‘About the old man, tune him out’


Shi Rong’s emails suggest something more than a friendship with Bob Dechert. Wesley Wark sees a cautionary message and J. Michael Cole says some Chinese correspondents are selected by the Ministry of State Security, but Mark Bourrie says there’s not much to worry about. Paul Dewar thinks Mr. Dechert should offer his resignation, but Joe Comartin isn’t calling for Mr. Dechert to be removed from the committee vetting potential Supreme Court appointees.

Comartin said he was surprised by Dechert’s “lack of judgment,” which he said was out of character. But he said the panel that is vetting the candidates for the high court vacancies is bound by “a rigid process,” one that Dechert should have no problem following.

“It’s pretty clear what we have to take into account,” said Comartin. “The judgements that you make are within those parameters.”


‘About the old man, tune him out’

  1. Bourrie column is preposterous – either Bourrie is ChiCom apologist or is ignorant. Bourrie is Mr Magoo who can’t see past end of his nose. 

    I reckon one reason West Governments put up with ChiComs behaviour is because we are dependent on China for money to pay for wildly expensive baby boomers and their whims and also cheap tat for people who can’t afford more expensive goods and services. 

    Strategy Page ~ July 2005:

    Two Chinese diplomats, Chen Yonglin and Hao Fengjun, who are trying to obtain political asylum in Australia, have provided details of China’s international espionage effort. Nothing surprising in what they described. The Chinese use three types of spies. They have a few hundred professional spies, the James Bond types, but use them sparingly. 

    They have a much larger number of part timers, semi-professionals, actually. These are usually business people who are willing to obtain information or items that the government wants, and will do it legally, or otherwise. If the latter, they expect the payoff to be commensurate with the risk. 

    Lastly, there are hundreds of thousands of Chinese citizens overseas who have been approached by the government and urged to try and bring back something useful. This group is not encouraged to do anything illegal, but is made to realize that the government will repay a favor (a valuable find) with a favor from the government. In China, with it’s corrupt bureaucracy, and communist officials still running the place, such favors can be more valuable than money.

    The system China is using, called “a thousand grains of sand,” is nothing new. Other nations have used similar systems for centuries. What is unusual is the scale of the Chinese effort. The Chinese intelligence bureaucracy inside China is huge, with nearly 100,000 people working just to keep track of the many Chinese overseas, and what they could, or should, to trying to grab for the motherland.

    • When did Canada become dependent on China?

      When did Boomers….everyone from 46 to 65 in this country….become ‘wildly expensive’?

      When did you lose track of the plot?

      • I don’t know what has happened that I feel compelled to defend TonyAdams all the time, but here I go again.

        Boomers became wildly expensive when they decided they wanted everything and that includes lower taxes.  I’m one of them. 

        Canada became dependent on China right around the time the U.S. did, since we are dependent on them and China has at least two ways, right today, that they could make the U.S. a territory of China without wasting a single bullet.  They could, today, only make life for us extremely difficult.  But after a few months of the U.S. being a territory of China, China would own us as well.

        • LOL you’ve set yourself an impossible task.

          Boomers are the majority…and we live in a very wealthy country…and I don’t think you can say they want ‘everything’ and lower taxes as well.  That’s just the few that are Libertarians. They believe in magic.

          China isn’t about to take over the US, they have enough problems of their own…and we have trade deals elsewhere in any case. Or will have once Harp gets rid of supply management.

          • Uh, I always like a challenge?

            I think you can say that if you take Boomers as a whole.  There are the ones who want poverty reduction to the extent that the poor can buy a house and send us the bill (seriously) and then there are the ones who don’t want to pay one red cent to the State for the glorious opportunity of living here.  And everything in between, of course.

            Hopefully, you are right and China isn’t about to take over the U.S.  But the point is, they could if they wanted to.  Our trade deals elewhere will collapse right around the time China takes over the U.S. because how they will do that will effect everyone.

