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Sister Cities in the Chinese Year of the Rat: Part 6

Sister Cities in the Chinese Year of the Rat

Series: Globalization in the time of Corona

DISCLAIMER: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would like their citizens and us to believe that the CCP and the Chinese people are the same entity. They are not.
We recognize that the ethnically Chinese people are diverse, and much like ourselves they individually wish for a peaceful and prosperous family life.
Where we use the word ‘China’ we are generally speaking of the CCP driven totalitarian state, and not the ordinary hard-working Chinese people.

Chinese-new-year-2020-year-rat

2020 is the Chinese ‘Year of the Rat’.   According to Travel Guide China, “Chinese people born in the Year of the Rat are instinctive, acute and alert in nature which makes them to be brilliant businessmen. They can always react properly before the worst circumstances take place. “ [1]

With the CCP’s “improper reaction” to the coronavirus outbreak in China and subsequent worldwide pandemic, it would seem there are not enough ‘year of the rat’ born Chinese in positions of power in the CCP.

Or is it more that the mythical trait translates to “always react properly, but in China’s interests ONLY”.

On that note, let’s have a look at some recent CCP and local council behavior related to Sister Cities in Australia.

PART SIX – Sister Cities in the ‘Chinese Year of the Rat’.

6.0       What are Sister Cities?
6:1       Australian Sister Cities – 2020.
6.2       The CCP ‘Twisted Sisters’.
6.3       A ‘Tale of Two Cities’.

6.3.1 Wagga Wagga City Council – medical supplies.
6.3.2 Wagga Wagga City Council – bows to CCP, ignores citizens.
6.3.3 Georges River Council – Lunar New Year 2019.

6.4       What Does CCP Friendship Really Mean?
6.5       Our conclusions.
6.6       What can we do?

6.0 WHAT ARE SISTER CITIES?

Sister Cities are cities, towns or shires (Councils) that have a formal relationship agreement and/or memorandum of understanding with other cities across the world.   A similar relationship is a ‘friendship city’ relationship.

Such agreements are justified by supporters on the tenets of ‘people to people’ relationships, making friends, being good neighbours and promoting understanding, peace and harmony through mutually beneficial cultural exchanges. 

However, critics of such agreements claim they are nothing more than rate payer funded ‘junkets’ for officials, with no demonstrable return on investment to ratepayers.  But are there more disturbing concerns? 

There are mounting allegations of Sister City relationships being used as a tool of Chinese infiltration and influence in Australia’s political processes, and not simply based on ‘people to people’ relationships.  More on this later… 

6.1 AUSTRALIA’S SISTER CITIES – 2020.

Sister Cities AssociationThe number of active formal relationships between Australian towns, cities and Councils with cities across the world is remarkable.

According to the Sister Cities Australia ‘Directory of Affiliations’, 266 Australian cities have 657 active sister or friendship city affiliations across 55 countries of the world, (see Table 1. & 2.).  (2)

Some examples according to referenced sources are:-

Canberra Sister City signThe City of Wagga Wagga – 3 Sister & Friendship City relationships – Kunming, (China), Leavenworth (Kansas, USA) and Nordlingen (Germany). [2] [4]

Sunshine Coast Regional Council – 6 Sister & Friendship City relationships – Xiamen (China), Anqiu (China), Chengdu (China), Fenland (England), Hsing-Yin (Taiwan) and Tatebayashi (Japan). [2] 

Gold Coast City Council – 12 Sister & Friendship City relationships – Wuhan (China), Beihai, Guangxi Zhuang (China), Chengdu (China),  Zhuhai (China),  Dubai (United Arab Emirates), Fort Lauderdale (USA), Netanya (Israel), Noumea (France), Tainan (Taiwan), Taipei (Taiwan),  Takasu-cho (Japan),  and Coolangatta (Australia). [2] 

Canberra – 5 Sister & Friendship City relationships – Beijing (China), Nara (Japan), Wellington (New Zealand), Dili (Timor- Leste), and Hangzhou (China). [5]

Number of Australian Sister & Friendship City Affiliations with 55 Countries

The top 3 countries with Australian Sister & Friendship City relationships are:- China (131), Japan (120), and USA (87)

6.2 THE CCP ‘TWISTED SISTERS’

Silent Invasion Clive HamiltonWe preface discussion in this section by acknowledging that many Sister City relationships with countries, do operate on ‘people to people’ tenets mentioned in section 6.0.

