The Chinese Communist Party’s public diplomacy programs in Australia look innocent enough.
From the delightful Wang Wang and Funi Event at the Adelaide Zoo, to the partially CCP-subsidised OzAsia Festival, from the more recent Chinese Music Performance at the Adelaide Town Hall to the ‘Chinese Singing Competition’ held at a South Australian university campus. Chinese culture is on display.
This is Adelaide alone. Such activities are rolled-out across the country and world.
These are simply ‘Chinese culture’, correct? These public diplomacy projects participated in by Chinese Government officials are permissible in a democracy such as ours, right?
Well, yes. But to a point.
It’s understandable for a foreign government to attempt to build relationships with individuals in other countries in order to cultivate a good reputation and win international backing for its ambitions.
However, multiple red lights flash when a foreign government is authoritarian, interferes with the domestic political discourse of a host country, and runs coordinated, covert operations for propagandist purposes.
The alarm bells ring.
This is especially true if the foreign government is currently engaging in aggressive expansionism, has a ‘Wolf Warrior diplomacy’ and has a notoriously shocking track-record when it comes to human rights.
Liberty Itch is gathering evidence of questionable tactics currently being used by Beijing in Australia to manipulate our political system and institutions in various sectors. Once our research is complete, we’ll share it with subscribers.
What Liberty Itch can say for certain is that much of this manipulation is managed and coordinated by an organisation called the United Front Work Department, a political body that aims to work on individuals and groups overseas to advance the CCP’s interests.
Again, instances will be revealed in future exposés on Liberty Itch. For now, we reveal themes and tactics which have emerged in their modus operandi.
In Australia, they are:
- Providing financial incentives to lure Australian politicians into backing their views;
- Appointing former politicians to well-paid consulting roles;
- Lavishing funds on Australian university institutes that show unwavering support for the CCP’s policies;
- Enticing Australian citizens and business owners with, first, useful connections and, subsequently, financial benefits;
- Drawing-in influential people from Chinese diaspora groups to assist with local infiltration;
- Targeting promising, younger Australian politicians whom they regard as having longer-term potential to ascend the heights of Australian political and corporate life over time;
- Sending CCP-endorsed candidates to run for local councils and state parliaments;
- Interfering in Australian elections by coordinating Chinese-owned Australian property investment companies and Chinese students to engage in ballot-harvesting;
- Disseminating propagandist communication with the implicit threat they can muster Chinese-Australian voters to punish incumbent politicians electorally if they don’t publicly support CCP policies;
- Infiltrating local Chinese community organisations or, where not possible, launching new competing groups, thereby giving the illusion of Chinese-Australian community backing; and
- Intimidating Australians and their elected officials for expressing negative views on China.
Next time you attend a local Chinese community event or cultural performance (with the exception of the worthy Shen Yun), be sure to be observant, particularly if representatives from the Chinese Government are present. Your interactions, acquaintances, and relationships at the event will be studied. The United Front Work Department is interested in knowing who is connected to whom in the local community and work on relationships that can be developed and leveraged to advance the CCP infiltration agenda.
For more on how the CCP ‘study’ their own citizens, read Man Who Chanted “CCP, Step Down”, Arrested and Disappeared!
To discover how the CCP applies pressure on Hongkonger freedom-fighters living in Australia, go to the interview Life as a Political Asylum Seeker in Australia.
Thank you for your support. To help us in our battle to protect liberty and freedom please click here
Fiona is a higher education professional based in South Australia. Following the collapse of Hong Kong freedom, Fiona became deeply concerned about the threats imposed by China within Australia. Her research covers a range of topics, including China’s soft power, influence, infiltration, interference and human rights abuses.