The Chinese embassy has raised its “great concern” with the Australian government that hundreds of Chinese PhD students hoping to start their studies here have endured long visa delays.
“The reasons for the delays have not been clearly explained,” an embassy spokesman told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age via email. “We have raised this issue with relevant Australian agencies. We will continue to do that and hope it could be properly addressed.”
Australian experts have warned about the risk of Chinese researchers’ work here being applied in ways that are contrary to Australia’s interests when the researchers return home to China, and the United States is increasingly competing with China in the academic sphere.
Against that backdrop a group of about 230 Chinese students, who have connected on social media platforms, said they had been waiting months — and in some cases more than a year — longer than normal for a visa.
*Most of them are studying in the science, technology, engineering, maths and medical fields, with many supported by scholarships.
The delays have prevented them taking up jobs, separated couples and cost some students their scholarships, the students said. Using publicly available visa processing data, the students said Chinese postgraduate students were less likely to get their visas than applicants from other countries.
A spokeswoman for the Department of Home Affairs disputed those claims. “The [students’] analysis … uses incorrect methodologies to draw conclusions from Home Affairs data,” the spokeswoman said.
Chinese international students are subject to the same requirements as other students, the spokeswoman said, and applicants are overwhelmingly likely to get their visa. Processing times for Chinese students, which includes undergraduates, are no longer on average than those for other students.
How long students wait depends on a “complexity of assessments in relation to health, character and national security requirements,” the spokeswoman said.
Chi Ming, whose long-term girlfriend’s visa has been delayed since August, forcing her to reapply for a scholarship, said his partner’s life was in limbo while she waited to hear whether she could come to Australia.
“During this waiting period, since you have no idea when the result will be released, you cannot be involved in a long term job,” said Chi Ming, who declined to give his real name due to concerns his girlfriend’s application might suffer.
Some of the students said they were afraid they were caught in the middle of a geopolitical conflict.
A geologist who has been waiting for more than a year for his visa said he was afraid an element of his work involving natural uranium reactions in stone had been misinterpreted as having nuclear applications.
But, the geologist said, “it’s just to count how many fission tracks are in the stone to tell you how old is the stone”.
*John Fitzgerald,a China expert at Swinburne University, said Australia was right to carefully scrutinise the research students it allows into the country because the Chinese government selects students to go overseas through its scholarship programs whose research interests align with its priorities.
“It’s not just about defence at all, it’s also about geo-strategic competition on innovation,” Professor Fitzgerald said.
Jia Xu, another student who spoke under a pseudonym and is hoping to study at Monash University, said he appreciated Australia could reject his application for its own reasons. But he is angry the government has provided so little information on the progress of his application, beyond a status in an online account.
“Even though they have the right to reject me, they just let me wait and didn’t tell me any reasons,” Mr Xu said.
Sydney’s luxury property agents are bringing forward listings and spending up on fancy cars to impress international clients on the eve of Chinese New Year.
The Chinese New Year is an annual high point in the local sales calendar but has lost steam since mid-2016 as a result of tighter restrictions on foreign ownership.
CAAN: Can you believe it? What happened wasCHINA imposed capitalcontrols to stop money leaving China at that time …
How can small percentage fees imposed by Australian State Governments … increasing by a mere 1 or 2% …. have any impact on people of High Net Worth? Seriously?
SH: Juwai, China’s largest property portal, registered an uptick of interest in Australian property in early 2019, with inquiries increasing 40 per cent. Last year, Chinese buyers made 60 per cent more inquiries for Australian property on the platform in the five weeks after the holiday than they did on average during the whole year.
“2019 was the year in which Chinese demand finally started to recover, after falling since 2016 to very low levels … we expect 2020 to see further improvement.”
In preparation, Sotheby’s Australia boss Michael Pallier has picked up a new Rolls-Royce Ghost ahead of a busy week of high-end showings, as 10 clients from mainland China arrive.
Other agents, including Black Diamondz boss Monika Tu, are entertaining with events organised through the likes of BMW and other luxury brands, who are keen to kit buyers out once they purchase their house.
Waterfrontproperty in the eastern suburbs at Point Piper and Bellevue Hill, and larger compounds across the upper north shore at Turramurra, Warrawee and Wahroonga are among the listings.
For Mr Pallier, the Chinese New Year is one of two annual spikes from offshore buyers, including a “golden week” holiday toward the end of the year. He says activity isn’t back to where it was in late 2015 when he drove clients around in a Bentley coupe and expected to turn over more than $100 million in property in a two-week period.This year, he expects to turn over about $30 million.
“The pool of buyers isn’t as large as it was before, but they’re still there and they are more likely to make repeat transactions,” he said.
Most of Mr Pallier’s clients are chasing good schools. Other agents say protests in Hong Kong are driving significant investor visa holders to take the plunge and buy up in Australia.
Chinese buyers who were affected by Xi Jinping’s effort to tighten capital outflows from China from 2016 onwards are also back in the market, after securing other sources of cash to complete transactions, or visas, such as the significant investor visa, ahead of time.
CAAN: China eased its capital controls in 2019 hence the return to investing in our Real Estate.
“I don’t believe that Chinese demand has ever dropped away; it’s simply that it became increasingly difficult for them to organise their funds,” Christie’s International agent Darren Curtis said.
He said the rebound in interest is most noticeable among buyers looking at properties priced from $5 million to $15 million, who were worst impacted when capital controls first took hold.
Agents are united in the belief that demand isn’t quite back to where it was.
“The Chinese [high net worth investors] … are often a bit more cautious than what we’ve seen back in 2014-2016,” Ray White director Victor Sheu.