However, Clive Hamilton, author of ‘Silent Invasion – China’s influence in Australia’ and Mareike Ohlberg research associate at Berlin’s Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) said in a Daily Telegraph article on April 22, 2020 entitled ‘Our Twisted Sister Cities (6) :-

 “In China, the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) co-ordinates the process of establishing sister city partnerships with foreign countries.  The CPAFFC is the primary ‘people’s diplomacy’ agency of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) foreign influence program.”

“The CPAFFC belongs to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) United Front network of agencies tasked with neutralizing and winning over groups and individuals outside the party.  In the words of CCP expert Anne-Marie Brady, its role is to co-opt foreigners to support and promote China foreign policy goals”. 

“Behind the sister city banner, the CPAFFC systematically advances the Chinese Communist Party’s political and strategic goals by primarily targeting sub-national governments like local councils who are easy game because they typically lack even a rudimentary understanding of the CCP’s political goals and modus operandi.” 

CPAFFC President Lin SongtianEven CPAFFC’s new President Lin Songtian (pictured) gives a clue to this view on the CPAFFC website saying: 

“Under the firm leadership of the Communist Party of China and the Chinese government and with the strong support from the Chinese people, …..   CPAFFC has made unique contribution to New China’s cause of winning independence, growing rich and becoming strong….In the new era, China’s people-to-people diplomacy faces new opportunities taking Xi Jinping’s ‘Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in The New Era and his ‘Thought on Diplomatic Work’ as guidance”. (7)

Many Chinese Australian citizens also recognize and warn of CCP influence at all levels of government, including SISTER CITIES.

The Australian Values AllianceThe Australian Values Alliance (AVA) which comprises members mostly of Chinese origin, in a letter to Wagga Wagga City Council in April 2020, said “The sister city relation is one of the tools of the CCP’s infiltration.  

The CCP has been engaging vigorously in its United Front and outreach campaigns overseas by establishing Confucius Institutes and Sister Cities.  For a long time, the CCP authoritarian regime has been using sister city relations as a tool to intervene, infiltrate and even export its human rights persecution, rather than a genuine friendship relationship among peoples based on freedom of speech, freedom of thought and freedom of cultural exchanges and civic contacts.”.  (8)

In the words of Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg, “In China there are no ‘people’ in the sense of an independent civil society – what is really being built with Sister Cities are CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY relationships, not people relationships.”

Rite-ON! agrees, and wants the Australian people to recognize that local council Sister City relations with Chinese cities and municipalities are NOT simply a people to people relationship. Chinese Sister City relationships involve a high level of CCP control, political interference, influence, & coercion in China’s sole interests. 

6.3  A ‘TALE OF TWO CITIES’

In part 4 Rite-ON! outlined the case that the COVID-19 pandemic which originated in Wuhan, China as early as November 2019, was a laboratory engineered virus that escaped from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.  It is now well accepted that the CCP originally covered-up the outbreak, denied any suggestion of human to human infection, delayed valuable scientific information availability, and silenced (‘disappeared’) medical personnel who raised the early alarms. Unsuspecting Chinese people continued to travel the CCP’s Belt & Road globalization highways to infect the globe.

Australia imposed travel restrictions and closed its borders to foreigners travelling from China on February 1st, 2020 to limit the spread to our people.  The Chinese Foreign Ministry, Deputy Head of the Chinese Embassy in Australia and the World Health Organisation (WHO) strongly criticized and bullied Australia, describing the measures as “excessive, over the top” and even racist.  It fact, it was the WHO expressing its opposition to border closures at the time, that contributed to the explosion of coronavirus/COVID-19 across the world.

