymous highlights the extent to which fear of offending Beijing is leading to creeping academic self-censorship overseas.

      We should not be allowing other nations to have influence in our universities or our politics.

      • barry 7.4.1

        and Alliance Francaise, or Geothe Institut, or MEXT …

        Lots of foreign governments are supporting our universities in many ways. Why do you pick on China?

        • Wayne 7.4.1.1

          No, I don't have a problem with such financing, including that of the Confucius Institute or NATO. As long as it is transparent. Mike is the one who has the problem, though given his political views, I am not surprised.

          As for the substantive issue of Professor Brady and the investigation, I am concerned. As it happens I think most of her views are wrong, having read her published papers, but they are not so wrong as to require such an investigation. They are more a difference of opinion.

          I am also very concerned about a University investigating an invited submission to a Select Committee. On the face of it that is fundamentally wrong. The most a university should say is that the views expressed are those of the professor not the university.

          As an MP I heard lots of silly things being said to Select Committees by academics (and I might note that was my prior profession). I would have been appalled if they were then investigated by the university. In such instances free speech and the right of people to appear before a Select Committee trumps the right of the university.

          • Mike Smith 7.4.1.1.1

            @ Wayne

            As I understand it the review is being undertaken because academics from other Universities have complained about the assertions made about them by Anne-Marie Brady. Effectively it is a peer review, and in my view a necessary one..

        • Draco T Bastard 7.4.1.2

          Did you even read what I wrote?

          Here, I'll quote it for you again:

          We should not be allowing other nations to have influence in our universities or our politics.

          No picking on China – I don't want any of them influencing us.

    • Tricledrown 7.5

      You would say that as the former Defence minister.

      Being an open Democracy we shouldn't be frightened of asking questions like how come the National Party was accepting large Donations and has a spy trainer as an MP.

      What's the big Deal looks like your trying to have a foot in both camps.

      Offend no one National roll over and be every bodies lapdog sell out to the highest bidder.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    So Anne-Marie Brady is clearly working to a political agenda, in her case opposition to China, which is the very thing she accuses other New Zealand academics and Universities of doing.

    Wrong wording?

    Brady is clearly working as an opposition to China. She probably has access to information that we don't – especially considering her funding.

    What she seems to be concerned with is that technology that has been developed in NZ by NZ universities is being transferred to China and that at least some of it has military potential.

    I would expect such allegations to be investigated because it is breaking the law (not allowed to sell tech with military purpose without govt approval) if its happening.

    What I don't expect is a witch hunt directed at Brady which is what seems to be happening.

    • observer 8.1

      There are several posts on this site by Mike Smith, attacking Brady. It is a real shame. (It is harder to find posts speaking up for academic freedom in China).

      Even if she were wrong about everything, she is not locking people up for expressing basic freedoms. A worldview which sees more harm in an academic than in a dictatorship is so warped, it's scary.

  9. Stuart Munro 9

    I'm not sure how much confidence one can repose in Canterbury's review process after the Hayward affair. Difficult to evaluate Brady without reading her work, but evidence of expanding Chinese influence in our region is abundant. This guy has an explanation.

    As for Nato influence – big whoop. Brady isn't exactly setting academia ablaze – so the motivation appears to be institutional griefing. Reviewing the review process looks likely to reveal more.

  10. barry 10

    It is hard to compare China with Nato.

    Brady's funding from Nato is obvious, as is some Chinese funded research. Many research programmes here are funded by US & Europe non-military companies (think Lockheed, Airbus etc) that are producers of weapon systems for their governments, whereas many Chinese military-owned organisations are purely non-military in function. It is just the way society is structured.

    Brady may have a point, but she is clearly stretching things to make the problem look bigger than it is.

    Rocket Lab started out trying to be purely peaceful, but found that they had to compromise their ideals to get anything done. There are researchers who are scrupulous to avoid working with weapons suppliers or military, but the way science is funded in NZ makes it really hard.

  11. Byd0nz 11

    She drips venom, much like Samantha Powers. How great it would be not to hear her name again.

  12. observer 12

    This is our present, and our future:

    https://www.theguardian.com/education/2020/aug/11/academic-freedom-is-precious-so-why-have-uk-universities-sold-out-to-china

    Tragically, some here seem to want it that way. But if you're on the left, you stand up for public education, and academic freedom. It's that simple.

  13. RedLogix 13

    Clearly Mike Smith has aligned himself with the CCP, on this and a number of other posts. This is his right and I appreciate the honesty of open advocacy.

    At the same time, considering the ambiguous and exceedingly broad scope of the CCP's new National Security Law, I'm left pondering whether it is wise to express negative opinions about the CCP on this site.

