China; Hack to the Future!

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, December 21st, 2018 - 287 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, capitalism, China, class war, Deep stuff, economy, Economy, infrastructure, International, Spying - Tags: , ,

By my estimation, the American century started at the end of World War 1. It’s reached its end morally with the election of Donald Trump and financially with the ceaseless rise of the Asian economies from the 1960’s onwards. It was a hell of a ride, America, but your time is up.

We live in new times; this is the Chinese century now. The rules are very different now and they aren’t being written by Westerners. Democracy, as a concept and in practical terms, is looking mighty tired.

We might think that being able to elect politicians every few years is democracy, but that is a mere practical  expression of the wider concept. In the west, we assume that expressing free will is something everyone cherishes. In truth, billions of people in this world live under brutal dictatorships and the majority really don’t mind.

We are very used to Russia pursuing it’s geo-political aims through aggressive border wars with its neighbours and the regular theft of territory. The old Cold war tactic of using proxies to prove points continues under Putin, with Syria just being the latest in a long line of countries where local conflicts are escalated to prove Russia is still important.

And of course, killing innocents abroad as part of their spying activities continues as usual, with the unfortunate Dawn Sturgess being the most recent victim of Kremlin mischief making.

But, for all Putin’s dreams, Russia is a spent force.

It’s China’s soft approach that will dominate the decades to come.

Xi Jinping has effectively appointed himself Emperor and there can be no doubt the One Belt, One Road program will extend the state capitalist nation’s influence. That massive infrastructure program is the visible public face of the new Chinese imperialism.

Harder to spot is the influence China is having on the internet. Today, it’s been revealed that a massive hacking program has been exposed. Two Chinese hackers have had warrants for their arrest posted and a handy new acronym has been exposed to the light.

That’s APT 10, the name given to the hacking team associated with the Chinese military.

There are many identified advanced persistent threats (APT) groups around the world, with North Korea leading the way.

APT 10’s claim to fame is it’s close links to the PLA and, by association, phone and telecommunication company Huawei.

The exposure of the hacking today is likely linked to the decisions in recent weeks for NZ to block Huawei’s access to our 5G network. That’s sensible in the circumstances, but like water flowing past a rock, the stream will always find a way.

Still, it’s nice that our participation in the Five Eyes program has some local benefit and if we can try to limit the snooping on our personal information to those we trust, such as the GCSB, the Police and, er, Google, I’m sure we’ll all have nothing to worry about in the short term.

But in the long term, we will have to deal with the fact that China is going to buy up the Pacific’s major infrastructure, much as it has in Africa. The way it does that is by offering apparently cheap loans, with particularly large fish hooks. Get behind in your payments and you don’t own your port anymore.

Frankly, I find this all a bit depressing, but drearily predictable. If we don’t care that we have a (former?) Chinese spy sitting in our Parliament, what will it take to get us really worried?

287 comments on “China; Hack to the Future! ”

  1. Ed 1

    We must remember what Snowden told us about US spying in our country.
    The Chinese spy efforts are small by comparison.
    The US would love it if we rushed to their arms because of a Change na scare.
    We must regain our independence from these superpowers.

    This post seems like a Cold War rant.
    We should be more wary of the US than Russia.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 1.1

      Which superpower would be the best fit to align with, but not ally ourselves with, if New Zealand had a truly independent foreign policy Ed?

      • Mark 1.1.1

        China actually,

        The Chinese have a live and let live approach. They don’t give a stuff about how New Zealand runs its internal affairs.

        If NZ decided not to have anything to do with China, the Chinese will just move on.

        Whereas the US will bomb the shit out of you.

        China has never committed terrorist acts in NZ (unlike France, a Western power), nor has driven Pacific peoples off their homes and tested nuclear weapons on their lands, nor enslaved Pacific peoples (‘blackbirding’) etc.

        • patricia bremner

          Yes, We should judge by actions. If their money influences elections… what then?

          • Mark

            There is no real evidence at all that Chinese money has influenced elections.

            if there are ground for fears of foreign influence, simply ban overseas donations.

            • Tricledrown

              Mark living in lala land looks like you are trying the soft sell Mark. Utter rubbish.

        • Lettuce

          @ “Mark”

          Your (very persistent) argument seems to be that because Western countries have done some terrible things in their past, we should just ignore all the atrocities China is committing now. John Key used to say much the same thing so we could sell more dairy products.

          Care to make any excuses for the latest abuses occurring in your favourite bastion of human rights?

          • SPC

            Where are the feminist human rights lawyers of China?

            Where are those who sold books in Hong Kong which included criticisms of the government/President of China?

            And where are those of religion, if their faith is in God rather than in worship of the party rule?

            In, or on their way to prison.

            Of course we can criticise them for this, just as we have the Americans for this and that and the other. But could/would our government criticise the government of the number one economy in the world?

            And if our protest embarrassed our government and the important interests of our economy, would it turn 5 Eyes on us, as they have for criticism of US foreign policy or global market capitalism?

        • Tuppence Shrewsbury

          How many ethnic Uighurs have been allowed to live and let live?

        • Obtrectator

          “The Chinese have a live and let live approach. They don’t give a stuff about how New Zealand runs its internal affairs.”

          Tell that to Anne-Marie Brady.

        • Rae

          Well, at least they make organ donating easy to do

        • Unicus


          The great benifit of Pax Americana for New Zealand after the war been its militarily benign character .

          Looking at the vile repression of the Chinese in Tibet its diffucult to imagine their behaviour would be any different here if given the opportunity.

          The Americans are our oldest and most trusted ally spots they certainly have -but nothing as malignant as China and its putrid medieval culture.

          • Mark

            ‘Pax Americana’

            For NZ maybe. Ask the Koreans, Vietnamese, Iraqis, Libyans, Afghanistan, innocent Pakistani’s killed by drones even today.

            The US is truly a rogue state. One that is reacting with alarm to its ever diminishing status.


            As for Tibetans, Tibet has long been recognised as part of China, even by the US well before the communist victory of 1949. Tibetans still speak their own language, dress in their own costume and live their own traditional lifestyles, and are still the majority of Tibet. They have fared far better than say the aborigines, or native Canadians and native Americans. And ultimately Tibetans are closely related to Chinese, both genetically, culturally, and our languages are also closely related (Sino-Tibetan languages). Whereas Korean say, and Japanese are completely different languages from Chinese.

            • Unicus

              Straight out of the CPC propaganda play book

              Your bigotry is repulsive

              • Mark

                hahahahah… obviously cannot come up with an evidence based, facts based counter – so you resort to name calling.

            • Dennis Frank

              “Tibet has long been recognised as part of China” is mostly bullshit, unless long refers to since the communist invasion. The history of sovereign relations over the prior twelve or so centuries is too complex for any simplistic categorisation to be accurate.

              The murk was created by Buddhism. The long evolution of the priest-patron relationship produced suzerainty as a special category of sovereignty, in which the emperor was acknowledged to have supreme power and the spiritual leader had his deference (due to being closer to god). Yanks & Brits interpreted the nominal control provided by suzerainty as a basis for non-recognition of Tibetan sovereignty despite the ongoing evidence that the govt of Tibet ruled that country and the pathetic whimpering of the impotent Chinese emperors during the colonial era was mere grandstanding.

              Anyone interested can read the relevant diplomatic interactions to clarify all this, plus any published memoirs of the Brit chappie who did most of the liaison (as I did back in the eighties).

              Any sensible person capable of learning from history will realise that the Tibetan empire originated Tibetan sovereignty. Enduring for 2.5 centuries, it formed the basis of Tibetan governance since.

              The historical record also illuminates the extent of operational control that Chinese emperors susequently were able to exert over Tibet. Periods of invasion and subsequent direct governance by Chinese were briefer and so sporadic as to render Chinese propaganda to the control total crap.

    • JohnSelway 1.2

      “The Chinese spy efforts are small by comparison.“

      Unless you live in China. Then you’re fucked. And China is on a massive expansionist mission right now. I fear China much more than the US

    • Instauration 1.3

      NSA – Dell PowerEdge 2450 HW JTAG exploit – never seen in NZ ? – Yeah right !
      Been there – recorded that ! Who could tell ?
      Belgacom anyone ?

  2. Mark 2

    “that China is going to buy up the Pacific’s major infrastructure, much as it has in Africa.”

    Correction. You mean ‘build’ …..major infrastructure.

    China has had extensive involvement in Africa over the past decade or so, and the African people themselves have a very positive view of China.

    Its great to see Africans and Asians, and Pacific peoples working together.

    Its also hard case seeing Westerners getting all uptight over this.

    • Good point re: buy and build. I could have worded that better. However, I don’t see a significant difference, really. The investment is intended to have a return for China, politically and economically. It’s about power and control.

    • Tricledrown 2.2

      Mark Africans aren’t getting a fair deal from the latest colonial extracting power.
      South China Sea, the Philippines are getting bullied out of their territorial water ‘s
      The Pacific Is getting corrupted by economic bribery.
      Who’ s Bainimarama’s closet ally.
      Mark you a very naive or one of their mouthpieces I suspect the later no one could be that naive!

    • Obtrectator 2.3

      “African people themselves have a very positive view of China.”

      Until the bills (not necessarily financial) start rolling in.

  3. Interesting
    .I thought the Wikileaks Vault 7 drop clearly showed that once out in the cyber world, all hacking tools became accessible to all hackers.
    The CIA keeps an extensive library and can masquerade as a Chinese hacker, Russian, N Korean, whatever
    Cyber experts say its damn near impossible to attribute cyber attacks

    from the Wikileaks publication

    “Once a single cyber ‘weapon’ is ‘loose’ it can spread around the world in seconds, to be used by rival states, cyber mafia and teenage hackers alike.”

    Full article here on the Vault 7 CIA disclosures

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    Premise: “this is the Chinese century now”, but I’m not convinced. Your source is worth considering though: “The original silk road was an ambiguous network of shifting trading routes, made comprehensible only in the 19th century, when the German scholar Ferdinand von Richthofen came up with the term seidenstraßen to describe them. A similar imaginative exercise in explanation is required today, given that neither the intentions behind this bout of lavish infrastructure spending, nor China’s ultimate objectives when they are all finished, are clearly or honestly articulated by the Chinese themselves.”

    Trade networks as a secondary source of wealth-generation have indeed had considerable influence (along with conquest) in developing empires. Will dominance hierarchies retain viability this century? Maybe not. Progress could prevail instead. Yet as the writer implies, the regime is failing to exercise geopolitical influence via presenting a more positive role model than the USA.

    Can the internet operate as a silk road for China? Only on a mutual-benefit basis. Usually, no trade happens without that basis! Coercion is often used by empire to secure trade, true, but effectiveness being proportional to wealth-sharing, wise rulers tend to view it as a loser’s option. The communist regime is so scared of the internet they actively control access. Such a strategy of blocking their new silk road is self-defeating. Clueless.

    The Spectator’s reviewer opines… “The closer that world is connected to China, the more it is likely to take on Chinese traits and to be run along the kind of autocratic, opaque rules China chooses to govern itself.” Now really, have you seen any evidence of other countries connecting to China? I haven’t. Quite the contrary. Such paranoia derives from delusional thinking.

    • SPC 4.1

      All empires have the same signature.

      They come bringing civilisation, all that they ask is subservience to the imperial order.

      Development via debt is the means to realise both in one.

      The American order began with the League Of Nations, was then suspended by the Americans not joining it, and was then renewed with the UN (alliance of the WW2 winners in the UNSC) and (moral well maybe not) credibility was underlined via the Marshall Plan and the new order based on collective security of the nation state members. To the point of Germany and Japan becoming allies.

      It seemed benign but for the American dollar reserve currency base to the World Bank and IMF system, which began a self interested protection of the international order for the American corporate and private property rights – capitalism. Which became using the Cold War security as cover for interference in other nation states. This era of the military industrial complex includes spying on domestic dissidents (including using private contractors).

      We can see how China is forming their order, how it develops once it is securely in place is a something to be concerned about. We already know they steal economic and military secrets and that they use trade sanctions as a weapon and they do not like to be criticised.

      It is those who you cannot criticise who rule over you.

    • Tricledrown 4.2

      Frankly a load of tosh Denis the speculator a Tory propaganda wrag
      This May as well have been written by the CCP.

  5. patricia bremner 5

    Yes francesca. +++

  6. Very glad I don’t live in China.

    Very glad I don’t live in America.

    don’t want either of them. Though we still all trade in American dollars.

