I wasn’t originally going to share it here. The reason was because Nick McKenzie contacted me from the recommendations of a friend, I did not want to hurt my friend’s relationship with him.
Sadly, Nick McKenzie’s biased reporting has gone too far, it is now starting to hurt the Chinese community at large. Recently when I was talking to some Chinese student association representatives, one of them cited how she was afraid to speak. She felt like she would be branded as more than she was. It’s got to the point of a red scare.
Jieh-Yung Lo, a Chinese community leader and activist outlines it well in his recent opinion piece on the Guardian.
…the concern I have is that this story will paint a picture that all current and future Chinese-Australians will behave like Huang Xiangmo and Chau Chak Wing if they decide to get involved in Australian politics.
What evolved from a story of investigation into foreign donations, a justified cause, has become a sweeping attack on the Chinese community as a whole. With so called mind reading ‘foreign experts’ like Merriden Varrall putting words into the mouths of 1.3 billion Chinese people, like she did in her AFR opinion piece.
About nearly two months ago, Nick McKenzie gave me a call. Claiming to be a investigative journalist from Four Corners, doing work on a report about Chinese Soft Power. The phone call did not go well as Mr McKenzie had already made up his mind on how the story would be told. Nick McKenzie had written the story beforehand, now he was merely filling in the blank spots with cherry picked evidence.
He thought I would know Taiwanese student associations and how they were being influenced and perhaps strongarmed by the Chinese government or Chinese students under government orders. I told him it was much more likely to be the opposite scenario, as I had been part of a Taiwanese student association, in which the local Taiwan diplomat even had a daughter in the group. I even remember a time where we had to make an entourage to welcome a Taiwanese delegate. I also remembered when Taiwanese students would bully Mainland students for not following Taiwanese independence ideology.
Of course, as we all remember, in his now infamous Four Corner’s piece, he paints the picture of a Chinese student association as some type of Red Guards club. Flurrying red Chinese flags and yelling ‘China’ like crazed Communist zealots. You see, despite what I told Mr McKenzie, on how Asian student associations at university all seem to have a level of government influence, he still went forward with his own narrative. He wanted to paint the Chinese community, the Australian Chinese people as the new eastern bogeyman. He wanted this big scoop of a story, he wanted his smug mug to be the one breaking the story of sneaky orientals.
Just looking at the banner of the Fairfax owned Sydney Morning Herald’s interactive page on ‘China’s Operation Australia’ you could feel the orientalist perspective they were taking. A big Chinese flag, adorned with revolving Australian bank notes and South China Sea maps. Like it was a big conspiracy and that any moment now the hourglass would break and the communists would pour into Australia. It even has 5 White journalists credited just below, legitimising it as true White Australian news. Now, this is how you construct a yellow peril.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am all for cutting out all foreign influences from Australian politics, but why does Fairfax, who so readily advertises themselves as independent journalism have to resort to such fearmongering tactics? This is not hitting back at the Chinese government, this is illustrating a image of Communist mongoloid hordes ready to take over Australia. The sneaky Chinaman and his nefarious plans to take over the mighty Western nation, thwarted by brave, shiny, white and chivalrous Nick McKenzie and co. Maybe Fairfax should get into writing some 1950’s comics, they already seem to have employed a time travelling orentialist artist as a web designer.
Come on, this should not even have to be said. Chinese people are people. Chinese people are individuals. We can think for ourselves. We aren’t easily brainwashed drones. In the future just treat us as humans.