    Especially as Mike Smith is one of the two trustees of The Standard.

    I realise this may feel like a long bow to stretch at this point in time, but all things considered I have much less confidence about the future.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      I'm confident about the future.

      I'm confident that its going to be interesting in the full meaning of the curse.

    • Tricledrown 13.2

      Red ridiculous he is commenting on one issue looks like you are trying to paint him and the standard in a bad light .

      If anything TS has bagged the CCP way more than NATO, Anzus over the years.

      Especially its influence in the National Party.

    • lprent 13.3

      Don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Mike writes his own views, and seldom if ever moderates. His political views tend to be quite clear.

      But his views aren’t my views, and nor are they the views of The Standard. They are the views of Mike Smith.

      As a general rule I personally tend to politically disagree with most of the authors on this site, and almost all of the commenters. In any case, I suspect it’d be hard to pick many of my international political views from what I write (apart from my clear comments despising Donald Trump). I tend to focus more on domestic politics and more on structural issues than ideological.

      This diversity is in the inherent nature of a long-life multi-author political blog site. People write their own view and leave that to generate discussion. We let authors, if they care to, to moderate comments on their own posts.

      Indeed you have a author login and can just write whatever post you like so long that expresses your views. Just so long as I don’t feel like it is going to land me or TS in court. But that is unlikely. I think that I have now intervened in a total of the 6 posts in the 20k odd published posts in the last 12 years.

      The site moderation strongly tends toward the functional views about behaviour stifling wide debate and the possibilities of legal risk – as expressed in the policy.

      Basically – don’t worry about it to much. I’d leave the process of raising alarms to the politicians, media, and the varied authors with post writing logins on this site.

      • RedLogix 13.3.1

        I'm quite aware of Mike's history as an author and that does not concern me at all. But he's also effectively one of the two owners of The Standard, and that is a whole other matter.

        Clearly Mike has aligned himself with the CCP in some manner; but the details and nature of this connection are not public domain. Note carefully, this is to not be construed as any kind of personal attack on Mike or The Standard, I am merely pointing out something I see as a potential 'conflict of interest'.

        For the present I have no evidence to justify anything more than noting my concern here, but in the long run this is something I will be keeping in the back of my mind.

        Cheers

        • Mike Smith 13.3.1.1

          My views are in the public domain in my submission to the Justice Select Committee's Inquiry into the 2017 election on the question of foreign interference in our elections.

          I have no idea what you mean by 'conflict of interest.' Lprent has outlined the situation with the Standard, principles with which we have agreed since its inception. As he said I don't moderate often, but will do so if comments degenerate into personal abuse or false attribution.

          What this discussion indicates to me is that the most significant geopolitical issue of our time, the confrontation between the US and China, needs much more attention. I have for some time been concerned about the one-sided views continually expressed in our media, as in my opinion the US is much more part of the problem than China.

          • Draco T Bastard 13.3.1.1.1

            as in my opinion the US is much more part of the problem than China.

            China's rise is certainly part of the system that the US made and abused. China is following the path of the US and is placing itself to be the world leader and its being just as underhanded as the US.

            They're both wrong and they both need to be stopped.

            • greywarshark 13.3.1.1.1.1

              DTB –

              They're both wrong and they both need to be stopped.

              You said it – I agree. That should always be at the back of our minds as we watch the two great continents duking it out, plus all their manifestations around the world.

            • RedLogix 13.3.1.1.1.2

              While I fundamentally agree with your premise DtB; I can't but help think such cerebral niceties could well be swept aside someday soon when NZ will have to make a choice between aligning with the USA or the PRC.

              There may be no safe 'middle options'.

              • Draco T Bastard

                That will depend upon if the Rest of the World chooses sides and thus helps precipitate conflict or chooses to stop them both.

                Unfortunately, I think it will be the former and thus NZ will also be forced to choose a side.

                • RedLogix

                  Which makes Xi Xingping's overt 'wolf warrior' diplomacy all the more baffling and dangerous.

          • RedLogix 13.3.1.1.2

            Appreciate the link to your views. Having scanned it there were numerous points I wanted to respond to at length, but for the moment I've other tasks at hand.

            Briefly however I'm struck by what a one sided view it presents of the US/China relationship; and in particular how it completely omits any mention of the far more strident, aggressive and threatening posture the CCP has adopted under Xi Xinping's rule in the past few years.

            Again I'm not questioning your right to present your views, or your role as an author or moderator, which are undertaken in the open. I've been a strong and consistent defender of 'free and transparent expression' here and that hasn't changed.

            I think I've said all I want to at this point.

