The next step has been taken in the Federal Government’s efforts to combat suicide in veterans and serving members of the Australian Defence Force with the appointment of the interim National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester welcomed the announcement made by the Attorney-General Christian Porter today appointing Dr Bernadette Boss CSC to this important role.

“The health and wellbeing of our veterans and ADF personnel is at the heart of the National Commissioner legislation and is part of the Government’s commitment to putting veterans and their families first,” Mr Chester said.

“The appointment of an interim commissioner is a significant step forward as we work to ensure our personnel and veterans have the help they need, when and where they need it when it comes to their mental health.

“I congratulate Dr Boss on her appointment as the interim National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention who will start working to identify and understand the factors and systemic issues that may contribute to suicide risk and provide recommendations to improve prevention efforts.

“Dr Boss started her career as a nurse, completing a Bachelor of Science in London and later studying law. She had a distinguished military career and has held inquests and hearings into complex deaths, including suicides.

“As a current Magistrate and Coroner in the Australian Capital Territory, Dr Boss has the skills and expertise to examine these tragic instances of ADF and veteran suicides to understand practical actions to reduce suicide risk.”

This announcement builds on the Government’s ongoing commitment to support the mental health and wellbeing of veterans and their families, including funding free mental health care for any mental health condition, improvements to transition and employment support, and assistance to those veterans particularly at risk.

“The Government is providing psychiatric assistance dogs for veterans with PTSD as a supplement to clinical mental health treatment – a program that veterans and their family members are telling me is changing their lives and saving lives,” Mr Chester said.

“We continue to roll out a national program of more than 45 Open Arms Peer Workers who connect with veterans and family members who may be struggling with their mental health, bringing a lived experience of mental health issues and, importantly, of recovery.

“We have also invested in the Coordinated Client Support program to identify veterans at risk before they transition out of service and provide them with a single point of contact as well as delivering increased employment support for ADF members looking for career development and job placement support as they set up for civilian life.

“In June, the Government extended the Provisional Access to Medical Treatment program, which delivers medical treatment to veterans for the top 20 most commonly accepted conditions while their claim is being considered, and the Wellbeing and Support Program, which provides intensive face-to-face case management services for highly vulnerable veterans who are transitioning or who have complex needs.”

While legislation is currently before the Parliament to establish the role permanently, the National Commissioner will begin important work to strengthen our efforts toward suicide prevention, including conducting an independent review of past Defence and veteran suicides.

Following the passage of legislation, the National Commissioner will have enduring power, scope and resources to inquire into deaths by suicide, and will support future wellbeing and suicide prevention efforts, by identifying the need for any system-wide reforms, or new approaches to support ADF members and veterans.

“The National Commissioner will make recommendations to the Government about actions and strategies to prevent future suicides, and will report publicly on their findings to Parliament each year,” Mr Chester said.

“The Government will be required to report on the progress of these recommendations, and the National Commissioner will have an ongoing role in monitoring the implementation of the recommendations it makes.”

For more information on how the Australian Government is supporting veterans and their families, visit

Open Arms — Veterans & Families Counselling provides free and confidential support for current and ex-serving ADF personnel and their families. Help is available 24/7 on 1800 011 046 (international: +61 1800 011 046 or +61 8 8241 4546) or visit

For further information on the National Commissioner for Defence and Veteran Suicide Prevention, visit


TASMANIAN veterans, their families and interested community members will be able to have their say on how they are supported into the future as part of the feasibility study looking at an integrated, nationally connected service for the state.

Federal Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester announced today that the University of Tasmania would lead the feasibility study into the potential for a localised health and wellbeing support service for veterans and their families in Tasmania.

“The University of Tasmania will be engaging with veterans, their families and interested community members across the state to undertake this important research to understand what services are available to veterans and their families in Tasmania,” Mr Chester said.

“They will also look at what service gaps there may be and the best way to provide long-term benefits to the veteran community through a potential new service model, including implementation.

“The findings from this study will assist the Australian Government to make future decisions by providing a better understanding of veteran’s changing needs and service delivery in Tasmania.

“I thank and acknowledge the Tasmanian Government and Mr Barnett for their commitment to veterans and their families. I also thank the Member for Braddon and Army veteran Mr Gavin Pearce MP, and Member for Bass Mrs Bridget Archer MP who have both strongly advocated for veterans and their families in Tasmania.”