“Chinese New Year will increase inquiry activity but not actual transactions until a later date.”
WHAT Scomo had up his sleeve was that midway through 2018 there were 2.2 MILLION Visa Holders in Australia … and in the March 2019 quarter that number surged past 2.3 MILLION! That’s migration through the back door!
WHAT is the lure for Millions of Visa holders particularly from China and India? ONE O ONE …
IS it to buy Aussie Housing and to gain a ‘Permanent Resident Visa’? With Medicare Benefits thrown in …
*WHY NOT tell others … copy and paste this into emails to your contacts … everyone needs to know! * ACROSS SYDNEY … across AUSTRALIA!
WHY not write to ‘The Editor’ of all the papers? If enough do this … they may print them ..
SEARCH CAAN WEBSITE FOR … VISAS … 100% SELL OFF of ‘new homes’ to foreign buyers … no anti-money laundering laws for the Real Estate Gatekeepers!
–OZ cut migrant intake to lowest level in a decade
THURSDAY’s media was abuzz with reports that the Morrison Government had cut its migrant intake to “the lowest level in a decade”having cut it to 160,000 p.a. …
Except that happened 2 years ago …
Curiously, the alleged cut in Australia’s permanent migrant intake came in the same week as the Department of Home Affairs released its June quarter temporary visa data, which showed that ‘bridging visas’ – given to those awaiting decisions on their applications for permanent residency – have roughly doubled under the Coalition’s watch to 205,000.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released visitor arrivals and departures statistics for the month of November, which reveals that the number of permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia remains turbo-charged.
In the year to November 2019, there were 844,960 permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia, up 2% from November 2018, and only partly offset by 547,920 permanent and long-term departures:
Subtracting departures from arrivals, there were 297,040 net permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia in the year to November 2019, up 3% on November 2018 and way above the 43-year average of 156,745:
Despite the Coalition promising to cut immigration, migrants continue to flood into Australia en masse.
IF the developed world stopped allowing people from third world countries to immigrate at will, then those countries might be incentivized to tackle their over population problem.Currently all they do is export it.
-if crushing living standards of locals isn’t a strong enough argument to get immigration reduced
-nothing matters except feeding the machine and maximizing profits for the Top End
-how can having migrants from the Third World living First World lifestyles in Australia not be worse for our Environment?
-how is frequent flying sustainable?
-there are three Golden Weeks per year
THIS SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY STUDY compared the carbon footprints of Chinese living in Box Hill against Australian born Box Hill residents … to understand the urban consumption behaviour of China-born C21st migrants (as measured by their ecological footprint) in Box Hill.
BOX HILL is a middle-class middle ring suburb of Melbourne with the greatest concentration of China-born residents
Box Hill is known as the ‘Chatswood’ of Melbourne or a mini Shanghai!
In Melbourne, Box Hill, Glen Waverley, Mount Waverley is where modest houses were demolished to make way for gigantic McMansions.
Go to Chadstone and rabid consumerism is on full display.
The same could be said for Sydney in Chatswood, Lindfield, Roseville … across Ryde in North Ryde …
Also, a higher proportion of Chinese live in apartments … and as raised by Jago Dodson in his report in fact high-rise urbanism exacts a high carbon price … it cannot be said to be more environmentally friendly!
Australia can only control what happens within its own borders.
And growing the population so fast is unambiguously negative for Australia’s environment, water security, liveability, housing affordability, as well as meeting our emissions reduction targets.So why go down this path?
While climate change is a global problem, most commentators (myself included) believe that Australia should act locally. The only difference is that, unlike me, many of these same commentators do not believe that Australia should act locally on population growth, even though it too is a global problem. Spot the contradiction?
There is another problem with their view that it doesn’t matter where people live. The fact is that when migrants from developing nations come to Australia, their carbon footprints grow significantly.
A case in point is China, which is now Australia’s second largest migrant group, as well as one of the fastest growing:
In 2010, China overtook the United Kingdom as Australia’s largest source of permanent migrants (a position now held by India). Since then, China-born migrants have averaged around 15% of the annual intake…
Our findings are based on an extensive face-to-face survey of 61 China-born and 72 Australia-born residents. The main findings were as follows.
Within a decade of arrival in Melbourne, China-born urban consumption patterns were more than three times their consumption before their migration…
It is apparent that consumer acculturation is the major process by which Chinese migrants have come to mirror the host society in Australia. Cultural integration is less evident – it lags consumer acculturation. This was clear from a comparison of scores on a Cultural and Linguistic Difference (CALD) Index.
The index incorporated measures of birthplace, English proficiency, religion, food preferences, participation in entertainment and festivals, avenues of social interaction and engagement with neighbourhood communities.
The gap between the China-born and Australia-born groups’ scores on the CALD Index was significant (see Figure 1). This suggests a strong cultural influence on the China-born group’s urban consumption behaviours is likely…
A comparison of the different components of the ecological footprints of China-born and Australia-born residents was also revealing.
*Housing footprints measuring the size and type of dwelling occupied by the China-born residents were 18% larger overall.
This may be due to the role housing plays in reflecting an attained status (mien-tzu, or “to save face”) within the host society.
*Consumption levels that outstrip those of Australia-born residents indicate the potential danger of housing consumption being used to indicate “successful” settlement in Australia.
*Food footprints of the China-born were 16% larger than the Australia-born. This reflected higher consumption of meat and dairy products and lower consumption of home-grown vegetables. Carbon footprints of the China-born were 37% bigger, mainly as a result of more frequent overseas travel.