    Western Democracy, American style, died a long while back..and it wasn’t the Chinese or Putin that killed it. So, so many examples its ridiculous..its impossible to know where to start…

  7. One Two 7

    APT 10

    Only those who lack basic understandings of ‘digital warfare’ would accept this at face value…

    UNIT 8200

  8. Aaron 8

    This reads like a US propaganda piece. I’m quite stunned to find someone on TS linking to US media when discussing Russia and then totally swallowing the Skripal affair lies from the UK as well. Amazing.

  9. “Still, it’s nice that our participation in the Five Eyes program has some local benefit and if we can try to limit the snooping on our personal information to those we trust, such as the GCSB, the Police and, er, Google, I’m sure we’ll all have nothing to worry about in the short term.”
    OK, maybe I’m on the Aspergers spectrum, because along with other extraordinary assertions, I suspect you actually mean this stuff.
    The Standard certainly has come to a sorry pass when this kind of credulous nonsense
    is passed off as serious analysis.
    Maybe its true, but the fact there is no attempt to test or entertain other possibilities smacks of propaganda

    • I’m not a big fan of sarc tags, francesca, and I would have thought ‘er, Google’ was sufficient to make it obvious that I had my tongue firmly in my cheek in that sentence.

      Long time readers will know that I like to slip in the occasional bit of humour in my posts. Working out which is the serious and which is the satirical is not usually a problem for TS readers who are, in the main, clever, articulate and breath takingly good looking.*

      *Whoops, I did it again 😉

      • francesca 9.1.1

        .The confusion arises when you display no scepticism towards the Chinese hacker story, despite the CIA shenanigans that Wikileaks has outed for us.
        How you can write an article based on such an MSM story without referring to Vault 7?
        And the death of Dawn Sturgess was a result of Russian spying activities??

        It suggests to me that in fact you do have rather an astonishing belief in official story telling. You might as well have been writing with your tongue hanging out, never mind the cheek
        Hook , line and sinker.

        • aj

          I wonder why anyone would believe anything that comes out of the state intelligence networks of the west and I subject the same cynicism to to the other side. It’s all tied to politics, both local and geopolitical. Intelligence agencies and governments have a master/servant relationship. The hands of one are up the bum of the other.

    • Siobhan 9.2

      You have my sympathy here francesca.
      While to my reading this comment was clearly sarcastic, its easy to miss the tone in the wider content of the piece.

  10. Adrian Thornton 10

    I was going to read this piece, got halfway through the first paragraph and didn’t bother going any further…

    “By my estimation, the American century started at the end of World War 1. It’s reached its end morally with the election of Donald Trump ”

    Exactly when did the USA have this mythical moral authority you so obviously pine for?
    please enlighten me, so I can then finish the rest of the post.

    • Beats me, Adrian. I’ve never said the US has had moral authority. If it ever did have, I’d say it went when they dropped the A bombs on Japan. So feel free to read on, comrade.

      • francesca 10.1.1

        All of the APT groups are identified by the US as adversaries.
        This doesn’t hint to you of a smattering of US centric partisanship ?
        I note that Stuxnet, developed by the US and Israel , one of the most irresponsible
        cyber attacks ever, now unleashed on the world, doesn’t get a mention
        But you’re happy to swallow this stuff. Thats why your irony or is it your humour is very much lost to me.

        • te reo putake

          No, stuxnet doesn’t get a mention. Neither does any other previous hacking attempt, because this post was about the alleged Chinese hack being reported today. That doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions on other hacks, it’s just that in a topical post about something happening right now, I’ve chosen to focus on the thing happening right now.

          Whataboutism is not an adequate substitute for intelligent debate, so if you have any opinions on what is actually in the post, rather than things that aren’t, fire away.

          That can obviously include stuxnet or anything else you think is relevant, but don’t go down the path of telling an author what should or should not be in a post. Instead, write your own analysis of what’s going on in a comment and then we can all agree or disagree.

          • francesca

            I did you the honour of reading your link about APTS (advanced persistent threats) which supposedly informs your article.
            And found it rather partisan to say the least, in that it only mentions US adversaries. If you’re forming your political beliefs on info from partisan sources you’re not getting the whole picture , clearly thats not a bother to you , but your piece has less credibility because of it
            Sorry , but the whataboutism jibe is tired and overplayed .

            • te reo putake

              I chose that link because it explains what APT means. That is not an endorsement of the site in question, which I have not read beyond the first paragraph, and know nothing about generally and was only using because it had a clear explanation of the term APT. Now, do you have anything to say about the China hack or should I just boot you into the ether?

              • Morrissey

                Don’t boot her into the ether, Te Reo!

                Give her another CHANCE!!!!

              • Dennis Frank

                I read the APT page too, and wondered about the lack of American (& British) examples of organised hacking. I do share your apprehension re China, have written here to that effect numerous times, but today I felt the need to sound a note of caution.

                As with Trump, focus on the negatives can easily distract from the positives, and with geopolitics a balanced view of the pros & cons is essential. We’ve only just got away from the cultural norm of demonising people who have one or more bad features, but applying a similarly transcendent view to countries ought not to be too difficult. I understand that you put up a thesis, fair enough, but without synthesis readers can be forgiven for reacting to perceived lack of balance…

              • francesca

                The only thing I have to say about the Chinese hack is that I’m not convinced it WAS a Chinese hack, or that at least I want to have the questions that Vault 7 raises ,addressed when we’re discussing said hacks
                Uh oh , there’s more
                Why are we so worried about Huawei’s back door if the Chinese are gonna hack any way ?
                And also if xkeyscore or prism, or whatever the hell the GCSB uses to” protect us from cybercrime” didnt protect us from Chinese hackers, what the hell are they in fact for?
                Gosh TRP , are we going to be told the GCSB needs more powers?
                Silly me for reading the whole link. Its that damned Aspergers again
                Hey TRP, I’m a woman, I have Aspergers,I grew up in care, dont kick me out.

                • francesca

                  And to make matters worse, I keep repeating myself

                • All good, francesca. I do get narked at commenters who can’t separate the message from the messenger. Posts take time to write, particularly the ones that need links. It gets annoying when the actual post gets ignored in favour of trying to guess the motivation or bona fides of the writer.

              • One Two

                Fireeye have product to sell…those product functions operate with other ‘cyber’ products and process to create multiple levels of resistence…

                Being an American company, FE also closely partners with ‘leading cyber companies’ around the globe to work in formation, as gatekeepers…

              • Peter Bradley

                Your article is pure un adulterated Western military propaganda. The fact that you are threatening to silence people who are pointing out this fact to you is disturbing.

      • Mark 10.1.2

        Yes, agree they should never had dropped those A bombs. That was the deliberate mass murder of women and children to achieve a military objective.

        But that act simply reflected the nature of your so called US ‘moral authority’. There never was any.

        Just two examples:

        3 million Phillipinos murdered by US troops simply because they were brown.

        Americans could openly lynch blacks and cut off genitalia and burn people alive, cut sell body parts, right up to very recent history, get it photographed and send postcards of the atrocities through the postal system – with total impunity. Whole towns would come out in a carnival like atmosphere:

        So try again. When did the US ever have any moral authority whatsoever?

        • te reo putake

          Mark, I guess you missed the bit above where I said the following:

          “Beats me, Adrian. I’ve never said the US has had moral authority.”

          Don’t ask me to ‘try again’ when I haven’t said it in the first place.

        • Grafton Gully

          “to achieve a military objective.” Sold as such but more likely a “fuck off Uncle Joe” from HS Truman.

          • RedLogix

            My reading of all the evidence is that it was likely a bit of both.

            A strong message to Stalin yes, but also Truman would have to answer to the families of all the US servicemen who would have otherwise died.

            The other factor often overlooked was the US reaction to the kamikaze pilots. It was persuasive evidence that the cost of fighting a conventional war to the end might be very high indeed.

  11. RedLogix 11

    I’m no fan of anyone’s empire; I’ve made that crystal clear over and again. Comparing the US and Chinese empires when they are at two quite different phases of their life-cycle is pointless; both have their exploitative nature.

    But for a more helpful comparison what we can do is look where people are voting with their feet; it’s the Western nations like the USA, Canda, Australia, NZ and Europe where hundreds of millions of people strive annually to migrate, fleeing from totalitarian thugs in their homelands.

    We are most certainly not perfect countries, there is much we could do better … but you have to ask “imperfect compared to what?”

    When I see masses of Westerners striving the enter China, I may change my mind.

    • francesca 11.1

      Lazy Westerners would never learn the language.

      • RedLogix 11.1.1

        Given that my elder daughter is quite fluent in Mandarin now; I have to wonder exactly ‘lazy’ you think she is. Did you mean ‘all Westerners’ are lazy, or just some?

        And exactly how good is your Mandarin? Or Cantonese? There are at least eight major language groups, many mutually incomprehensible. Are you fluent in all of them or just some?

        • Mark

          You only have to be fluent in Mandarin to be able to converse with people all over China – including Hong Kong now, more and more. Indeed it covers everywhere in the sinosphere, Taiwan, and Singapore.

          Your daughter may be fluent in Mandarin and kudos to her. But most Anglo Saxons (not Europeans as a whole) are quite lazy when it comes to learning foreign languages. That is partly because English has now become the de-factor international language, and partly out of a lazy arrogance.

          For example. The Portuguese in Macao integrated well with the local Chinese and learned Cantonese. Whereas the English in Hong Kong were far more aloof. Indeed I know of English people born and bred in Hong Kong who know not a word of Cantonese – having attended international schools, and kept away from the locals.

          • RedLogix

            I routinely work in other countries and in the past 20 years I’ve had to learn some pretty basic Russian and Spanish. When I’m immersed in a language it takes 3 – 6 months to start becoming conversational in it; even though as an adult it’s a non-trivial task. There are an estimated 7,100 living languages in the world and the vast majority of humans speak no more than 5 or so of them.

            But the fact is English, by accident of history, is undeniably the defacto global language. Whether this is a good thing or not is a separate argument, but it doesn’t mean I’m lazy for not learning a dozen other languages.

            As you say, if Mandarin is sufficient to get you by in the Sinosphere, have you become fluent in Cantonese, Wu, Min, Xiang and the others as well? Or are you just too ‘lazy’?

            • Mark

              “have you become fluent in Cantonese, Wu, Min, Xiang and the others as well? Or are you just too ‘lazy’?”

              I’m was talking in the context of people born and bred in a place and knowing naught of the local language. This is a characteristic peculiar to Anglos, more than other groups. But yes, probably based simply on overwhelming cultural dominance, and lack of need.

              “When I’m immersed in a language it takes 3 – 6 months to start becoming conversational in it; even though as an adult it’s a non-trivial task.”

              Agree. People underestimate how long it takes to be a fluent speaker in a foreign language. And the number of people who are equally adept at two or more languages is very very small.

              For example, one can develop a certain basic functional ability in a foreign language with say several thousand words. But a native speaker will have command of between 25000 to 50000 words, and understand all the embedded cultural nuances and subtleties as well. That’s a big difference.

        • francesca

          Good on your daughter
          In answer to your question …. the lazy ones (would never learn the language)
          I have a friend who’s married a Chinese woman ,lived there so long and speaks so fluently they think he’s a Chinese but from the North
          European languages , particularly based on the Latin are easier to pick up than the wildly different Asian languages
          Asians and Europeans learn English at school, starting early.
          We pretty well have languages as an optional extra
          It takes highly motivated people to learn a difficult language.
          Its why I would welcome the idea of compulsory te reo

      • Gabby 11.1.2

        But surely their tolerant hosts would respect their culture.

      • Unicus 11.1.3

        Unlike the Chinese who apparently have such a broad understanding of the language of the country they live in that most of the retail frontages on Mt Eden and Dominion Rds are daubed with “Chinese graffiti “ for their benefit.

        No other ethnic group in Auckland has had the rudeness to assume a right to deface our urban environment and our cultural norms as the Chinese have

  12. JohnSelway 12

    Should we be worried?

    Probably… definitely….

  13. Mark 13

    “But for a more helpful comparison what we can do is look where people are voting with their feet; it’s the Western nations like the USA, Canda, Australia, NZ and Europe where hundreds of millions of people strive annually to migrate, fleeing from totalitarian thugs in their homelands.”

