Australian “ethics” professor Clive Hamilton popularised anti-China paranoia through his two books, Silent Invasion and Hidden Hand. To support many of the claims in these books he resorts to manipulated quotes and misrepresented statistics, which can only be described as intentionally deceitful.
In a 7 August 2020 opinion in Pearls and Irritations, Professor Jocelyn Chey, a former senior diplomat specialising in Australia-China relations, declared Hamilton’s second antiChina book, Hidden Hand (2020), co-authored with German Mareike Ohlberg, a “diatribe”. “We do not need this hysteria”, she said, referring to Hamilton’s “emotive language” and “rather basic lack of understanding of China’s political structures”. Chey believes Hidden Hand “should not be taken seriously because it is biased, and therefore bad scholarship.”
Hamilton’s anti-China “evidence” falls apart under scrutiny. Hidden Hand describes increased cyberattacks on “the medical records of current and future political, military and public service leaders”. It alleges these medical records “are likely now in the hands of China’s intelligence services and could be used to identify their weaknesses to be exploited for influence or for blackmail”. (Emphasis added.)
Yet the references Hamilton provides in Hidden Hand do not support these scary allegations. He claimed: “In August 2018 it was reported that 1.5 million medical records had been stolen from the Singapore government’s health database, in an attack experts believe came from state-based hackers in China.” Not true—the reference makes no mention of China, and these were non-medical records. Another claim: “The Singapore theft followed a massive hack in the USA in 2014 that sucked up the records of 4.5 million patients across 206 hospitals, and another in 2015 that saw up to 80 million records stolen from a health insurer.” Again, this is a misrepresentation—the reference shows these were non-medical records.
He added: “The year 2014 also saw the theft of 4.5 million health records from a Tennessee-based hospital chain, in an attack again attributed by experts to state-backed hackers in China.” The reference also shows these were non-medical records; moreover, Hamilton was boosting his numbers by rewording the previously-mentioned 2014 hack and pretending this was a separate incident.
Finally, he claimed: “That same year, the medical records of an unspecified number of Australian soldiers, including special forces operating overseas, were sent to China by a health contractor that also has facilities in Guangdong.” According to the reference, the medical records were sent to other countries as well as China; such details don’t assist Hamilton’s narrative, however.
Twisting peaceful trade into suspicion
Des Moines Register
When he was a government official in 1985, China’s President Xi Jinping travelled with a trade delegation to the US state of Iowa visiting farmers. Hamilton sneers: “Xi came back in 2012, [and] praised his ‘old friends’ in Iowa for their ‘agrarian common sense, family values and hospitality’. Having built on these early links, a network of prominent [Iowan] businessmen refer to themselves in Beijing as the ‘Iowa mafia’. They are backing Xi’s Belt and Road as a way of getting more Chinese investment in Iowa.”
As the 9 November 2017 Des Moines Register reveals, however, the term “Iowa mafia” is actually only a friendly joke. The Iowa-China relationship has been built over decades, through “modest citizen diplomacy by farmers”. Although the 1985 Xi visit to Iowa is now historic, at the time it was “just one of many examples of how the two cultures ever so gradually intertwined at a grassroots level”. The Register reported that American businessmen wanted to participate in the “huge opportunity” of the One Belt One Road initiative, “in which China plans to spend billions of dollars on international infrastructure to develop modern trade routes”. Hamilton has intentionally twisted a decadeslong relationship of mutual respect and peaceful trade into an object of suspicion and derision.
Hamilton claims the Chinese government “undertakes extensive intelligence-gathering and espionage”, citing estimates that the Chinese military has “30,000-50,000 plants in organisations around the world”. Bizarrely, Hamilton admits these figures aren’t supported, but cites them anyway! The reference for this alarming claim is a 2016 booklet, China’s Espionage Dynasty, co-authored by “cyber security expert” James Scott, the co-founder of a Washington DC think tank called the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT). The impressive name belies the farcical truth. In 2018, Scott was exposed as a “bogus expert”, outed for running fake social-media campaigns to boost his profile and operating under a false name, whose only “expertise” in cyber security was a series of self-published books on the topic. Today, Scott sells a line of hacker-themed clothing inspired by his now-suspended Twitter handle, but thanks to him thousands of Hamilton’s readers believe Chinese spies have infiltrated everywhere.
Hamilton criticises Michael Schaefer, Germany’s former ambassador to China, for praising “China’s ‘enormous progress’ in social and economic rights” and for arguing that “freedom of expression and freedom of the press ‘hardly play a role’ in countries like China”. Consistent with his pattern, however, Hamilton deliberately cherry-picked from Schaefer’s full interview to imply Schaefer is improperly influenced by Beijing.
Schaefer did indeed praise China’s continuing progress in economic and social rights, noting that in reality, “a full rice bowl, a roof over my head, internal and external security” is more important to people living in poverty than freedom of the press. He was clear, however, that the German government regularly addresses freedom of expression and human rights issues with the Chinese government. Schaefer stated that “internet censorship is certainly not acceptable”, but noted that overall, “China will not be able to prevent the freedom of the network, because China depends on the internet for its further economic development”.
Hamilton deliberately twists any gesture of friendship, respect or mutually beneficial cooperation with China. His poisonous intention is evident: to deceive Australians into a New Cold War with China.
By Melissa Harrison, Australian Alert Service, 30 September 2020
How Does Xi Jinping Express Gratitude And Love to his Mother?
As International Mother’s Day, an important occasion that falls on the second Sunday of May every year, will be celebrated on May 9 this year, the media started reporting moving stories about mothers and children.
Among the stories, Xi Jinping’s stands out as he is not only a son but also the president of China.