Thus, while Australia’s mass immigration program is unambiguously hampering its ability to meet the Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets, it could also be raising Australia’s per capita emissions (other things equal).
*As an aside, the glutenous consumption and high carbon footprint of Chinese-born migrants comes despite them being the second lowest paid diaspora, earning considerably less than the Australian-born population, according to the ABS:
In any event, it is a bad result for Australia and the world.
HOWEVER … it appears the pivot to Indians (along with Chinese) migrants is likely adding to Australia’s chronic low wage growth.
HOW GOOD WAS AUSTRALIA?
IT’s just not cricket!
PRIOR to the floodgates of high immigration and visa manipulation AND Visa Workers by the HOWARD GOVT in the late 1990s we had very good wages and conditions in Australia …
AND … Earlier this year (2019), Alan Fels – the chair of the Migrant Workers Taskforce – described wage theft as “widespread and systematic”, and estimated that one-third of international students are being underpaid, typically by migrant employers of the same nationality:
-Allan Fels believed one third of international students were exploited
-with an unpaid wages bill in the Billions; up to 145,000 students on working visas underpaid by employers
-that exploitation of international students by businesses owned by migrants from the same ethnic group was a particular problem
Indian migrants are driving a surge in citizenship as a record 211,723 people won the right to call Australia home in 2019, a 120 per cent increase on the previous year.
India emerged as the top source of Australian citizenship, for the sixth consecutive year, ahead of Britain and China.
More than 28,470 Indian-born migrants pledged allegiance to Australia in 2018-19…
The avalanche of citizenship applications from India also corresponded with a strong rise in the number of people acquiring permanent residency under the skilled migration program…
Australia’s Indian diaspora is fast becoming the new face of the country’s migration story in 2020. Indians are now the third-largest migrant group in Australia and are on track to overtake Britons and Chinese…
Australia’s Indian-born population expanded at 10.7 per cent a year on average between 2006 and 2016.
Indian-born migrantstopped the list of visa recipients by country under the annual permanent immigration program, and the number of Indian-born migrants obtaining Australian citizenship in 2018-19 soared by 60 per cent, compared with 2017-18. In 2019, the largest source of migrants to Australia were from India, with 33,611 places under the country’s permanent migration program going to Indian citizens.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s (ABS) latest Personal Income of Migrants survey for 2016-17, ‘skilled’ migrants from India are fairly low paid (but earn more than Chinese, Koreans and Nepalese), earning a median income of just $56,539 in 2016-17:
Thus, the pivot to Indians (along with Chinese) migrants is likely adding to Australia’s chronic low wage growth.
Indian migrants are driving a surge in citizenship as a record 211,723 people won the right to call Australia home in 2019, a 120 per cent increase on the previous year.
India emerged as the top source of Australian citizenship, for the sixth consecutive year, ahead of Britain and China.
More than 28,470 Indian-born migrants pledged allegiance to Australia in 2018-19.
The latest figures from the Department of Home Affairs reveal that 13,364 Britons acquired Australian citizenship between July 2018 and June last year, while 7974 Chinese people become citizens in the same period.
The avalanche of citizenship applications from India also corresponded with a strong rise in the number of people acquiring permanent residency under the skilled migration program.
“I’m starting the citizenship process now because I don’t really have any links to India any more and there’s a system here that works,” he said. “The future for my children is much brighter and better here, the education is great, the lifestyle is great, and I don’t feel like I am an outsider.”
Mr Makhija said the value Australians placed on “mateship” was priceless. “People look after each other in Australia,” he said. “The bushfires are an example of that.”
Australia’s Indian diaspora is fast becoming the new face of the country’s migration story in 2020. Indians are now the third-largest migrant group in Australia and are on track to overtake Britons and Chinese.
Anna Boucher, an associate professor at the University of Sydney, said many migrants were in Australia for 10 years before getting citizenship.
“The average migrant is now making two visa steps before getting permanent residency, and then you have to wait at least three to four years before applying for citizenship,” she said. “International students from India started to arrive about a decade ago, so it makes sense that we are seeing a growth in Indian-born people becoming citizens.”
Professor Boucher also said a big drawcard for Indian-born migrants was “the network effect”.
“When people from certain communities and cities settle here, it has a magnet effect as well,” she said. “The Commonwealth and the language link is another reason Indian permanent residents might choose to become citizens.”
At the Cheetahs Sports Club in Parramatta, in Sydney’s west, the network effect theory is played out in real time almost every day.
Balaji Govindarajan, 37, obtained his Australian citizenship just three months ago after moving to Sydney in 2013 as a skilled migrant, and said the Cheetahs served as a “gateway” to understanding Australian culture.
“I saw a little India in Parramatta,” he told The Australian.
“I joined the Cheetahs because it was a way to meet more Indian people and I didn’t feel like I was a foreigner.
“I was able to learn more about Australian culture and the cricketing community really expanded my horizons.”
Australia’s Indian-born population expanded at 10.7 per cent a year on average between 2006 and 2016. Indian-born migrants topped the list of visa recipients by country under the annual permanent immigration program, and the number of Indian-born migrants obtaining Australian citizenship in 2018-19 soared by 60 per cent, compared with 2017-18. In 2019, the largest source of migrants to Australia were from India, with 33,611 places under the country’s permanent migration program going to Indian citizens.
It marked the seventh year in a row that India outstripped China and Britain as Australia’s primary source of migrants, with the vast bulk of places given to Indian citizens under the “skilled” stream.
