Friday, November 15, 2019

Husband & wife concern China Matters blames media for China's rejection of Andrew Hastie and James Patterson

by Ganesh Sahathevan

China Matters implies that media were responsible for Andrew Hastie and James Patterson being told they not welcome by the Chinese Government:

It is most unfortunate that the names of the politicians who had accepted our invitation to join the study tour in December became public in advance (“Outspoken China critic Andrew Hastie to visit Asian superpower on parliamentary fact-finding mission. Enter the Dragon.” West Australian 23 Oct 2019). We believe that these politicians accepted our invitation in good faith with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of the PRC and of sharing their views with PRC interlocutors. Disappointingly, the media attention that ensued created an environment which was no longer conducive to our goal of facilitating low-key discussions and exchanging differing points of view behind closed doors. A guiding principle of these study tours has been that one publicly shares one’s study tour experiences upon return to Australia. 

China Matters's states that since its inception it  has strived to bring nuance into discussions about the PRC in Australia.The above however provides further evidence that this outfit ought not to be taken seriously, and ought to be considered nothing more than a PR or advertising outfit with pretensions of grandeur on the international stage.



Monday, October 28, 2019

Husband & wife concern "China Matters" would not be taken seriously in Asia, but in Australia it has high level government support- Australian policy makers have clearly not heard of Lee Kuan Yew's Suzhou Experience

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Late Lee Kuan Yew inspecting the construction of the Suzhou Industrial Park

Australia's Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has proudly declared on his website:

Today I’m leaving on a 4 day trip to Beijing, China to discuss a range of economic matters.

Over the course if the trip I am meeting with a range of academics, China policy specialists and representatives from global international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund.

This includes meetings with Jia Qingguo, Professor and Dean of the School of International Studies at Peking University and Dr Chu Shulong, a US-China relations policy expert.

I will also participate in a Roundtable on China’s international outlook, hosted by Dr Wang Huiyao, Founder and President of Centre for China and Globalization, the largest independent global think tank in China,

The trip is sponsored by the public policy initiative “China Matters” and I will be accompanied by the founding director and Chief Executive Officer of China Matters, Linda Jakobson.

China Matters appears to be a family affair. Its website is registered in the name of one Chris Lintz (see record below) who states on his Linkedin profile:

Currently assisting my wife Linda Jakobson with her public policy initiative China Matters Ltd. Please see for more details.

Specialties: China representative office management and establishment of representative offices in China. Fluent in Chinese (Mandarin). Extensive knowledge of China's machinery industry and oil & gas industries; industrial standards in China for the machinery industry, oil & gas industry and power sector (including nuclear).

Ms Jakobson's views on business with China are in the usual "must do more to trade with China, and must understand China better to ensure Australian commercial prosperity".

Some examples:

......Australians are missing opportunities because of reluctance to invest in China. Despite the fact that the consequences of China’s economic transformation have been apparent for a decade, Australia’s economic relationship with China continues to be largely transactional (resources or food products are shipped to China). Xi Jinping’s reforms merely reinforced goals set by his predecessor: to make growth consumption-driven rather than investment-led and reliant on the services sector rather than manufacturing. The overwhelming majority of Australia’s GDP derives from the services sector, but services only comprise about 20% of Australia’s exports

These views would be treated with derision by most Asian businessmen(many of them ethnic Chinese from Malaysia, Singapore)who have been venturing into China since at least the mid-90s. Their experiences have not been happy, and many would not today consider that they are "missing opportunities because of reluctance to invest in China'". Lee Kuan Yew's Suzhou Industrial Park was one of the most high profile examples of why any business would prefer to forego these "opportunities".

It is strange that the likes of Chris Bowen and other policy makers would rather ignore LKY's experience and choose instead the guidance of  consultants like "China Matters" when it should be obvious that profit seeking businessmen gambling their own money are likely to have better intelligence of these missed "opportunities".



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