          • Um…nobody wants the ‘poor to buy a house and send us the bill’.

            People want the ‘poor’ to become middle class and able to buy their own houses.

            China is the Americans largest foreign debtor, and they could certainly cause harm if they wished…but there is no point in doing so, and we have no reason to believe the Chinese want to do anything like that…much less cause a collapse of the world economy. Why on earth would they want to do that?

          • @OriginalEmily1:disqus 

            Actually, I met that woman on Monday.  You are right in that she didn’t say, “let them buy a house and hand OW the bill” she instead said, “let them rent a place and hand OW the bill”  then LATER said they should be able to get a house if they want one.

            I don’t know . . . so Communism wins over Capitalism?  Who knows what they are thinking.  I imagine after a while they would ‘allow independence’ or do something like Hong Kong, or maybe they just ‘accidentally’ got themselves into the position of world domination for no reason at all.

          • @2Jenn 

            So you’re basing all this on what one woman said? Srsly?

            As to China, they haven’t been communist in a long time…they are using what is called state capitalism.

            None of our economic systems have survived into the 21st century…we’re just messing about with what’s left of them

            As to what they are thinking….well, it’s easy enough to read their newspapers and watch their broadcasts these days. Or check their history.

            You know until about 1500 CE, they had the largest GDP in the world….had done for about 2000 years. Then they hit a bad patch…a couple of stupid emperors… and went downhill.

            Now they’re back…but I wouldn’t worry about it.  They never did the invasions and colonialism and wars that we did during the last 500 years.

          • @OriginalEmily1:disqus 

            I’m basing “there are the ones who want” on one woman and the man who said, “you go, sister” to everything she said.  I didn’t say “there are a lot of ones who want” after all.  But I have met two, so feel justified in saying there are ones.

            As to China, the point I think Tony Adams was making, and I am certainly making, is that IF THEY WANTED to, they could take over the U.S.  Not that they wanted to take over, just that they could.

    • Be Nice To Countries That Lend You Money ~ The Atlantic Dec 2008:

      In his first interview since the world financial crisis, Gao Xiqing, the man who oversees $200 billion of China’s $2 trillion in dollar holdings, explains why he’s betting against the dollar, praises American pragmatism, and wonders about enormous Wall Street paychecks. And he has a friendly piece of advice:

      Q: About the $700 billion U.S. financial-rescue plan enacted in October:

      A: Finally, after months and months of struggling with your own ideology, with your own pride, your self-righteousness … finally [the U.S. applied] one of the great gifts of Americans, which is that you’re pragmatic. Now our people are joking that we look at the U.S. and see “socialism with American characteristics.” [The Chinese term for its mainly capitalist market-opening of the last 30 years is “socialism with Chinese characteristics.”]

      It is joking, and many people are saying: “No, Americans still believe in free capitalism and they think this is just a hiccup.” This is like our great leader Deng Xiaoping, who said that it doesn’t matter if the cat is white or black, as long as it catches the mouse. It doesn’t matter what we call this. It’s pragmatic.

      Q: On what might make the Chinese government start taking its dollars out of America (I began the question by saying that China would hurt itself by pulling out dollar assets—at which he interjected, “in the short term”—and then asked about the long-term view):

      A: Today when we look at all the markets, the U.S. still is probably the most viable, the most predictable. I was trained as a lawyer, and predictability is always very important for me.We have a PR department, which collects all the comments about us, from Chinese newspapers and the Web. 

      Every night, I try to pick a time when I’m in a relatively good mood to read it, because most of the comments are very critical of us. Recently we increased our holdings in Blackstone a little bit. Now we’re increasing a little bit our holdings in Morgan Stanley, so as not to be diluted by the Japanese. 

      People here hate it. They come out and say, “Why the hell are you trying to save those people? You are the representative of the poor people eating porridge, and you’re saving people eating shark fins!” It’s always that sort of thing.

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