A $100m residential tower proposed on the former sandstone quarry site in Gosford is back on public exhibition.
The proposed development at 87-89 John Whiteway Drive has been scaled down once again with a reduction in apartment numbers from 262 to 237 as well as a significantly smaller basement with carparking numbers dropping from 587 to 340.
Each of the five low-rise towers have a reduced footprint along with increased space between blocks.
Changes have also been made to communal spaces and the aesthetics of the development to be built on the ridge overlooking Gosford.
The plan initially proposed 299 apartments and was scaled down to 262 in January 2019 after receiving community objections around overshadowing, construction noise, traffic, parking and lack of public space for children to play.
*The latest changes to the site, owned by Pinnacle Construction Group, will be on exhibition until February 3.
The complex is proposed to be built in three stages starting with the basement carpark, followed by three blocks and then the final two blocks along with a swimming pool and communal areas. There will be a mix of one, two, three and four bedroom units.
Development consent was previously granted by Gosford City Council in 2004 for a residential flat building with 178 units.
The application will be decided by the Hunter Central Coast Joint Regional Planning Panel.
Meanwhile, construction is set to begin down the road on Gosford’s most notorious and longest running hole.
Last November, Pinnacle Construction Group confirmed construction will begin on a $60 million 97-apartment development at 86 John Whiteway Drive.
Pinnacle purchased the site in June 2018 and have been carrying out cleaning and clearing works and making small modifications to the plans.
*The group’s funding principal Joe Bechara told the Express the development would be similar to the existing approved plans, however the building was being reduced from 11 storeys to 10to allow more floor to ceiling space and to comply with fire regulations.*
He said the group would completely clean the site before construction, including removing existing pipe works and footings laid by previous failed developments which are around 15 years old.
“We’re going to pull it up and start fresh,” he said.
Aerial view of Gosford. Photograph: Carly Earl/The Guardian
Photograph: The Real Estate Conversation; view from the top overlooking the city and the Bay
“Based on research we conducted a few years ago, most Chinese students don’t read English language news, but browsing WeChat is a must-do activity every day,” said Jiang Ying, a senior media lecturer at the University of Adelaide.
While these accounts usually post stories about popular restaurants, discounts, and other lifestyle topics, Dr Jiang said the revenue model meant sensationalism, nationalism, and fake news were also frequently served up.
“The main purpose of these accounts is to generate revenue since the number of views defines their advertising income,” she said.
“Therefore, eye-catching titles, sensational journalism, exaggerated facts, rumours are seen on these accounts.”
Beat-ups from Australian WeChat accounts have covered everything from “secret” nuclear pollution to the return of the White Australia Policy — so what are these accounts, and why are they popular?
‘Breaking! ISIS officially announced their Australia attack!’
One of the most successful WeChat news accounts in Australia is Australian Red Scarf, named after the red scarves worn by Chinese primary school students who join the Young Pioneers, a kid version of Communist Party membership.
Co-founded in April 2016 by former international student Nathan Wu, the account is run by 15 staff members serving around 200,000 subscribers.
Mr Wu told the ABC he did not think his small business produced news, but instead acted more as a distribution platform, sourcing and translating stories from the Australian media.
Nathan Wu said the article was “a big mistake”, and the editor responsible for the piece was subsequently fired.
Other Australia-based accounts have also had their content pulled by WeChat’s moderator. One of the most notable examples was from an account named Australian Mirror, which in March sensationally claimed Starbucks coffee caused cancer.
Xinhua news agency said the Australian Mirror account was “spreading rumours under the banner of overseas media”, and that the article had “caused some public panic”.
Another account, simply named “Australia” and billing itself as “Australia’s authoritative public platform”, just last week announced that the “White Australia Policy was back!” in the headline of an article about changes to the citizenship application process.
WeChat last month pulled an article from the same account after it claimed “cancer can be completely cured from now on” following a fake discovery by Australian scientists.
‘It’s like fusing Gawker, People’s Daily, and Breitbart’
The article featured a map of China often used in state media that includes Taiwan and the contested South China Sea as part of China — and under the map, the question “Australia, can you stop now?” was repeated three times.
*Last week it published an article critical of the Australian National University’s decision to no longer allow international students to intern with politicians, tying it to Australia’s “groundless fear” of Chinese influence.
Australian Red Scarf also criticised Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s comments late last year against Chinese interference in Australian politics.
“Some of these accounts, like [Australian] Red Scarf for example, bring together the worst of both worlds — the dogmatism of Chinese state media and the sensationalism of non-traditional media,” said Kevin Carrico, a lecturer in Chinese studies at Macquarie University.
“It’s like fusing the Global Times and Gawker, People’s Daily, and Breitbart.”
Mr Wu said his publication made these sorts of comments “to attract the young audience”.
“We are a private business. Our income source is mainly advertisement … We have no connection with Beijing,” he said.
He said international students were interested in Australian politics, especially policy changes affecting education and immigration.
Chinese audiences ignored by Australian media
Zhengyi Tian, a 25-year-old Chinese-Australian student at the University of Melbourne and one of WeChat’s three million Australian users, told the ABC he was a reader of stories on the platform every day.
“You can get a general understanding of some news stories, but the quality and objectivity of the news coverage is not good enough,” he said, adding that he sometimes cross-checked what he read with more reputable sources.
“There should be a media watch to monitor these types of [WeChat] accounts and share some of the unfounded misinformation they are spreading,” he said.
The Australian Press Council said in a statement it had for some time been concerned about the impact of technological and other changes faced by the media industry in Australia on journalism, and continues to carefully monitor these changes.