Around this time the Australian Government was concerned about foreign raids on our stock of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that would be vital in Australia’s battle against the CCP’s virus.

The Government subsequently legislated to make the export of PPE illegal, and intercept attempts by Chinese Australians loyal to the CCP, from depleting Australia’s vital medical supplies. 

What has this to do with sister cities? 

6.3.1 Wagga Wagga City Council (and others?) – Personal Protective Equipment request.

Wagga RAAFRITE-ON! has uncovered evidence that at least one Chinese Sister City (Kunming – population 4.5 million) wrote to its Australian Sister City (Wagga Wagga – population 64,000) around the same time (January 29th, 2020) asking:-  “At present China is under a severe situation of preventing and controlling pneumonia caused by novel corona-virus.  In order to prevent and control the epidemic, we hope to get help from your city to purchase medical masks (rated N95) and medical protective clothing.  We will go through the import formalities & fund payment as soon as possible.  Please contact us in time.” [9] 

The letter appears to be a ‘form letter’ designed for sending wider than just the city of Wagga Wagga.  The salutation on the letter simply says, “ Dear Friends of our sister cities,” and does not have the name or address of the specific recipient.

So, in early February:-

  • The CCP and WHO, were criticizing Australia for closing its borders to foreigners traveling from China.
  • The Australian Government was legislating to curtail the procuring & exporting of Australian PPE overseas (mainly China).
  • China itself admitted to sister cities that it had a “severe situation caused by corona-virus”, but still tried to secure vital Australian PPE via sympathetic Australian sister cities.

How did the Mayor of Wagga Wagga respond to this letter?

Mayor of Wagga Wagga Greg ConkeyA month later the Mayor of Wagga Wagga (Greg Conkey) said he had been making personal representations on behalf of Kunming to secure the requested PPE medical supplies in Australia.  In a letter to the Mayor of Kunming (Wang Xilang) dated 9th March 2020, he said:-

“ I apologize for the delay in responding formally to you regarding the request for medical supplies to assist with the Coronavirus pneumonia (now COVID-19), as I have been making representations on your behalf[10]

The Mayor of Wagga Wagga seems to have been unsuccessful though, going on to say:-“representations were made on your behalf and unfortunately Wagga Wagga City Council is unable to assist due to the shortage of these products in Australia”.  The Mayor said “UNFORTUNATELY”, but Rite-ON! says “FORTUNATELY” from an Australian viewpoint!

Rite-ON’s view:-  To respond to such a request when your own country was inflicted with the same severe situation as China, and in need of PPE, DOES NOT PASS THE PUB TEST!  It places China’s interests ahead of Australia’s! 

And there are 2 obvious questions that remain unanswered:-

  • Did the Mayor of Wagga Wagga ‘get cold feet’ with the Australian Government moving to ban PPE exports, OR did the mayoral representations (perhaps via a third party) actually bear fruit for Kunming & China?
  • How many other Australian sister cities received an identical or similar form letter from their China sister cities, and might have also acted on the request and potentially secured PPE for China as requested?

Peter DuttonIn the Australian Parliament on 14th May 2020, Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton praised the Australian Federal Police & Border Force personnel for preventing 495,000 surgical masks from being exported to China.

Rite-ON! cannot help but wonder how many masks may have been sourced &/or sent from Australian Sister Cities to China? 

6.3.2 Wagga Wagga City Council – gets a CCP lecture and ignores warnings from 3 Chinese Australians.

This is the story of Wagga Wagga Council that voted to sever ties with their Chinese Sister City, Kunming and the subsequent Chinese Consulate-General (CCP) interference after that vote.  It further tells how Councilors then bowed to the CCP and back flipped while ignoring testimonies and pleas from 3 Chinese Australians and a written submission from Australian Values Alliance to keep ties severed between China and Kunming. 

