‘Paper cat’ Australia will learn its lesson


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Around the announcement of the arbitration tribunal over the South China Sea, Australia was one of the most delirious countries. Canberra immediately supported the arbitration result and claimed China “must” abide by it, and also signed a joint declaration with the US and Japan. Australia has inked a free trade agreement with China, its biggest trading partner, which makes its move of disturbing the South China Sea waters surprising to many.
Australia is a unique country with an inglorious history. It was at first an offshore prison of the UK and then became its colony, a source of raw materials, overseas market and land of investment. This country was established through uncivilized means, in a process filled with the tears of the aboriginals.

Even with a scarce population and vast land, Australia has disputes with other countries over territory. It claims nearly 5.9 million square meters of land in the Antarctic, accounting for 42 percent of the continent. In order to back its territorial claims, Australia even brought up the activities of the British in the Antarctic as evidence.

Since The Antarctic Treaty was signed, all territorial claims over the continent were suspended. Canberra then raised another claims to demand the Antarctic continental shelf. It cited Article 298 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea to avoid a demand by arbitration by others.

Both historical rights and the exemption of arbitration as ruled in Article 298 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea were denied by the arbitration tribunal. Australia showed blunt double standards as if no one had a memory of what it did and said over the Antarctic.

Australia calls itself a principled country, while its utilitarianism has been sizzling. It lauds Sino-Australian relations when China’s economic support is needed, but when it needs to please Washington, it demonstrates willingness of doing anything in a show of allegiance.

Analysts say that besides trying to please the US, it also intends to suppress China so as to gain a bargaining chip for economic interests. China must take revenge and let it know it’s wrong. Australia’s power means nothing compared to the security of China. If Australia steps into the South China Sea waters, it will be an ideal target for China to warn and strike.

Australia is not even a “paper tiger,” it’s only a “paper cat” at best. At a time when its former caretaker country the UK is dedicated to developing relations with China, and almost the whole of Europe takes a neutral position, Australia has unexpectedly made itself a pioneer of hurting China’s interest with a fiercer attitude than countries directly involved in the South China Sea dispute. But this paper cat won’t last. – Global Times

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Political issues deserve diplomatic solutions to South China Sea disputes


REFERRING to “Ripples and rumbles in South China Sea” (see below) by K. Thanabalasingam, I wish to share a few more points vital to the issue.

Conventional knowledge is that China’s claim to the islands is arbitrary and violates International Law. But what is left out is an impartial overview of the whole situation based on historical considerations and facts on the ground.

Claims made by Vietnam and China are mostly centred on history. The rest of the claimants are late comers after the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco and 1982 UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea).

To avoid complicating the issue, knowledge of history has to be put in perspective. Since there are no “historical titles” to validate, then whatever historical facts, maps or records have to be considered as evidence. At least it sheds light to validate its case.

China has been consistent in her claims since 1279. Marker stones and light houses were on the islands but most were destroyed by Vietnam and the Philippines. Even early European records affirmed Chinese fishermen took annual sojourns on Spratly islands for part of the year.

One interesting event that happened in 1953 involved a Tomas Cloma, (director of the Maritime Institute of the Philippines) who threw away all the marker stones and made a unilateral claim on some Spratly islands and later in December 1974 was forced to sell to the government for 1 peso only, now known as Kalayaan.

All these facts are buried and often not revealed by the West.

The infamous Treaty of San Francisco, also known as Treaty of Peace with Japan, was drafted by US and Allied Powers to settle post-war issues affecting nations. Whatever the circumstances, China/Taiwan and Korea were not invited to attend the negotiations which deprived them of a fair chance and the right to present their cases. This also breached the Cairo/Potsdam declarations.

After the devastating long war, China got the raw end of the deal with unsettled lands and islands. Scholars and historians viewed this as a deliberate manoeuvre by Western Powers especially the US to create ambiguities to serve their covert interests.

I totally agree with Thanabalasingam on the recent statement by the US and Allies to pre-empt the tribunal’s verdict in favour of the Philippines is an act of prima facie and undermines the whole proceedings of the court. That is why under Article 298 of UNCLOS, China declared that it does not accept compulsory arbitral procedures relating to sea boundary delimitation in 2006. Without guessing, one could easily decipher why the Philippine chose the arbitration court.

On the ground, it doesn’t need a military expert to see what’s happening in the region. It is a tussle between China and US with puppets (the Philippines, Australia, Japan, Vietnam) joining in the fray.