Pundits predicting the collapse of the Chinese Communist Party have been proven wrong decade after decade.
IN response to this report CAAN will focus on where it appears China, the CCP, poses a threat to Australian society is whether the CCP can continue to provide economic benefits for the Chinese … with its growth having slowed in China, and having the fastest ageing society in the World …
IS this why Xi Jinping has been encouraging the migration of his people and investment across the World especially in the United States, Canada, Africa, New Zealand, Australia and elsewhere? Whereby they now continue to grow their families across the Globe …
WITH 1.4 Billion Chinese … despite having an ageing population … such a huge number impacts the World with the rapid consumption of resources, pollution and their contribution to climate change through increased Co2 emissions, a consequence of urbanisation (high thermal mass from high density living in high-rise built of concrete, bricks, steel and glass)
OTHER societies … as a consequence of the Silent Invasion of China (through immigration and foreign investment) have cut their birth rate unable to attain a home or obtain secure work in their own country … such is the negative impact of China’s high growth, the competition from their ‘hot money‘ and sadly Government policies in Australia, for example, that are favourable to Chinese investment and immigration to the detriment of Australians! …
China’s Communist Party is at a fatal age for one-party regimes. How much longer can it survive?
But one-party governments have rarely survived longer than 70 years: the Communist Party of the Soviet Union ruled for 74 years before the bloc collapsed in 1991, and Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party retained power for 71 years until its defeat in the 2000 elections.
Analysts say while there’s no time limit on authoritarian governments, the CCP’s one-party rule may not be sustainable in the long run despite its past resilience and distinctiveness from other regimes.
But to look at when and how China could eventually undergo political reform, it’s important to first understand how the CCP has kept its grip on power for so long.
Rory Truex, assistant professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, told the ABC the CCP was unique in terms of how it has mitigated the two major threats to authoritarian regimes — coups and revolutions.
To prevent the former, Mr Truex said the party had a system to ensure the transfer of power from one leader to the next happened “relatively peacefully”.
Meanwhile, the regime has safeguarded itself from a revolution by “governing reasonably well to keep the population happy, so they have no desire to revolt”, and through controlling information and repression, Mr Truex said.
*Michael Albertus, co-author of Authoritarianism and the Elite Origins of Democracy, said the CCP staked its legitimacy on national development and had delivered on that promise in an incredible manner, lifting half a billion people out of poverty in recent decades.
At the same time Beijing has used its power to censor and eliminate what it sees as threats to its legitimacy.
Mr Truex noted the Communist Party was arguably “the most sophisticated regime” in terms of repression and controlling and distorting information with the use of the internet, technology, censorship and propaganda.
“The takeaway is that this is a smart authoritarian regime, and they’ve figured out the threat to their power and managed to mitigate those threats,” Mr Truex said.
“But there is some evidence that some of this might be changing under Xi Jinping, and some of the things that actually made the Communist Party strong might be eroding under his rule.”
The contrast between China today and the Soviet Union before its collapse couldn’t be more stark.
By the time Mikhail Gorbachev became the leader of the Soviet Union in 1985, the economy was already in decline, and his aim was to revive it with two major reforms: perestroika and glasnost (economic reform and political opening).
Sarah Percy, an associate professor of international relations at the University of Queensland, wrote recently that the economic reforms invited public criticism — but “the problem with allowing some criticism is that it becomes impossible to control”.
“Once people were allowed to speak out in some areas, they inevitably began to do so in others, challenging the state’s control over political issues as well as economic ones,” she wrote.
Glasnost opened up a Pandora’s box of free speech, with decreased media censorship allowing criticism of government officials.
Maria Repnikova, a political scientist at Georgia State University, told the ABC the collapse of the Soviet Union turned it into an “anti-model” for the Chinese regime.
“[It’s] something that the party-state in part blames on Gorbachev’s shock therapy reform that yielded a dramatic and uncontrollable political opening,” she told the ABC.
“That’s something that the [People’s Republic of China] wants to avoid at all costs through a combination of responsiveness and pervasive control.”
Ms Repnikova, author of the book Media Politics in China, says Beijing has been obsessed with grasping and guiding public opinion, managing crises with large-scale exposés in both traditional and social media.
How is the CCP different from other one-party regimes?
Experts also attribute the longevity of the CCP’s rule to its ability to learn and adapt.
Kerry Brown, professor of Chinese studies and director of the Lau China Institute at King’s College London, noted the party was flexible in that it wasn’t “too strung up on ideology”.
While North Korea’s one-party rule is also quite distinctive, with the Kim family dynasty functioning almost like a monarchy, its notoriously closed-off political system has severely limited any opportunities for economic growth.
“I’ve always thought that North Korea today resembles in some sense China under Mao,” Mr Truex said.
“You might call it totalitarian, where the party itself has complete control over peoples’ lives and [is] in complete control over the flow of information.”
Graeme Smith from the Australian National University said the CCP realised very early on — even before it came to power in 1949 — that having regular purges to purify the Party’s ranks was not going to work as a long-term strategy.
He said in Cambodia, purges contributed to the toppling of Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot.
While the CCP had also purged a large number of party members in the past, it later turned its sights on a party rectification strategy.
“If you’re found to be ideologically suspect or have engaged in activities the party doesn’t approve of, then efforts will be made to [make] you right,” Dr Smith explained.
“[It’s] the idea that all cadres are basically good and they could be reformed by thought work.”
But Dr Smith added that Mr Xi’s signature anti-corruption campaign on so-called “tigers and flies” — a slang phrase referring to high-ranking officials and local civil servants — had made him many enemies since he became President.