On the 14th April 2020, Wagga Wagga City Council PASSED a motion to sever ties with their Chinese Sister City, Kunming.  The Mayor, Greg Conkey, was absent from this meeting, and 2 councilors, Cr Tout & Cr Pascoe declared a ‘conflict of interest’ and declared themselves unable to vote.  The motion was passed 4-3 on a casting vote from the chair, Cr Koschel. [11] [18]

Wagga Wagga Council then got lectured by the CCP.  Two days later the Chinese Communist Party’s Consulate-General in Sydney interfered in Australia’s political processes, and published a letter on April 16 urging Wagga Wagga City Council to:- restrain the words and deeds of individual city councillors so as not to cause further negative impact on the overall cooperation between the two sides.” [12] [13]

Councilor Paul Funnell who moved the original motion to sever ties, said the Chinese regime’s pressure to silence him proves that Australia has a problem.

“We should be able to have in our democracy without fear nor favour, … freedom of speech, and opinion, and thought. But this week proves that you’re not allowed,” he said.

Rite-ON! agrees with you Councilor Funnell – the CCP through the Chinese Consulate General used the phrase “restrain the words and deeds of individual city councilors”.  According to the Cambridge dictionary, restrain means:- “to control the actions or behaviour of someone by force, especially in order to stop them from doing something”  or “deprive (someone) of personal liberty, keep under control or within limits”.

It is outrageous for a foreign government to urge censorship of the legitimate opinions of democratically elected Australian local government representatives.  It may be the modus operandi of the CCP in a subjugated China, but it has no place in any free and democratic country like Australia.

However, amidst this CCP interference and urged “restraint of words and deeds”, a week later, the Wagga Wagga Council called an Extraordinary Meeting for 22nd April 2020 :-

  • To vote to RESCIND the previous motion.
  • To vote on issuing an APOLOGY to the City of Kunming.
  • To RESTORE the Sister City relationship with Kunming, China. 

The extent of CCP interference & coercion in our political processes should raise alarm bells for ALL Australians.  It is the CCP’s Consulate-General who should be apologising to ALL Australians, for such disrespectful political interventions.

At this Extraordinary Meeting on 22nd April, three well respected Chinese Australian citizens spoke against the rescinding motion, and in support of continuing the severance of Sister City ties with Kunming.

Dr Lucy ZhaoDr Lucy Zhao, an Australian citizen originally from Kunming and a lecturer at UTS, advised Council that they were not dealing with the people of Kunming but rather the Chinese Communist Party who had perpetrated human rights abuses on its citizens for decades, including her own family.   Dr Zhao studied for her PhD at the University of Sydney and advised Council that she can never return to China because she is blacklisted by the CCP due to her Falun Gong connections.  Her family in Kunming are all under surveillance from the CCP.  “ A vote to sever ties with Sister Cities is a vote for the people of China, to help end their suppression and human rights abuses” she said. [14]

Dr Bin Lin, an Australian citizen originally from Hong Kong, obtained his PhD from UNSW in 1997– one year prior to the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China.  The Sister City agreement between Wagga Wagga and Kunming was created in 1988, one year before the Beijing massacre in 1989.  Dr. Lin has worked in the Chinese Media and Language School in Australia and written many articles about human rights and democracy. He has been asked on many occasions to stop speaking out against China’s human rights abuses against its citizens.  His life has been threatened by the CCP many times since he arrived in Australia.  He urged the council to sever ties with Sister City Kunming, because they were dealing with the CCP and not the people of Kunming.  [15]

Mr Xiaogang ZhangXiaogang Zhang, a Cultural Revolution survivor who was intimidated in a NSW election, removed from a Chinese organisation in Australia and arrested and questioned on a return trip to China, has spoken out against Chinese Communist Party meddling in Australia. Both his parents in China were members of the CCP giving him direct knowledge of the party.  Mr. Zhang is an Australian citizen and he spoke in support of severing ties with Kunming.  He said Sister Cities were ‘soft propaganda’ tools used by the CCP for their United Front work in Australia. He said that Sister Cities with China were NOT based on cultural exchange and freedom of speech, and urged the council to sever ties with Kunming. [16]

Alarmingly, the Mayor and Councilors did NOT ASK any questions of these three credible expert witnesses who put their lives at risk to speak openly against the CCP and their controlled Sister Cities agendas.