The US’s sole interest is to maintain her status quo and dominance in the region. China, a rising power, is a direct competitor. When Obama announced the pivot to Asia in 2012, tensions started building up day by day with increasing deployment of military assets to frightening level.

More bases have been opened to the US in the Philippines, Japan, Australia, and some Asean nations, creating a “ring of fire” to contain China.

To harness support US raises up the heat and false alarms on China’s threat to “Freedom of Navigation”, etc. Do you expect China to remain docile and silent? Freedom of navigation was not an issue for decades. Deliberately intruding into sovereign territory with frigates, spy planes, etc are direct provocations.

Sad to see nations taking sides just to gain a little leverage to support their claims. As far as I can see, these islands are “bread crumbs” created to inflict tension and even wars among nations. Political issues deserve diplomatic solutions. Don’t allow a Middle East or Ukraine crisis in Asia.

I trust my country will take the path of engagement and diplomacy.

By Ali Saw Kuala Lumpur The Sundaily

Ripples and rumbles in the South China Sea

AFTER the conclusion of the 27th Asean Summit and Related Summits chaired by Malaysia here in late November 2015, I felt optimistic the year 2016 might see a lessening of tensions in the South China Sea and perhaps even witness a Code of Conduct being signed between all the claimant states. I suppose this was hoping too much.

What we have seen instead is a rapid increase in tensions caused by China’s actions in the South China Sea. Understandably, claimant Asean states are anxious and concerned over these latest developments.

Since the start of this year, China has conducted several test flights from its airfield in the Fiery Cross Reef in the Spratly Islands Group. There was also news reports that China had moved an oil rig into disputed waters between China and Vietnam.

This brings to mind the January 1974 Chinese/Vietnamese clash over the Paracel Islands with Vietnam suffering heavy losses and being evicted from the Paracels.

More recently it has been reported and confirmed that China has installed long-range anti-aircraft missiles on Woody Island in the disputed Paracels chain.

This does not auger well for calm and confidence-building between the various Asean claimant states and the Republic of China.

In addition, the occasional reported intrusions of Chinese coastguard vessels into other nations’ territorial waters is cause for concern.

The recent statement by the US and some European nations that China must abide by the decision to be made by the UN Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague, hearing the Philippines request to invalidate China’s claims, is rather premature in my humble opinion.

The US and other western nations’ statement would have been better coming after the tribunal’s verdict expected sometime near the middle of this year, if it turns out to be in Philippines favour. As it is, I feel the statement pre-empts the tribunal’s verdict.

I had written an article on the South China Sea dispute and stated my personal views in June 2015. I am of the firm belief, based on International Law and UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea), that China’s claim to virtually the whole of the South China Sea is arbitrary and unprecedented.

No country has ever claimed such a large expanse of international maritime waters before. There is no provision anywhere that I am aware of for a historical claim, especially when such a claim has never been exercised or enforced until more recent times. China is not only a party to UNCLOS but it has also ratified it. Therefore, China is bound by UNCLOS.

A point to bear in mind is that there are laws and rules to what constitutes an island. Under UNCLOS no shoal or reef can be reclaimed and turned into an island.

A reclaimed land is artificial and not natural. Hence the question of territorial waters or other claims for the artificial island does not arise.

The Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) signed by all members of Asean and the People’s Republic of China on Nov 4, 2002 unfortunately has a number of setbacks. There is also a Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES). Although this is mainly to avoid any untoward sea incident between US Navy ships and Republic of China Navy (ROCN) ships. I feel that CUES should also be used more by Asean claimant states’ naval ships and the ROCN ships.

Although I am disheartened by the latest developments in the South China Sea, I sincerely hope that these ripples and rumbles do not develop into a full blown hurricane or typhoon.

By Rear Admiral (Rtd) Tan Sri K. Thanabalasingam was the third chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy and the first Malaysian to be appointed to the post.Comments: letters@thesundaily.com

The U.S. should keep away from the South China Sea for regional peace

China is forced to deploy defensive facilities on islands in the South China Sea in response to early militarization action from other parties and to the U.S. close-up reconnaissance in this region, said a China’s professor who specializes in international affairs.

Shen Dingli, a professor specializing in international affairs from Fudan University, wrote in a column that if the U.S. expects fewer disputes in the South China Sea, the country should not choose any side and not support those who infringe upon China’s national interests. The U.S. should make those countries withdraw from the region.

Shen stated that the U.S. should reduce its close-up reconnaissance in the region so that China will not need to spare much time to deploy forces in the region.

According to Shen, statements of spokespersons from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Defense clearly show China’s attitude towards this issue.