He said this would include some powerful people who may in the future come after him.
Mr Diamond from Stanford University told the ABC that while there was no “iron law” dictating that one-party regimes must collapse after 70 or 80 years, he also didn’t believe Communist one-party rule was sustainable in the long run.
“On the other hand, Communist Party rulers are keenly looking forward to the Chinese Communist Party becoming the most powerful political force in the world in 2049, when the regime would turn 100, and I don’t think that will happen,” he said.
“While the political effects of modernisation have been slowed and delayed by multiple factors, including the regime’s intense management of information and Orwellian levels of repression and surveillance, the regime faces the same long-run contradiction that other autocracies have.”
Mr Diamond says people’s values change when they have more income and a higher level of education, and eventually “they want more autonomy, more dignity, more freedom and more control over their own lives”.
“A lot of people are leaving, or have left, because they can’t get this freedom and autonomy in China — certainly not now under the tightening grip of Communist Party control,” he said.
“It’s true that some people are returning for the Thousand Talents Program or related opportunities … it’s also true that there has been a recent surge in nationalism among the young.
“Still, if I were the CCP, I would be concerned about the [longer-running] trends, and the basic contradictions in the system.“
FROM: ABC Report MERITON Sydney Olympic Park 2018: Chinese text.
07 FEBRUARY 2016 MERITON launches its Chinese Website to promote its residential apartment developments, townhouses and hotels to its Market … in the year of the Clever Monkey …
MAY 2016: Property developer Harry Triguboff tops the 2016BRWRich 200 list for the first time, as a surging real estate market changes the face of wealth in Australia.
Mr Triguboff, owner and head of Meriton Group, number one on the BRWRich List with $10.62 billion wealth. May 26, 2016
CAN we thank Harry for more Chinese coming into Australia every day?
100% of Meriton apartments sold to Chinese Communist Party members … the CCP!
Of course, they love it here … and until now they were able to breathe fresh air … Sydney and Melbourne are more like home … Beijing, Shanghai … Hotan … with bush fire smoke shroud …
Meriton apartments with views of motorways … and surrounds of high-rise precincts … they love it here … they love it ALMOST as much as We Australians love it here!
We Australians welcome them to come and visit … spend their ‘hot money’ in tours, sites, theatres, restaurants,our Department Stores, and then fly away … back home!
2019 … we are still in the Year of the Pig!
This is a Year of Earth Pig, starting from Feb. 5, 2019 (Chinese NewYear) and lasting to Jan. 24, 2020.
MAY 2019: Property developer, Harry Triguboff … despite Meriton”s 100% China Market … slipped down a spot to be named Australia’s third richest person in 2019. HT increased his wealth by $770M in the past year … that’s the $$ not in a haven … a net worth of $13.54B in the AFR Rich List May 31, 2019
WHY not copy and paste this and share with your email contacts! More people need to know how Our Town has been taken over! … Many wonder but don’t know how! *
‘DESTINATION’ … after flying in to buy … awake in tranquility at Meriton serviced apartments down the road …
‘Destination,’ the apartment precinct for sale on Talavera Road formerly Macquarie Park Business and IT Park … devil’s transformation and expansion of the Chinese CP city of Chatswoo in Macquarie Park … overlooking the M2 Motorway … view through the grey smog the highrise commercial towers cluttering Sydney …
“Destination’ on a massive site largely occupying the block on Talavera Road … grey smog sky … looks like that in China … and around Macquarie Park the new residents wear masks!
Tree Protection Zone … with high-rise Precincts like that of Meriton … this is what happens to Australia’s gum trees … gone! 2019 … except at Harry’s Vaucluse Harbourside Huxter mansion … with its magnificent bushland grounds …
MERITON LAUNCHES CHINESE WEBSITE
Already offering the services of bi-lingual agents across its business, Meriton has now launched its new Chinese website www.meriton.com.au/cn
Photo: The Australian; April 2019 Triguboff makes Meriton’s First Move into the Melbourne Market
Covering all the information already available on the English Meriton website, the Chinese version will make navigating the search for property much easier.
According to Meriton boss, Harry Triguboff, building the Chinese website was very important to streamline the process when searching for, and purchasing, property.
“You don’t want to battle with language barriers when you are looking to buy property,” Meriton managing director, Harry Triguboff said.
“There are more Chinese coming into the country every day and they are looking for somewhere to buy either to live or as an investment.
“The familiarity of their own language while viewing property should make their task easier,” he said.
Chinese Australians are considered one of the largest groups of overseas Chinese people and the largest community in Oceania.
“The Chinese love it here,” Mr Triguboff said.
“They love the space, the larger size of our apartments, the expansive views of our magnificent harbour, the height of our apartments and most of all they can breathe fresh air.
“Many who come to visit, end up coming back to stay.
“In what is widely referred to as the Asian Century, we must embrace this community and encourage others who wish to immigrate,” he said.
In 2018 we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the first officially recorded Chinese migrant, Mak Sai Ying.
Many others followed during the great Gold Rush of the early 1850s looking to make their home and fortune.
Through their hard physical work and the determination to make a good life and provide a good education for their children, Chinese Australians have excelled academically. This is the year of the monkey which symbolises cleverness.2016
This country has felt deep appreciation for the genius of surgeons such as heart surgeon the late Victor Chang and neurologist, Charlie Teo who have saved, and through their research, continue to save countless lives.
“I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Chinese a very safe and happy Lunar New Year.