With the exception of Cr. Paul Funnell, the testimonies & pleas of the three Chinese Australians and the submission from Australian Values Alliance were blatantly ignored in a shocking public display of pre-conceived bigotry. [8], [14], [15], [16]

The vote to rescind the severing motion of 14th April 2020, and to RE-ESTABLISH ties with Kunming (and the CCP) along with a written apology to Kunming was passed 6-1, with only Cr. Paul Funnell voting against it.

In essence, the Wagga Wagga City Council voted AGAINST freedom of the Chinese people, in SUPPORT of a relationship with the CCP, their human rights abuses, and a foreign government that had unleashed the global COVID-19 pandemic on the world! [17]

The full council meeting of 22nd April 2020 can be viewed here [18]:-

https://wagga.nsw.gov.au/city-of-wagga-wagga/council/meetings/watch-live?fbclid=IwAR2mFy-anQGQVoEElBsCxCKgZ9mnUy83N6FLSxvH4qn36VR2z8XMYqJMCuY

6.3.3  Georges River Council– Lunar New Year interference from CCP. 

Georges River Council was formed after the 2016 amalgamation of the former Kogarah and Hurstville Councils.  The 2 former councils had sister & friendship relationships with 13 cities – 9 in China, 2 in Australia, 1 in Japan, and 1 in Croatia. [19]

The top 5 ancestries of the population in Georges River Council area in 2016 were:

  • Chinese (40,878 people or 27.8%)
  • English (23,943 people or 16.3%)
  • Australian (22,692 people or 15.5%)
  • Greek (10,854 people or 7.4%)
  • Irish (8,705 people or 5.9%)  [20]

With the large Chinese ethnic population, Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations are a major event in the Georges River community with widespread sponsorship support.

Georges River Council 2019 Lunar New Year advertisement 

However, in a clear example of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) interference & influence in Australian domestic affairs contrary to Australian values and freedoms, the Georges River Council event committee bowed to political pressure from the CCP’s Chinese Consulate-General to ban an Australian-owned media company, ‘Vision China Times’, from sponsoring the 2019 Chinese Lunar New Year event.

The reason – ‘Vision China Times’ was critical of the Chinese Communist Party.

According to a joint investigation by Four Corners, The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald:-  “Chinese consular officials had issued at least eight warnings over 12 months to the Georges River Council over its dealings with Vision China Times, a Chinese-language media organisation.  The newspaper has been repeatedly harassed because it publishes information in Mandarin that is critical of the Chinese Communist Party.“  [21]

Vision China Times advertisers, based in China, were also threatened by CCP officials, including intelligence agents, and were forced to pull their advertising.

Vision China Times manager Maree Ma said her paper had come under attack because it does not toe the Chinese Communist Party line.  “The Chinese Consulate don’t like any media outlets that they cannot have some sort of control over, and that in the November 12, 2018 meeting Georges River Council’s Major Events Advisory Committee (MEAC) declined the media organisation’s sponsorship offer for the 2019 Lunar New Year festival due to the political pressure from the Chinese Consulate-General’s office.” [21]

She stressed that the paper was an Australian owned outlet committed to Australian values and laws of independent journalism and free speech principles.

The Georges River Council’s events committee’s decision was a clear example of an Australian local council committee buckling to CCP bullying, and putting CCP interests, values and ideology ahead of Australia’s. 

However, after the airing of the ABC Four Corners Program, the Georges River Council in a stunning admission said:- “its Major Events Advisory Committee had acted outside its authority when it declined the sponsorship of its 2019 Chinese Lunar New Year Festival by independent media group Vision China Times.  Council’s position is that sponsorship for events must occur within the framework of our adopted sponsorship policy and free of any external influence.[22]

This incident ended up in a council decision supporting and reinforcing Australian values, laws and freedom of speech, with the Vision China Times sponsorship subsequently and rightly reinstated for the 2019 Lunar New Year celebrations.  Rite-ON! says:-  “Well done Georges River Council!”