    Ridiculous argument. People go to places where one can get more bang for the buck for his or her labour. Economic factors have always been the overwhelming motivator for migration (aside from escaping from war and famine).

    A Chinese in China has to work 4 or 5 times as much as someone living in the West to enjoy the same share of the world’s productivity and resources.

    The wealth of the world is still concentrated in the West (although that is changing). When wealth is more evenly distributed throughout the world, migration will slow – regardless the nature of government.

    That does not mean of course there are not many attractive features of Western countries – after all people would much prefer to migrate to Australia than Saudi Arabia (if they could in the latter case), even though the latter is at least as wealthy. But these attractive features of the West are what ultimately countries like China, and India, are heading towards. But in the former case, they have decided that they will get there faster through rapid economic development, and the rapid creation of an urbanised middle-class. An educated, urbanised middle-class is the bedrock of any successful democratic experiment. But they want to achieve in decades or even less, what the West took centuries to achieve. And they want to achieve it without resorting to the grossly exploitative methods of the West.

    • SPC 13.1

      There is no evidence that the government of China plans for anything other than the continuance of a one party state.

      The idea that development of a middle class economy via trade with the global market would result in a democratic China came from the American corporate who wanted profit from trade with China. Convincing their government to go down that course has enriched their shareholders but their argument may prove to be totally untrue. That is certainly the position of the current government of China.

    • RedLogix 13.2

      People go to places where one can get more bang for the buck for his or her labour.

      And how does this explain wealthy Chinese who chose to expatriate to cities like Melbourne, Sydney, Vancouver and Auckland in large numbers? Many of whom then continue to work back in China; while their families live in the West.

      Economic factors don’t really explain this. If China was such a wonderful country, why leave at all?

      • Gabby 13.2.1

        It’s possible that at least some of them are still working for the Motherland reddy.

      • Mark 13.2.2

        Of course China is still well behind the West on a wide number of indicators of health and social well-being. That correlates to the current stage of economic development.

        So those relatively wealthy Chinese still find it a good option to live in the West.

        And indeed even corruption strongly correlates with GDP.

        (it is noted that China is not unusually corrupt for a developing nation, and is less corrupt than other large countries like Russia, and also ‘democratic’ India )

        So the economic factor is still the overriding motivator when it comes to migration.

        Either to earn more money for the same number of hours worked, or to enjoy the benefits of living in a truly developed country (which correlates with GDP)–even in the case of wealthy Chinese.

      • KJT 13.2.3

        Much more pleasant to live in tax funded welfare states.

        Degraded as they have been in recent years.

        Even better if you are wealthy enough to enjoy the benefits, without paying the taxes.

        • RedLogix

          Yes that’s partly true; but I think you still miss the essential difference. While it’s entirely true the West has lost it’s way many times, it still worth thinking about why and what it is that made us so successful over the past 500 or so years.

          It’s not all a story of power, exploitation and despair.

    • Tricledrown 13.3

      Mark you are even more naive than I first thought without the grossly exploitive methods of the west I think you have been locked up somewhere for 30yrs or more only read one newspaper have never seen any investigative documentaries or you may be one off those death van sales men who is selling body parts.

  14. Mark 14

    This is just a complete and utter beat-up.

    Here’s the facts:

    * All countries, particularly large countries engage in spying and hacking. Period. Some may be better than it than others, but all will do it.

    * New Zealand, and the other four Anglo Saxon powers have been spying on China for a very long long time – Five Eyes. So NZ can spy on China, but not expect to be spied on in return?

    * China is surrounded by a ring of US military bases. The US has around 1000 overseas military bases. China has one or two.

    * China’s activity in the South China Sea, accelerated after Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’

    * China’s claims on the South China Sea are not recent. They are claims that well preceded the communist government, and are indeed supported by the Taiwanese government (successor to the pre-communist KMT government in China). This is a claim, that would be supported by any type of Chinese government – so called ‘totalitarian’ or ‘democratic’

    * John Pilger’s documentary should be compulsory viewing for any fair minded person:

    * Look at the frame at 3:08 in the video, showing the US ‘noose’ around China. Seen in this context, China’s current actions in the South China sea are entirely understandable.

    • SPC 14.1

      China said it would not militarise the islands, then did … .

      The main victims of the action are those nations whose claims to resources off their coasts were undermined. Claims which received international support. China’s militarising them could be seen as a deliberate act of will to overriding a rules based approach to one based on the hegemony of power.

      • KJT 14.1.1

        No different from the USA, and Britain before them.

        Unless you think forceably or stealthily, toppling democracies, for US corporate profits, and/or maintaining the petrodollar, is benign?

        • RedLogix

          So if they’re no ‘different’ why are we playing naive about the nature of a Chinese Imperium?

          And for all their massive population, China is still barely 20% of the gobal population; why does the other 80% have to tolerate another new empire exploiting us all? Time to end this nonsense.

          • Mark

            What ’empire’ building?

            Do not all countries, particularly wealthy ones, carry out overseas investments? Even New Zealanders do that.

            Is China forcing anyone or any country? Or ‘twisting any arms’ (as the US does in the words of Obama).

            If China is ’empire building’ that is because other countries willingly subscribe to it. Not forced to be part of it.

            Very unlike the USA and British empires.

            • RedLogix

              At the beginning the USA didn’t call their hegemony an ’empire’ either. No-one does; it’s always framed as ‘benign’, ‘bringing trade and civilisation’, ‘mutual cooperation’, and so on.

              Indeed it’s fair to say all of these things are true in large part, but without exception, every single Empire throughout history has risen and then fallen, undermined by it’s own hubris and the inexorable logic of exploitation. As did the West’s overt colonial era. It’s over, and for the most part we let it go with some relief; we don’t take pride in it, and we don’t seek to recreate it’s glory days. The West has moved on, although it’s fair to say we’re not quite sure where to.

              Besides the advent of nuclear weapons has made it an obsolete concept. One small nation, or non-nation group, only has to detonate one decent sized weapon in one major capital, or major city, and it’s game over.

              The model we have to think about now is quite different; a model where the nation-state dominance Xi Xingping openly boasts about is simply not acceptable.

              • Mark

                “a model where the nation-state dominance Xi Xingping openly boasts about is simply not acceptable.”

                Huh? Can you expand on that further?

                What is China doing today that is apparently unacceptable, that other Western countries are not already doing???

                Or is it different standards for white folk on the one hand, and yellow folk on the other?

                • RedLogix

                  Given that I have clearly and repeatedly said that I deplore all empire, regardless which nations are doing it … your questions make no sense. Either that or you are addressing them to the wrong person.

                  On the other hand you have clearly and repeatedly condemned the historic involvement of the West in China during the peak of our colonial period. Fair enough. It was a long time ago, but it happened. Exploitation is an inherent and ‘unacceptable’ aspect to empire.

                  Therefore you must have no trouble understanding my objections to China’s overt expansionist ambitions. Or is it indeed a case of “different standards”?

                  • Mark

                    I’m saying provide evidence of these ‘expansionist’ ambitions. List them out. I don’t know what you mean when you say ‘expansionist’ ambitions.

                    “Fair enough. It was a long time ago, but it happened.”

                    Not that long ago. Extraterritoriality ended only in 1946. And the flow on effects in terms of the impoverishment of the non-Western world to the benefit of the Western world still remain today.

                    And it was only the final victory of communist forces in 1949, that the imperialists were finally kicked out. Here is one small incident to remind you that British warships patrolled the Yangtze with impunity right up to 1949.

                    • RedLogix

                      I don’t know what you mean when you say ‘expansionist’ ambitions.

                      Funny … you prattle on about them enough yourself.

          • KJT

            After being colonised by The British, then the USA, I have no appetite for the “benefits” of yet another colonisation.

            The transfer of even more of our wealth, and the work we do, to offshore profit.

            Mind you. I wonder if we would have a sudden regime change, like Australia with Whitlam, if our Government decided to do something, say, as mildly socialistic and anti corporate, as nationalising the banks?

            Always wondered how much influence The USA, and our US trained state apparatus, have on actual policy?

            The Chinese are much more obvious.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Mind you. I wonder if we would have a sudden regime change, like Australia with Whitlam, if our Government decided to do something, say, as mildly socialistic and anti corporate, as nationalising the banks?

              Don’t need to nationalise them.

              Just take the power of money creation off of them and have Kiwibank provide mortgage and business loans at 0%.

              The private banks simply won’t be able to compete any more.

              Still, that would probably result in sudden regime change as US NGOs such as NED massively finance ‘democracy’.

              Why are we still allowing foreign actors the ability to influence our country?

        • SPC

          No different to … does not make it right.

          Those who get visited by our police because of their opposition to US planned action in Iraq should not be silent when another party behaves that way.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      China’s claims on the South China Sea are not recent. They are claims that well preceded the communist government

      [citation needed]

      And don’t pull up the BS nine-dash line.

      China has no valid claims to the South China Sea.

      New Zealand, and the other four Anglo Saxon powers have been spying on China for a very long long time – Five Eyes. So NZ can spy on China, but not expect to be spied on in return?

      Spying is bad.

      That said, a good neighbour does have some idea as to what their neighbours are doing. That doesn’t mean that they should try to uncover secrets though.

      Still, a country does also need to protect itself from actions that are detrimental to it and that’s usually not an action another country will broadcast.

      Bit of a conundrum really.

    • Tricledrown 14.3

      Pilger likes the sound of his own voice Kim Hill exposed his narcissism in an interview asking him a few hard questions he turned septic and showed his real self.

  15. McFlock 15

    The situation as I see it:

    Russia is a regional power that is expansionist in a regional sense, but not really geopolitically. It’s mostly still working off soviet-era military infrastructure that is steadily decaying (e.g. ISTR the only dry dock it has that can service its remaining carrier recently sank).

    China is expanding globally, particularly into the southwest Pacific. It lacks a lot of military infrastructure, but is catching up quickly (e.g. one operational carrier, and the ISTR second carrier is a CATOBAR configuration).

    The US is stepping back for at least two more years, but either way has possibly priced itself out of a peer-level confrontation. It can’t afford a non-nuclear shooting war, and even if it could very soon it might not be able to field enough missiles (especially air to air) to fight one effectively. The Ford-class carrier is promising, but the Zumwalt-class destroyers cost billions each to provide a platform for a gun that has no ammunition in production.

    The trouble is, looking at the so-called “Autonomous Regions”, I think I prefer US occupation to Chinese. The yanks tend to tolerate ineffective dissent, whereas the Chinese government demands conformity.

    • JohnSelway 15.1

      Fully agree with your final sentence. Some people are so viciously anti-USA they can’t see just how terrible a China hegemony would be

      • KJT 15.1.1

        So terrible, that they, and Keating’s banking regulations, saved us from the recession caused by rogue US banks.

        China already has economic hegemony. How much does the US owe them, again?

        Unfortunately the only way out for the USA, may be war.

        I doubt if that is what China wants. Doesn’t make sense to nuke the country, that is silly enough to gift you their wealth.

        • McFlock

          Pretty much, and most of the US establishment is happy to outsource production to China. None of the rational actors want to upset that apple cart, but they will shove each other around the periphery. Get an idiot leader or too much domestic momentum in the mix, accidents might happen.

          But China does have its own internal issues, too – still a mostly rural population (which creates some friction), and some bubbles (like property) that might pop soon and slow things down a bit. So it might have to pull back a little bit on the expansionary focus, as well.

          • KJT

            Or. The growing Chinese middle class may demand more say in Government.

            • McFlock

              good point

            • RedLogix

              Which the CCCP has anticipated and is ruthlessly suppressing with an extraordinary Orwellian force.

              • Mark

                Urban population now surpasses rural population.

                As for whatever is happening within China, surely that is no one else business aside from that of the Chinese people themselves, and indeed how does it make any difference to the lives of people who live outside of China?

                • SPC

                  Basically it will mean that nation state expresssion of concern for human rights in the wider world will cease. Because if the super power in the world would economically bully any nation that criticises them, then it would be hypocritical to criticise any other nation for internal corruption.

                  Which takes domestic oppression and abuse of human rights outside of international discussion – we may as well tear up the Universal Declaration now and end the ICC.

                  Then there is the democracies do not war on other democracies thing – so a super power not democratic is a risk to the (western democratic) international regime.

                • McFlock

                  Oh, interesting. I knew the rural:urban population was closing, hadn’t looked at it in a while.