The Australian Government and the Tasmanian Government jointly invested $120,000 in this study and will shortly be inviting veterans and their families, and interested community members to have their say on how they can be best supported across the state moving forward.

Tasmanian Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Guy Barnett welcomed the announcement and said the Tasmanian Government is contributing $60 000 to the study.

“This is great news and confirms our strong support for Tasmania’s veterans,” Minister Barnett said.

“I encourage veterans, ex-serving organisations and other interested stakeholders to have their say and help shape the provision of services to Tasmania’s veterans.

“We thank the Australian Government and Minister Chester for their leadership and commitment in supporting Tasmania’s veterans and their families.”

The consultation process will also seek the views of the community with respect to the support needs of first responders, noting the respective funding responsibilities of the State and Federal Government.

This study builds upon the six Veteran Wellbeing Centres that are already being established across Australia by the Federal Government to support veterans and their families with connected and coordinated local services. For more information on how to be involved in the consultations visit the DVA website.


Veterans and their families in Melbourne will have easier access to Open Arms – Veterans & Families Counselling (Open Arms) with the office relocating to 303 Collins Street.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester said despite the current coronavirus restrictions in Melbourne, work had continued on outfitting the new office space so veterans and their families would have improved access to support when face-to-face counselling resumes.

“Open Arms’ Melbourne office has seen a 25 per cent increase in clients in the last 12 months, and this increase is expected to continue throughout the pandemic,” Mr Chester said.

“With this in mind, the new location at 303 Collins Street, Melbourne is conveniently close to Flinders Street Station, tram and bus routes and offers veterans and their families a modern, well equipped and family friendly site with additional counselling rooms and large open office spaces to ensure they are well-looked after.

“It is incredibly important that this relocation to improved office space is completed so our Victorian veterans and their families can access the right facilities and services when they need to.”

Open Arms is Australia’s leading provider of high quality mental health assessment and clinical counselling services for Australian veterans and their families.

“If you are a veteran or family member who may be struggling or in need of additional support, I encourage you to call Open Arms 24/7 on 1800 011 046 or visit to find more about services available.”

Open Arms was founded by our Vietnam veterans and is their enduring legacy of ensuring all veterans and their families can access free and confidential mental health support.

The Melbourne Open Arms office is one of five in Victoria. For further information on Open Arms locations, visit



I was asked if I could provide some scribbles in regards to the military spirit which embraces our beloved Royal Australian Regiment (RAR). Given my personal observations of troops in the field in recent time, there is no doubt it is very much alive and as vibrant as ever

Our tribal genesis is the genes of the originals who were the battle-weary veterans of WW2. Many of them were still soldiering on and wearing the infant RAR regimental badge during the Korean War. Some were still there during operational service in Malaya, Thai Border, Borneo and to remind all of us that old soldiers never die, there were still a few barking orders and setting examples in Vietnam.

A very critical and mostly forgotten phase of soldiering was during the Great Peace where there were those who guarded our standards and regimental spirit. They did it well, as demonstrated in subsequent deployments including Butterworth (Malaysia 1970-1989), Rwanda and Somalia. Once the Great Peace ended, it seemed traffic jams were inevitable as yet more generations of the Regiment travelled to and from Timor, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as other deployments for hazardous peacekeeping duties.

What of that regimental spirit? We were not born with it, nor was it issued, given as a magical birthday gift or presented by some senior officer from Canberra. It was developed slowly but surely on parade grounds, sentry duty, facing danger, enduring incredible hardships together, caring and sharing with each other, including the fear often hovering close by. Such spirit will always be a huge and powerful weapon. It gives strength, and helps keep the team united, motivated and always ready to grit teeth, roll up sleeves to do what has to be done. The following text says it for all in our tribe of what we breathe, speak of, and believe. “The spirit, which grows up in a Battalion (Regiment) when it has been …… is a comradeship almost spiritual in its strength and intensity. It springs from hardships shared equally, risks run by all in common and its power exceeds most of the emotions that an ordinary man will ever know. The care of soldiers for one another, their sure and calm dependence on each other are hard to understand by anyone who has not known it.” – Osmar White

Today, the cycle of soldiering continues; the old teaching the new so many qualities not recorded in textbooks and which are waiting to be mastered. Lessons which reach out from barrack-room routines, parade grounds, guardrooms, sports arenas, messes, canteens and in the field. The proud history to be read understood and confirmed by the deeds of yesterday etched on the sacred cloth flying high. Above all, the NCO Corp is watching; screaming orders as new recruits to the family blend with the old as they join the column. All are in step, marching into its tomorrow with purpose, and always with a proud indefatigable regimental spirit and ready to do its duty.

