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Globalisation in the time of Corona Part 3

coronavirus

If you missed Part 1 & 2 click here. Part 1Part 2

Learning the lessons of history, is a good place to start.

Over the course of the China- COVID-19 worldwide pandemic, the Federal Government has been implementing extensive changes that would only, in times past, have been used in times of war. The fact that the Government has moved so boldly, suggests they recognize the direct health and economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Not yet clear is how Australia will pay for this!

The wider threat, however, that the pandemic poses to Australia’s national security, needs urgent investigation and review.

In PART THREE we will cover:

5:0       Looking back at the effects of Globalization in Australia
5:1       Collaboration between China and CSIRO on ‘biological anti-viral’ research
5:2       Leasing one of Australia’s most strategic assets
5:3       People who believe Globalization is the answer to the economy
5:4       Globalization should never mean selling the farm
5:5       Australia must learn from Italy’s demise
6:0       Suggested actions post CORONA
6:1       Biomedical and pharmaceutical security
6:2       Energy security
6:3       Fuel security
6:4       Water security
6:5       Agriculture
6:6       Australian manufacturing
6:7       Foreign investment controls
7:0       How YOU can help

5:0   LOOKING BACK AT THE EFFECTS OF GLOBALIZATION IN AUSTRALIA

There are many instances where Globalization has benefited Australians, but also concerning aspects where Globalization has now been demonstrated to have endangered Australia’s national security and the national interest.

A nation must be able to supply essential goods and services in most circumstances, but when Chinese enterprises are buying up Australia – one company, one farm, one port and one electricity grid at a time – China’s sovereign interests will be put first in times of global disruption by these enterprises. 

We have now seen this at work recently during the coronavirus pandemic, when bulk supplies of critical and essential medical supplies and equipment required to save Australian lives, were purchased by the Australian-Chinese community and by Chinese owned companies and shipped back to China.

5:1 Collaboration between China and CSIRO on ‘biological anti-viral’ research

It has been established that the source of the COVID-19 pandemic is Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.

According to an article produced by the Wuhan Institute of Virology in January 2020 and titled;

A pneumonia outbreak associated with a new coronavirus of probable bat origin’, the source of the outbreak was identified as a local Wuhan seafood market.  The article says, the early cases had contact history with the original seafood market; however, the disease has now progressed to be transmitted by human-to-human contact.”  (1)  

Francis BoyleThis report has been questioned by many experts, including Professor Francis Boyle who is well credentialed in this field.

Professor Boyle drafted the US Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, that was approved unanimously by both Houses of the US Congress and signed into law by President George H. W. Bush.

Professor Boyle claims that the COVID-19 virus leaked from the Bio Safety Level 4 (BSL4) laboratory at Wuhan Institute of Virology.

While there is yet no clear evidence of Professor Boyle’s claims, there are undeniable and concerning numbers of co-funded ‘anti-viral research’ collaborations across the world with China and the Wuhan Institute of Virology – including Australia.

 

Under the mantle of Globalization, in 2010 the CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Geelong conducted co-funded research collaboration with the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences- into the coronavirus named ‘Hendra Virus’ and wrote an article of the research findings (2) 

CSIROThe co-authors of this research paper were: 

  • Five doctors from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS);

Yuxuan Hou, Cheng Peng, Yan Li, Zhenggang Han and Zhengli Shi

  • Two doctors from the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, CSIRO Livestock Industries; Lin-Fa Wang, and Meng Yu
  • One doctor from the University of Minnesota Medical School, U.S.A; Fang Li

 

Chinese Virologist and writer Zhengli ShiChinese Virologist and writer Zhengli Shi  was also a collaborative team member on a co-funded ‘anti-viral’ research program with the University of North Carolina in 2015 into the SARS coronavirus, and was a lead team member on the Wuhan Institute of Virology investigation into the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan first identified in December 2019.

Acknowledgments in the research article confirm the co-funding between CSIRO Australia and the Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Science;

Acknowledgments :
This work was jointly funded by the State Key Program for Basic Research Grants (2005CB523004, 2010CB530100) from the Chinese Ministry of Science, Technology and the Knowledge Innovation Program Key Project administered by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KSCX1-YW-R-07) to Z.S. and the CSIRO CEO Science Leader Award to L.-F.W. We thank Gary Crameri and Jennifer Barr for help with live virus infection studies.