                  As for your second paragraph, it was written like a true sociopath. If someone is being tortured in your neighbour’s basement, isn’t that your business even if it doesn’t make any difference to your life on your property?

      • Mark 15.1.2

        “The yanks tend to tolerate ineffective dissent…..”


        *3 million Phillipinos murdered by US troops simply because they were brown.

        *Americans could openly lynch blacks and cut off genitalia and burn people alive, cut sell body parts, right up to very recent history, get it photographed and send postcards of the atrocities through the postal system – with total impunity. Whole towns would come out in a carnival like atmosphere:

  16. Dennis Frank 16

    Dr Paul G Buchanan is Co-Founder and Principal of 36th Parallel Assessments. He is a former intelligence and defense policy analyst and consultant to US government security agencies who specialises in matters of security, comparative and international politics. He is a US citizen permanent resident in New Zealand. Raised in Latin America, he has taught at the National University of Singapore, University of Auckland, New College of Florida, University of Arizona, Monterey Institute of International Studies and US Naval Postgraduate School, and has held research appointments in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Portugal and the US. He has received Fulbright, Heinz, Kellogg, Tinker, Council on Foreign Relations and Pacific Rim Universities fellowships as well as numerous other awards.

    Earlier tonight his view of the announcement by our GCSB that Chinese hackers were responsible for cyber intrusions against New Zealand telecommunications firms who store data for individuals, public agencies and corporate entities appeared on RNZ:

    “Chinese are engaged in a global campaign of cyber theft of commercial secrets and intellectual property. It is part of a strategy to become the world’s dominant information and telecommunications player within 50 years, and they do so by using ostensibly private firms as cover for hacking activities, directed by the Chinese Ministry of State Security (MSS).”

    “The GCSB announcement coincided with indictment by the US Justice Department of two Chinese nationals who have been identified as belonging to the Advanced Persistent Threat (APT)-10 Group of MSS hackers operating under the cover of a Chinese-registered firm, Tianjing Huaying Haitai Science and Technology Development Company (Huaying Haitai).”

    “Huaying Haitai claims to provide network security construction and product development services but has only two registered shareholders, one manager and no web presence (the domain name is registered to the firm but cannot be found online, which is odd for an internet security provider). The US has publicly identified Huaying Haitai as the corporate front for ATP-10, and the GCSB has confirmed that ATP-10 was responsible for the New Zealand-targeted cyber intrusions it has detected since early 2017.”

    • Dennis Frank 16.1

      Buchanan relates this behaviour to the rule of law, in particular to international law as created via treaties between sovereign nations: “The ATP-10 cyber-hacking campaign violates the terms of a 2016 APEC agreement signed by China and New Zealand, which said member states could not use cyber hacking to engage in commercial espionage or intellectual property theft. It violates similar pacts signed with the US and UK in 2015.”

      “This means that China is deliberately violating international agreements for commercial gain. It also makes all Chinese-based telecommunications suspect, both in terms of their purported use of “digital backdoors” built into their products, which could be used by Chinese intelligence.”

      China could claim that the USA was already doing similarly, perhaps. Have they? If not, why not? How seriously can we take international law when a member of the UN Security Council acts in breach of it? Not very, and not for the first time, but it serves to remind everyone of how the difference between perception and reality blurs in and out of focus sufficiently to be unreliable.

      • Ad 16.1.1

        If China had the evidence to counter-accuse the US it would do so, because there is a massive trade war escalating on precisely that point. China glaringly is not..

        • Nic the NZer

          We already know the US govt ( eg the NSA) collects internet communications. We also know the five eyes nations skirt domestic surveillance laws by spying on other nations citizens. We even know some of the code names for this used program by the GCSB.

          • Ad

            China should therefore have no problem saving the trade deal with US, displaying US industrial espionage to US and home media.

            • Nic the NZer

              Don’t think you understand how agreements work. You seem to think throwing around accusations is a good negotiation strategy.

              Obviously you simply don’t understand China’s actual foreign policy strategy because the facts of what various spy agencies do are well known. I remain unconvinced you have any authority in saying what some ‘Country’ will do in given circumstances.

              • Ad

                I haven’t made any claims to know Chinese intelligence policy within trade talks with the US.

                I invite you to demonstrate your expertise in this field with links.

                China’s foreign policy settings are well set out in the leaders’ very substantial speeches both from Xi Jinping and in the UN.They are public record.

                • Nic the NZer

                  “I haven’t made any claims to know Chinese intelligence policy within trade talks with the US” – Ad

                  “If China … the US it would do so” – an earlier Ad

  17. Rae 17

    Doesn’t matter really who you cosy up to. It seems pretty clear to me, the human race is gearing itself off for another round of mass slaughter of each other. We don’t seem to be able to help ourselves when push really comes to shove.
    Here we are, probably at our most aware of our environment, ourselves, our differences, the things that make us the same, the things we are capable of doing to fix our messes, yet we are probably not far away from going to war all over again. It is like it’s in our DNA.
    Sad, because we could reduce our numbers and our impact on this world in a logical and humane way, at the same time elevating the lives of individuals. Instead, we seem to be hellbent on ramping up the destruction instead of stopping it, and it is all driven from above, world leaders and corporations (who may well be proxy world leaders), are still wedded to growth.
    All of the posturing of the superpowers sheets back to that thing, growth, whereas what we really have to do is put it one side and get about the business of fixing our home. It may be too late.
    Again, it will not matter whose side we think we should be on.

    • Ad 17.1

      How would you propose “reducing our numbers”?
      – Chinese way?
      – Japanese way?
      – Westport way?

      • Rae 17.1.1

        Educated and free women way, it is what has already happened where women have control of their own lives and fertility, so I guess of your choices the Japan way is closest. Of course it is a bit slower than war, so there is a bit of time pressure on. However, we do it, though, we have to do it, there is not enough resource in the world for those of us already here, we are using stuff up as if we had another 1/2 a planet or so on the side. We also share this place with other species, who need their share of it as well.

        • tabletennis

          thank you Rae – for looking at a bigger picture.

          On China: it’s simply expanding its empire, especially in Africa, to supply their population with food and resources from elsewhere (by any means available).
          They are playing monopoly in Africa; if you can’t pay the loan back, I have from you the electricity supply infrastructure (Zambia) and port of Mombasa (Kenya).

          • Graeme

            “I have from you the electricity supply infrastructure (Zambia) and port of Mombasa (Kenya).”

            But the power supply and port are still in Africa, they haven’t been taken back to China. Or is the plan to bring millions of nationals over to run them and colonise the continent.

            Well that worked out really well the last time someone tried that.

        • Ad

          So clearly it makes a really big difference to you how humanity “reduces its numbers”.

          China did it by force.

          Westport did it by emigration.

          Only a free choice within a free society enables free women.

          So that is another reason Tom oppose China’s governmental expansion.

  18. Mark 18

    In the end all this talk of Chinese ‘expansionism’ is all a load of blather.

    If China signs deals with individual countries to build infrastructure, that is the right of these individual countries to get into these sorts of relationships and deals. Just as it was New Zealand’s right to pursue an FTA with China in 2008.

    When New Zealand signed the FTA in 2008, was that evidence of Chinese ‘expansionism’? Of course not. That was an agreement signed between too sovereign states with neither twisting the arms of the other. Utterly unlike the way the West has traditionally done business with bullets and bombs (Opium Wars and unequal treaties and boxer indemnities and extraterritoriality and all that).

    Similarly, countries like Samoa, PNG, Montenegro, Nigeria, etc also have the sovereign right to pursue economic ties with China. And if the West does not like it, they can counter with offers of loans or development aid themselves, and let those countries decide which will be better for them. It seems this is what Winston Peters is advocating for in the South Pacific and that is OK as well.

    In the end fears over China’s rise are racial. It is about the West worried about losing their place as top dogs in the world. They are afraid of losing their white privilege.

    Consider the case of Greenland, a place the Chinese are showing some significant interest.

    About Chinese investment and involvement in infrastructure:
    opinion about the Chinese tended to divide along ethnic lines.Danish people were worried about it, while Inuits thought was a good idea.

    So it is throughout most of the world. Non-Western people are largely sanguine about China’s increasing power. Even most Muslims could hardly give a stuff about what is alleged to be happening in Xinjiang. Muslims get far more animated over Israels suppression of the Palestinians and the US role in their region.

    • RedLogix 18.1

      Han Chinese notions of racial superiority are very well known. Communicated to me personally by Chinese people I know and trust. Indeed one of our best known Chinese authors here (banished because he kept saying things some people didn’t want to hear) … made this exact point on a number of occasions.

      Besides the phrase “zhong guo” meaning “Middle Kingdom” or “Centre of the World” still retains a real meaning for most Chinese. An attitude that positively drips from your own comments here Mark.

      Laughable you should accuse the West of racism, when last I looked at a picture of any CCCP convention, I could see only row upon row of Han Chinese males. In some I could see one or two women out of literally hundreds of men.

      • Mark 18.1.1

        “….accuse the West of racism…..see only row upon row of Han Chinese males. In some I could see one or two women out of literally hundreds of men.”

        racism? I did not know Chinese women were of a different race from Chinese men?

        As for ‘row upon row of Han Chinese males’…….hahahahahahahahahha….you are obviously unaware that China’s minorities are overwhelming East Asian.

        Uighur: Abudushalamu Abudurexiti
        Tibetan: Dalai Lama
        Tujia: He Long
        Miao: Song Zuying

      • SPC 18.1.2

        There are also aspects of that in Korean and Japanese nationalism. Tough region.

        The rest of the world has had the era of European Christendom, and its later Protestant subset, so won’t find another of its ilk much of a surprise.

      • SPC 18.1.3

        The under representation of women cannot be safely mentioned, as such feminism is conected to human rights activism and that is not permitted in the party.

    • SPC 18.2

      Comparison of imperial behaviour to the era before

      1. development of recognised nation state zones around the world
      2. UN collective security of nation states – 1945
      3 the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – 1948
      3. the end of the ability to annex territory – 1949.
      4. the international law of the sea – 1958

      is hardly relevant.

      The international regime of this era involved economic power from the so called first world/OECD now there is another – China.

      The developing world now finds this to be a source of new investment money – available via loan debt. For those nations that could not get World Bank finance etc or private bank loans all good for now (especially if they failed to get nation state to nation state foreign aid because of human rights/democratic tests set by the donor).

      But the same, good for now theme, also applies for those who are poor and who cannot get loan finance from the bank but can from other sources (who have ways of profiting from those who cannot pay the loans back).

      To this cynic, One Belt means using the indebtedness of others to own an international distribution network (including land in other nations tied up in Chinese ownership), to control the resource supply lines to its economy.

      It’s vertical integration approach is of an imperial design to control its own supply (ownership and distribution). It is the (super) statist version of global corporate dominance of the world economy.

      • Mark 18.2.1

        hahahahahahaha…..firstly, the West gets to be top dog by shatting on everyone else, then changes the rules!

        In any case the rules are being adhered to. China has not annexed any territories.

        • SPC

          Basically it was done so that they would stop fighting each other for top dog shares of wealth and power.

        • Gabby

          You want ti bet marky?

          • Mark

            examples eh?

            • Ad

              – 1. Tibet

            • Ad

              2 . Doklan from Bhutan

            • Ad

              3. Arunachal Pradesh from India

            • Ad

              4. Himalayan Jammu and Kashmir from India/Pakistan

            • Ad

              5. Scarborough and other shoals from multiple claimant countries.

            • Ad

              6. Getting closer in Taiwan

              • Mark

                Pathetic. Those are minor border contretemps that are natural where different countries butt up against each other. You could equally say the other claimants are also ‘expansionist’

                As for Tibet, there are no valid claims for independence, and indeed the US even recognised Tibet as part of China in 1942, well before the Chinese communist victory in 1949. Even the UK “Like every other EU member state, and the United States, we regard Tibet as part of the People’s Republic of China.”

                Taiwan – well even the Taiwanese claim they are part of China. That’s why the call themselves the Republic of China. The status of Taiwan is about who gets to rule China, not whether or not Taiwan is part of China. So even if the PRC invaded Taiwan, that would not be expansionism. That would merely be civil war.

                • Ad

                  Great to see your true colours.

                  You call it ‘ part of China’

                  I call it millions dead, religious destruction, government crushed, dissent eradicated, dictatorship by Xi as long as he lives.

