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Media must go deeper than 'yellow peril' fear-mongering

  • 07 September 2016


The Chinese government is out to undermine every aspect of the Australian way of life, from our Census to the integrity of our democracy. Any day now the red flag of the Communist Party will be flying over Parliament House in Canberra ... Or so, you'd be forgiven for believing.

Chinese fear-mongering has hit a fever-pitch in Australia's media in recent months and the lines between genuine concern and sensationalism is becoming increasingly blurred.

How can we make sure journalism keeps level-headed and fair, especially when the issues intersect with Australia's international diplomatic posturing?

The recent avalanche of 'Red's Under the Bed' media fear-mongering kicked into gear after the crash of the Census website. The morning after the website crash Australian Bureau of Statistics' David Kalisch said the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack on the website came from an 'international source'.

Despite the fact that these attacks by nature hijack large quantities of international internet traffic and there being no evidence as to where the attack originated, the media jumped on it and had a field day. Beijing was out to get us ... and our Census data.

ABC's Media Watch was scathing of the media's coverage that week, pointing out the incredibly long bow being drawn by ABC and other reports — which laid the blame for the attack squarely on China and also suggested anger at doping comments made by Olympic swimmer Mack Horton in Rio may have been the reason behind the attack.

As respected tech podcaster and blogger Patrick Gray told Media Watch, the amount of evidence that China's government or even Chinese individual citizens were behind the attack was 'none whatsoever'.

It's not just China's government, but a wide segment of the Chinese diaspora, who, pledging allegiance to the Communist Party, are setting about to undermine Australia from the inside.


"Would this have happened if it was a different country? Would an article on Belgian influence be run including donations by those with 'Belgian sounding' names?"


With Chinese community members planning a concert in honour of Chairman Mao, Fairfax took a newfound interest in inter-Chinese community disputes last week, with a big portrait of Mao on the front page. On the same day, the ABC Radio National AM program reported on an investigation into businesses with 'close ties to China donated $5.5 million to political parties'. They attached a list of the Chinese government-linked donors and how much they gave. While there were Chinese state-owned companies