How does the president express gratitude and love to his mother? Xi’s way can be figured out when he stressed the importance of family bonds and family love and emphasized family education on many occasions.
Xi Jinping and his mother Qi Xin. /CCTV
Pass down family tradition
When President Xi delivered his first New Year address in 2013, photos placed on his bookshelves caught the online community’s attention, especially the image of him walking hand in hand with his mother.
Xi is a filial son. He chats with his mother Qi Xin, and takes a walk with her whenever he has time.
While meeting with representatives to the first National Conference of Model Families in December 2016, Xi told a story about family education. The conference was the first of its kind to honor model families selected nationwide. A total of 300 model families were honored.
“When I was a child, my mother gave me a picture-story book series－’The Legend of Yue Fei.’ One of its more than 10 volumes shows Yue Fei’s mother tattooing four characters saying ‘serve the country with the utmost loyalty’ across his back,” Xi said, adding that the story of Yue Fei, a well-known ancient military figure fighting against invasion, deeply impressed him.
Qi led a simple life, which became a tradition for the family. No matter how painstaking to take care of the family while working, she never compromised her work. Her lifestyle and the family atmosphere guided Xi’s values.
“A person who failed to be incorruptible and self-disciplined will become a person with no guts. Keep in mind that honesty is a blessing and greed is a curse while establishing a correct view of power, status, and interests,” Qi once wrote in a letter to Xi, reminding him of self-discipline. Xi has incorporated these beliefs into his ideology and governance practices.
Calling corruption the “biggest” risk to the Party’s governance, Xi has stressed there is “no alternative” but to fight corruption against all odds and called for rigorous self-discipline within the Party.
While going after corrupt officials, including both high-ranking “tigers” to lower-level “flies” on the domestic front, Beijing has also carried out such operations as “Sky Net” and “Fox Hunt” to hunt down venal officials who have fled abroad.
Shanghai Double Five Shopping Festival to Further Boost Consumption
The Shanghai Double Five shopping festival, part of an event that runs through the month to spur consumption, kicked off in Shanghai on the first day of the May Day Holiday.
The shopping festival, similar to the popular Double Eleven shopping festival, is jointly organized by the Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), China Media Group (CMG), and the Shanghai Municipal Government.
The festival was launched in May last year by the Shanghai Municipal Government, aiming to boost consumption through e-commerce platforms. E-commerce giant Alibaba and startup Pinduoduo and other brands joined last year’s event.
The National Consumption Promotion Month, starting May 1, will last the entire month, featuring a series of activities promoting consumption across the country.
China’s consumer market has gradually recovered since this year. The newly-launched consumption promotion month will further stimulate market vitality, release consumption potential, and better serve to build a new development pattern, Wang Wentao, Chinese Minister of Commerce, said at the opening ceremony of the festival in Shanghai on Sunday.
Strong consumption has remained a major driving force for China’s economic growth for many years, and the event effectively lifts consumer confidence amidst the haze of the pandemic, Shen Haixiong, vice minister of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and CMG president, said at the ceremony.
Representatives From Xinjiang Refute Accusations of Forced Labor
Workers and employers in garment and photovoltaic industries in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region have hit back at foreign allegations of human rights abuses in their sectors during a press conference in Beijing Friday.
“I applied for the job after seeing an advert in my village three years ago. I signed the labor contract after I got employed. I’ve been working at the company for over three years. I learned computer skills and gained a basic knowledge of statistical analysis,” said Alida Turahmat, an employee of a garment manufacturing company in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in northern Xinjiang.
Alida added that her family’s life greatly improved after she got the job.
“My parents are farmers and their incomes aren’t very high. I can get my salary on time every month and my salary has increased from 2,000 yuan (about $310) to 4,500 yuan (about $695) per month. I can buy the stuff I like, and also pay for my parents’ living expenses,” Alida said.
The woman works in an industry which is coming under fire globally over allegations of “forced labor”, which couldn’t be further from the truth, according to local officials.
“The claims of so-called ‘forced labor’ are false. Employment and labor rights of all ethnic groups are protected by law,” said Xu Guixiang, spokesperson for the Xinjiang regional government, adding that such allegations are aimed at undermining Xinjiang’s contributions to the global supply chain.
Representatives from industry associations also said that labor rights protection is at the heart of all industries in Xinjiang.
“In Xinjiang, enterprises sign labor contracts with their employees, provide them with salaries, good working and living environment. They also provide halal food for ethnic minority employees,” said Yao Yuzhen, president of the Council for Promotion of International Trade in Xinjiang. “Each enterprise has established the labor union to protect the legitimate rights and interests of all employees, including those of ethnic minorities.”
The United States announced an import ban on all cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang earlier this year.
In addition to cotton and tomatoes, Xinjiang’s photovoltaic industry is also being targeted. In March, America’s largest labor federation called on the Biden administration and Congress to stop imports of solar products from Xinjiang over “forced labor” allegations.
Representatives from that industry in Xinjiang said they’re angry over the accusations.
“Promoting the development of renewable energy, including photovoltaic, and promoting an energy revolution have become a consensus among all countries,” said He Ning, secretary of the Board and Director of Investor Relations of Xinjiang Daqo New Energy Company.
“China’s photovoltaic industry is not serving any single market, but the global market. We are not afraid of the unfair treatment. If you want to ‘extinguish’ Xinjiang’s photovoltaic industry, you need to ask whether the Chinese and global market agree,” said He.
Xinjiang regional government has responded to international claims by allowing local residents to speak for themselves.
Farmers, workers and former trainees from vocational training centers are getting opportunities to tell their stories and present a true image of the region.
Officials said they are happy for unprejudiced foreign reporters and representatives of overseas companies to experience the region for themselves.
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