        • Tricledrown 13.3.1.2

          Redlogix reading the opening paragraph of Mike's post would be a good idea.

          Its saying Brady is being hypocritical.

    • Adrian Thornton 13.4

      @ RedLogix …Said with all the passion and paranoia of someone reliving the good old days of the cold war…

      • RedLogix 13.4.1

        This coming from someone still pining for the good old days of the gulags ….

        It is said the Kolyma Highway cost one death for every metre of road that was built. Conditions were horrific.

        Prisoners had little more than shovels and wheelbarrows to build over 1000 miles of road in some of the harshest terrains on earth outside of the poles.

        The gruelling work was undertaken in all weathers. In winter, the temperature could drop to -50 degrees. In summer the mosquitoes could drive you insane. On top of this was the hunger and brutality.

        In the majority of cases prisoners worked until they literally dropped dead. And when this happened the sentries did not order for the bodies to be buried. Corpses were simply left inside the foundations of the road. Flesh made for good mortar, bones were a handy substitute for stones.

        To traverse the Road of Bones today, is to travel a mass grave of many tens of thousands of corpses.

        The Cold War was real and intense, and we should never forget why it was fought.

  14. Adrian Thornton 14

    Thanks MS for giving a little context to this issue and the players involved.

  15. Maurice 15

    It is all O.K. when our 'side' does it ….

    but not ethical if theirs does!

  16. I guess there is an obvious question here. And it's not about Professor Brady's links and financing, it's about the author's motivation.

    I, for one, would like some transparency on Mike Smith's link's to China. Has he visited the country? If so, how many times and when? Is he a member of any solidarity organisations? Does he receive funding or support in kind from the Chinese Government or their proxies?

    I know I'm not alone in thinking these puff pieces for a undemocratic, authoritarian, capitalist dictatorship are, ahem, unusual on a left wing site.

    I don't know if Mike Smith is a CCP patsy, but I think we should be told.

    • Tiger Mountain 16.1

      The thing with witch hunts is they can sometimes land the “hunters” in some sticky situations rather quickly.

      It is a complex world out there and many of us have contacts and links to all manner of things, people, movements, parties, political tendencies, and places, without necessarily having to be placed in a locked ideological box or be some sort of sleeper for a foreign power.

      I am not a major China supporter, I live for the day when the Chinese working class use the power globalisation delivered to them. But, I acknowledge also that US Imperialism remains the main scourge of of humanity. How many offshore elections have the Chinese rigged?, countries invaded? oil wars started?

      Mrs Brady has a funding stream that requires her to align with NATO objectives and values–not a great scenario for an inquiring academic some might think. A number of sneaky little US funded “China Insitutes” and such like seem to pop up when ever a tight policy spot emerges among the 5 Eyes Club members–such as the Huawei 5G issue.

      • Tricledrown 16.1.1

        She had her laptop stolen and made headlines saying Chinese spies had stolen her research.Yet when she made these claims she never mentioned she was funded by NATO.Brady said at the time that CCP influences had gone under the radar .They may have maybe not but NATO should cut her funding for not having adequate security.

    • Mike Smith 16.2

      @ te reo putake

      Please read my comment in response to RedLogix at 13.3.1.1.

      As for comment re CCP patsy, please take this as a second warning not to use pointless personal abuse.

      • te reo putake 16.2.1

        It's not personal abuse, Mike. It's a straightforward question; are you sponsored by the CCP or its supporters? What exactly are your China links? If you think it's ok to ask for transparency from Brady, you should have the guts to do the same for yourself.

        [lprent: Tell me TRP – are you just being an complete arsehole because it is inherent in your nature or because someone is paying for it?

        With anyone who wasn’t an author I’d kick them off the site for deliberately and repeatably asking a pig fucker questions. FFS: Mike is a god-damn open book in his views compared to almost anyone else on this site – including you. Read his own submission to previous select committee where he points his background.

        But you know this about pig fucker questions and the general effects on debate already. You have a remarkably thin skin when others ask you those kinds of questions on your posts.

        As I commented on a post this morning. Everyone is starting to get a bit cranky. They need to chill down a bit. ]

        • te reo putake 16.2.1.1

          Hi, LPrent. It's in my nature; hell, we could almost be twins 😉

          It's a perfectly reasonable question to ask, given Mike Smith keeps putting weirdly pro-China stuff on the site that often reads as if it had come via the embassy's People's Daily Talking Points. If he's not being sponsored by the Tiananmen Square tankies, then a simple No would probably have to suffice.

          However, I think this is one of those times where his silence speaks volumes.