No matter where the column marches, all those yesterdays’ march with it. Its legacy is a proud one and has been tested in the most adverse conditions. The Regiment’s spirit has been demonstrated on many occasions, and to mention a few include the defiance at Kapyong, Samichon, Long Tan and Coral-Balmoral; the daring and aggressiveness at Maryang Sang and Binh Ba and the perseverance so demanding in insurgency operations, seemingly forever and ever. Always has been the high standard of battle discipline. No matter when or where the ANZAC humour still thrives, and above all, is the trust and faith in each other. All of this and more, was, is and always will be linked to the spirit of the Royal Australian Regiment. It is a powerful treasure that can never be bought or stolen.

At Enoggera Barracks where many of the fallen once trained, there is The WALK which honours the Regiments fallen with a tree and plaque for each of our heroes. The custodians of The WALK who devote their time to constant maintenance are old soldiers of the Regiment. They are clear evidence that the Spirit exists beyond serving warriors to the whole RAR family, embracing mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, spouses and children.

To claim it, to feel deeply its great pride, you must be part of it


A special commemorative medallion marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War is now available to every living Second World War veteran to say ‘thank you for your service’.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester today launched the medallion and certificate in the lead up to the end of the Second World War commemoration on 15 August, awarding the first medallion to Sale veteran Rose Jackson.

“As we approach this special anniversary, we recognise that it will be one of the last opportunities we have as a nation to publicly acknowledge the remaining veterans of the Second World War, of which there are around 12,000 still with us today,” Mr Chester said.

“These brave Australians served our nation in the far corners of the world, fighting in theatres of war from Europe to North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, to Asia and the Pacific, with the conflict also reaching Australian shores.

“Australia can never fully repay the debt we owe these amazing men and women but, to mark their service, the Federal Government is producing this Commemorative Medallion and Certificate of Commemoration for the remaining living Second World War veterans.

“I am delighted to be in Sale today to present the first of the Commemorative Medallions to an Australian Second Word War veteran, Rose Jackson.

“Rose served in the Australian Army during World War Two and rose to the rank of private. She was posted to Bandiana, Victoria after undertaking training and worked in a clerical role.

“Thank you for your service, Rose.”

The medallion, available to all living veterans who apply, will be presented in a display case and is a gesture of appreciation from a grateful nation to those veterans who fought to protect our way of life in the terrible conflict that ended 75 years ago.

Second World War veterans, or their families on their behalf, can apply online at or, for those without internet access, by phone on 02 61918217 during business hours. The Commemorative Medallions and Certificates will be distributed during August.


THE facts of history are immutable, the recording and interpretation of those facts increasingly less so.

The ABC’s latest act of moral rectitude has been to accuse Australian soldiers in Afghanistan in 2012 of posing with a US Confederate States (CSA) battle flag, an act of apparent moral turpitude symbolic of the ADF’s ethical decline. Unwise perhaps, but hardly a war crime except eight years after the event, that flag has become a symbol of American political protest.

In the political correctness which infects discourse particularly in the ADF, the display of aggressive symbols is described as triumphalism.

Australian official military heraldry is replete with iconic symbolism, not all of it politically correct.

The CSA flag, once a symbol of states’ rights, remains a potent symbol in America, just as it was in the bloody political secession and civil war which spawned it. Respected US historian, the late Shelby Foote wrote, “Any understanding of this nation has to be … really based on the understanding of Civil War … (which) defined us as what we are and it opened us to being what we became — good and bad things.”

Banning and removing symbols such as the statues of CSA leaders and flags do not change what occurred.

Adding unsubstantiated material to accounts of that period only serves to muddy the truth.