Also worth noting – ALL sister & friendly city relationships of Georges River Council listed in the 2020 SCA directory are now designated “INACTIVE”.  [2] [3]

Compare this to the Wagga Wagga Council that has bowed and back flipped on CCP political interference, voting in SUPPORT of CCP opinions, subjugations and human rights abuses, while ignoring the pleas of 3 credible Chinese Australian citizens and the submission from the Australian Values Alliance, when it reinstated Sister City relations with Kunming, China.

Such are the conflicts in this ‘TALE OF TWO AUSTRALIAN CITIES’! 

Rite-ON! says :- Australia needs a consistent national response strategy when dealing with CCP political interference that conflicts with Australian values, laws and freedoms.  

The Georges River Council’s response to such interference should be an example for ALL local councils! 

6.4  WHAT DOES CCP FRIENDSHIP REALLY MEAN?

Making the foreign serve chinaAccording to Anne-Marie Brady, author of the book “Making the Foreign Serve China”:-

 “In the language of the Chinese Communist Party ‘friendship’ is political.  Friendship is a term that has come to be closely related to foreigners and the CCP’s system of structures and strategies for dealing with them, waishi.  Friendship does NOT have the meaning of good or intimate personal relations. – friendship includes ‘political struggle”. 

“The Chinese Communist Party’s “foreign affairs” system since 1921, focusing on waishi, is the external policies intended to influence and control both foreigners themselves as well as Chinese citizens’ contact with and perception of outsiders.  To make the foreign serve the Chinese revolution has always been an important goal in the CCP’s united-front strategy.  

The term also comprises China’s external relations–both official state-to-state and so-called unofficial or “people-to-people” diplomacy.  In effect, waishi activities encompass all matters related to foreigners and foreign things, not merely diplomacy.

Is it any wonder that officials of western local governments with only rudimentary understandings of CCP ideology and not experienced in international affairs, can fall foul when establishing  ‘friendship’ relationships with Chinese cities.  Starting with the best of intentions, but ultimately becoming coerced and pressured to support CCP objectives.

Clive Hamilton also sums it up nicely:-  “For the CCP, ‘friends’ are those who have been persuaded or co-opted into speaking and acting in the interests of the party, and often against the interests of their own country.   The only true friends of China are submissive to their communist ideology and national interests.” 

6.5  OUR CONCLUSIONS

Sister City relationships with China are not just ‘people to people’ friendship relationships.  Relationships are directed, influenced, controlled and weaponized by the CCP. (14) 

The evidence and respected commentary clearly demonstrates the CCP use of local councils in Australia to gain influence and control of political agendas.  These are potentially organisations and officials with only rudimentary understandings of CCP ideology and inexperienced in international affairs to deal with the Chinese CCP. 

If overseas Sister City relationships are to continue (and we believe many should), action must be taken at a national level to establish mandatory policies and protocols that protect Australia’s national interests in all dealings.  This could form part of an overall National Sovereign Strategic Plan as promoted by Senator Jim Molan in our Part 5 episode. 

And Australia must be awake to duplicity, disguised as Chinese friendship. 

6.6 WHAT CAN WE DO?

If Australian local governments continue to establish Sister City & Friendship City relationships with any country (but in particular China) they have a responsibility to the Australian people they represent, to put Australia’s national interests first and foremost.

COVID-19 has further exposed the threats that Sister City relationships pose when foreign Governments, acting solely in their own national interest, interfere and influence activities within local government authorities in Australia. 

Are your local councillors ignoring Australian values & sovereignty, in support & appeasement of the CCP?  If so, it is time to hold them to account – and/or expose them! 

  1. Write to your local council and ask them to give examples of their support for Australia’s interests and sovereignty in Sister City activities, so you can make an informed choice at the ballot box.
  2. Write an open letter to your local council, via the local newspaper, demanding they put ‘Australia’s interests first’ when dealing with Sister Cities in China.
  3. Education is key. Buy and read Clive Hamilton’s book ‘Silent Invasion’ and Anne-Marie Brady’s book ‘Making the Foreign Serve China”.
  4. Share this article with your friends and associates.
  5. Invite your friends and associates to join Rite-ON! (for free) https://www.riteon.org.au/get-involved/

 Stay tuned – Coming soon

The continuing story of ‘Australia and China’ relations. 