                • greywarshark

                  Countries butting up against each other. Minor border disputes.
                  Where do we rate in this critique; us and Australia. The ditch has been bridged with a tech cable, they feel free to rub their butt against ours. Very unattractive position for a country well-brought-up to be in. Or weren’t we taught well earlier on so are really a bit scummy, where’s-the-money, uncaring about standards, easy-peasy, she’ll be right, cover-up types.

                  • Ad

                    Our place is in the outer band of the solar system, which has a black gravitational hole at its centre.

                    The analogy isnt too bad for China.

                    • Mark

                      Oi! Moderator……calling an entire country, regardless of its political system a ‘black hole’ is borderline racist …..ala Trump’s ‘shithole’ comments.

                      The thing all of us know is this. It is mainly WHITE people who are are all antsy about the rise of China. Most non-white people, indeed non-Western people of any colour the world either welcome China’s rise or could not give a stuff.

                      Consider the case of Greenland, a place the Chinese are showing some significant interest.

                      About Chinese investment and involvement in infrastructure:
                      “opinion about the Chinese tended to divide along ethnic lines.Danish people were worried about it, while Inuits thought was a good idea.”


                      So it is throughout most of the world. Non-Western people are largely sanguine about China’s increasing power. Even most Muslims could hardly give a stuff about what is alleged to be happening in Xinjiang. Muslims get far more animated over Israels suppression of the Palestinians and the US role in their region.

                      All this nonsense about an ‘expansionist’ China comes down to racial angst, and whites fear of losing their global white privilege.

                    • Black gravitational hole isn’t racist in this usage. The context of the comment is clear; it’s an analogy.

                      I think you would be safer saying it’s mainly western nations or some similar construction, rather than going for ethnicity. I’m not even sure if the ‘mainly’ is right anyway, there’s plenty of folk in wider Asia who have reason for nervousness, given the number of border conflicts with India, Vietnam etc.

                    • SPC

                      No not really.

                      There is as much concern in the neighbourhood – India, Vietnam, Malaysia and Japan.

                      As well as in Hong Kong and Taiwan about Beijing hegemony.

                      One wonders how the Nationalists in Taiwan propose to realise unity. Their position since China joined the UN has reduced to becoming part of island self government with no effort to formulate a policy from which to negotiate unity with the mainland.

                      And Beijing seemingly fails to realise how they deal with Hong Kong impacts on Taiwans willingness to follow on that path.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Your assertion of realpolitik misses the point, Mark. Tibetans lack the freedom to choose whether to regain statehood or remain part of communist China, because the communists won’t allow them that political freedom. I suspect you are aware of this fact, and are just allowing yourself to be distracted by rhetorical positioning and the banal leftist tendency to attribute moral antipathy to racism inappropriately.

                  “East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on 20 May 2002 and joined the United Nations”. How? “In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory.” That was 24 years after Indonesia invaded and made it their 27th province.

                  You see the analogy with Tibet? No reason the UN cannot roll back China’s invasion and colonisation of Tibet similarly. The UN adheres to its double-standard due to the fact that China is part of the Security Council and Indonesia was not. That leverage allows China to succeed with its coercion, along with the moral corruption of the western countries that you allude to.

                  China’s refusal to allow the Tibetan people the freedom to choose to exercise their natural right of collective self-determination derives from China’s earlier rejection of the UN decision on Tibet after their invasion. Either you adhere to international law or you reject it. China chose the latter path. That’s why it is a rogue state.

                  • greywarshark

                    You people are so patient with Mark. I’d … [You know better. TRP] My pleading would be justifiable logic; the person was too ridiculous and irritating. Sort of like John Cleese in the Cheese Sketch when he shot the cheeseless purveyor in the head and remarked ‘What a senseless waste of human life”.

            • Ad

              7. Getting v close in Nepal

            • Ad

              8. Tried in North Korea – invasion – but content with vassal status.

              • Mark

                Pathetic again —–the Chinese came in to support the North Koreans who invited them to come in. And then withdrew after the war. That is not expansionism.

                • Ad

                  Only Mao could tell you why he chose to attack the US when the US was protecting the south by UN mandate.

                  But none of the dead call China’s actins anything but imperialist.

                  • Mark

                    hahahahaha what utter drivel

                    The US were the first to intervene in the war, and sent their forces right up to the Yalu river. It was only then that China intervened driving the US forces right back and stabilising the situation at the 38th parallel. This was a heroic feat for a nation that had a couple of years earlier gained independence, and established a buffer between itself and US imperialism.

                    • Ad

                      US countered against invasion by North.

                      A non-imperialist Mao would have protected the south as well.

                      Instead Mao sides with the invaders.

                      Mao was just another murderous genocidal maniac blinded by ideology.

                    • Mark []

                      Wtf? How can a country ‘Invade’ itself? Did those cops ‘invade’ new Zealand when they went into the ureweras to arrest Tame Iti?

                    • SPC

                      It was a bizarre situation.

                      Russia (on the UNSC) recognised the northern regime as government of all Korea while the UN recognised only the southern government.

                      The UN was only able to provide collective security for the south because this was not vetoed by Russia (they conveniently decided to be absent) – who basically set up the USA and China to fight each other (why would China put up with US military forces near their Yalu border when their regime was not recognised by the US and some of the American military leaders wanted a war with China – going so far north was provocation).

                      It still is a bizarre situation.

                    • Ad

                      Same happened in 1949 in Greece any many other countries resisting communist military.

                      Nothing bizarre SPC.
                      Historical reality

            • Ad

              9. Tried in Vietnam- invasion – failed

            • Ad

              10. Cambodia. Khmer Rouge would not have lasted a week without China. Vassal state.

            • Ad

              11. Laos. Marxists vassal state.

    • Ad 18.3

      Sovereign countries can and do sign up to catastrophically wrong and damaging things.

      Not racist to call stupidity out.

      • SPC 18.3.1

        The smartest borrower nations will ask nations with foreign aid programmes to pay off their Chinese loan interest costs

        The next smartest being asked to hand over a port for the debt to be written off, will ask for foreign aid to pay the loan back, then borrow more and use foreign aid to pay the interest this time.

        The dumb ones will lose control of everything the Chinese want and then will stop getting loans.

        • Ad

          We will see all of those play out in the Pacific within 3 years. Hopefully MFAT plays the same game in our own interests.

          • Lettuce

            If would be great if they did. Unfortunately I suspect MFAT will play the game in Fonterra’s interests.

        • greywarshark

          Neat SPC. You win a place on Dancing with the Stars and I’m not being sarcastic.

      • Mark 18.3.2

        Yeah… and brown nations need the guidance of whitey to run their own affairs eh?

        Perhaps black and brown people can see what whitey has done to them in the past, and instead prefer the Chinese? And if they turn down the Chinese, the Chinese won’t bomb the crap out of them.

        Whitey can’t stand seeing Chinese and Africans etc do their own thing, and so they sulk about it…….like many so called ‘leftists’ on this thread

        [Oi, Mark, pull your head in. You can make your point without the use of sneering race based tropes. TRP]

        • Ad

          Go and read the UN human rights declaration.

          Evaluate any country on that record.

          See the word “universal”

          Evaluate China.

    • Rae 18.4

      The greatest concerns I have about China are, firstly, the scant regard for other species that share this planet with us, and the authoritarianism of the political system.

  19. tc 19

    It escalated after trump arrived and a peace deal between USA and China over hacking during Obama’s days was ditched.

    They got sprung lifting C17 specs using another Canadian based actor fronting an aero business. Bulk of its done from within chinas domain.

    It’s believed the ‘doh we got sprung’ moment about 2014 IIRC just got the PRC army actors brought under tighter govt supervision.

    The let’s not be so careless herein MO as they’re sure not stopping.

  20. greywarshark 20

    They used to call out when piloting the Mississippi River steamers, ‘Mark twain’ when there was sufficient depth for their progress. The name Mark appears so much here but without the twain; not a good pilot?

  21. Mark 21

    Consider the case of Greenland, a place the Chinese are showing some significant interest.

    About Chinese investment and involvement in infrastructure:
    “opinion about the Chinese tended to divide along ethnic lines.Danish people were worried about it, while Inuits thought was a good idea.”

    So it is throughout most of the world. Non-Western people are largely sanguine about China’s increasing power. Even most Muslims could hardly give a stuff about what is alleged to be happening in Xinjiang. Muslims get far more animated over Israels suppression of the Palestinians and the US role in their region.

    And poll after poll shows Africans are China’s biggest supporters, as are Russians, and many Asians (excepting the Japanese)

    All this nonsense about an ‘expansionist’ China comes down to racial angst, and Westerner’s fear of losing their global privilege.

    • Ad 21.1

      Non-European governments with high anxiety about China
      – Bhutan
      – India
      – Japan
      – Vietnam
      – Taiwan
      – South Korea
      – Pakistan

      Ie all of them surrounding China

      • RedLogix 21.1.1

        Plus when I was actually working on the ground in Laos I had a number of conversations where considerable unhappiness about China’s corrupt money influence on the local economy was raised.

        Although in that case it seem the Laotian govt, being also a pack of marxist thugs, were all privately profiting from these arrangements, so not a lot of anxiety from this govt apparently.

        • KJT

          If you think China is Marxist, you have never read Marx.

          • RedLogix

            Yes, you’re quite right.

            But crucially the CCCP still points to the marxist Mao Zhedong as their source of political legitimacy, still use marxist tropes to justify their totalitarian grip on power and suppression of criticism, and use marxist ideals to distract from their own immense personal wealth.

            There is a reasonable parallel with how the USA likes to call itself democratic when it really isn’t. And then uses this trope to justify all manner of bad faith actions.

            I’m not suggesting a perfect equivalence here; at least the USA still has the semblence of an opposition, open freedom of expression and criticism, and despite many terrible mistakes their Federal system still blunders drunkenly down that narrow corridor between rigid authoritarianism and chaotic dysfunction. Not so the CCCP.

            And in both cases it’s not the people I have any problem with; it’s their leadership classes who’ve insulated themselves from reality and serve largely their own ideological agendas.

      • One Two 21.1.2

        So many more nations than that , which do not have ‘high anxiety’ about China…

        Which makes any point you were attempting make, somewhat irrelevant…

        You , Ad, have high anxiety….no need to project it….

    • SPC 21.2

      Moslems put the Uighur situation into a global context (Europe, USA, India and China etc).

      Western nations have taken a surprisingly soft line on the persecution of Chinese Christians (as they have with this in Pakistan), and have not even prioritised persecuted Christians with preferential refugee status.

      The Palestinian situation has political focus because it is an inter-national issue (turf war).

      • Mark 21.2.1

        They are worried about weird cultish heterodox Christian sects, and less so established religions. China has a history of millenarian religious movements which have caused all sorts of havoc, hence their attitude towards the Falun Gong.

        I say this as someone with a huge amount of respect for the Christianity and its contribution to both Western and indeed world civilization.

    • KJT 21.3


      Almost all the Chinese people I know, are “worried about China’s”, or more specifically the CCP’s growing international power.

  22. xanthe3 22

    I can see no reason whatsoever to give this Chinese hack story any credence or oxygen. No evidence is offered just a lot of technobabble reminescent of the meth contamination hysteria.

    We have only the word of the GCSB that there is anything at all here. All availiable evidence suggests that GCSB lie and act for geopolitiacal reasons not on our behalf. Why suddenly assume this event is any different

    • francesca 22.1

      I pretty much feel the same. At least question and test out the hack story, not just blindly accept it as a fact

      • Mark 22.1.1

        Great points, expect more and more of these sorts of stories as the US starts to panic more and more over the rise of a serious challenger on the world stage. In the end they may well end up with little more credence than ‘weapons of mass destruction’

    • Ad 22.2

      GCSB arent going to release their advice to the public ever.

      But their warnings are multiple and clear.

      Heed or not.

    • SPC 22.3

      Whereas I would, with some appreciation that they are part of an operation to … etc themselves.

    • RedLogix 22.4

      We have only the word of the GCSB

      If only it was the GCSB you might have a point; but what they’re saying is consistent with many, many other sources.

      It’s also what’s consistent with how the Chinese have treated the internet right from the outset; the Great Firewall of China, the 10,000’s employed monitoring and censoring content, the consistent suppression of anything that is critical or satirises the govt, the insanely Orwellian “social credit” system they’re in the process of rolling out.