Australia and the US had quite different beginnings but there are those who try to draw parallels between their formative histories.

American colonists fought several wars to make their nation what it now is. The CSA fought a war not principally over the right to keep slaves, but against centralist governments which taxed and regulated without, they believed, listening to their concerns.

It was a grievance which found and still finds common cause here, such as when entrepreneurial miners revolted near Ballarat over fees and licences imposed by governments in which they claimed not to be represented.

Far from a symbol of workers’ aspirations, their Eureka flag was a symbol of opposition to external, centralised control.

It is a theme which cuts deep in Australia’s north, though its cutlery rattling local proponents tend to be talk and little action.

Until recently the Eureka flag and General Lee’s battle ensign were not uncommonly seen together on Australian militant building sites.

Not Australian certainly, but an obscure protest symbiosis to some. That the CSA flag has fallen into disfavour is a US problem, not ours.

Watch Out for Dragons and Wooden Horses

 Watch Out for Dragons and Wooden Horses

The sleeping dragon which our forefathers warned us about, is now wide awake, hungry and clearly on the prowl. To discourage its appetite, Canberra recently announced its intention to enhance our defence capability with more space age weaponry. Unfortunately, such measures do not counter a large Trojan horse already in our own backyard which threatens our precious way of life.  It feeds on violence, bullying, threats and lies. To add to such woes is our lack of national sustainability and self- reliance. One could argue that this is our Achilles heel this very day. No matter the cost, and despite increasing debt, we must begin to convert that weakness into being our most powerful weapon. 

Within that wooden horse are self -ordained ministers preaching political correctness; WOKES distorting history, Brown Shirts demanding a new world order. All three sleep in the same bed and their intent is to destroy our way of life. Their unruly public demonstrations show contempt for our law, science, culture and history. For them, free speech is toxic to their cause and their weapons to counter truth are abuse, lies, threat and violence. Their platform has no room for second opinions. Their strategy includes infiltration of schools where their distortion of truth begins in the very early phases at primary levels and refined in universities. They pursue their ultimate goal with immunity, despite our laws and need for disciplined social behavior.  Both State and Federal governments simply ignore the violations, or use velvet gloves when chiding, and wet tram tickets as deterrents in once respected courts of law. The consequences provide further incentive for social disobedience as well as a growing unrest within the law abiding community.

The Trojan horse within our castle walls is hell bent on creating a new world built on ignorance, collective fantasies and greed for power as well. The internal threat is sinister and real. Thus, as well as purchasing space age weaponry and other budget shattering defence needs, (but please God, not obsolete submarines 25 years hence) we should reassess where all the keys to security lie, and act accordingly.  After all, it would be pointless to establish an impregnable fortress, if in time our treasured way of life is to be destroyed by the enemy within. Simply put, it’s time to confront brown shirts, political correct preachers and WOKES, with the full force of the law. 

We have been asleep at the wheel and complacent with the belief that in times of peril, Uncle Sam will come to our rescue. In this troubled and rapidly changing world, such assumptions could well be a dangerous and foolish assessment. We have to understand and prepare for the worst scenario. With sound planning and energy, we can become a nation with sustainability and self-reliance and which will be the sharpest of our spears. 

 There must be goals which are understood and pursued as a nation. The task list is not new, and must include discipline and education of our youth, busy factories, infrastructure, dams, cheap power including hydro, nuclear energy and much emphasis on science. Above all, to enhance unity and a proud belief in who we are and what we can do as one people. Time is the essence. It cannot be delayed with broken promises and excuses. Now is the time to act.  Falter, and there will be no safe and bright tomorrow. 

History records our past and its immense challenges which were overcome with strong purpose, and all as one.  All of us, united, must do this once more and vow never again to be so stupid as to ignore lessons of history. Our future kin will read of this and understand why in their time, they too will live in a happy, free and vibrant nation.


