Chinese Officials Threaten Mainland Parents of Student Attending Australian Protest

It is important to remember what we are dealing with.  Let's review -

From the Sydney Morning Herald, August 7 - Chinese authorities approached the family of an international student who participated in high-profile protests at an Australian university and warned his parents of the potential consequences of political dissent.

SFSU kills Confucius Institute Program

In May, 2019, San Francisco State University (SFSU) announced it was closing its Confucius Institute program that had been in operation since 2005.

Closure was not due to concerns about academic freedom, freedom of speech, or even any suspicion of ulterior motives on the part of the teachers sent from China.  In the SFSU case, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2019 denied federal funds for an intensive Chinese language programs if a university also hosted a Confucius Institute, and SFSU has an excellent DOD funded language program.

Sure, DOD can kill Confucius Institutes.  But DOD has nothing on me. I helped kill another SFSU Chinese program ten years earlier.  That was not on the basis of politics, but solely academic rigor.

Let's remember what we are dealing with ...

 News reporting is so uneven.  No mass shooting in the US is censored information in China - in fact, the news is prominently featured.   From China Xinhua News on Twitter -

China Xinhua News

@XHNews

 Shootings this weekend at a Texas Walmart and a bar in Ohio have left 30 people dead. Retail employees are taking to social media to say they're terrified to go to work. Workers fear getting shot at their workplace

Soft power?  We don’t need no stinking soft power.

 You remember the bandits in Treasure of the Sierra Madre - the bandit horde, pretending to be Federales, descending on Humphrey Bogart and fellow prospectors.  “Badges?  We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges.  I don’t have to show you no stinking badges.” The famous lines were uttered by Gold Hat, head of the bandits, when Fred C. Dobbs (Bogart) asked for their badges.   Hong Kong was the soft power model, the badge of Chinese "peaceful rise."  Mainland students and Confucius Institutes were supposed to be the badge of Chinese soft power in the world.  But no more, as we see in Hong Kong, in Australian and New Zealand universities, and indeed, universities throughout the world.

No Wechat conversation is safe.  Anytime. Anywhere.  What Chinese are (not) talking about (4)

 Wechat is almost universal.  It is ubiquitous in China, and among the Chinese diaspora and their foreign friends and families.  Its functionality for social media, news, and buying things makes it a better choice than any combination of applications available in the west.  It is Twitter, Facebook, Googlemaps, Tinder and Apple Pay all rolled into one. And it is free.

Free does not mean without cost, of course, and in this case, the cost is the Chinese government being ready, willing, and able to monitor what you say, what you text, what you watch, what videos you post.  In China and outside.  If you think the long arm of Chinese government censorship doesn't reach into the US - well, you would be wrong. 

Money Talks in the Clash of Civilizations

What else would you expect?

You remember Samuel Huntington’s article in Foreign Affairs in 1993 –

The central axis of world politics in the future is likely to be, in Kishore Mahbubani’s phrase, the conflict between "the West and the Rest" and the responses of non-Western civilizations to Western power and values…. The third alternative is to attempt to "balance" the West by developing economic and military power and cooperating with other non-Western societies against the West, while preserving indigenous values and institutions; in short, to modernize but not to Westernize.

Take a look at the three maps below. 

Recent

  • Chinese Officials Threaten Mainland Parents of Student Attending Australian Protest

    Chinese Officials Threaten Mainland Parents of Student Attending Australian Protest

    It is important to remember what we are dealing with.  Let's review -

    From the Sydney Morning Herald, August 7 - Chinese authorities approached the family of an international student who participated in high-profile protests at an Australian university and warned his parents of the potential consequences of political dissent.

    Read more ...  
  • Let's remember what we are dealing with ...

    Let's remember what we are dealing with ...

     News reporting is so uneven.  No mass shooting in the US is censored information in China - in fact, the news is prominently featured.   From China Xinhua News on Twitter -

    China Xinhua News

    @XHNews

     Shootings this weekend at a Texas Walmart and a bar in Ohio have left 30 people dead. Retail employees are taking to social media to say they're terrified to go to work. Workers fear getting shot at their workplace

    Read more ...  
  • Soft power? We don’t need no stinking soft power.

    Soft power?  We don’t need no stinking soft power.

     You remember the bandits in Treasure of the Sierra Madre - the bandit horde, pretending to be Federales, descending on Humphrey Bogart and fellow prospectors.  “Badges?  We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges.  I don’t have to show you no stinking badges.” The famous lines were uttered by Gold Hat, head of the bandits, when Fred C. Dobbs (Bogart) asked for their badges.   Hong Kong was the soft power model, the badge of Chinese "peaceful rise."  Mainland students and Confucius Institutes were supposed to be the badge of Chinese soft power in the world.  But no more, as we see in Hong Kong, in Australian and New Zealand universities, and indeed, universities throughout the world.

    Read more ...  

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