 

  • Doubts are being expressed by people like Professor Boyle and the Gatestone Institute, about the probity, intentions and truthful transparency of China and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.
  • Gatestone commented that: ‘China poses a biosecurity risk for the entire planet- why is China trafficking in dangerous viruses in the first place’?
  • “Debate may rage over which center it is, but at this point it seems undeniable that a center has been directly involved with research on viruses, although not necessarily on the creation of a virus.” Said Father Renzo Milanese, AsiaNews.it, March 13, 2020 reported by Gatestone. (3)

There is, however, irrefutable evidence that Australia’s CSIRO accepted funding and collaborated with China and the Wuhan Institute of Virology in anti-viral coronavirus (Hendra virus) research. More on this in Part 4.

Could Australia have unknowingly participated in biological anti-viral research without fully understanding China’s intentions and the veracity of their bio safety level precautions at their BSL4 laboratory’?

5:2    Leasing one of Australia’s most important strategic assets; Darwin Port (4)

In 2012, the Country Liberal Party decided all public assets were up for grabs – to pay the bills left behind by Labor.  The first was the port of Darwin. Expressions of interest were sought in late 2014 and early 2015, with 33 respondents signaling their interest in acquiring it.

Port of Darwin HMAS Maitland, 2008

In 2015 the Northern Territory Government signed a $506 million,90-year lease, for the Port of Darwin, with the winning bid coming from Landbridge Industry Australia – a subsidiary of THE Shandong Landbridge Group. Landbridge’s billionaire owner, Ye Cheng, had been named by the Chinese Government in 2013 as one of the top 10 individuals caring about the development of national defense and the company was later found to have extensive links to the Chinese Communist Party and the People’s Liberation Army.

The question has been asked many times, how this was allowed to happen?  A 2016 Senate committee revealed that while the Foreign Investment Review Board had been contacted to look at the deal, it ultimately didn’t formally investigate because, at the time, there was an exemption from scrutiny of a deal which involved a private company and a state or territory government.

The head of the FIRB admitted the entire process had undermined public confidence, failed to show a balance between economic gain and national security concerns and was finalized on an “ad-hoc” basis.

National security had been compromised by stupidity and greed. ‘You can’t mortgage the strategic security of 25 million people  and future Australians just to make a quick buck or fix for a local political problem you have at the time, and then lie about it, and lie about it consistently in your supposed defense of it’.

‘Blind’ Globalization paved the way for this monumental national-security breach

5:3 People who believe Globalization is the answer to the economy

Ken Henry

In 2016, Dr Ken Henry, Secretary to the Treasury and a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia between 2001 and 2011 and Special Adviser to Prime Minister Gillard in 2011 and 2012, said about Globalization in the wake of the GFC:

“Decades of economic reform have underpinned a long period of Australian economic growth. However, in believing that we are invincible, we may have learned the wrong lesson from the global financial crisis. If we allow any sense of complacency to consume us, what will the cost to Australia be in the long term? 

Dr Henry said:  Retreating from globalization like we have seen in other countries is not the answer to our economic problems. It is only with an open orientation and invigorated sense of engagement with Asia that our future prosperity can be ensured. The global financial crisis illustrates what can go wrong when national policy makers and regulators fail to meet the rigorous demands of globalization. (5)

In February 2019 Dr Henry would prove he had indeed forgotten the very lessons of rigor and accountability that he espoused for Globalization,  when as Chair of the NAB Board, he dismissed his own ‘accountability’ for the bank’s numerous failures, when questioned by a clearly frustrated Rowena Orr, during the Haines Banking Royal Commission.  (6)

Globalization may have seen the improvement of western economies, but it may also cause their downfall.

 

5:4 Globalization should never mean ‘selling the farm’

But this is essentially what has transpired with ‘cashed-up’ foreign investors and sovereign- owned, loyal overseas enterprises, taking advantage of ‘cash-strapped’ Australian companies.