First of all, China deploys defensive facilities in order to cope with other countries’ militarization in this area. Secondly, China benefits from freedom of navigation and China is willing to maintain this freedom within the international law in cooperation with ASEAN countries. Thirdly, China urges the U.S. to respect its legitimate interests when it comes to sovereign of artificial islands in the South China Sea.

Shen also said that if the U.S. really cares about China’s deployment of radars and missiles on relevant islands, it should reduce the close-up reconnaissance by its missile destroyers and strategic bombers in this area.  By Yuan Can (People’s Daily Online)

US militarizing South China Sea

Compared with the progress Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State John Kerry seem to have achieved on sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, finding common ground to resolve their differences over the South China Sea has proved more difficult.

Just as Wang has stressed, the responsibility for non-militarization of the South China Sea is not China’s alone. The United States should lend an attentive ear to China’s stance.

On Tuesday, at a hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Admiral Harry Harris, head of the US Pacific Command, said China’s deployment of missiles and new radars on its islands and reefs in the South China Sea and its building of airstrips are “changing the operational landscape” in the waters.

The media in the US also hyped up China sending Annihilates-11 fighters to the Xisha Islands. These voices may be a prelude to Washington escalating the flexing of its muscles in the South China Sea.

Yet as a non-regional country, it is irresponsible of the US to intervene in the South China Sea in disregard of the possibility that has emerged that China and the other parties to the disputes in the waters will be able to stabilize the situation rather than let it spiral out of control.

If those in the region were allowed to settle the disputes themselves, the South China Sea would be free from concerns and troubles within the foreseeable future.

It is the US’ direct interventions in the South China Sea that are exacerbating tensions and adding uncertainty.

The US’ provocative signals have seriously increased Chinese people’s sense of urgency to strengthen the country’s military capabilities. When US military vessels and warplanes intruded into the 12-nautical-mile territorial seas around China’s islands and reefs, Chinese people have reasons to believe their country should not remain indifferent even if its military might is still inferior to that of the US.

On issues concerning national sovereignty, the Chinese military will follow the will of its people.- Global Times

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Mara in Aussie property scam


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Top Malaysian government officials and a former politician were alleged to spend RM65 million of public funds to purchase an apartment block in Melbourne, Australia, overpaying by RM13.7 million to allow for kickbacks back home.

Australian newspaper The Age, which made the allegations in an exclusive report today, also claimed the involvement of Mara, a government investment agency, which purchased the property in 2013.

The Age’s investigative report said that a group of Malaysian officials, using the Malaysian government’s investment funds, bid up the price for the Melbourne apartment block from A$17.8 million (RM51.5 million) to A$22.5 million (RM65 million).

The extra $4.75 million (RM13.7 million) was then laundered out of Australia and allegedly paid as bribes in Malaysia.

“The Malaysian firms that received the alleged kickbacks are closely linked to a senior figure at the Malaysian government investment agency, Mara.

“Another figure involved is a senior Malaysian official and former politician with close links to a Malaysian cabinet minister,” said the report.

Malaysiakini has e-mailed Rural and Regional Development Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal under whose watch Mara falls, Mara’s director-general Ibrahim Ahmad and its deputy director-general Salmah Hayati Ghazali for their responses to the corruption allegations.

The student hostel apartment bought by Mara was called the Dudley International House apartment block, located at the suburb of Caulfield.

The Age said about 150 Australian creditors, including tradesman and builders, have been left out of pocket or are facing bankruptcy after a company linked to the deal collapsed.


Money-laundering hub

The same group of high-ranking Malaysians were implicated in a deal involving A$80 million (RM231 million) worth of Australian property, including office or apartment blocks in Swanston, Queen and Exhibition streets in Melbourne’s CBD.

The newspaper said this was the first hard evidence of Australian property prices being inflated as real estate is used as a safe haven or money laundering hub by corrupt Malaysian government officials.

In May last year, Bernama reported that several Mara board directors and executives, headed by its chairperson Annuar Musa (photo) were in Melbourne to inspect two properties Mara had acquire, at a cost of about A$60 million, to house its students.

The 12-storey building at 746, Swanston Street, minutes away from the University of Melbourne and RMIT University, has 281 apartments, while the five-storey Dudley International House in the suburb of Caulfield, will accommodate 113 Mara students attending Monash University. The Swanston Street building was formerly a hostel for nurses.

Spokesman for the Mara group, Zainal Zol said Mara had more than 1,000 students in Australia with 309 based in melbourne and more than 500 in Sydney.