          Just for the record, I find Mike's regular attacks on women particularly troubling. It's not just Anne-Marie Brady; I have not forgotten his slut shaming, victim blaming attack on the innocent fatality of the Salisbury poisoning, Dawn Sturgess.

          That was a real low for this site.

          Anyhoo, you're right about chilling out. I'm off for a walk around my local cemetery. I find the section where the victims of the 1918 influenza are buried particularly moving in light of current events.

          • Mike Smith 16.2.1.1.1

            These continued slurs are totally not acceptable. Consider yourself banned from the site till further notice which won't be soon.

          • lprent 16.2.1.1.2

            Arrgh..

            For the record:-

            • Asking questions is fine. It has been done by others for Mike on this post. He has replied to some of them. However manufacturing pigfucker accusations based on specific facts and then demanding answers to them is a new low by an author. The last time that happened was when I bumped both you and Colonial Viper off the site for doing that to each other, and then moderating each other. I guess you have a failure to learn issue.
            • Silence is never sign of any guilt. It is just a symptom of a failed prosecutor trying to inflate a case out of hot air.
            • I had far more complaints about you from women authors on this site than any other author ever. There have been women authors stop writing and leave the site specifically because of it.
            • It looks like you didn’t take my advice about chilling out soon enough. Oh well too late now.

            I have turned off your login to this site. I will leave it up to Mike about how long he wants to ban you for.

  17. Marcus Morris 17

    All this reminds me of an incident from long, long ago. There used to be a Sunday morning magasine spot on National Radio called "Looking at ourselves". People of all persuasions were invited to express their views on current affairs. One such comment was given by Professor Herd from Otago University and it would have been sometime around 1965 from memory. This was at the height of the Cold War of course and the Professor must have made a comment which showed a certain sympathy to an aspect of Soviet life, I cannot recall the exact content. It was too long ago. Whatever it was, it upset the ruling National Government because almost immediately "Gentleman" Jack Marshall was given air-time to make a counter assertion and the nasty part was that he stated (quite correctly) that the good Professor was the Chairman of the New Zealand/Russian society. This was a group set up to encourage cultural exchanges and as Prof Herd was Head of Modern Languages at the University it would have been quite obvious that he should have that role. The most iniquitous aspect of this incident was that Prof Herd was denied the opportunity of an explanation or rebuttal. Freedom of speech and no political control of the media in NZ? It hasn't always been the case. Oh, and Jack Marshall could be as unpleasant as the next man when it came to dirty politics.

    • Anne 17.1

      That was interesting Marcus Morris and I found this article about Professor Herd – a piece on NZ's involvement in the Vietnam War and the hostilities between the USA and China. Nothing changes.

      http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-Salient28101965-t1-body-d7.html

      It sounds to me like he was part of the same Russian Friendship group that my father belonged to during that period – the Auckland branch in his case. His background was different… he had been British military and was part of a rescue mission to Russia in the 1920s. He and my mother visited Russia in 1974 and had some unpleasant experiences while there.

      He was also investigated by "the NZ authorities" but no evidence of subterfuge was found – not surprising because there was none. However, it didn't stop the covert harassment he was subjected to during subsequent years and after he died it was transferred to me.

      The dark underbelly of the NZ Establishment which existed during the Cold War years.

      • Marcus Morris 17.1.1

        Of course! – it would have been a Viet Nam issue. And Prof Herd's was a friendship group. I knew the Professor personally and you could not have wished for a more decent and humane gentleman. Thank you for that and for the link. I think that the "dark underbelly" is still alive and well.

        • Anne 17.1.1.1

          It was the trend of the day to target intelligent, well informed gentlemen who were often also culturally aware individuals. It was the case with my father and it still sticks in my throat that his adversaries – and mine – were ignorant, small minded individuals sans a skerrick of cultural sensitivities in their bodies.

          • Marcus Morris 17.1.1.1.1

            What has changed Anne. He who may well prove, or has already proven, to be the greatest cretin of all, is currently the leader of the "free world".

            History has also shown that Professor Herd was absolutely correct.

      • Tiger Mountain 17.1.2

        “The Soviet Friendship Society” was around in “my time” of the 70s early 80s. The SIS had a snout or two sniffing around!

        A colleague of mine used to import a limited number of Soviet films from late 60s/70s–along with European and USA stock–for Film Festival use. The “service” approached him with the offer of a small retainer to share details of people he dealt with. He refused and had intermittent harassment from strange men, and import officials for several years after, until he changed business.

    • RedLogix 17.2

      Thank you Marcus for this. Indeed these incidents should tell us that none of the conflicts should be seen in black and white binary shades. There is always more nuance and layers than we like to think.

      For instance despite my open loathing and repudiation of the Soviet regime, my motivations are driven perhaps for my deep interest and fondness for the Russian people.

