The Chinese Australian community warmly thanks Prof Bob Carr for speaking out for the Chinese Australians and giving a detailed analysis of China panic over a period of more than 2 years. Prof Carr’s suggestion of a community response based on the Jewish model is a great suggestion and plans can be made to initiate the implementation. However, the successful implementation would depend on the unity of the 1.2 million Chinese Australian diaspora.
The CCCA is indeed indebted to Prof Bob Carr on his summary on China Panic and his emphasis for the need of unity among the Chinese Australian (CA) community particularly on the issue of Chinese Australians’ loyalty being questioned.
Prof Carr has zeroed in on the actions taken to sustain China Panic and they include
- Aggressive anti-China reporting of Fairfax John Garnaut on “racial chauvinism” on Chinese students and losing a defamation case against him with uncomplimentary remarks from the Judge.
- Hamilton & Fitzgerald publishing anti-Chinese prejudice and implying China is the enemy.
All the China Panic activities ended up in the passing of the Foreign Interference Transparency Scheme Act 2018. These is no doubt in the CA mind that this legislation is directed at the CA community and no amount of denial that it is “country agnostic” will change that.
Warning: Xenophobia does not discriminate whether you are pro-CCCP, anti-CCCP or neutral. Insidious anti-Chinese sentiments apply to all Chinese irrespective of their political ideology. There is no escape from this label.
What is the purpose of the China Panic propaganda?
It is not logical to create China as the enemy and treat its own Australian citizens of Chinese descent as potential “spies’ and “traitors” and then expect good relations with China for the benefit of a shared prosperity.
Where is the proof that China is the enemy? Is there any reports of military landing or submarine surveillance of the Australia coastline? Are there any missiles pointing at us in the South Pacific? Are we being invaded? Yes, we often heard that from warmongers and fear mongers who often quote national security advice.
Two factors can be relied on for the root cause of China Panic.
- The rise of China as a regional power in both economic and military power in the Asia Pacific is a challenge to US hegemony and US is leaning on her allies to be partisan on this challenge.
- The tall poppy syndrome is still working well in Australia and rich Asians can be targeted ie. Mr Huang and Dr Chau. Mr Lee Ming Tee, a rich Malaysian Chinese businessman who came to Australia with an investment of $40 million in the late 1980s, was also targeted, albeit in a different way.
If China had remained backwards and a poor third world country, would there be a China Panic?
The lack of unity has allowed the CA community to be divided and conquered. For this reason, there is a lack of response by the CA on the loss of preselection of the Hon Ernest Wong, the visa cancellation of Mr Huang Xiangmo, Dr Chau’s defamation case, and on the defence of CA against xenophobic overtones generated in the last two and half years. Finally, the lack of Chinese & Mainstream media support makes it difficult for the CA voice to be heard within and beyond the CA community.
Prof Carr’s advice to the CA community to form a Defamation League is sound and appreciated. However, the disunity among the wide diaspora is evident and it would take some time for this China Panic consequence to sink into the psyche of the wide diaspora.
The Jewish example quoted is an excellent suggestion and throughout the CA work on anti-racism, we have come to appreciate the Jewish model and leadership particularly through Ian and Josie Lacey from the Jewish Board of Deputies.
Chinese are a curious lot as they will only wake up when “death is imminent as the water reaches their eyebrows”. The water level is rising and soon it will reach the eyebrows. Or when the patience runs out, the CA will react in a unified manner and this behaviour is consistent with their cultural heritage and civilization.
Dr Anthony Pun, OAM, National President of the Chinese Community Council of Australia.