He said the visiting Mara leaders were pleased with the agency’s property acquisitions here.

The Bernama report also said executives from UEM Sunrise Berhad, one of Malaysia’s largest property developers and an arm of UEM Group Berhad, which is owned by Khazanah Nasional Berhad, were also in Melbourne to negotiate the development of two prime land parcels it had acquired in Melbourne’s CBD, in LaTrobe Street and MacKenzie Street.

Led by UEM managing director, Izzaddin Idris, they met the Victorian State Planning Minister Matthew Guy, Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle and Malaysian-born Ken Ong, head of the Melbourne City Council planning committee, to brief them on the projects.

Mohd Rameez said he was confident that both apartment developments will go ahead, thus enhancing Malaysia’s presence in Melbourne.

Malaysiakini has also e-mailed and texted Annuar who is also Umno supreme council member and BN Ketereh MP for his comments.

Sources: Malaysiakini, The Sun Daily, The Star/Asia News Network

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Like father, like daughter: Young Malaysian property developer making her mark in Melbourne


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Teh(pic), 27, co-founder of Beulah International, strides proudly in the footsteps of her father, Datuk Teh Kean Ming, chief executive officer/managing director of IJM Corp Bhd, who has been in the construction and property development industry for over 35 years.

MELBOURNE: Adelene Teh, a second-generation Malaysian property developer, is quickly making her mark in the competitive property development market here.

Teh, 27, co-founder of Beulah International, strides proudly in the footsteps of her father, Datuk Teh Kean Ming, chief executive officer/managing director of IJM Corp Bhd, who has been in the construction and property development industry for over 35 years.

Teh, a graduate from the University of Melbourne with a Master’s degree in architecture, was born and raised in Malaysia.

“I fondly remember my father taking me for walk-throughs on project sites and explaining the details. I am proud of what he was doing,” he told Bernama.

She attributed much of her own interest in property sector to her father, whose dedication and passion have influenced her career path.

Teh has collaborated with internationally-renowned global architects, Woods Bagot and multi-award winning landscape architect, Jack Merlo, to offer sophisticated first-class lifestyle in her new project, Gardenhill.

The A$76.5mil 11-storey, 136-unit apartment project offers luxury living in Doncaster, a prestigious eastern suburb here.

The prices range from A$360,000 to A$405,000 for one-bedroom units while two-bedroom units range from A$490,000 to A$745,000.

The estimated yields are between 4% and 6%.

In a recently-published article in The Age newspaper, Andrew Leoncelli, managing director of CBRE Residential Projects, said the location, perched high above Doncaster Hill and just 15km to Melbourne CBD, is a huge draw.

“Being high on the hill means amazing city and park views, while being directly adjacent to such a good shopping centre, with a host of luxury brands makes it an excellent prospect in real estate terms,” Leoncelli said.

Together with her partner, Jiaheng Chan, co-founder of Beulah International, they are the driving force behind the success of Gardenhill.

Malaysians will have the opportunity to attend and select the units at the KL Westin preview this weekend before the public Melbourne launch.

With already 30% of the units sold and scores of registrations before the public launch, Gardenhill is set to be a resounding success.

Like her family heritage, Teh’s property development skills have been well honed.

— Bernama

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Clive Palmer’s racist ‘bastards’ hurts Australia more than Chinese!!


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Clive Palmer – Australian mining mogul and member of parliament

Clive Palmer’s tirade cannot be ignored

Clive Palmer, an Australian legislator and mining magnate, delivered a scathing harangue in a TV program on Monday, referring to the Chinese government as “bastards,” who “shoot their own people” and want to usurp control of Australia. He called Chinese resources companies “mongrels,” which send workers to destroy the wage system and take over Australian ports and plunder minerals for free.

This is the most vicious attack by one of the Australian elite in recent months.

Not long ago, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Prime Minister Tony Abbott also made bitter remarks against China without any reason, which was quite astonishing. Now Palmer’s “bastards” ravings have intensified this.

On Tuesday, several government ministers and opposition parties in Australia damned Palmer’s comments – a rare unanimous move – as an attack on Australia’s biggest trading partner. However, China has already fallen victim to this foul war of words.

People can imagine what would come next if a Chinese politician or business tycoon made such unscrupulous remarks by calling a whole country “bastard.” This person will be doomed. But in Australia, Palmer will probably not bear too much cost for his nonsense.

China cannot let him off, or show petty kindness just because the Australian government has condemned him. China must be aware that Palmer’s rampant rascality serves as a symbol that Australian society has an unfriendly attitude toward China.

