- China refuses external criticism. This is also shown by the case of Australia, which should be instructive for Germany.
- Australia has requested an international investigation into the origin of the corona pandemic because it doubts China’s version.
- China reacted promptly. With an import freeze, threats and even more threats. That had an effect.
Woe to anyone who openly criticizes China’s state power. At the moment he gets to feel that China is reluctant to be taught. This is all the more true when criticism comes from the West, which practically demoted the proud country to a colony in the 19th century. A national humiliation that Beijing has not forgotten.
The Hong Kong case is well known: pro-democratic forces have been demanding the detachment of their semi-autonomous city from China for months. Beijing does not want to allow that. In no case does the regime want to show weakness towards the West. Now China’s National People’s Congress even wants to adopt a paper that would allow Beijing to deploy and deploy its own security forces in Hong Kong. It would be a nightmare for the pro-democratic forces.
How did the corona pandemic come about? Australia doubts China’s version
The case of Australia is less well known. From a German perspective, however, it should be more instructive. After all, Australia is not a city that has been part of the People’s Republic again since 1997, but a sovereign country, indeed a “strategic partner” of Germany.
Australia’s conservative government dared in April to request an international investigation into Chinese crisis management in the corona pandemic. A delicate topic for China. Because it is still unclear exactly how the novel corona virus got from humans to humans. Did it happen in a wild animal market or even in an accident in a virus laboratory?
It is indisputable that the disaster started in Wuhan, China. There is also broad consensus in the West that China initially covered up the outbreak, silenced critics, and then ordered drastic quarantine measures only after the virus had long spread across the city limits of Wuhan.
China stops importing Australian beef
China’s regime apparently fears that an international investigation could find evidence that would compromise Beijing’s crisis management. In any case, it refuses to let independent investigators into the country. And who, like Australia, demands this anyway? It is dealing with an angry and punitive China, which is well aware of its power as the second largest economy in the world.
First, China stopped importing Australian beef. Then China’s ambassador threatened to boycott Australian universities. Tens of thousands of Chinese are currently studying in Australia. Your tuition fees are an important source of income for Australian universities. Without this money, some institutions face financial difficulties.
And China continued to follow up. For one, it brought punitive tariffs on Australian barley into play. On the other hand, Chinese tourists to Australia were threatened with restrictions. The latter would hit the Australian tourism industry hard. Every fourth tourist has come from the People’s Republic in recent years.
Australia is not the first country to feel China’s anger
China’s deterrent campaign has had an impact. At the annual meeting of the responsible World Health Organization (WHO), Australia’s proposal for an independent examination did not even come to a vote. A severely weakened paper was decided. Accordingly, the WHO only undertakes to “identify the source of the infection” and to track the transmission to humans. Not a word about an independent investigation, China or Wuhan.
Read also: China tough: Beijing has just skilfully played Trump in the shadow of Corona – and secured even more power
Australia is not the first country to feel China’s tail. In 2012, British Prime Minister David Cameron invited the Dalai Lama, symbol of the Tibetan deposition movement from China. The People’s Republic of Great Britain then chilled until Cameron publicly distanced himself from the Dalai Lama.
Also read: China does not tolerate outside instruction – these countries learned that the hard way
At the end of 2018, a Canadian court had the prominent chief financial officer of tech giant Huawei arrested for alleged sanctions violations. As a result, Beijing apparently retaliated and in turn threw two Canadian citizens into prison, allegedly for “endangering state security”. The Canadian government called the arrest “arbitrary.” The two Canadians are still in custody without an appointment for trial or release.
China is Germany’s most important trading partner
At the beginning of October 2019, a manager of the US basketball league NBA shared a twitter message with the words “Fight for freedom. Stand by Hong Kong ”. Chinese state television promptly canceled broadcasts of two NBA games, withdrew key Chinese sponsors, and NBA fan articles disappeared from Chinese websites. The manager quickly apologized.
From a German perspective, the case of Australia is now likely to be so instructive because both countries maintain close economic ties with China. China is by far Australia’s most important trading partner. A third of all Australian exports go to the People’s Republic – including coveted raw materials such as iron ore, coal, gas and gold.
The People’s Republic is Germany’s number one trading partner, too. The Chinese market plays a particularly important role for Germany’s auto industry. If Germany were too critical of China, for example if she openly sided with the Hong Kong demonstrators, Beijing would have enough opportunities to wedge back. In this respect, there should also be a warning to Germany in the Australia case: Better not mess with China!
China is not to be trifled with – these world brands found this out the hard way
China is not to be trifled with – these world brands found this out the hard way
The American NBA professional basketball league recently fell out of favor in China. It was a tweet from Daryl Morey, manager of the Houston Rockets NBA team, that caused a stir. In this he expressed solidarity with the words “Fight for freedom. Stand by Hong Kong ”with the democracy movement in the Chinese Special Administrative Region.