    Watch Out! The Brown Shirts** and other bullies are on the streets   

Screaming and chanting in the streets

Space age puppets driven by mindless feet

In the mob’s wake is the litter of hate

Spray cans, burnt flags and torn pages of rules of debate

Proud images of our past, broken, toppled or painted with vandal spite

Fools who scorn our history of courage, faith and a fair go forever so right  


They smear sacred walls etched with names of our fallen who gave all

Brave men and women who joined war’s columns to answer the call 

Nurse, butcher, baker, drover, clerk, teacher and shearer, all as one to fight

They too walked in the park where in time their memorial would be on site

Perhaps on the spot itself, to joke, laugh and dream of what would never be  

They were young, the world was theirs, and they lived in a land so free 


Today the street is crowded by a noisy few chanting hypocrisy as their call

To distort our past, and new rules to slowly strip freedom from all 

Our way of life to be stolen, replaced by persecution, and Piety branded taboo

No compass to guide us into tomorrow; only the ignorance of a demented few  

Beneath scarred sacred names of heroes, is our unbeatable spirit they’ll never know

Love of country, freedom, blood, sweat, tears, and pain of chains and lash from long ago

George Mansford ©June 2020

**Brownshirts were Hilter’s  thugs and bullies who in violent ways aided Hitler’s rise to power



Information: NCF Review

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs reviews the National Consultation Framework (NCF) every three years to ensure mechanisms for consultation between the Department, Commissions and the ex-serving community remain effective and fit-for-purpose.  As you’re aware, a review of the existing NCF structure commenced in mid-2019 and will include input from the broader serving and ex-serving community via an online survey conducted by an external research company, ORIMA.

In order to obtain input from as broad an audience as possible, the Department will promote the survey through a range of media, including social media, DVA and Defence newspapers, transition forums and Deputy Commissioner forums.  Furthermore, the Department is requesting NCF member organisations promulgate details of the NCF Review and survey to your members, through your established communications networks.  Input is encouraged from any serving and ex-serving members of the Australian Defence Force, as well as family members.  Input is also encouraged from people acting as representatives of ex-service organisations and other organisations that support the veteran community.

This survey will commence on Monday, 29 June 2020 and be open to the public until Sunday, 26 July 2020.  The survey can be accessed via the DVA website, at

DVA would be grateful for your assistance in promoting input from your members and local veteran community.  Together, we can ensure the entire veteran community continues to have a strong, effective and consultative relationship with DVA into the future.

The Beginning of the End of China

The Beginning of the End of China

By Peter Zeihan


The Chinese are intentionally torching their diplomatic relationships with the wider world. The question is why?

The short version is that China’s spasming belligerency is a sign not of confidence and strength, but instead insecurity and weakness. It is an exceedingly appropriate response to the pickle the Chinese find themselves in.

Some of these problems arose because of coronavirus, of course. Chinese trade has collapsed from both the supply and demand sides.

In the first quarter of 2020 China experienced its first recession since the reinvention of the Chinese economy under Deng Xiaoping in 1979.

Blame for this recession can be fully (and accurately) laid at the feet of China’s coronavirus epidemic.

But in Q2 China’s recession is certain to continue because the virus’ spread worldwide means China’s export-led economy doesn’t have anyone to export to.

Nor are China’s recent economic problems limited to coronavirus.

One of the first things someone living in a rapidly industrializing economy does once their standard of living increases is purchase a car, but car purchases in China started turning negative nearly two years before coronavirus reared its head.

Why the collapse even in what “should” be happening with the economy?

It really comes down to China’s financial model. In the United States (and to a lesser degree, in most of the advanced world) money is an economic good.

Something that has value in and of itself, and so it should be applied with a degree of forethought for how efficiently it can be mobilized.

This is why banks require collateral and/or business plans before they’ll fund loans.

That’s totally not how it works in China. In China, money – capital, to be more technical – is considered a political good, and it only has value if it can be used to achieve political goals.

Common concepts in the advanced world such as rates of return or profit margins simply don’t exist in China, especially for the state owned enterprises (of which there are many) and other favoured corporate giants that act as pillars of the economy.

Does this generate growth? Sure. Explosive growth? Absolutely.

Provide anyone with a bottomless supply of zero (or even subzero) percent loans and of course they’ll be able to employ scads of people and produce tsunamis of products and wash away any and all competition.

This is why China’s economy didn’t slow despite sky-high commodity prices in the 2000s – bottomless lending means Chinese businesses are not price sensitive.

This is why Chinese exporters were able to out-compete firms the world over in manufactured goods–bottomless lending enabled them to subsidize their sales.

