December 20th 2014

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Articles from this issue:

VICTORIAN STATE ELECTION What Victoria's new Labor government has in store

CANBERRA OBSERVED Can the Abbott government turn it around?

EDITORIAL A Christmas reflection

MARRIAGE The love that brings new life into the world

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION Beijing fury as Christians outnumber communists in China

RELIGION The G20 Interfaith Summit

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Greens' bid to ban toys that 'reinforce gender stereotypes'

ENERGY The politics of falling oil prices

ECONOMIC AFFAIRS EU economies locked into long-term low growth

CULTURE Investigating the year gone, for the year to come


BOOK REVIEW Biography shows the power of family

BOOK REVIEW British espionage and the German threat

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News Weekly, December 20, 2014

China presents world with a fait accompli


I read with interest your Canberra Observed column, “China FTA: more about diplomacy than trade” (News Weekly, November 22, 2014). I agree entirely that both Australia and China have sought a free trade agreement mainly for diplomatic reasons. 

On October 21, an article published in the People’s Daily in China, declared: “If Mao Zedong enabled Chinese people to ‘stand up’ in the world, and Deng Xiaoping made Chinese people rich, then Xi Jinping will make Chinese people powerful.” 

President Xi Jinping has indeed made his people powerful by cheating and presenting the whole world with a fait accompli, namely by building artificial islands and military facilities on the Johnson South Reef, part of the disputed Spratly Islands chain in the Eastern Sea (South China Sea) claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, Brunei and mainland China. 

In 1988, China invaded the Johnson South Reef of Vietnam, killing 70 of its sailors and then proceeding to occupy the area. But not until 18 months ago did the Chinese Communist Party decide to fill in the reef’s lagoon and transform the area, which covers only four square kilometres of actual land, to become a large island capable of holding a runway, port facilities and military garrisons. 

This act clearly violates the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which explicitly states that the act by any claimant to build any infrastructure in disputed territories, while the dispute is yet to be settled, is illegal.

Professors Alan Dupont, Rory Metcalf and Hugh White, on the ABC television program Lateline (November 3, 2014), have raised their concerns about the vital lifeline for Australian export and direct implications for Australia’s security and economic interests. 

Furthermore, by creating artificial islands all the way through the Eastern Sea on reefs and maritime features which do not belong to them, the Chinese Communist Party could provoke a clash that could trigger wider regional conflict.

Australia should pro-actively support those South-East Asian nations coming together to resist “China’s land grabs” and not take its eyes off the ball in the Eastern Sea.

Regional conflicts or cold wars are certainly big risks, and Australia, while not taking the side of any nation in the dispute, should intervene and demand that China halt its actions, which might lead to more tension in the disputed areas; stop violating UNCLOS; and stop its recalcitrant behaviour and provocative activity.

Dr Cuong Tran Bui OAM,
Vietnamese Community in Australia,
Mt Gravatt, Qld


Population control masquerading as maternal health support


The world abounds with stories of how famous and rich women help poor women in developing countries by providing reproductive and maternal health support.

Nigerian woman Obianuju Ekeocha, who has a Bachelor of Science degree in microbiology from the University of Nigeria and a Master of Science degree from the University of East London, comments on the subject in a recent article, “How the Gates Foundation is robbing African women of their freedom and their lives”, Aleteia, November 19, 2014). 

She says: “… I dare to ask them exactly how sterilising the wombs of the poorest women in the world would give them control over famine, drought, disease and poverty. It absolutely will not make women more educated, or more employable. 

“This extensive contraception project will not provide food or safe drinking water for women who submit to it. It will not make African women happier or more satisfied in their marriages. No. It will only make them sterile at the cheapest rate possible.” 

Obianuju Ekeocha should know. Women in her country are at the receiving end of this “help”, more realistically known as population control. 

Robert Bom,
West Rockhampton, Qld


Civil marriage is about protecting children


SBS television’s Insight program (December 2, 2014) had an engaging episode about polygamy (polygyny and polyandry), but neglected to mention polyamorous marriages and bisexual group marriages — just old-school polygyny in which a man has multiple adult wives and polyandry in which a woman has multiple adult husbands. 

Nor did they touch on group marriages involving close relatives and minors, nor interspecies group marriages in which people marry two or more companion animals.

If we diminish the public institution of civil marriage to a mere vehicle with which to validate love, nothing to do with procreation or even sex, then it follows that the restrictions against underage, polygamous, incestuous and interspecies marriages must be removed along with restrictions against same-sex marriage. Natural justice demands it. What business is it of the government to say who can or cannot express their love via civil marriage if civil marriage is only about validating love?

Civil marriage is, rightly, a form of positive discrimination created to validate and support the family format which best ensures that children are protected — namely families wherein children have intimate male and female gender role models in the form of a father and mother who are not closely related (ideally the biological parents), wherein lineage and familial duties are transparent and formalised. 

All children do best with such parents, including even homosexual, bisexual and transgendered children.

Richard Lutz,
Mile End, SA

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