      All govts have a stake in the internet to some degree; but there is no question the CCCP marxist thugs have implemented a hyper-paranoid authoritarianism to an unprecedented degree.

      • Mark 22.4.1

        “Marxist thugs” hahaha hahaha you are one angry man eh? I’m sure if China was an actual basket case you would have absolutely no problem with how China ruled itself. In the end you fear the loss of Western hegemony to something far more moral. Hence your impotent rage and foot stomping!

        • RedLogix

          We are not perfect in the West; far from it. But at least we know where to draw the line on mass murderers; and totalitarian thugs who vote themselves “President for Life” using the cover of marxism to accumulate billion in personal wealth.

          • Mark

            “mass murderers?” … Harry Truman is still highly regarded…. so nah, you don’t draw the line when it comes to mass murderers

            • McFlock

              Did a Chinese propagandist just suggest that fighting the war against the Japanese was a bad idea?

              • Mark

                Nah…….fighting the war was good (and most of the fighting was done by chinese). It was the deliberate murder of innocent women and children is something the Soviet Union was against, and also Chinese communists after that. No Marxist Leninist supports the killing of women and children.

                My old dad hates the Japanese, a Communist, will not eat sushi. But he always said Hiroshima and Nagasaki were war crimes.

                As Vladimir Putin said, Stalin would never have done such a thing – he lacked sufficient ruthlessness and immorality. The sheer ruthlessness and disregard for innocent human life, particularly women and childen, is something unique in the character of Americans.

                • McFlock

                  That. Was. Hilarious.

                  I mean, the war crimes issue is often debated, but the rest? Comic genius.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Or just delusional. But he’s right that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were war crimes. One could also cite the fire-bombing of Dresden, which so impressed Kurt Vonnegut that it re-emerged as a primary theme in one of his brilliant novels (Slaughterhouse 5).

                    • RedLogix

                      The debate has been long standing and there are strong arguments to be made either way. Certainly the horror of these first nuclear bombings persuades us that they were morally appalling. Whether they were technically a war crime is hard case to make.

                      In the context of WW2, it was the Germans who pretty much set a precedent around the mass bombings of civilian cities, and what happened in Europe and Russia followed on from this. It’s also hard to argue there is anything especially unique about a nuclear bomb vs a conventional one … either way the dead don’t care.

                      And if we’re to declare the use of nuclear bombs a war crime per se, then logically their manufacture and possession should also be the same. But here we are with at least a dozen countries possessing them and while no-one likes this, no-one is prosecuting.

                      And then there is there is always the converse case to consider; the high probability that drawing the Pacific war out even further would have cost more lives anyway.

                      But none of this justifies their use; I’ve often made the point here that fundamentally the nuclear bomb made the independent sovereign state obsolete. In one sense they have, for fear of the terrible consequences, prevented a major power war for almost 80 years now.

                      It’s just that our political structures and motives have yet to catch up to this new reality … a global governance is not only necessary to solve most of the big problems we face; it’s also inevitable given the unlimited destructive power of these weapons.

                • RedLogix

                  But he always said Hiroshima and Nagasaki were war crimes.

                  Which is why the ‘morally superior’ Chinese state does not possess any nuclear weapons … of course.

                  • Mark

                    huh? So simply possessing nuclear arms, is as morally reprehensible as actually using them when one did not need to use them??????

                    The Chinese, in fact are the only state to maintain an unconditional No First Use of these weapons. This has been the case since 1964.

                    Now going back to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Americans chickened out of going man to man with the Japanese troops.

                    At this late stage in the war, Japan provided no credible threat to the civilian population of the US.

                    So in order to avoid a man to man fight, the Americans, coldly and deliberately targeted and murdered the women and children instead.

                    The most despicable, cowardly and deliberate act of mass murder in perhaps all of human history.

                    Even though the Chinese suffered terrible atrocities at the hands of the Japanese, the deliberate destruction of innocent Japanese women and children is considered appalling.

                    Indeed when the Chinese communist troops came across Japanese war orphans in NW China, they arranged for their adoption by Chinese parents (mostly poor peasants themselves) who raised these orphans as their own children.

                    • Lettuce

                      ‘Even though the Tibetans suffered terrible atrocities at the hands of the Chinese, the deliberate rape and murder of innocent Chinese women and children by the CCP is still considered appalling.’

                      See – we can play this game all day!

          • One Two

            RL , you are not being serious…surely ?

            ‘The West’ has no idea what the line is (‘they’ re-draw it ad hoc to suit ‘interets), nor any intention to desist with ‘re-drawing a line’…

            ‘The West’ is not the friend of humanity….and it will not ever be…

            • RedLogix

              Specifically we reject and condemn nazis and white supremacists. We draw the line at these extremists … or didn’t you get the memo?

              • One Two

                ‘WE’ supported Hitler and his rise..The Bush Family, IBM and Coca Cola as notable examples…

                ‘WE’ imported the Naz*s to America and ‘they’ founded NASA and The CIA…etc

                ‘WE’ provide overt support to states which are directly, and indirectly ‘fascist’…

                ‘WE’ are ‘fascists’!

                ‘WE’ do not draw lines…and never will…

                I, am not ‘ WE’…perhaps you should re-examine how you view yourself, Red…

                • RedLogix

                  Which is a perfect example of why the lefts obsession with collective guilt leads to insane conversations like this.

                  I’m out of here.

        • RedLogix

          to something far more moral.

          And right there you’ve let you racial superiority mask slip. It’s why you frame so many of your attacks in racist terms.

          • francesca

            I’ve watched this debate harden and both sides have stiffened…sorry to sound phallic…their posture and become more extreme to the point no one is listening

            • RedLogix

              Fair enough; I normally try to seek some form of convergence in a debate. Not this time.

              We understand neo-nazis and white supremacists well enough to treat them with the disdain they deserve, but we seem to have trouble drawing the same line on left-wing extremists.

              • Mark

                Huh? Because there is absolutely no equivalence.

                Neo-Nazis and White supremacists have a completely different final end goal for humanity (indeed consider large parts of humanity as sub-human). This is explicitly stated.

                Whereas all other Western derived political systems (and that includes Marxism Leninism and Western style democracy), do in a way claim to be driving towards a similar thing. They are all in a sense descended from the French Revolution.

                While we may fight over who is more or less racist, or more or less sexist, or who have been the worse imperialists, we at least recognise these things as bad.

                With the extreme right – these things are not necessarily bad (although some of of them seem to have forsworn imperialism as of late). So the extreme right eschews the political and moral consensus that evolved out of the French Revolution.

                • RedLogix

                  Whereas Marxism in the 20th century murdered at least 100m of its own people pursuing an utterly discredited ideology. All the result of depraved thugs deliberately choosing to implement their politics over vast piles of corpses.

                  That was their method, and it remains unrepented and unchanging. And you revere these vile pieces of shit.

                  • Mark

                    Whereas Marxism in the 20th century murdered at least 100m of its own people pursuing an utterly discredited ideology.

                    that’s funny. If that was truly the case, one would think that the Russians and Chinese would be the most anti-communist people in the world.

                    Yet even in post-Soviet Russia, Stalin is consistently rated the most outstanding figure in history:

                    And the majority of Russians lament the collapse of the Soviet Union:

                    Furthermore there is nothing more emotive and redolent of past times as grand music. That is why Putin restored the Soviet anthem (changing just the lyrics) in 2001. If Soviet times were really so horrible, restoring an anthem of those times would be traumatising for most Russians? But no, the Russian people remember with pride the huge achievements of the world’s first socialist state, saving the world from fascism, and bringing liberation to a large part of the world’s population.

                    (I won’t mention the Chinese for now, because the Communist Party still rules there – and you will respond along those lines)


                    • RedLogix

                      On the other hand the 100m dead aren’t around to express their opinions.

                      The simple historic fact that you cannot bring yourself to acknowledge is this; both Stalin and Mao intentionally set about killing vast numbers of their own peoples in order to impose a political ideology. This, regardless of anything else they may have achieved, makes them monsters.

                      As for a certain fondness for the Soviet era; well yes I’ve encountered this myself working in Russia. Many older people recall a time in the 70’s and 80’s when the soviet economy creaked along well enough to feed and shelter most people adequately. The collapse of the 90’s was indeed a real trauma that played out in their own lifetimes, and understandably many would feel a nostalgia for the past. Indeed your linked article makes this point explicitly.

                      Broken down demographically, nostalgia towards the Soviet Union is most likely to be expressed by older respondents. Only 20 percent of people in the 18-24 age group said they expressed regret about the breakup of the USSR, while 42 percent said they didn’t. In the 25-34 age group, there was parity, while groups aged 35-54 and 55 or older had the highest number of respondents who said they felt regret.

                      Your other linked article also makes the point about Stalin:

                      Tanya Lokshina, Russia program director for Human Rights Watch, told The Washington Post recently that “Russia never had a proper de-Stalinization and there is little awareness” of Stalin’s crimes in Russia today.

                      The crimes of the Nazi’s are very well known in the West, and places like Auschwitz (and others) have become places of pilgrimage and remembrance, and a post-WW2 Germany made strenuous efforts to acknowledge and expunge all traces of Hitler’s legacy from their political system.

                      By contrast Marxism still lingers strong in Russian public life. Lenin’s body still lies in Red Square, there are still many main streets named after Stalin, and crucially the history of the gulag system has been systematically covered up and allowed to vanish from sight. It’s now very hard to find any physical traces of them, much less any public memorial to the millions who suffered and died horribly in them.

        • KJT

          I wouldn’t fear it if the CCP, was actually “more moral”!

          In fact they look no different from all the other repressive Oligarchies, and worse than many of them. At least you can still criticise the US and New Zealand Governments, without being executed.

      • xanthe3 22.4.2

        It is normal for the same story to come from mulitple sources….. untill you look closer and see one source many reflections.. thats what they do!

  23. Dennis Frank 23

    “The British government said that the Chinese security establishment is not upholding the commitments Beijing made directly to the UK in a 2015 bilateral agreement. It is also inconsistent, it says, with G20 commitments that no country should conduct or support information and communications technology-enabled theft of intellectual property, including trade secrets or other confidential business information.”

    China’s govt seeks plausible deniability. Rogue hackers within, rather than rogue govt. Western govts have lost patience with this ploy. “Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This campaign is one of the most significant and widespread cyber intrusions against the UK and allies uncovered to date, targeting trade secrets and economies around the world… together with our allies, we will expose your actions and take other necessary steps to ensure the rule of law is upheld.””

    Tory hypocrisy, of course. Along with Labour & the Democrats, govts of Britain and the US have been letting China get away with subverting the rule of law since the early sixties. The left and right are both guilty. Western elites and establishment have been just as delinquent as China in some respects. Just more covertly so.

    What the world needs is for everyone to choose a better way forward. Abandon the habit of faking it whenever possible. Be authentic. Choose and use suitable role models. Make the culture shift towards a healthy, non-toxic, state. It’s the only way to create a sustainable society that provides satisfies our aspirations.

  24. Mark 24

    The West in Africa:

    “He hadn’t made his rubber quota for the day so the Belgian-appointed overseers had cut off his daughter’s hand and foot. Her name was Boali. She was five years old. Then they killed her.”………In the 23 years (1885-1908) Leopold II ruled the Congo he massacred 10 million Africans by cutting off their hands and genitals, flogging them to death, starving them into forced labour, holding children ransom and burning villages.

    • RedLogix 24.1

      And I’d have no trouble googling back into Chinese history to find an equally vile catalog of horrors.

      Your implied claims of Chinese moral and racial superiority are obvious and I reject them exactly as I would from any white supremacist.

      • veutoviper 24.1.1

        Well said and thanks for taking the time etc to take a stand, Redlogix. I just had feelings of deja vu from the start of Mark’s comments and could really not be bothered getting involved – memories of the Wei debacle back in the first few months of 2018 … Kia kaha.

      • Mark 24.1.2

        Oh for heavens sake!

        ‘Racial’ superiority? Where? Defending the PRC is evidence of ‘Racial superiority’

        ‘Moral’ superiority — that is what you continuously claim for the West, as do many other posters here.

        This from a fellow who has described the Chinese as ‘parasites’ off the rest of the world

  25. Mark 25

    The ‘Logix’ of RedLogix (cut and pasted from above):

    “Laughable you should accuse the West of racism, when last I looked at a picture of any CCCP convention, I could see only row upon row of Han Chinese males. In some I could see one or two women out of literally hundreds of men.”