China allows NO ownership of Chinese land even by its own people; however, Australia permits the sale of large parcels of productive farmland and critical infrastructure to overseas owners and of particular concern to sovereign owned enterprises.  There seems little consideration given to the long-term affect or impact or the nation’s security, by the Foreign Investment Review Board and Minister. 

 Australia is at risk of becoming the 24th state of China.  ‘Australia is failing to stem the tide of foreign investors’, warned Real Estate Expert Doug Driscoll in February 2019. ‘There is an urgent need to start a national conversation about foreign ownership of residential property in particular’ he said. We’re selling off to China, and it surely won’t be long until they have far more influence in our day-to-day lives’ he said. (7)

In 2012 an 80% share of Cubby Station, Australia’s largest cotton producer was sold to a Chinese consortium.  The FIRB, under the Gillard Government, approved the sale to a Chinese Consortium, despite a similar offer from the original Australian founders.

The initial understanding was that the foreign owners would reduce their share from 80% to 51%

Cubbie Station the largest irrigation property in the southern hemisphere, is located near Dirranbandi, in south west Queensland, Australia

The Chinese consortium was granted several extensions by the Federal Government; the most recent in July 2019 by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Owner Shandong Ryu was once again asked to ‘make good the conditions of the purchase’.  Four years after first being ordered to reduce his holding, Shandong Ryu finally sold 49% of Cubbie Station to the Macquarie Group. (8,9)

Now, after the horse has bolted – the Government closes the farm gate!Cubbie Station

The Federal Government has already moved to prevent international raids on struggling companies hit by the coronavirus pandemic. ALL foreign investment in Australia will now require approval (instead of the previous scrutiny-free up to $1.1billion sale price).  We say – NOT BEFORE TIME!

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, foreign investors needed only to apply for approval before purchasing land or assets in Australia if the value was over a certain threshold.  But now the Foreign Investment Review Board will scrutinize every single purchase application, regardless of its value.  Under the old rules, companies from countries with free trade agreements could make scrutiny-free bids for Australian assets with a value of less than $1.2 billion. (10,11)

These changes however are *ONLY in place* for the period of the COVID-19 pandemic. They must be extended until a strategic policy review, focused on Australia’s national interests and security is undertaken.  This vitally important issue has now been demonstrated to be worthy of a Royal Commission enquiry.

Under the auspices of Globalization, the FIRB has for many years allowed the ownership of large parts of our nation to move into overseas hands. Australian Governments must be able to protect and supply essential services through the management of ‘majority-Australian-owned’ assets within our borders.

 

5:5 Australia must learn from Italy’s demise

china staking a claim in italyThe Italian Government signed a Belt and Road Initiative with China in 2012 and went on to ‘sell their farm’. The BRI agreement gave China unfettered access to business acquisitions and immigration. (covered in Part 1)

Despite a failing health system, an unstable political system and an older medium-age population, two other important contributing factors have created a ‘coronavirus-cluster and disaster’ in Northern Italy. 

  • Open borders between Italy and China continued after COVID-19 was identified. Social- distancing was not imposed until it was too late to stop an explosion of infections
  • The high population of Chinese-owned and staffed businesses in North Italy, the majority originating from Wuhan, brought COVID-19 directly into the region

Giacomino Nicolazzo – an author living in Montecalvo Lombardy, Italy says of Italy’s situation;

LOMBARDY“Beginning in about 2014, Matteo Renzi, acting as the leader of the Partito Democratico (synonymous with the Italian Communist party), was elected as Italy’s Prime Minister.

At the same time that Renzi was leading Italy into oblivion, strange things were happening in Italy’s economy; banks were failing but not closing; retirement ages were being extended and for some reason the pension funds were dwindling or disappearing; the national sales tax rose from 18% to 22%.

In the midst of all this financial chicanery, the Chinese began furiously buying up Italian real estate and businesses in the North.

Renzi and the Chinese are mentioned together because strange things were also going on between the governments of Italy and China. A blind eye was being turned to the way the Chinese were buying businesses in the financial, telecommunication, industrial and fashion sectors of Italy’s economy, all of which take place in Milano.

To be brief…China was getting away with purchases and acquisitions in violation of Italian Law and EU Trade Agreements with the US and the UK…and no one in either of those countries at the time (Obama in the US and Cameron in the UK) said a thing in their country’s defense!  As a matter of fact, much of it was hidden from the public in all three countries.

