When Wagga Wagga City council made the sensible move to cancel its sister city relationship with the Chinese city of Kunming in the wake of the disastrous management of the Coronavirus by the Chinese Communist Party government it did not take long for the Chinese dictatorship and it’s tame academics to strike back.
For most people this move by the small city of Wagga Wagga, placed halfway between Melbourne and Sydney in the middle of New South Wales would be a minor matter. But for the Chinese Communist Party any sign of disrespect anywhere in the world is clearly a form of rebellion against the majesty of the middle kingdom and must be crushed.
The state owned newspaper the Global Times declared that the small rural community of 56,000 souls was an “American Mouthpiece”. The Consulate General of China in Sydney agreed and threatened that the move could “hurt Wagga Wagga’s interests”. The Consulate General urged the Wagga Wagga city council to “handle relevant issues quickly” so as to avoid a further negative impact on overall co-operation. These threats seem to have had an effect since Wagga Wagga city mayor Greg Conkey has since apologised and stated that a new motion reversing the first decision and putting the relationships between Wagga Wagga and the Chinese authorities “back on the right track”.
Yu Lei a chief research fellow at the Chinese “Liaocheng University Research centre for Pacific Island Countries” placed the blame for the decision on racism, stating that Australians had from the very beginning been gloating on “China’s sufferings” and had now begun to express anti-Chinese sentiments due to U.S influence and the massive success of the Chinese disease response.
Su Hao, founding director of the Center for Strategic and Peace Studies at the China Foreign Affairs University said the move indicated the tendency extremist Australian politicians to smear China in order to show solidarity with the U.S.
Yu Changsen, executive deputy director of the “Center for Oceania Studies at Sun Yat-sen University”, told the regime controlled Global Times last Wednesday that Wagga Wagga is using this inappropriate move to curry favor with its US friends. As if Wagga Wagga were signing any U.S trade agreements any time soon.
Belinda Crain, chief executive of Wagga Wagga Multicultural Council, said Wagga Wagga was an inclusive community: “We’re a refugee welcome zone, we have street festivals every year to celebrate cultural diversity, and we recognise the contributions that people from all different backgrounds make in our community,” she said.
The local Federal Nationals member and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack also called for the decision to be reversed.
It was however not just the pathetic grovelling of local Nationals and “good gwailou” Mayor Greg Conkey serving the interests of the Chinese Communist Party. “Our” ABC also joined in by publishing a condemnation of the decision by this small regional council penned by Jieh-Yung Lo, a director of the ANU “Centre for Asian-Australian Leadership”. Jieh-Yung has recently been complaining to Channel 10 that he was the victim of evil racist Australians while buying toilet paper. Jieh-Yung has also declared recently that his mission is “to push for greater representation of Asian-Australians in senior leadership positions within Australia’s public and private institutions”. Interestingly from November 2016 to December 2019, Jieh-Yung worked as the Executive Officer to Gareth Evans, the former Chancellor of ANU.
If the name Gareth Evans seems familiar it’s because he represented the Australian Labor Party in the Senate and House of Representatives from 1978 to 1999, served as a Cabinet Minister in the Hawke and Keating governments from 1983 to 1996 as Attorney-General, Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Transport and Communications and most prominently, from 1988 to 1996, as Minister for Foreign Affairs (dealing in part of course with China). He was Leader of the Government in the Senate from 1993 to 1996, Deputy Leader of the Opposition from 1996 to 1998, and remains one of the two longest-serving federal Cabinet Ministers in Labor Party history.
So nice that while overseeing the largest university in the Australian capital he had an executive officer with such close ties and sympathies to the Chinese government. I’m sure it helped cross cultural communication no end.
The Chinese war on Wagga Wagga doesn’t actually have anything to do with Wagga Wagga. And the sooner we wake up to this the better. Wagga will probably cave under the pressure and reverse this decision. And that needs to be a lesson to the rest of us. There are very powerful people deep inside the institutions of our society like Jieh-Yung Lo who really, really want to see a Chinese dominated Australia. The lesson of Wagga Wagga is that they may be closer to their goal than we think.