      On both my visits to Russia I was struck by a sense of connection, an unreasonable familiarity that made no sense. Even the language appealed to me, and after just six weeks or so of immersion I found myself well on the way to becoming adequately fluent in street Russian. I'm under no pleasant illusions about the place; it's a tough landscape that has shaped a tough people. In the public domain you are initially overwhelmed by a grim buttoned down society, but they have also a remarkable artistic and poetic aspect. In many ways they are a serious minded, educated people, willing to engage intellectually and aesthetically yet at same time they know how to have fun. Go to a Russian house party and you will not be allowed to leave before 2am 🙂

      It's not only a beautiful, harsh landscape of extremes, not only is the long bitter winter is an annual endurance test of body and spirit, but it's also a hard geography to defend. The great flat sweeps of the taiga and tundra, hordelands with few mountains or natural barriers, has meant that the Russian mind is deeply pre-occupied with defense of their homeland. In this a certain paranoia is frozen into their souls, their place in the world imposes this on them.

      But there was a moment when I almost stayed. I had a job and people I trusted, I was tempted seriously to make a new life there instead of returning to NZ. Oddly enough I found myself almost more at home in Siberia than I ever did in the country I grew up in. Of course there is no telling how such a rash decision would have turned out, but trust me on this … my loathing of marxism is based in large part on the profound suffering it wrought on a people I feel very connected to.

      In more recent years I could say something similar about China, the more Chinese people I meet with, connect with, live and work with, and embrace even into my family … the more I am motivated to speak out against the CCP and all it stands for.

      • Marcus Morris 17.2.1

        My thanks to you and to Anne. It is not often that my contributions evoke a response but this has proven to a worthwhile little discussion. Was it Bernie Sanders or Jo Biden (or neither) who said recently that he was opposed to sanctions because they hurt the innocent parties who were suffering under the despots the sanctions were presumed to target. I have not been to Russian but have a number of friends who have and they have all reported, without exception, how hospitable they found the Russian people to be. Over the years I have had a lot of contact with students from China and their courtesy and industry has never failed to impress me.

        • Anne 17.2.1.1

          So interesting from both of you MM and RL.

          The mission my father was a part of in his youthful days was a year long one, and for much of that time he was billeted with a Russian family in Murmansk, Northern Russia. He was treated like one of their sons and he grew very fond of them. Indeed the mother told him at the start of his stay… he was a long way from his mother so I will be your mother while you are here.

          He came to love the Russian culture and the people – plus the magnificent Russian composers of yesteryear (a love I have inherited) – so it was not surprising he wanted to return to Russia one day.

          Unfortunately ‘the West’ did not take kindly to such malfeasance and they put him on their black list of suspect individuals. Idiots!

  18. observer 18

    Question for those who seek to defend the government in China, or resort to a "what about the USA and Trump" (which is no answer at all, I'm sure most of us here would strongly condemn USA policy in many areas):

    Do you …

    a) never read reports on China by Amnesty International, or Human Rights Watch, or any independent body?

    or

    b) Read them and dismiss them?

    It's not about political posturing, pro or anti. It's about evidence. There is a vast amount of evidence. How do you manage to avoid it?

    • Mike Smith 18.1

      @ observer

      Thanks for your question. I do read the human rights reports, but I don't read them uncritically. I read a lot of other reports as well on a much wider base than the human rights frame. These issues are not simple ones, and we are in the midst of information wars where huge resources are deployed by all governments. There is indeed a lot of evidence; there is also a lot of misinformation.

  19. Brigid 19

    If it's about evidence, that is a good enough reason for me to discount reports by Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch.

  20. RedBaronCV 20

    For once I sort of agree with Wayne -oh dear.

    But should an employer be allowed to investigate or review the statements an employee made under their rights of freedom of speech to a national parliament? Who is paying for this "review" taxpayers, student fees, someone else?

    Why don't the people complaining in the background issue their own papers in rebuttal instead of a "review" by a third party.

    Extend this type of behaviour to say employee's making a wages submission and the employer undertaking a "review" – pretty chilling.

  21. millsy 21

    NATO funding, if it exists, will dry up when or if China opens up its strategic industries to western investors, and floats its currency.

    I find the West's new propaganda attack on China seems to co-incide with Xi Jin Ping's expansion of the role of the Chinese state in the country's economy.

    Where as Hu Jin Tao and Zhang Je Min were committed totally to the Dengist road, and a slow journey to full capitalism, the current leader wants to do something a bit different, and the free market lovers in the USA, UK and the EU arent very keen at all.

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  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
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  • District Court judge appointed
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