China reacted promptly. The state television CCTV canceled the broadcast of two NBA games. Major Chinese Rockets sponsors withdrew, and suddenly NBA fan products could no longer be purchased on Chinese websites.
China’s punishment hit the NBA hard. This can be seen in Morey’s reaction. He immediately apologized for his tweet, stressing that he had no intention of insulting his friends and Rockets fans in China. Adam Silver showed less regret. He clarified that the league stands for values such as freedom of expression and does not intend to regulate the political opinions of players, employees or owners. Nevertheless, Silver announced that it would endeavor to resolve the disputes on its trip to China this week.
China is the largest foreign market for the NBA. Thanks to rewarding license agreements with CCTV and the tech group Tencent, the NBA was able to retain around 800 million viewers there in 2018, according to the US business intelligence service “Bloomberg”.
Also read: The Nike contract is just the tip: How the NBA king LeBron James makes millions over millions
Scott Halleran, Getty Images
Apple could also soon feel the consequences because it allegedly campaigns for protesters in Hong Kong. At least this is what recent reports from the “Volkstagszeitung” suggest. The sheet is considered the mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party.
For example, the report accuses Apple of using an app called HKmap.live to support protesters in Hong Kong. “Allowing this toxic app to spread is a betrayal of the feelings of the Chinese people,” the Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post quotes the Chinese media.
The app gives users in Hong Kong access to maps that provide information about police parades. Users can also view locations of police vehicles, armed officials and injured demonstrators. The app works via crowdsourcing. Here, users of the app can provide the information themselves, which can then be viewed by other users immediately.
Read also: Blow for Huawei: Apple now gets from Trump what the Chinese tech giant absolutely wanted
According to the “Volkstagszeitung” this is an incitement to illegal behavior. Apple should not be surprised if this harms the company’s reputation in China.
Apple is already having problems in China. His iPhone sales have dropped dramatically as a result of the trade conflict between the United States and the People’s Republic.
Stephen Lam / Stringer / Getty Images
3. Tiffany & Co.
Jeweler Tiffany & Co. also learned the hard way what it’s like to turn China against itself. An ad by the company, which appeared as print and online advertising both inside and outside of China, showed a female model who covered his right eye with his hand.
Some saw it as a reference to a protester in Hong Kong who was injured in the eye by a rubber bullet in August. “I used to be a big fan, but now I’m mainly a Chinese. I love my country and do not tolerate any defamation or disregard for China, ”said a user of the Twitter-like platform Weibo, as the” Hong Kong Free Press “writes. After the summer incident, covering up the right eye became a symbol for the anti-government demonstrations in the metropolis.
Although the company emphasized that the picture should not be interpreted as a political statement, but was rather taken before the named incident, the company was forced to remove the picture from all digital and social media channels.
SOPA Images, Contributor, Getty Images
Stuttgart-based carmaker Daimler has not been spared from China’s anger. As NewsABC.net reported, the group published on the Instagram page of its Mercedes-Benz brand a quote from the Dalai Lama, who is revered as the religious leader in his home country of Tibet and is considered a symbol of an independent Tibet. This caused a shit storm on Chinese social media channels.
Tibet has been a formally autonomous area within the People’s Republic since 1950. Beijing struggles for independence with all its might.
China’s state media then referred to Daimler as the “enemy of the people” because of the Dalai Lama quote. The German carmaker then deleted the post and apologized for having “hurt the feelings of the Chinese people”.
Also read: “Everything is fake”: A Tibetan describes what China wanted to hide from the world on October 1
The German auto industry is particularly dependent on the Chinese sales market. After all, a particularly large number of vehicles can be sold there. This gives the People’s Republic power and it also uses it, as China expert Kerstin Lohse-Friedrich confirmed in an interview with NewsABC.net: “China is about presenting companies internationally and thus showing how large companies are under the power of the Chinese government have to bend. “
5. South Park
The film industry has long understood how much power China has in its industry. Because investments in productions from the country are extremely popular, the film content in Hollywood is sometimes adjusted so that the People’s Republic is doing well. The Washington Post reports that the villains in the remake of “Red Dawn” no longer come from China, but from North Korea.
But not all filmmakers bow to China. The makers of “South Park” produced a series for the 23rd season of the hit series called “Band in China”. In it, they make fun of Chinese censorship and Hollywood’s dependence on the People’s Republic. As a result, the US magazine “The Hollywood Reporter” reported that access to the series from China was blocked. Discussions and other mentions related to the series have also been made inaccessible to Internet users in China.
Instead of giving in now, the “South Park” makers Matt Stone and Trey Park went one better. In a tweet, they published a humorous “sorry” saying, “Just like the NBA, we welcome the Chinese censors to our homes and hearts. We also love money more than freedom and democracy. “
Watch the full episode – https://t.co/oktKSJdI9i@THR article – https://t.co/nXrtmnwCJB pic.twitter.com/Xj5a1yE2eL
South Park Studios