China should consider imposing sanctions on Palmer and his companies, cutting off all business contacts with him and forbidding him and his senior executives into China. The sanctions could also be given to any Australian companies which have business dealings with Palmer’s. China must let those prancing provocateurs know how much of a price they pay when they deliberately rile us.

Australian society has been aware that Palmer crossed the red line too far and his remarks, along with those of Bishop and Abbott, pose a direct threat to Australian-Sino relations. Canberra is waiting for China’s reactions, from which they can assess the tenacity of Chinese diplomacy.

If China generously accepts the condemnations against Palmer by Australian public opinion without taking solid action to punish him, this risks giving Australians the impression that China has too much good will to bother toning it down. On the contrary, Palmer could be the last straw for worsening Sino-Australian relations. How we respond will be a turning point for Australia’s understanding of China.

Palmer should be damned as the culprit. Because of him, China must teach Canberra a lesson for sabotaging a bilateral relationship. Australia has picked sides and embraced the US and Japan, but in the meantime, it keeps racking up economic profits from China. This situation is making it a radical “double-dealer” among all the nations which have relationships with China.

Business with Australia should continue, but this country must be marginalized in China’s global strategy. Canberra boasts about itself having so-called strategic values, most of which, however, are created out of its own delusions.

Hooligan politics is being employed by the Australian government to deal with China. But China shouldn’t care too much about it, or it will only shock us once again.

Australia is a remote business partner, and a place where the Chinese can take a trip and learn some English. These basic understandings should be the starting points for China to re-orientate Sino-Australian relations.

Source:Global Times Published: 2014-8-20

Aussie_oiRacism against China hurts Australia

When I studied at the University of Sydney in 2009 for a master’s degree in media, I was surprised by the interest ordinary Australians had in China. Not only was China the topic for class discussions every week, one of my lecturers also told me during an after-class chat that she was sending her son to learn fencing in Shanghai in the upcoming summer holiday as China had emerged as an ideal place for his training. Later, my supervisor at a local magazine where I had a month’s internship told me his son was studying Chinese at Beijing University of Languages and Culture, as he believed the language advantage would help his son find a job in Australia which was forging an increasingly closer bond with China.

He assigned me to write an article about how small and medium companies run by Australian-Chinese were faring and whether their connections with China actually helped their businesses. During my interviews, I was amazed that a rising number of Australian-Chinese were actually making a decent living out of exporting Australian products to China.

However, when news came earlier this month that China’s Wanda Group had bought the famous Jewel Project on Australia’s Gold Coast and planned to invest $900 million developing it into a luxury resort, I did not even raise my eyebrows. I also laughed it off when an Australian friend in Sydney sent an e-mail informing me that Chinese developers are also reshaping and rejuvenating Parramatta, a suburban city on the western edge of the city.

True, the depth and breadth of China-Australia ties have grown immensely since 2009 when I first set foot in the biggest country in the Southern hemisphere. Apart from lucrative trade, exchanges between the two peoples have also expanded rapidly.

More and more Chinese people have easier access to Australian products. Australia has become a popular destination for Chinese tourists and for Chinese students seeking education overseas.

With the rising presence of Chinese in Australia, there are reports of how Chinese buyers are ratcheting up property prices in major Australian cities, Sydney in particular.

To me, it is a natural trend toward a win-win outcome if more people from both China and Australia are visiting each other’s country and doing business with each other in accordance with law and international practice.

Unfortunately, some in Australia seem not to agree with me. Some even harbor animosity to Australian-bound Chinese people or Chinese investments. There have been several incidents since last year in which Chinese passengers on Sydney trains were the targets of insults.

If these unhappy scenes are just the wrongdoings of some biased Australians, the TV rant against China staged by Australian billionaire-turned politician Clive Palmer last week reflects the ugly undercurrents of racism against Chinese and China beneath the rosy picture of China-Australia interaction.

On Tuesday, Palmer, obviously under huge pressure from the strong condemnation he had received from people in both China and Australia, apologized to the Chinese embassy in Canberra for calling the Chinese government “bastards” and “mongrels” in a media interview.

In a written statement, Palmer said, “I most sincerely apologize for any insult to the Chinese people caused by any of the language I used during my appearance on the ABC television program Q&A.”

It is important that the mining tycoon’s repentance is heart-felt, and the Australian society truly learns a bitter lesson from undesirable scenarios such as Palmer’s TV outburst.