    Mark’s awesome response (also from above):

    “racism? I did not know Chinese women were of a different race from Chinese men?”

    ” As for ‘row upon row of Han Chinese males’…….hahahahahahahahahha….you are obviously unaware that China’s minorities are overwhelming East Asian.

    Uighur: Abudushalamu Abudurexiti
    Tibetan: Dalai Lama
    Tujia: He Long
    Miao: Song Zuying”

    hahahahahhahahhahhaha ROFL!!!!

  26. Andrew 26

    This blog has gone down the toilet. This is a rogues gallery of half-formed anti-Chinese opinions based in paranoia and anti-communism.

    It shouldn’t have surprised me considering most of you are right wing eurocentric social democratic liberals when it comes down to it.

    Well done to Mark and to Comrade Xi Jinping. The Chinese People have Stood Up!

  27. Mark 27

    A pretty balanced 15 minute summary of Mao Zedong, by the Cambridge sinologist Rana Mitter.

    I go with the 70% good, 30% bad judgement. Rana Mitter is of Indian origin, and is culturally far more qualified to comment on China than most Western academics, not to mention charlatans such as Dikotter.

    Merry Xmas all!

    • RedLogix 27.1

      So if I am decent to 70% of the people I meet, that excuses the other 30% I murder?

      During the famine, starvation often was not caused by lack of food but resulted instead from political punishment. Zuo Rong is a retired teacher from Shayang county in Jingmen municipality, Hubei province. In 1958 he was denounced as a rightist, and was sent to the Shayang Labor Camp. Shayang Labor Camp is famous in China for the brutal torturing methods used there. This place is sometimes described as “hell on Earth.”

      Excerpted from Forgotten Voices of Mao’s Great Famine by Zhou Xun, published by Yale University Press.

      The author has a ‘Chinese sounding name’ so I assume this qualifies them to comment.

      In the 27 years he ruled China, in addition to the almost routine political murders, there were three main phases of mass murder:




      And you whitewash the crimes of the one of the most depraved, evil bastards who ever lived, with a sickly “Merry Christmas”.

      Finally for anyone still reading this on Christmas Day, when they should be doing better things, I invite you to read this:

      Note carefully the final, eighth stage … denial.

      • Dennis Frank 27.1.1

        Leftists do genocide more thoroughly than rightists. I’ve made the point here in the past that the top four mass-murderers in the 20th century all rose to power via left-wing political activism (Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot).

        Why is this so? Fixation on a better world produces a shared vision, which fires up the activists, creating a collective political force. This unorthox behaviour morphs into orthodoxy via groupthink. The group of true believers decide the end justifies the means. Creation of the better world requires elimination of those who represent the status quo. Eventually, the group selection of an archetypal leader produces the one best representing the belief system, who then feels obliged to point out that some true believers are better than others, so quality control requires deselection of all comrades who are suspect in their fidelity to the vision.

        Culling of deviants having led to culling of suspected deviants, purity, or a semblance thereof, is attained via genocide. Replication of the pattern is now so well-established historically that even few leftists remain in denial. Peaceful coexistence as a political praxis emerged in consequence, and we are busy consolidating this better way forward. The Chinese remain slow learners.

        • RedLogix

          The thing that scares me Dennis is this; these anodyne ‘Mark’ and ‘Andrew’ handles are almost certainly astro-turfing operatives working in some shape or form for the CCCP.

          These aren’t the voices of a handful of nut-jobs typing in their mother’s basement; they’re the internet voices of a totalitarian regime determined to re-write history and restore China to constructed identity (just as Hitler did with his Ayrian supremacy propaganda) at the center of the world. A glorious past restored.

          (And let me make this 100% clear; this is a vision that scares the Chinese people I know; it’s the CCCP thugs that are the target of my attack here, not the vast majority of ordinary people who have no say in any of this.)

          While Hitler was defeated and utterly discredited; Mao and Stalin were not, and their brutal legacy remains largely un-examined in both Russia and China to this day. A silence that extends sadly to the intellectual left across the globe. When we see Holocaust denial we know exactly how to react; but in the posts above we can see clear evidence of the same moral denial, but … crickets.

          Unless and until we honestly address and repudiate the catastrophe that was marxist communism, wherever it was tried (Russia, China, Cambodia, Africa, Cuba and now Venezuela), the left will always remain an object of deep distrust.

          • Mark


            “Unless and until we honestly address and repudiate the catastrophe that was Western imperialism, wherever it was tried (Asia, Africa, Latin America, Oceania), the West will always remain an object of deep distrust.”

            And this:
            “The thing that scares me Dennis is this; these anodyne ‘Mark’ and ‘Andrew’ handles are almost certainly astro-turfing operatives working in some shape or form for the CCCP.”

            hahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahaha ROFL… afraid….be very afraid…….hahahahha

            btw I think you mean ‘CCP’, not ‘CCCP’, the latter is USSR in Cyrillic

              • Mark


                • RedLogix

                  And a coward too.

                  • Mark

                    WTF? ‘coward’?……you think we in some shooting war or the boxing ring? Bit of a fantasist keyboard warrior you are eh? .hehehehhe….just chill dude …..its all good….its only a blog, you ain’t partaking in desert storm or operation market garden! hahahahah

                    Suggest you check out some of those boxing day sales and order some cheapo chill pills!

                    • RedLogix

                      Nope … you’re the apologist for a murderous doctrine that has killed tens of millions, and a thuggish regime of despots who openly plan to become the next great super-power.

                      You dished out a series of sneering, arrogant comments … and then the first moment I poke back … you call for moderation. (Which I might point out for anyone else silly enough to be reading this … is deeply ironic given that all I have to do is log in.)

                  • Mark

                    you’re the apologist for a murderous doctrine that has killed tens of …blah blah blah….

                    like i said RL…..don’t take life too seriously! All this outrage and foot stomping,hair tearing and rending of garments over a silly little blog site and a Chinese dude called Mark whose real name ain’t Mark is gonna get you a heart attack….go chill man!

                    Here ya go….don’t say I’m not a nice guy!

                    • RedLogix

                      So exactly what are you doing here again?

                      Yes we’ve seen a couple of similar handles like you here before; all parroting the same CCCP lines. When you eventually leave there’ll be another one appointed to take your place.

                      If I thought you were some fringe dweller typing furiously in your mother’s basement I wouldn’t take you at all seriously. I rarely if ever do I bother responding to obvious trolls.

                      But it’s doctrine you promote that must be taken seriously; that of one of the two largest and most powerful states in the world, that has open ambitions to become the next global superpower. That cannot go unexamined, nor escape scrutiny.

                    • Mark

                      hahahahahahhahahahahahahahhaahha…..holding the front lines eh…..against the invading hordes from the East……hahahahhahahahahahhahahahahahahha ROFL……you have made my day!!!!!

                      Anyway I’m outta here brother….have better things to do with my day….have a good one….and get some of em chill pills!

          • Draco T Bastard

            Unless and until we honestly address and repudiate the catastrophe that was marxist communism, wherever it was tried (Russia, China, Cambodia, Africa, Cuba and now Venezuela)

            That would be nowhere then. Not a single country that professed communism over the last century even comes close to what Marx suggested. The oppression and violence that we saw from these were never part of the communist vision.

            Marxism and oppression

            Liberation at the heart of Marxism
            One of the more frequent accusations against Marxism, however, is that it is rigidly “economistic” and that its emphasis on the importance of class in society means it dismisses sometimes difficult questions relating to oppression. This is not the case and any investigation into the history of Marxism will reveal examples of Marxists addressing different forms of oppression – national, racial and sexual among others – not only theoretically but in practice. After all, at its heart Marxism is about human liberation in a society where “the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all”, as the Communist Manifesto put it.

            The oppression happened which needs to be accepted and questioned as to why it happened because it was never part of Marxism.

            • RedLogix

              Not a single country that professed communism over the last century even comes close to what Marx suggested.

              So how many times do you want to do the experiment? How many more examples of catastrophe do you need?

              The idea sounds nice; the reality always turns out appalling. Always. You have not one single counter-example of a marxist state that has not descended into a form of hell one way or another.

              All your claim really amounts to is this; “If I were the all-powerful ruler of a ‘true marxist state’ I could deliver a socialist nirvana where all others have failed”.

              And there lies the self-deception at the heart of it. It’s like a neo-Nazi claiming Hitler didn’t do Ayrian race superiority properly.

              • Draco T Bastard

                ll your claim really amounts to is this; “If I were the all-powerful ruler of a ‘true marxist state’ I could deliver a socialist nirvana where all others have failed”.

                A true Marxist state doesn’t have an all powerful ruler. If it did it would be a capitalist state.

                As I’ve said before – a communist state is a Participatory Democracy. That a democracy is, by default, communist.

                • RedLogix

                  But as Dennis points out above that’s never how it works.

                  The core of the problem is the idea of equality of outcome. It sounds a nice idea, but given the innate differences between all humans, equality of outcome is something that does not naturally or spontaneously arise.

                  Therefore any marxist operating in the real world very quickly discovers it has to be imposed, and from this logic the all-powerful leader emerges. Every single fucking time.

                  Your ideas on participatory democracy may well have some quite independent merit; but you do yourself no favour linking them to communism.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The core of the problem is the idea of equality of outcome.

                    I’m pretty sure that Marx never mentioned equality of outcome even once.

                    Marx on Equality

                    We can see such views in action in Marx’s critique of the Gotha Program’s demands for “a just distribution, ” and “a distribution of the proceeds of labor to all members of society with equal right.” On the Program’s demand for a “just distribution, ” Marx comments with a series of pointed rhetorical questions:

                    Do not the bourgeois assert that the present distribution is “just” [gerecht]? And is it not in fact the only “just” distribution on the basis of the present day mode of production? Are economic relations regulated by concepts of right [Rechtsbegriffe], or do not, on the contrary, relations of right arise out of economic ones? (CW 24:85–6).

                    Marx takes the answers to these questions to be plain: of course the bourgeois do assert that the present distribution is just—and Marx agrees with them that it is the only just distribution on the basis of the present-day mode of production. He agrees, because the materialist conception of history says that economic relations are not regulated by concepts of right, but, on the contrary, relations of right do arise out of economic ones. Marx then continues: (p.257)

                    Right can never be higher than the economic structure of society and its cultural development conditioned thereby…Any distribution whatever of the means of consumption is only a consequence of the distribution of the conditions of production themselves. The latter distribution, however, is a feature of the mode of production itself…If the elements of production are [distributed as they are under the capitalist mode of production], then the present day distribution of the means of consumption results automatically (CW 24:87–8).

                    This means that the only standards of distribution that can apply in capitalist society are those that result in the capitalist distribution of wealth. As Marx puts it in Value, Price and Profit: “To clamor for equal or even equitable remuneration on the basis of the wages system is the same as to clamor for freedom on the basis of the slavery system” (CW 20:129).

                    Of course, the Equality of Opportunity must bring about an Equality of Outcome but we don’t have an Equality of Opportunity. The rich have far more opportunity to receive positions of power and wealth to start with. It’s why John Key said he sent his kids to private school after all.

                    • RedLogix

                      In the sense that we can maximise equality of opportunity, (and globally we have a plenty of distance to travel), I’m with you on that.

                      But don’t pretend it will bring about an equality of outcome; it just doesn’t. People are far too diverse for that.

                      All the evidence points to the exact opposite; the more you give people the opportunity to do what they want, and choose the life they want, the more diverse the outcomes are.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The complexity of equality

                    All of these commentators assume that when the left talks about equality it means absolute equality of everything. This is a common assumption among those hostile to egalitarianism: that the left want everyone to be exactly the same. No serious political theorist, however, has ever argued for such a self-evidently absurd position. Marx certainly didn’t.

                    And there goes that strawman of yours.

                    In the sense that we can maximise equality of opportunity, (and globally we have a plenty of distance to travel), I’m with you on that.

                    And it can never be done under capitalism. Someone born with a million dollar per year income has opportunity that someone born into debt simply doesn’t.

                    But don’t pretend it will bring about an equality of outcome; it just doesn’t. People are far too diverse for that.

                    It almost has to bring about a, more or less, equality of living standard.