In 2014, China infused the Italian economy with €5 billion through purchases of companies costing less than €100 million each. By the time Renzi left office (in disgrace) in 2016, Chinese acquisitions had exceeded €52 billion. When the dust settled, China owned more than 300 companies…representing 27% of the major Italian corporations.

The Bank of China now owns five major banks in Italy…all of which had been secretly (and illegally) propped up by Renzi using pilfered pension funds! Soon after, the China Milano Equity Exchange was opened and much of Italy’s wealth was being funneled back to the Chinese mainland.

Chinese state entities own Italy’s major telecommunication corporation (Telecom) as well as its major utilities (ENI and ENEL).  Upon entry into the telecommunication market, Huawei established a facility in Segrate, a suburb of Milano.  It launched its first research center there and worked on the study of microwaves which has resulted in the arguably dangerous technology called 5G (5th Generation).

China also now owns controlling interest in Fiat-Chrysler, Prysmian and Terna. Now when you buy a set of Pirelli tires on your car, the profits go to China. Yep…the Chinese colossus of ChemChina, a chemical industry titan, bought that company too!

Last but not least, Ferretti yachts…the most prestigious yacht builder in Europe is incredibly no longer owned by the Ferretti family.”

Australian assets must remain majority Australian owned. Australia MUST learn the lesson from Italy and stop foreign investment for the short-medium term.

6:0  SUGGESTED ACTIONS POST- CORONA

What follows after the threat of COVID-19 passes?  Will it be ‘business-as-usual’ for the Federal Government, gambling on a ‘pandemic-free and hostility-free future world’? Or will the Government understand the limitations of Globalization and the dangers of ‘selling out the farm’ to overseas investors or an expansionist Communist regime?

We believe we must NEVER return to a pre-COVID-19 position and must learn the lessons this pandemic has taught us.  There will be those who argue that it is only in Globalization that wealth can be found! This is part true, and part naivety when dealing with Asia and in particular China who is acting in a manner suggesting that it seeks world dominance.

Changes to the current ‘business-model’ of Globalization are not only necessary but critical, to Australia’s future security and prosperity. COVID-19 has hopefully, taught Australia a valuable lesson.

 In this spirit we present the following opportunities (in brief) for consideration.

6:1   Biomedical and pharmaceutical security and supply

  • Cease all co-funded anti-viral research with China. The Australian Government must immediately cease co-funded biological anti-viral research collaborations with China until the issues identified in 5.1 are fully investigated and openly communicated to the Australian people, else this nation unwittingly partners in future global pandemics.
  • Create new Medical Laboratories to manufacture Australia’s medical requirements. Currently 95% of Australian pharmaceuticals are manufactured in China. If China withholds supply, lives will be lost;
  • Stop the sale of all existing Bio-Medical Supply and Manufacturing companies to foreign investors. 

6:2   Energy security

  • A review of ALL agreements between Australia and the United Nations commencing with the Paris Agreement, which does NOT serve Australia’s interests while China and India increase emissions under the same agreement. (12);
  • Remove subsidies to ‘renewables’ and re-direct towards new energy technologies with low or zero emissions, and which are ‘market-driven’. E.g. Modulised Nuclear Power Plants, HELE Coal Fired Power Plants, Hydrogen, Carbon capture et al. (13);
  • Stop the sale of all Electricity Grids and Power Stations to overseas corporations. Energy is paramount to a nation’s ability to deal with crises, help people out of poverty and to manufacture goods to grow the economy. 

6:3      Fuel security

  • Re-open oil refineries as a matter of urgency and national security, and if necessary, offer government subsidies. Globalization has made Australia dependent on other nations and we now hold ‘just-in-time’ stocks of 27 days’ supply in normal circumstances. In times of supply interruption this will stop Australia moving, feeding and defending itself.