LOOKS like the ‘Western Sydney Burn’ is a consequence of very pooor policies …
WITH high thermal mass from high-rise Precincts … the so-called ‘Smart Cities’ for developers coffers to overflow and NSW INC collecting stamp duty taxes …
Dr Sebastian Pfautsch:
“I wouldn’t be surprised to find 50-plus degrees somewhere in Penrith this summer, because the weather station has already recorded 48.3, and that’s at the weather station site. We could see 52, 53, 54 degrees in some locations, just because of the way that the urban matrix is configured, where you have very little green space, where you have retained heat that helps to accelerate and accumulate heatwave temperatures.”
Extreme measures: An ecologist’s urban sensors show us just how hot Western Sydney is getting
Dr Sebastian Pfautsch is working with Penrith City Council to quantify temperatures in what is fast becoming one of the world’s hottest cities. His hope? An urgent change in the way we design our cities.
Foreground: You graduated from the University of Freiburg, Germany, in 2007 with a Phd in Forest Ecosystem Science.
How does someone interested in forest ecology end up installing heat sensors in the city?
Sebastian Pfautsch: My specialty is understanding trees and their water transport system, and therefore their cooling capacity, in relation to climate change, summer drought and heatwaves. Now I’m using all this fundamental knowledge to apply it to the real world; going out and installing temperature sensors in trees, to compare how different species can help reduce urban heat.
We started with this research looking at tree canopies in early learning centres for kids. We looked at the amount and quality of shade in those outdoor play spaces, which can influence the amount of time you can spend outside. We know that climate change conditions mean that you have hotter summers. That in itself creates a problem when you want to play outdoors, because you have less time available to you; you can only play in the early morning and maybe in the late afternoon, when it’s cooled down again. If you design a play space with no shade or the wrong materials, then you create a place that cannot be used for long. In the morning it heats up very quickly, stores the heat throughout the day and only cools down very slowly in the afternoon and early evening. So you then create a problem on top of climate warming where you have even less time available for the kids to engage in play and exercise.
That small project exploded into full-scale research programs called ‘Cool Schools’ and ‘Cool Playgrounds’. I also look at car parks and all sorts of different locations in urban space where trees may not exist, to find strategies to cool these places down. In playgrounds I measure up to 100 degrees Celsius surface temperature. In car parks I see up to 80 degrees surface temperature. And of course, that layer of bitumen in the carparks has a huge thermal mass and only re-radiates the heat very slowly, contributing to the Urban Heat Island Effect, most notably at night.
Foreground:How do trees’ water transport systems help to cool urban spaces?
Sebastian Pfautsch: Evaporative cooling happens during that physical transformation from the liquid state of water to the gaseous state of water. That transformation, which takes place in the leaf, uses energy. This energy is provided by solar radiation. So, when water is transpired from a leaf, the leaf is cooled, and this cooling helps to bring air temperatures down. That is the cooling benefit you get when the tree has water to support transpiration.
Heat becomes an issue in summer, and during this time we also have very little water available. That means trees shut down their transpiration stream to preserve water, so they don’t suffer from what we call hydraulic collapse. The water menisci that span from the roots, where trees take up water from the soil, to the leaves, where they transpire, are like little rubber bands. The hotter the air and the less water in the soil, the harder is the pull. You can stretch the menisci, but if you overstretch, they snap. It’s very difficult for a tree to repair that damage, so for prevention they just shut down transpiration, therefore don’t lose any more water. But for urban space that of course also means that evaporative cooling stops. Shading is then the only benefit that you get.
Now, take the whole greater Sydney basin at the moment. It’s absolutely bone dry out there. That means you have very, very little benefit from evaporative cooling, which has far reaching implications, much more than local shade, as evaporative cooling cools the air and not just the surface. Therefore, evaporative cooling is reaching far beyond your actual tree.
*Foreground: Is the solution to urban heat problems simply planting more trees?
*Sebastian Pfautsch: No. At the moment, it’s the Premier’s priority to get five million trees into the Greater Sydney Basin by 2030. Well, planting five million trees is very difficult, just to find the space, but keeping them alive to develop a large crown is even more difficult. Then knowing if we run into dry summers, they will just not provide any transpirative cooling benefits. It raises a lot of questions. Just think about what it means to grow these additional trees under the current water restrictions. Every new tree in the ground is super, but tackling urban heat requires more.
*We know that green infrastructure is vital when you want to provide a livable climate for a place like Western Sydney. Without trees, summer heat just becomes unbearable. In the new developments out West, you have blocks that are nearly completely covered by houses with black roofs. There’s simply no space to grow a meaningful canopy. This situation means we need to rethink how we plan, build and live. *
*Foreground:So it’s fair to say you’re less than enthusiastic about the way Western Sydney is currently developing?
Sebastian Pfautsch: Just look into other countries where traditionally you had hot climates. People would never ever put a black roof on their house. It’s just completely opposite from what logic would tell you. I’m doing quite a bit of research using thermal cameras on unmanned aerial vehicles, drones. You can just see these black roof constructions everywhere. It’s a fashion more than any understanding of what’s actually happening to your microclimate when you build like that. The house heats up much quicker, it stores more heat, and because you have no space for trees, there is little natural cooling.
You end up with a large electricity bill because you need to run the air conditioning a lot. As everyone is doing exactly that, the additional heat vented from A/C systems does certainly not help to cool your suburb.
*There is cool roof technology available. You can have whatever roof material you want and then just paint it in this reflective paint that reduces the absorption of infrared radiation. We’re using this type of technology also on roads and car parks these days. So, this stuff is available, but nobody out west is putting it on. *
Foreground:Tell us a little bit about your work with Penrith City Council. What’s driving this project?