This is why Chinese firms have been able to take over entire industries such as cement and steel fabrication–bottomless lending means the Chinese don’t care about the costs of the inputs or the market conditions for the outputs.

This is why the One Belt One Road program has been so far reaching – bottomless lending means the Chinese produce without regard for market, and so don’t get tweaky about dumping product globally, even in locales no one has ever felt the need to build road or rail links to.

(I mean, come on, a rail line through a bunch of poor, nearly marketless post-Soviet ‘Stans’ to dust-poor, absolutely-marketless Afghanistan? Seriously, what does the winner get?)

Investment decisions not driven by the concept of returns tend to add up. Conservatively, corporate debt in China is about 150% of GDP. That doesn’t count federal government debt, or provincial government debt, or local government debt.

Nor does it involve the bond market, or non-standard borrowing such as Lending Tree-like person-to-person programs, or shadow financing designed to evade even China’s hyper-lax financial regulatory authorities.

It doesn’t even include US dollar-denominated debt that cropped up in those rare moments when Beijing took a few baby steps to address the debt issue and so firms sought funds from outside of China.

With that sort of attitude towards capital, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that China’s stock markets are in essence gambling dens utterly disconnected from issues of supply and labor and markets and logistics and cash flow (and legality).

Simply put, in China, debt levels simply are not perceived as an issue.

Until suddenly, catastrophically, they are.

As every country or sector or firm that has followed a similar growth-over-productivity model has discovered, throwing more and more money into the system generates less and less activity.

China has undoubtedly passed that point where the model generates reasonable outcomes. China’s economy roughly quadrupled in size since2000, but its debt load has increased by a factor of twenty-four. Since the2007-2009 financial crisis China has added something like 100% of GDP of new debt, for increasingly middling results.

But more important than high debt levels is that eventually, inevitably, economic reality forces a correction. If this correction happens soon enough, it only takes down a small sliver of the system (think Enron’s death).

If the inefficiencies are allowed to fester and expand, they might take down a whole sector (think America’s bust in 2000).

If the distortions get too large, they can spread to other sectors and trigger a broader recession (think America’s 2007 subprime-initiated financial crisis).

If they become systemic they can bring down not only the economy, but the political system (think Indonesia’s 1998 government collapse).

It is worse than it sounds.

The CCP has long presented the Chinese citizenry with a strict social contract: the CCP enjoys an absolute political monopoly in exchange for providing steadily increasing standards of living.

That means no elections.

That means no unsanctioned protests.

That means never establishing an independent legal or court system which might challenge CCP whim.

It means firmly and permanently defining “China’s” interests as those of the CCP.

It makes the system firm, but so very, very brittle.

And it means that the CCP fears – reasonably and accurately– that when the piper arrives it will mean the fall of the Party.

Knowing full well both that the model is unsustainable and that China’s incarnation of the model is already past the use-by date, the CCP has chosen not to reform the Chinese economy for fear of being consumed by its own population.

The only short-term patch is to quadruple down on the long-term debt-debt-debt strategy that the CCP already knows no longer works, a strategy it has already followed more aggressively and for longer than any country previous, both in absolute and relative terms.

The top tier of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)–and most certainly Xi himself –realize that means China’s inevitable “correction” will be far worse than anything that has happened in any recessionary period anywhere in the world in the past several decades.

And of course that’s not all. China faces plenty of other of issues that range from the strategically hobbling to the truly system-killing.

  • China suffers from both poor soils and a drought-and-flood prone climatic geography. Its farmers can only keep China fed by applying five times the inputs of the global norm. This only works with, you guessed it, bottomless financing. So when China’s financial model inevitably fails, the country won’t simply suffer a subprime-style collapse in ever subsector simultaneously, it will face famine.
  • The archipelagic nature of the East Asian geography fences China off from the wider world, making economic access to it impossible without the very specific American-maintained global security environment of the past few decades.
  • China’s navy is largely designed around capturing a very specific bit of this First Island Chain, the island of Formosa (aka the country of Taiwan, aka the “rebellious Chinese province”).
  • Problem is, China’s cruise-missile-heavy, short-range navy is utterly incapable of protecting China’s global supply chains, making China’s export-led economic model questionable at best.
  • Nor is home consumption an option. Pushing four decades of the One Child Policy means China has not only gutted its population growth and made the transition to a consumption-led economy technically impossible, but has now gone so far to bring the entire concept of “China” into question in the long-term.

