Australia's naivety over China on show in Washington yesterday
Thursday, 31 January 2019
Yesterday the United States delivered two unmistakable messages about the growing risk posed by China.
The first US move.....
....was the release of the annual intelligence threat assessment - our coverage here.
The report was unequivocal - China is focused on undermining Western democracy and geographically dominating the Pacific region.
It's doing it now - today - through bullying, intimidating, buying land and governments and backing all of that up with growing military force.
The second US move....
....was the US Justice Department's announcement of serious criminal charges against Chinese telecoms supplier Huawei - our report here.
Huawei is active in Australia. Frighteningly active.
Last year WA's Labor government delivered Huawei a multi-million telecoms contract - giving the telco access to the core of Australia's telecoms system.
Australia's universities have swallowed Huawei's bait too, entrenching the Chinese in our IT and telecoms heart.
The executive named in the US charges is the same person who set up Huawei in Australia.
This report was published in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday.
From the outset, Ms Meng and her Chinese communist masters set about cosying up to vain and susceptible Australian politicians.
As I publish this report today, the front page of Huawei's Australian website still features a photo of former foreign minister Julie Bishop and current minister for trade Simon Birmingham - https://www.huawei.com/au/
Yesterday we published this report detailing the extent of former foreign minister Julie Bishop's acceptance of gifts, travel and accommodation from Huawei.
After leaving the ministry, her predecessor as Liberal foreign minister Alexander Downer became a director of Huawei, reportedly pocketing $250K per year in directors fees. Former Labor premier of Victoria John Brumby joined him.
But the charges against Huawei and the release of the US annual threat assessment weren't the only major announcements about China made in Washington yesterday.
Australia's Foreign Minister delivered a major speech in the US Capitol.
The contrast between the US clarity about the threat posed by China and Australia's insipid response couldn't have been more stark.
In Part Two of this story we'll analyse Minister Payne's 4,000 frightening words.