                    Indeed, Marx’s summary of the principles that we would/should obtain under communism – “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need” – implies, precisely, significant inequalities in the distribution of social goods and also rests on the assumption that abilities are unequally distributed, too. Indeed, one of the things that Marx is trying to show is that for a rough “equality of condition” to be obtained, inequalities between individuals are necessary – since we all require and desire different things in different proportions in order to flourish. To treat people as if they are exactly the same is, in fact, to treat them unequally. Equality for the left is a complex concept, which bears little resemblance to the caricatures drawn by the right.

                    I like this bit too:

                    Along with liberty, equality was one of the two key principles that drove forward the various 17th- and 18th-century revolutions (English, French and American) that inaugurated the liberal world. The modern liberal and capitalist order, then, has revolutionary beginnings (something that, as Terry Eagleton points out, liberals today find acutely embarrassing and try not to mention), but with the establishment and gradual consolidation of capitalism and liberalism, the tenor of liberal ideology shifted from one of radical optimism to one of “moderate”, “realism” and scepticism towards grand projects of social change.

                    Personally, I think we are in need of revolutionary change but it shouldn’t be a bloody revolution. Just the winding down of capitalism and the profit drive.

                    • RedLogix

                      So I read the link and in a nutshell it say’s that equality of outcome is an absurd concept because no-one can define it, no-one can measure it and no-one can implement it. Yet in rejecting absolute equality, the author fails utterly to specify what else it might mean in real world practise.

                      After a fair bit of waffle the crunchy para comes here:

                      We need, also, to question what counts as morally arbitrary criteria in the equality of opportunity view. There is no logical reason, in terms of justice, why if it’s wrong to discriminate against people on the grounds of race or gender, it’s not also wrong to discriminate on the grounds of ability or intelligence. Does an intelligent individual deserve higher rewards simply because they are bright? Why? Surely, they have no control over this any more than they have over their sex or skin colour. This doesn’t mean that ability ought to be irrelevant in allocation of jobs – nobody wants to be treated by a brain-damaged brain surgeon. It does, however, suggest that there is no good reason why higher rewards should be distributed on the basis of these criteria.

                      Clearly arguing, although not having the honesty to say it out loud, that everyone should be paid the same. And while starting out by saying that equality of outcome is something ‘not even Marx’ said … he cannot help but conclude:

                      This suggests that if we really think it’s important to equalise opportunities we need to equalise outcomes too.

                      So right back to where we started. The problem with this argument is that it critically erases the very things which we truly value as humans, our interests and values, how we choose to spend our time, our personalities and how much effort, commitment and risk we’re prepared to invest in our work. It erases our sovereign individuality.

                      If there is one moment I recall most vividly from my time working in Russia; that the most frequent toast over the glasses of vodka was “to freedom”. This from a people who had truly known it’s loss.

                  • Mark

                    Oh FFS RedLogix ……what a friggin strawman.

                    No one but an imbecile believes in equality of outcome for everyone. There are Einsteins, and there are dumb people. Most abilities are normally distributed, as are many physical attributes – such as height (within any particular ethnic group). I may well be wrong, but where on earth did Marx say that people were equally endowed and given equality of opportunity outcomes would be the same? That may the current ethos in NZ, but I don’t think Marx and Engels would have thought such nonsense.

                    Certainly the Soviet Union never believed all were equally endowed. They nurtured elite musicians, artists, classical composers, rocket scientists etc. and they did damn well in these areas of human endeavour.

                    China’s schooling system is far more competitive, particularly in the STEM subjects, than anything we have in New Zealand (it is in NZ where any discussion of heritable differences is verboten – certainly not China. In fact some nutjobs on this very website even think that woman are essentially the same as men in almost all aspects physical, emotional, and aptitude wise )

                    Marxism Leninism is about anti-imperialism (external forces), anti-feudalism (internal forces), and ultimately putting the means of production in hands of the working class. That is, the people who produce the wealth are those who who get to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

                    Now under such a system, society will naturally be more equitable in terms of wealth distribution. But this is far different from enforcing equality from the top down as a goal in and of itself. But that is certainly happening in the NZ education system – if you are paying any attention to the inane utterances and actions of Chris Hipkins.

                    And you are being disingenuous. Dennis was referring to the stages of genocide. Nothing to do with the above.

                    • RedLogix

                      No one but an imbecile believes in equality of outcome for everyone.

                      Which is possibly why I was attacking DtB’s linked article for advocating exactly this.

                      That is, the people who produce the wealth are those who who get to enjoy the fruits of their labour.

                      And exactly how do you determine who produces wealth?

                      The marxist solution is to simply slaughter off all those classes it arbitrarily deems to be ‘non workers’. Landlords, intellectuals, financiers, ‘righties’, ‘rentiers’ (a very flexible class this one) … or these days maybe the ‘top 1%; would make a handy self-perpetuating category.

                      Even if you don’t murder them en mass; the labels remain very handy for getting rid of your imagined political enemies. Name someone an ‘imperialist’ or ‘fuedalist’ and it’s off to the gulag with them. Or maybe you just force their colleagues to beat and shame them, making everyone complicit in your crimes.

                      That way afterwards everyone is guilty of participating in your hell to some degree, and willingly go along with the cover up afterwards.

        • KJT

          Calling authoritarian despots, “leftist” is drawing a long bow.

          Especially Hitler, who had big business on his side. He killed trade unionists, remember?

      • Mark 27.1.2

        hehehehehehhe……oh, the sheer outrage! That is something that Anglos do uniquely well!

        Zhou Xun is a close colleague and acolyte of Frank Dikotter, both of them obvious and despicable charlatans.

        The fact is if one says Mao is a great man among a group of Chinese, some would perhaps politely disagree, but rarely will anyone get wound up about it. Most would agree with me. Similarly the case I guess would be for Stalin, if one was among a group of Russians. And even Georgians:

        But how is Stalin viewed in Georgia? After all, the most powerful dictator in Russian history was a cobbler’s son from Georgia. Traveling around Georgia, De Waal says he noticed pictures of Stalin everywhere. Yet until now, no one had ever commissioned a poll on attitudes towards Stalin in Georgia. De Waal says they found that a whopping 45 percent of Georgians have a positive view of Stalin, “which is really quite shocking to anyone who knows Stalin as one of the great murderers of the 20th century.” Only 20 percent had an unfavorable view of him.

        hmmmmmm…..something don’t compute!
        Georgia is a good case to throw at you, as it is now a close US ally, and you won’t be able to come up with your lame excuses that it’s because of deliberate government whitewashing.

        Now back to Mao, this supposed ‘genocidal’ monster (btw even if he did do what you say he did do, you need to look up the definition of ‘genocide’. China’s ethnic groups actually flourished under his rule):

        Under Mao:

        Life expectancy (compared to the other big Asian countries):

        Infant mortality:

        Indeed as these American researchers have said:
        China’s growth in life expectancy at birth from 35–40 years in 1949 to 65.5 years in 1980 is among the most rapid sustained increases in documented global history (Banister and Preston 1981; Ashton et al. 1984; Coale1984; Jamison 1984; Banister 1987; Ravallion 1997; Banister and Hill 2004).

        Another researcher found: “The result of this analysis might be quite a surprise: the Chinese communist regime is the most efficient baby-life-saving machine ever.

        I like to go back to the actual numbers almost all agree upon, and from these seek the truth. This is called “seeking truth from facts”. Are you a numerate guy, RedLogix?

        Hope you are enjoying Xmas. At least the rain seems to have stopped, at least in Auckland!

        • RedLogix

          All across the entire globe in the 20th century life expectancy rose dramatically everywhere. First in the West where the science and technology to achieve this was first implemented; then gradually extended to most places.

          There is nothing especially unique about China in this respect; it’s much the same story everywhere as people transitioned from absolute poverty in poor agrarian societies, through industrialisation, the development of a middle class and so on.

          The single biggest contributor to this everywhere was the delivery of clean water supply and sanitation. Little to do with politics and everything to do with simple science and engineering. Trying to use this reality to somehow justify the mass political murders Mao even openly boasted off, is a deceitful diversion.

          Your links and quotes more or less prove my point; that the brutal, murderous legacy of Stalin and Mao have been deliberately covered up and systematically denied. These events are not in the living memory of most people today, and where never openly condemned and repudiated, so it’s relatively easy for marxist propagandists to airbrush history to suit their political purposes.

          We have a phrase in the West “Hitler made the trains run on time”. Yes his vile regime did many things to modernise and galvanise the German economy in the 1930’s … but none of this justifies or in any sense minimises the moral horrors of what happened next. We understand this … you on the other hand persistently deny it. It’s like talking with a Brown Shirt.

          • Mark

            name calling again eh…..the information provided is comparative

            The fact is Mao saved more lives than any other political figure in history – you’ll just have to suck on that. Too bad.

            ‘Brown shirt? You must then be calling most Chinese (and Russians, Georgians, Cubans, Vietnamese, etc….) ‘brownshirts’. And ‘brownshirts’ hated and killed communists.

            Now toddle along to your Christmas lunch and enjoy the rest of your day —-hope I did not cause you too much upset…control your anger boy…and take care not to choke on those yummy christmas mince pies!

            I’m off to open my presents now, so I won’t be responding again today – sorry to leave you hanging!

            Then off to a nice dinner near Sky City. Awesome!


            • RedLogix

              Actually one of us is working hard. I often code, commission plant and blog at the same time here if I have internet access.

              Now toddle along to your Christmas lunch and enjoy the rest of your Xmas day —-hope I did not cause you too much upset…control your anger boy…and take care not to choke on those yummy christmas mince pies!

              Your patronising condescension is noted.

              The fact is Mao saved more lives than any other political figure in history

              Your failed attempt to re-write history is noted.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Mao was an egotistical fuck-wit that caused the death of millions both indirectly and directly.

  28. Mark 28

    RedLogix: Communism is a failure! Yeah right…..

  29. Win 29

    I don’t come to The Standard very often and this article is one of the reasons why. I wasn’t going to comment because the article is old and no one will read my comment. But the lies, falsehoods, untruths contained in this article really made my blood boil. I would suggest you Stop reading MSM headlines and find out what is going on in Russia and China. Go and visit those countries for yourself. I have. Try reading alternative blogs which contain fact based commentary – unlike your sources. For example; Moonofalabama, The Saker, Professor Stephen Cohen mostly at The Nation or talking with John Bachelor, 21st Century Wire, Paul Craig Roberts – there are a whole host of alternative news media that provide you with facts. If it wasn’t for Russia and China, the West would have lost WW2. Russia lost 27 million and China 15 million defending and defeating our enemies. My daughter lived in China for 5 years and is saddened by the bullshit rhetoric she hears about China in New Zealand. You of course know that we rely on China for our livelihood now? Not the UK? or the US? Read about the real Winston Churchill and what a fucking war mongering arsehole he was. Another xenophobic article anti Chinese, anti Russian.

    You should be ashamed of yourself peddling this rubbish. And with a Māori non de plume. I certainly hope you aren’t tangata whenua.

  30. Mark 30

    Great comment Win.

    As with most things in life one should try to hear both sides to a story. Yet China is tried, sentenced, and condemned in the court of Western public opinion, based on evidence presented only by pro-Western anti-Communist and overtly anti-China sources (for example Anne Marie Brady openly works for American and Taiwanese think tanks)

    25 or so years ago, one could perhaps be excused for relying on Western source to form a view on other countries.

    Now, in the age of the internet, there is really no such excuse.

    I challenge people to go on to any Chinese news site (China Daily, the Global Times etc). Obviously, the information presented is that which is mostly in accord with the Chinese government. But what you will notice is that there is very little anti-Western hostility, if any. There are little if any attacks on the Western way of life, spirituality, or culture or even capitalism itself.

    Yet if you read the Western news media, it bristles with overt hostility towards not only the Chinese government, but very often the Chinese people themselves and their culture.

    In a country of 1.3 billion people one can always find something to spin a story out of – such as the Western media going into overdrive on China’s supposed ‘crackdown on Christmas’. Anyone who has just come back from China would find the claims of the Western media to be completely laughable. For proper context:

    Of course one does not have to accept the conclusions of the other side. But at least hear those arguments and understand where the other side is coming from. I suggest for a start Cambridge academic, Peter Nolan’s lecture on the “new silk road’:

    Nolan presents China’s perspective on the South China Sea, starting at 39:45. However the whole lecture is worth a listen.

    Of course one can come away after hearing China’s point of view is (or at least that of its leadership), and still find China’s position to be unacceptable or even outrageous. But at least one begins to know something of the historical context, and can say, yes, they have considered more than one perspective.

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