Honestly, this – all of this – only scratches the surface. For the long and the short of just how weak and, to be blunt, doomed China is, I refer you my new book, Disunited Nations.

Chapters 2 through 4 break down what makes for successful powers, global and otherwise…and how China fails on a historically unprecedented scale on each and every measure.

But on with the story of the day:

These are the broader strategic and economic dislocations and fractures embedded in the Chinese system.

That explains the “why” as to why the Chinese leadership is terrified of their future But what about the “why now?”

Why has Xi chosen this moment to institute a political lockdown? After all, none of these problems are new.

There are two explanations. First, exports in specific:

The One Child Policy means that China can never be a true consumption-led system, but China is hardly the only country facing that particular problem.

The bulk of the world – ranging from Canada to Germany to Brazil to Japan to Korea to Iran to Italy – have experienced catastrophic baby busts at various times during the past half century.

In nearly all cases, populations are no longer young, with many not even being middle-aged.

For most of the developed world, mass retirement and complete consumption collapses aren’t simply inevitable, they’ll arrive within the next 48 months.

And that was before coronavirus gutted consumption on a global scale, presenting every export-oriented system with an existential crisis.

Which means China, a country whose political functioning and social stability is predicated upon export-led growth, needs to find a new reason for the population to support the CCP’s very existence.

The second explanation for the “why now?” is the status of Chinese trade in general:

Remember way back when to the glossy time before coronavirus when the world was all tense about the Americans and Chinese launching off into a knock-down, drag-out trade war?

Back on January 15 everyone decided to take a breather. The Chinese committed to a rough doubling of imports of American products, plus efforts to tamp down rampant intellectual property theft and counterfeiting, in exchange for a mix of tariff suspensions and reductions. Announced with much fanfare, this “Phase I” deal was supposed to set the stage for a subsequent, far larger “Phase II” deal in which the Americans planned to convince the Chinese to fundamentally rework their regulatory, finance, legal and subsidy structures.

These are all things the Chinese never had any intention of carrying out. All the concessions the Americans imagined are wound up in China’s debt-binge model.

Granting them would unleash such massive economic, financial and political instability that the survival of the CCP itself would be called into question.

Any deal between any American administration and Beijing is only possible if the American administration first forces the issue.

Pre-Trump, the last American administration to so force the issue was the W Bush administration at the height of the EP3 spy plane incident in mid-2001. Despite his faults,

Donald Trump deserves credit for being the first president in the years since to expend political capital to compel the Chinese to the table.

But there’s more to a deal than its negotiation.

There is also enforcement. In the utter absence of rule of law, enforcement requires even, unrelenting pressure akin to what the Americans did to the Soviets with Cold War era nuclear disarmament policy.

No US administration has ever had the sort of bandwidth required to police a trade deal with a large, non-market economy.

There are simply too many constantly moving pieces.

The current American administration is particularly ill-suited to the task.

The Trump administration’s tendency to tweet out a big announcement and then move on to the next shiny object means the Chinese discarded their “commitments” with confidence on the day they were made.

Which means the Sino-American trade relationship was always going to collapse, and the United States and China were always going to fall into acrimony. Coronavirus did the world a favour (or disfavour based upon where you stand) in delaying the degradation.

In February and March the Chinese were under COVID’s heel and it was perfectly reasonable to give Beijing extra time.

In April it was the Americans’ turn to be distracted.

Now, four months later, with the Americans emerging from their first coronavirus wave and edging back towards something that might at least rhyme with a shadow of normal, the bilateral relationship is coming back into focus – and it is obvious the Chinese deliberately and systematically lied to Trump.

Such deception was pretty much baked in from the get-go. In part it is because the CCP has never been what I’d call an honest negotiating partner. In part it is because the CCP honestly doesn’t think the Chinese system can be reformed, particularly on issues such as rule of law.

In part it is because the CCP honestly doesn’t think it could survive what the Americans want it to attempt.