Racism and discrimination against outsiders could easily erode the credibility of a multicultural society such as Australia’s, as well as ruin the very foundation of good feelings between Chinese and Australians, which is bedrock for healthy China-Australia cooperation

By Wang Hui (China Daily)/Asia News Network

Clive Palmer apologizes for ‘bastards’ comment 

 – Insults opportunity for Abbott to change course: community leader

Australian mining mogul and member of parliament Clive Palmer has apologized for calling Chinese people “bastards” in a recent TV interview, following wide-spread condemnation from both China and his home country.

Palmer, who was elected as senator last year and is leader of the Palmer United Party (PUP), made the apology in a letter to Ma Zhaoxu, Chinese Ambassador to Australia.

The letter, which was signed by Palmer on Monday, was released late on Monday.

“I regret any hurt or anguish such comments may have caused any party and I look forward to greater understanding for peace and cooperation in the future,” he said, referring to comments he made in a live TV interview on August 18.

During the interview, Palmer said he didn’t mind “standing up against the Chinese bastards,” and claimed that the Chinese government wants to “take over our ports and get our resources for free.”

In a statement posted on the embassy’s website Tuesday, Ma stressed that the Chinese people are never to be insulted. “Any remarks attacking or slandering China will not gain support and are doomed to failure,” he wrote.

The billionaire’s slandering of China drew immediate protest from Chinese government last week. Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott also denounced the comments as “over the top, shrill and wrong.”

On Tuesday morning, around 200 members of the Chinese community in Australia braved downpours to protest against Palmer’s remarks outside Parliament House in Canberra.

“We have been in close contact with Palmer since last week, pressuring him to apologize. Learning that our request for Tuesday’s protest was approved by police authorities, Palmer finally softened his stance and released the apology late Monday,” said Qian Qiguo, head of the Australian Action Committee for Peace and Justice Incorporated, a group formed by members of the Australian Chinese community.

Palmer had defended himself last week saying his comments were directed at a Chinese company with whom he is locked in a legal dispute.

In the Monday apology, he said, “In keeping an open mind, I now come to the realization that what I said on Q&A was an insult to Chinese people everywhere and I wish to assure them they have my most genuine and sincere apology.”

Qian told the Global Times the Chinese community was not satisfied with such remarks in the letter, and demanded Palmer to drop whole paragraph. “At 3:30 pm on Tuesday, Palmer finally sent us a second letter, which took out the unnecessary remarks, and the new edition was also sent to the Chinese ambassador,” he said, claiming it a victory.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop Tuesday welcomed Palmer’s apology, but said it should have come earlier. She also called on Palmer’s fellow PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie to “reflect on her words” after Lambie had also lashed out at Beijing.

Last week, while supporting Palmer, Lambie said Australia must build missile systems and defense shields to prepare for an invasion from China even if it costs $60 billion a year, reported The Australian.

As of press time, Lambie didn’t respond to a Global Times’ e-mail inquiry over her comments on Palmer’s apology and whether she will apologize for her words.

Qian said the Chinese community had also contacted Lambie and the PUP, and was assured that she wouldn’t make such provocative comments in the future.

Han Feng, a deputy director of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that the new party is trying to promote its visibility through its senators’ strong rhetoric. But Palmer’s “irresponsible and reckless” comments on China have clearly backfired.

China is Australia’s biggest trade partner and about 1 million Chinese are living in the nation.

Palmer’s slandering of China raised doubts whether Australian politicians’ opinions toward China would fuel anti-China emotions in the country.

A video recently posted online shows an Australian woman racially abusing Asian-looking passengers on a train and demanding them to go back to China. The video triggered uproar on Chinese social media.

Qian said some people who held extremist anti-Asian and racial sentiments emerged years ago, but they are not the mainstream in Australia.

“Abbott and Bishop made some unfriendly remarks on China when they first came to office, but their immediate condemnations of Palmer this time offered an opportunity for them to correct their position,” he said.

Han also noted that the Abbott administration’s policy toward China has seen constant adjustments over the past year. “However, it is still concerned about a potential turbulence in the region if the US role is undermined … Canberra hopes that the US could keep its presence to safeguard the existing order. Therefore it is working with the US and Japan to prevent any ‘China threat.'”

By Yang Jingjie Source:Global Times Published: 2014-8-27

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Ferguson reveals US police’s true colors

My question to the United States is: Will you allow another generation of black and brown children to grow up fearing those who’ve sworn an oath to protect them?

The US, which keeps trying to assimilate minorities in a barbaric way, never ceases to point fingers at China.