PART 7  Confucius (Institutes) Confusion in Universities – fully exposed 

PART 8 The 1,000 Talents- The CCP’s brains-trust – fully exposed 

PART 9 Belt and Road Initiative – the impact on nations and states 

PART 10

10:0   Bullying and blackmail from China
10:1   Making China accountable – the ‘Nuremberg way’ 

REFERENCES

[1]  Chinese year of the rat 2020. – Travel Guide China https://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/social_customs/zodiac/rat.htm

[2] Sister Cities Australia – SCA directory http://sistercitiesaustralia.com/images/images_media/Documents/Aust_SCA_Affiliations.pdf

[3] Sister Cities Australia – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_twin_towns_and_sister_cities_in_Australia

[4] Wagga Wagga Sister Cities https://wagga.nsw.gov.au/city-of-wagga-wagga/wagga-wagga/sister-cities

[5] Canberra Sister Cities https://www.cmtedd.act.gov.au/communication/cir/international_relationships

[6]   Clive Hamilton & Mareike Ohlberg – Our twisted Sisters

Twisted Sisters[7]  CPAFFC President remarks https://www.cpaffc.org.cn/index/xiehui/xiehui_list/cate/11/lang/2.html

[8]  Australian values Alliance – letter to Wagga Wagga Council http://english.ava.org.au/2020/04/the-open-letter-to-wagga-wagga-council.html

[9]  Letter from Kunming to Wagga Wagga – 29th January 2020

[10]  Return letter from Wagga Wagga Mayor to Kunming Mayor – 9th March 2020

[11]  Waaga Wagga council votes to sever ties with Kunming, China. https://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/story/6722911/wagga-council-cuts-all-ties-with-sister-city-in-china/

[12]  Chinese Consulate-General letter to Wagga Wagga Council. http://sydney.chineseconsulate.org/eng/gdxw/t1770313.htm

[13]  Political interventions after Wagga Wagga council votes to sever ties. https://newaustralianbulletin.com/2020/04/17/china-orders-wagga-vote-reversed-council-to-offer-apology-to-china/

[14] Dr. Lucy Zhao https://www.uts.edu.au/staff/ruoyun.zhao

[15]  Dr. Bin Lin https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/next-time-it-will-be-you-sydney-s-hong-kong-expats-fear-extradition-laws-20190618-p51yv0.html

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-04/chinese-in-australia-too-fearful-to-show-their-faces-in-protest/11178086

[16]  Xiaogang Zhang https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/chinese-australians-speak-out-against-communist-party-meddling/news-story/088af871072c7672131bed225a54c209

[17]  Weaponizing sister cities: Wagga Wagga and the CCP https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAwwdsKNfkU&app=desktop

[18]  Wagga Wagga stream of council meeting 22/05/2020 https://wagga.nsw.gov.au/city-of-wagga-wagga/council/meetings/watch-live?fbclid=IwAR2mFy-anQGQVoEElBsCxCKgZ9mnUy83N6FLSxvH4qn36VR2z8XMYqJMCuY

[19]  Sister cities of former Kogorah & Hurstville Councils 2016 http://www.georgesriver.nsw.gov.au/StGeorge/media/Documents/Council/Policies/Fact-Sheet-Details-of-Sister-City-Relationships-for-public-exhibition.pdf

[20]  Georges River Council – ancestry data https://profile.id.com.au/georges-river/ancestry

[21]  Georges River Council (2019 Lunar New Year sponsorship by Vision Times Media cancelled

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-04-07/china-pressured-sydney-council-over-media-organisation/10962226

[22]   Georges River Council admits its events committee acted outside its authority.

https://www.theleader.com.au/story/6010824/georges-river-council-says-committee-acted-outside-its-authority-in-declining-lunar-new-year-sponsor/

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