But in the current environment it all ends at the same place: I think we can all recall an example or three of how Trump responds when he feels personally aggrieved.

Which brings us to perhaps China’s most immediate problem.

Nothing about the Chinese system – its political unity, its relative immunity from foreign threats, its ability import energy from a continent away, its ability to tap global markets to supply it with raw materials and markets to dump its products in, its ability to access the world beyond the First Island Chain – is possible without the global Order.

And the global Order is not possible without America. No other country – no other coalition of countries – has the naval power to guarantee commercial shipments on the high seas.

No commercial shipments, no trade. No trade, no export-led economies.

No export-led economies…no China.

It isn’t so much that the Americans have always had the ability to destroy China in a day (although they have), but instead that it is only the Americans that could create the economic and strategic environment that has enabled China to survive as long as it has.

Whether or not the proximate cause for the Chinese collapse is home grown or imported from Washington is largely irrelevant to the uncaring winds of history, the point is that Xi believes the day is almost here.

Global consumption patterns have turned.

China’s trade relations have turned.

America’s politics have turned.

And now, with the American-Chinese breach galloping into full view, Xi feels he has little choice but to prepare for the day everyone in the top ranks of the CCP always knew was coming:

The day that China’s entire economic structure and strategic position crumbles.

A full political lockdown is the only possible survival mechanism.

So the “solution” is as dramatic as it is impactful:

Spawn so much international outcry that China experiences a nationalist reaction against everyone who is angry at China.

Convince the Chinese population that nationalism is a suitable substitute for economic growth and security.

And then use that nationalism to combat the inevitable domestic political firestorm when China doesn’t simply tank, but implodes.

The Final Straw

Uni course to teach ADF personnel how to follow ‘feminist theorising’
A $12,000 university course to make military personnel “gender sensitive, gender inclusive and gender responsive” is being advertised by the Australian Defence Force

The Australian Defence Force is calling for military personnel to go on a $12,000 Gender Peace and Security course that will draw on “feminist theorising” and make them “gender sensitive, gender inclusive and gender responsive”.

The Monash University course is being run by two feminist professors who believe “masculinist politics” are to blame for a host of the world’s political problems, including Brexit.

But sending four personnel from the navy, army, airforce and public service on the course has come under fire from current and former members of the Australian Defence Force.

“The ADF should not be taking this nonsense seriously and should instead focus on doing its job,” former army officer Bernard Gaynor said.
“Feminist academics in Australia have the luxury of criticising the world thanks to the blood spilt by generations of Australian men,” he said. “This is insanity.”
The Royal Australian Navy sent a signal last week calling for applications to the course which “aims to enhance understanding of the gendered politics of conflict, national security and peacebuilding.”

It said it would “provide training on the facilitation of women’s participation as agents of peacebuilding and prevention of conflict, violent extremism and insecurity.”

The description says the course will draw upon “feminist theorising” to help students develop policies that are “gender sensitive, gender inclusive and gender responsive”.
It is being run by associate professor Katrina Lee-Koo and Professor Jacqui True who have both authored work on feminism and the problems of male domination in international politics.

Ms True has authored a working paper that describes Brexit as a scandal manufactured by a “male-dominated British political elite” that was only possible because women were kept “outside of the discussion.

Her other work includes an article which argues: “Climate conferences are male, pale and stale – it’s time to bring in women.”

And another that says we “need a feminist foreign policy to stop war.”

Ms Lee-Koo believes that Australia is adopting “feminist design” foreign policy by stealth which cannot be publicly celebrated because of “the masculinist cultures” of Australian politics.
She has also called on politicians to “be more attuned to the gendered use of language in policy debates”. She said politicians who criticised “the lack of grunt of electric cars” were relying upon “gendered constructions of masculine strength”.

A Defence spokeswoman said it was sending the personnel on the course because “all government agencies have a responsibility to integrate a gender perspective into their core activities.

“A gender perspective aims to minimise adverse impacts of operations on local populations, to assist with their return to enduring peace and stability,” she said.

“The aim is to provide Defence members with the tools to undertake a more analytical and evidence based approach to operational and disaster response planning.”


Ms True and the Defence ‘Spokeswoman’ should go enlighten ISIS and the Taliban before preaching this blah blah crap to the ADF