Migrant wives kept like slaves by Aussies


By GLENDA KWEK

Aussie's hushandsLooking out for them: Case worker and former child bride Eman Sharobeem says victims are reluctant to pursue justice through legal means. – AFP

Unhappily married – In Australia, migrant wives in abusive marriages are all the more vulnerable as they are dependent on their husbands. 

KANYA thought she was starting a new life in Australia after arriving from India to marry her husband, but it quickly turned into a nightmare.

She was barred from going out on her own, forced to cook and clean for her partner’s family, and made to sleep outdoors if she did not complete her tasks.

The fate of the 18-year-old, whose name has been changed to protect her identity, mirrors that of others in “slave-like” relationships that Salvation Army worker Jenny Stanger has taken in at a Sydney refuge for trafficked people in recent years.

The women came to Australia under the promise of a happy marriage, only to be exploited by their partners.

“It’s an absolute deception on the part of the perpetrator,” said Stanger of a problem involving nearly a quarter of her safehouse’s residents. Immigration figures show women in such situations come from China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam among others.

“Marriage was the tool that was used to exploit the women for profit, gain or personal advantage.”

“In a typical case, the migrant wife would face extreme isolation, extreme denial of their basic rights around freedom of movement, possibly an exploitation of their labour … and being denied money,” she said.

Getting a sense of how many marriage visas under Australia’s partner migration programme are used to bring women in for exploitation is difficult. Social workers say victims are often deliberately isolated and threatened if they seek help.

Researcher Samantha Lyneham, co-author of the first Australian study looking into the exploitation of women through migrant relationships beyond forced marriages, said the reluctance of victims to report crimes was a problem – such is their dependence on their abusers.

Lyneham said the fear of being deported, which stemmed from the “precarious immigration status” the women faced, was a key barrier, along with language and also mistrust of police after bad experiences in their home countries.

An inaugural Global Slavery Index published by the Walk Free Foundation in October said roughly 30 million people were living in modern-day slavery, of whom up to 3,300 were in Australia.

Lyneham’s new Australian Institute of Criminology report recorded the experiences of eight female victims – including Kanya – aged 18 to 49, mostly from South-East Asia, but also the Pacific, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

They found that while some women moved to Australia on marriage visas in search of economic opportunities, others did so for love and to start a family.

All the women had consented to their marriages, having met their spouses through arranged situations, family links, online dating sites and chance encounters. Seven of the women said they married their husbands outside Australia.

Case workers said the husbands – half of whom were from the same countries of origin as the women – were most likely to be dual-citizens.

One woman told of how her husband would lock her out of the house at night. “I would have to stay in the tree overnight,” she said.

Others told of sexual violence and coerced pregnancies, according to the report. The women said their passports were taken and they were blocked from using telephones or having access to money.

Clandestine crime

Lyneham said although the interviews showed cases had been “happening for some time”, it was also clear when she raised the issue with authorities that some were not aware of it.

“It’s a clandestine type of crime that people mistake for domestic violence,” Lyneham said.

The use of domestic violence laws to address cases highlights the difficulties in identifying and prosecuting such crimes, which cut across legislation separately targeting human trafficking, slavery and domestic abuse.

Official Australian data between July 2001 and June 2011 showed 337,127 people were granted partner migration visas, with Britain, China and India the most common countries of origin.

Between July 2006 and Dec 2011, 3,654 people on the visas obtained protection under the Family Violence Provision.

This allows them to apply for permanent residency if they or a family member are subjected to violence. About 12% came from China, 10% from the Philippines and 8% from Vietnam. Others came from India, Britain, Thailand and Fiji.

Lyneham said while the numbers appeared low, previous research showed under-reporting, particularly in migrant communities.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott in June announced more than A$100mil (RM298mil) to fight domestic violence, and vowed a “particular focus” on women from culturally diverse and indigenous backgrounds.

Forced marriages were criminalised and laws against forced labour were strengthened in 2013.

Case worker Eman Sharobeem, a former child bride who was abused during her marriage, said some women who approached her for help were not comfortable pursuing their husbands through the legal system.

While she worked with politicians to help formulate the 2013 laws, what “we are really interested in is educating the community more than just having a law to guide them”.

Her views are echoed by Salvation Army worker Stanger, who praised the legislation but added: “They (victims) are looking for a way out, so … the more doors we can open, the more likely someone is going to step through that door.” – AFP

Unhappily Married

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Australian ‘racist rant woman’; AUD goes down under


Australian police have charged a woman for racially abusing passengers on a train after a video recording her tirade was posted online and went viral, sparking a social media backlash.