Sebastian Pfautsch: Penrith is the hottest place in the greater Sydney area. They only have one weather station available to them, which is out at the Sailing and Regatta Stadium, so it’s close to water plus a lot of open green space. And that’s where the official measurements for temperature for Penrith come from. I know from my previous studies with Parramatta, Cumberland, Campbelltown, that once you move away from those weather stations and you get into urban space, where you have hard surfaces, buildings, traffic, and so on, you have very different temperatures. We saw that you could have discrepancies of up to 22 more days above 40 degrees recorded in urban space compared to a weather station from the Bureau of Meteorology.
I wouldn’t be surprised to find 50-plus degrees somewhere in Penrith this summer, because the weather station has already recorded 48.3, and that’s at the weather station site. We could see 52, 53, 54 degrees in some locations, just because of the way that the urban matrix is configured, where you have very little green space, where you have retained heat that helps to accelerate and accumulate heatwave temperatures. I recorded a heatwave in Campbeltown at the end of last year where you had nine consecutive days above 38 degrees, from the 25th of December to the second of January 2019. And that was last year, which wasn’t an extraordinarily hot summer. But this coming summer might be.
We are excited to get to show some of our research at the Cooling the City Masterclass event. Our research and the event are parts of the larger strategy by Penrith Council to raise awareness around the serious impacts heat has on so many aspects of urban life.
Foreground:What are you hoping to achieve with your Penrith project?
*Sebastian Pfautsch: To really wake people up, make them aware of the dangerous levels of heat we are already exposing ourselves to, and then use that information to have a go at how we build in the West. Because once they see the evidence, people will hopefully start to think about what they’re locking themselves into.
*The way we develop western Sydney at the moment can’t continue. All of these developments use the same principle of squeezing as many free-standing houses as possible into a limited space.
CAAN: THE Greenfields Housing Code of lots as tiny as 200M2 X 6M wide and the Medium Density Housing Code with as many as 10 terraces on a 600M2 lot! Bigger profits for developers … with a large client base from overseas ,,,
*Sebastian Pfautsch:Where space is very expensive, you chop it up into little blocks. You have very little space left for gardens or communal green space. You have lots of space that you plaster with concrete or bitumen. You provide, for example, walkways in each of those new developments, on both sides of the streets. But nobody’s walking there anymore – it’s too hot!
So why do we need two sides with walkways? Could we just have one, and then make the other green again?
The data that we collected for Cumberland is already used to inform their master plan and the development control plan. Campbelltown is using the findings from the report that I presented to them for their strategic planning.
I would like to see councils starting to advertise ‘cool zones’, urban areas dominated by green infrastructure. I put this in these reports as a recommendation, to increase public awareness of the cooling value of parks and other green space.
Foreground:So how would we go about getting more water into the landscape in these urban environments?
Sebastian Pfautsch: There’s a big push towards water sensitive urban design and opening up surfacesinstead of providing more and more impervious surfaces.
*You can do that for example in carparks and driveways by using compacted sandstone or other porous materials instead of bitumen, which allows water to seep through and become available for plants.
In the middle of streets, you can have green spaces and angle the street towards those green spaces, so that when you have water runoff, it actually flows into the areas where you want to grow plants, including trees. Currently runoff flows to the curb and down the drainage system.
Of course, we very quickly run into problems again when it comes to regulations, because road safety, for example, is a big issue when planting trees. There are certain minimum distances that you have to keep. So it’s very difficult to shade a four lane street with big canopy trees. Yet we know that streets are contributing massively to the Urban Heat Island Effect. These are issues that we need to talk about. We need people to have a solid understanding of the current situation, its complexity, and then start to move towards informed decisions that provide real cooling.
*We want to settle another 1.8 million people out in Western Sydney. There’s a clear conflict for water. But I keep saying we just need to think smarter about how we keep that water in Western Sydney. Sponge city is a nice graphic word for this way of thinking. On average, we still get seven to eight hundred millimetres of annual rainfall in the Sydney basin. Climate change predictions say that this overall amount will not change.
*Now we need to find ways to keep the water where it falls instead of channeling it out of the city. That would mean with 800 millimetres of water available, we can grow as many trees as we want. That’s not a problem. The question is much more about conflict for space. When you want to put 1.8 million people in, where will the space be left for trees? *
We can already see the pressure from development that is exerted on the Western Sydney Parklands or on the South Creek system.
*How we solve this problem is a matter of public demand and also political will, because we know that urban development will make the place hotter. *
Providing canopy will be vital to just prevent the materials themselves – roofs, walls, walkways, streets and so on – from heating up during the day, and allowing the air to cool at night.
We also need to implement water sensitive urban design and be serious about it, not just dibble dabble around here and there. Have a whole suburb that you develop to incorporate water sensitive urban design from the very beginning.
*Urban planners and architects are looking to build very large systems underground that can hold stormwater instead of losing it into drainage systems.
*What keeps us from making it compulsory that every new large carpark needs to use this technology? We have a lot of useful technology available. People need to apply it.
Coming back to trees, it is fact that we still see a net canopy decline across the Greater Sydney Basin, even with all the councils pushing for more green infrastructure.
This paradox situation is the result of development and because of mature trees being cut down on private properties. Trees get cut down, left, right and centre because they’re not valued in the way that I think is necessary in a world with a heating climate. Large trees reduce urban heat by cooling and shading. Let’s get serious in valuing that. Retain large trees and help young ones to develop quickly. As summers will only become hotter we will need every square metre of canopy in Sydney.