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State of Mankind

Is the West Too Gullible When It Comes to China

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The CCP is not a normal law-abiding government

David Flint contributor
January 25, 2023Updated: January 26, 2023

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The controversy over Prince Harry wearing a Nazi uniform to a party was repeated recently when a 40-year-old prominent Australian politician, Dominic Perrottet, revealed that he had worn a Nazi uniform to his 21st birthday party.

A newspaper reader wondered if people would be so outraged if someone had worn a Mao uniform. A good point.

Since President Richard Nixon’s 1971 visit to Beijing, preceded by the Australian opposition leader Gough Whitlam, the overwhelming approach of Western leaders has been to treat the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as just another normal law-abiding government. They also often treat communist leaders, including the mass murderer Mao Zedong, with respect and, at times, even awe.

When Mao died in 1976, Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and opposition leader Gough Whitlam led the Australian House of Representatives in the condolence motion that no one, even for a moment, had ever thought appropriate for those other mass-murderers, Stalin and Hitler.

Indeed, when the head of the Irish government Taoiseach Éamon de Valera, called on the German ambassador in 1945 to express his condolences on Hitler’s suicide, this was greeted with widespread international commendation.

What was it about Mao? It was surely not that he murdered more than anyone else. Was it that big business and its political allies realised that by exploiting the downtrodden Chinese and slave labour and with a consequently rising domestic market, a fortune could be made?

Losing their manufacturing, handing over intellectual property or even having it stolen, or becoming dependent on the communists was, apparently, of no concern.

‘Law-Abiding’ Isn’t in Beijing’s Vocabulary

Relations between Australia and Beijing spiralled downwards in 2020 when the previous centre-right Liberal-National Morrison government dared call for an international investigation into the origin of COVID-19.

After all, the world had suffered drastic consequences following the release of what seems to be an experimental virus produced in a Wuhan military laboratory assisted by funding from Dr. Anthony Fauci, such research being forbidden in the United States.

Added to this was the shocking failure of Beijing to warn airlines, other countries and the World Health Organization of the travel of large numbers across the world at the conclusion of the 2020 Lunar New Year.

An inquiry into this is still needed and should obviously extend to assessing liability for the massive damages suffered.

Each state should then be able to recoup some decent contribution towards those damages from CCP-controlled assets in its jurisdiction.

As to questions of proof, when dealing with recalcitrant law-breaking communists, we can obtain some valuable assistance from the 1947 World Court Corfu Channel Case between the UK and Albania.

Beijing already has a poor record in observing international law, as demonstrated by the 2016 South China Sea Case before the Hague Tribunal, which had ruled that Communist China could not use rocky outcrops—some exposed only at low tide—as the basis for territorial claims against the Philippines.

Rather than insisting on Beijing observing this judgement, President Barack Obama unwisely compromised by accepting Xi’s promise not to militarise the South China Sea.

In imposing sanctions on Australia, Beijing remains in massive breach of international trade law. But the fact that we are dealing with law-breakers does not mean that an international inquiry of interested powers should not go ahead. It would be wrong to assume that damages could not be recovered.

For this purpose, Australia should encourage other countries, especially our close allies, to legislate to allow damages established under a specified inquiry to be available to be recouped from assets under the control of the CCP.

Good legal drafting could ensure that separate proof of the accessibility of assets in each case should not be necessary and that, in the interim, assets are frozen.

Of course, the communists will retaliate, but they are already doing this for no more than Australia’s suggesting an international inquiry.

And why should the people of countries such as Australia, who have suffered so terribly from the unilateral actions of the communists in developing a dangerous virus, in its escape and in not warning of its dangers, especially in the early period?

How Did the West Become so Dependent?

Now, the current prime minister, Anthony Albanese, appears to want to curry favour with the communists.

First, he, initially at least, declined to follow our closest allies in imposing testing on those travelling from China where the authorities could not be relied on to be truthful as to the state of the virus.

Then, boasting that Australia and China are “talking again,” he said: “We are undoing so much of the damage done by the LNP government.”

So, is he saying that the opposition is to blame for COVID and the trade boycott or just for the trade boycott? Is he saying the former government should not have asked for an independent inquiry?

At the last G20 meeting, the prime minister was allowed to shake Xi’s hand while the illicit trade sanctions stayed in place.

Then, he seemed elated when the foreign minister, Penny Wong, was permitted to go to Beijing to pay her respects to one of the regime’s apparatchiks again while the illicit trade sanctions stayed in place.

Now, he seems to be waiting for a summons from Beijing when the communists will possibly abandon some of their illegal sanctions, but only because they have proven counter-productive.

When it comes to Beijing, a far too common weakness among Western ruling elites is that they seem to have learnt nothing from Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. At least Chamberlain realised his error.

The Western ruling classes are still trying to treat the brutal Beijing dictatorship as a normal government, and they are still letting their countries become dependent on the dictatorship, just as the German ruling class became dependent on Russia for energy.

So, how could so many in the West be so gullible as to make us so dependent on the communists?

According to some reports, Henry Kissinger actually realised at the time of the 1971 visit that the communists would turn on the U.S. once they had the economic and military capacity to do so.

Gough Whitlam was even more accommodating to the monster, abandoning Taiwan well before the Americans did, at least diplomatically, in 1979.

President Bill Clinton’s unconditional admission of Beijing to the World Trade Organization in 2000 led to the transfer of manufacturing jobs away from the U.S., the forced transfer and theft of IP, and continuing and serious breaches of trade law.

We saw recently how tenuous the hold of the dictatorship is when the Chinese people revolted against the Maoist lockdown policy that was copied, unwisely, by Western politicians.

At some stage, probably sooner than later, communist China will follow the Soviet Union into oblivion, and the Chinese people will be liberated as they deserve.

True leadership emerges occasionally in the West where those of the calibre of Churchill, Reagan, and Thatcher not only make the West great. They do not allow dictators to ride roughshod over the West nor the West to become dependent on them.
David Flint is an emeritus professor of law, known for his leadership of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy and for his tenure as head of the Australian Broadcasting Authority. He is also a former chairman of the Australian Press Council and the World Association of Press Councils.

Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party Podcasts:
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