6:4   Water security

  • Stop ‘Green Lawfare’ surrounding the building of new dams. Pass ‘national security legislation’ for essential nation-building infrastructure and put shovels in the ground Water is an essential element for all living creatures and is critical for rural and agricultural regions;
  • Prioritize survival flows over environmental flows of the Murray Darling System until such time rural communities have sufficient for their survival;
  • Ban the holding of water rights by NON-land holders and investors such as foreign and International Superannuation Funds. Water rights should only be held by those who own agricultural or rural land. Water should cease being traded as a commodity for financial gain; 
  • Build desalination plants in rural and regional food bowls, to ensure water supply in times of severe and prolonged drought. Dams and rivers are able to supply adequate water in non-drought periods. 

6:5      Agriculture and food security

  • Immediately ban the sale of all agricultural land to overseas investors and governments. Any approval mechanism should be ONLY be considered on a reciprocal basis.  The country of origin must allow reciprocal access to investment.  At all times the asset must remain majority (i.e. 51%) Australian-owned;
  • Redirect Foreign Aid to the aid of Australian farmers who have been severely impacted by drought, bushfires and now the China Coronavirus.

6:6   Australian Manufacturing

  • Reintroduce a national ‘Apprenticeship Scheme’ co-funded by the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, to create the tradesmen and women of the future; 
  • Reduce company tax to a globally competitive level (e.g. US levels) for all over 51% Australian-owned businesses;
  • Create an ‘expert panel’ to determine mechanisms to encourage investment in NEW essential manufacturing industries and incentivize current Australian businesses who have moved their manufacturing overseas – to return. Australia must be able to manufacture essential goods and services vital to the national interest and national security.

 

6:7   Foreign investment controls

  • FIRB to postpone any sales under negotiation, for a period of two years, and after a policy review focused on Australia’s national interests and security is undertaken.
  • FIRB to extend the reduction (from $1.1B to $0) for all overseas investments requiring Government approval, for a period of two years, and only after a policy review focused on Australia’s national interests and security is undertaken.
  • Seek agreement with G20 nations for reparation from China for the loss of lives and cost to economies caused by their initial cover-up through the forgiving of outstanding loans held by developing nations;
  • Seek agreement with G20 nations for reparation from China, through the seizing of Chinese owned assets, to help offset the global economic cost of China’s actions. This would only be suggested if global conditions worsen, negotiations with China fail, and agreement is reached with other world powers.

The Government is acting with determination to ensure the economic impact of the pandemic can be minimized and to allow Australia to ‘get-back-to-business’ when the threat is over.

We urge the government to also act with determination to plan-for-a-future’ where Australia can trade as part of a global world but also an independent nation capable of providing for its own people, irrespective of global uncertainties.

  • The cure of this pandemic must not be allowed to become worse than the disease itself
  • Globalization must not facilitate the decimation of our nations’ wealth

7:0    What can you do?

  • Please share these three articles with your friends and associates
  • Please send this article on (using the ‘forward to a friend’ button) to your local state and federal members
  • Become more politically and nationally engaged
  • Buy more ‘Australian made’ products

 Australians will survive by WORKING TOGETHER.

The nation will survive if Governments’ act in the BEST INTERESTS OF THE NATION


References: 

  1. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2012-7
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00705-010-0729-6#auth-1
  3. https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15844/coronavirus-china-cover-up
  4. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-12/why-did-northern-territory-sell-darwin-port-to-china-what-risk/10755720
  5. http://www.internationalaffairs.org.au/australianoutlook/ken-henry-australia-and-globalisation/
  6. https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/the-rise-and-fall-of-ken-henry-how-the-smartest-guy-in-the-room-came-undone-20190208-p50wj8.html
  7. https://www.news.com.au/national/fears-one-million-aussie-homes-could-soon-be-owned-by-foreign-buyers/news-story/c50a4112bab4f3ed8fae27277f313f54
  8. https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/josh-frydenberg-gives-cubbie-station-s-chinese-owners-more-time-to-wrap-up-sale-20190701-p5234x.html
  9. https://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2019-08-02/cubbie-staion-sells-down-foreign-investment-stake/11377774
  10. https://7news.com.au/business/fed-govt-tightens-foreign-investment-rules-c-770428
  11. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-29/foreign-investment-restrictions-australian-assets-coronavirus/12101332
  12. https://www.riteon.org.au/ausexit-paris-climate-agreement/
  13. https://www.riteon.org.au/why-we-need-a-debate-on-nuclear/

 

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