On August 9 I happened to tune into ABC’s (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) live telecast of the Chinese ambassador to Australia’s address to the National Press Club. My first reaction was: Why waste time with these people? They are so prejudiced against China that there is no way they are going to change their mind about China.
Unlike the previous ambassador, who could hardly string a sentence or two in English, let alone to field questions from these hostile people, the new ambassador Xiao Qian [肖千] was a most affable and confident individual.
He dealt at great length on how China and Australia could work together to complement each other. (China is Australia largest trading partner, and the source of much of the latter’s tourism income and its foreign student intake.) Xiao says he is determined to help rebuild or reset the relationship between the two countries now that Australia has a new government. He emphasised that China had never interfered in Australian politics and reiterated this fact: China does not and will not interfere with any country’s internal affairs. There are some 1.2 million ethnic Chinese in Australia, he noted. But their loyalty is to Australia. But by virtue of their common cultural background with Chinese in mainland China, he thinks that they can help bridge the friendship between the two countries. Nothing more than that.
I must say I was impressed by his address and the way he fielded questions from Australia’s not-friendly-to-China-at-all journalists, despite his tentativeness in elaborating in English at times.
Alas, the local journalists were NOT interested in any of the "reset" or "rebuild" relationship pledges; instead, they just wanted to gun him down on China’s military drills in South China Sea in the aftermath of Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. Most of the questions were raised on that subject.
What rolled out in the local press and TV news in the following days were not unexpected. Without fail, much of the coverage was about the Ambassador’s threat to Australia, which is not true at all. (He did use the term “caution” but in the Q&A corrected himself by saying he meant “reminder”) Nothing was said about his willingness to help “reset” the relationship between the two countries. One reporter even said he “refused” to apologize to the Australian people. All out of their own imagination! The Japanese ambassador's and the German ambassador's reactions to the address were given more coverage than the essence of that Ambassador Xiao's message.
I have argued before that the West’s Press Corp has seldom shown any interest in trying to inform or explain to their readers or audiences the “cause’ of any issue. They are by and large beholden to their political masters. And these hired hands will do everything to sensationalize. A case in point is the war in Ukraine even many of their scholars and thinkers have provided much evidence too say that the US and the NATO are the instigators. In the case of Taiwan, they simply do not want to hear about the principles upon which the diplomatic relationships were established between their countries with China in the first place – One China, and that’s represented by the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan is a part of China. They just do not want to acknowledge this simple fact: the peoples in both mainland China and Taiwan are CHINESE!
They do not really understand their concept of “defending Taiwan”. To them Taiwanese need the West to help to be able to practise democracy. And the Communist Party of China is but an evil force that would bring disasters to Taiwanese. It is all rubbish, but the undiscerning lot in the West will swallow it hook, line and sinker. Three things the West’s political leaders simply do not want to see: (a) a strong China, (b) a China governance model that may ultimately unmask the adequacy of Western form of democracy and capitalism, and (c) the possibility of losing access to Taiwan's electronic chips. Do they really love Taiwan and will die for Taiwan? Come on, go and tell this to a child. If China’s success is also anchored on Western democracy today, it will also be subject to Western jealousies, unless it is prepared to be subservient to the hegemony of their Tai-kor (Big Brother) US. Remember Toshiba and Alstrom?
Therefore, what China should simply do is to keep politically and diplomatically very aloof to the West; On events or intentions like that of Pelosi’s, just say this in their face:
Remember your commitment to the One-China policy and your acknowledgement that Taiwan is a province of China? The [said] attempt is an outright interference of our internal policy. Stay out. We will do what we think is appropriate. Period.
With the Western press, and also Nikkei, you don’t have to be nice.