The 55-year-old, named by Australian media as Karen Bailey, was arrested late Thursday after allegedly launching an expletive-filled rant at young children and an Asian woman during a Sydney train journey.

New South Wales police said she was charged with offensive language and will appear in court later this month.

Bailey started to scream at two children aged seven and 10 after she boarded the train, telling their mother to “getting your fucking bogan children off the seat”, the mother, Jade Marr, told the Newcastle Herald.

“It was unbelievable to think somebody would say those things and act like that,” Marr said.

The Australian slang term “bogan” roughly translates as “trashy”.

Bailey then turned her attention to other passengers as they filmed her outburst, telling a man beside an Asian woman that “he can’t even get a regular girlfriend, he’s got to get a gook”.

The term gook is a disparaging term to describe Asians. Bailey also mocked the Asian woman’s accent and pulled back her eyes to ridicule her features.

The video, which was posted on YouTube by a passenger on Wednesday, had been viewed more than 250,000 times by Friday morning and attracted almost 1,000 comments.

Most of the comments criticised Bailey for her outburst, although several were supportive of her remarks.

Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane said on Twitter that “there is no excuse for acts of racial insult, humiliation and intimidation”.

“When confronted with such conduct, everyone should consider a response, including reporting it to a relevant authority,” he wrote.

Bailey told media group Ninemsn she was having a “really, really rotten day” and “it’s awful what I said to that woman, I do agree”.

“There’s no excuse to rant at people like that,” she said. “It’s awful and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy, regardless of any race.”

Bailey initially gave her name as Sue Wilkins to passengers and some media outlets once the video of her rant went viral.

The incident came two years after a French-speaking woman singing on a Melbourne bus was told by a man to “speak English or die” in another video posted on the Internet that went viral.

Two Chinese students were burned, beaten and racially abused on a Sydney train in the same year, sparking an uproar on China’s social media sites.

Source: AFP

Australian dollar goes down under
  
Currency in biggest drop since January

Stevens: ‘Most measurements would say it is overvalued, and not just by a few cents’ – Bloomberg

CANBERRA: Glenn Stevens’ renewed jawboning of the Aussie pushed it toward the biggest two-day drop since January as the central bank governor said investors were underestimating chances of a significant fall in the currency.

“Most measurements would say it is overvalued, and not just by a few cents,” Stevens said in the text of a speech delivered in Hobart.

“We think that investors are underestimating the likelihood of a significant fall in the Australian dollar at some point.”

The Aussie – which has traded as high as about US$1.11 and as low as 77 US cents in the past five years – fell 0.8% on Wednesday, continuing a retreat from an almost eight-month high.

The elevated currency has impeded efforts to stimulate non-mining areas of the economy with record-low interest rates.

“The speech represents the start of a new journey down the road of jawboning,” Stephen Walters, JPMorgan Chase & Co’s chief economist in Australia, wrote in a note. “The gap between AUD and commodity prices remains unusually wide, so the new adventures of jawboning likely will continue.”

Walters said he expects the RBA will hold the benchmark cash rate steady at 2.5 % for at least another year, “but remain of the view that a rate cut in the near term remains more likely than a hike.”

The Reserve Bank of Australia kept its benchmark steady for an 11th month on July 1 and flagged a period of steady borrowing costs.

“Investors in their search for yield and in the very low volatility world that we presently live in where people think that the risk of anything going wrong seems to have completely gone away, I think that’s over optimistic,” Stevens said in response to a question on the currency yesterday.

“And I think part of those are underestimation of the likelihood of the Aussie going down at some point, and possibly quite materially.”

The Australian dollar had gained almost 8% since the RBA moved to a neutral bias in February this year.

It traded at 93.68 US cents at 4:48 pm in Sydney, from 94.30 cents before Stevens’ speech was released.

The comments onthe Aussie are “clear jawboning,” said Sue Trinh, a senior currency strategist at Royal Bank of Canada in Hong Kong. “His comments were taken as noticeably more dovish than what the market was geared up for.”

Stevens said language in recent statements about stability of interest rates was intended to clarify that the central bank did not think a higher benchmark was imminent.

“Overall, I judge that language to have served its intended purpose,” he said.

“Present market pricing suggests that market participants expect interest rates to remain low for some time yet.”

Changes in language should be expected to continue over time as more information becomes available, he said.

Long before any rate increase is considered the board would probably “revert to the more normal formulation that the stable policy settings ‘remained appropriate’ or something like that,” he said.

— Bloomberg

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