United Front pushes junk science

Not sure why Australia and New Zealand are so prominent in China’s United Front tentacle-spreading efforts in media/academia/politics and/or the growing local investigative work into and backlash against it. Has the Communist Party prioritized the two resources-exporting, immigrant-absorbing countries as targets for influence and subversion? Or are Canadians (say) similarly under attack but too sensitive or squeamish to speak out – unlike the plain-speaking ockers down under?

Whatever it is, China’s aggressive infiltration of democracies’ civil societies is more visible in Oz and NZ, and we can see patterns emerging – for example in the role played by Traditional Chinese Medicine in the process.

TCM is essentially unscientific hogwash and dangerous for humans as well as rhinos – but lucrative as an ‘alternative’ to science- and evidence-based based treatment. Refer to the latter as ‘Western’ medicine, and the two even sound vaguely equivalent.

In New Zealand (and elsewhere), the Confucius Institutes are pushing TCM studies, and local politicians turn up to legitimize it. In Australia, senior former officials are up their ears in sheep placenta skincare cream and much else.

There are big bucks in pushing this quack medicine among gullible Westerners, so this is at least partly about shyster-businessmen/money and Chinese national export policy. But this is also about soft power – and a rare example (along with pandas and xiaolongbao) of a CCP-acceptable Chinese cultural phenomenon that isn’t overtly state-driven, ideologically contrived, clunky and off-putting.

The above item on Aus suggests that the United Front strategists are (typically) trying too hard to harness the soft-power and money-making aspects of TCM to their efforts to influence Australian political figures and institutions. Skeptics notice, the soft power looks hard, and the commercial activity starts to look dirty. It’s as if they disrupted the flow of qi.

In Hong Kong, TCM became politically correct (and eligible for public funds) after 1997. The old (and some younger) folks seem to like it for mysterious aches and discomfort. The healthcare section of the government’s own residents’ services website tells us all we need to know with a lovely juxtaposition…

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8 Responses to United Front pushes junk science

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    Maybe Oz and Kiwilandia first as a “toes-in-the-water” experiment because of their almost total gun control?

    Imagine Yanks (and to some degree, Canucks – esp in wild territories…like Calgary), with their firearms, barbeque, pickup trucks and – now – intense hatred for slimy, job/industry stealing Ginese (as the POTUS would say)?

  2. We have traditional medicine too. And you can get homeopathy on the National Health.

    Again here we just have to laugh. Apart from tobacco, which is doing very well, the West should be pushing for more Chinese medicine in Hong Kong and elsewhere. Both places are overpopulated and need to be thinned out. And given the number of Chinese buying up Australia and New Zealand , we should be pushing it there too.

    It”s all in how you see things. La manière de voir les chooses, said Diderot. We need more smoking Chinese medics.

    If Philip Morris moved into TCM it would be just perfect.

  3. property developer says:

    Like all bullies, China picks on strategic targets that can’t fight back, like smaller but advanced English-speaking countries. Canada shelters, for now, under the US umbrella.

  4. Red Dragon says:

    I am not sure about the extent to which Diderot can be said to have coined the quotation attributed to him by the insufferable ginger pseud from Stanley.

    The Frenchman can, however, claim two bons mots, the first of which is relevant to the subject of today’s essay, and the second wise advice to be followed when encountering the essayist.

    “The best doctor is the one you run to and can’t find.”

    “It is very important not to mistake hemlock for parsley…”

  5. LRE says:

    Why not also promote other obsolete systems like Traditional Western Medicine — leeches, trepanning, plague doctors, miasma theory, humours? After all, in amongst the frogs on buboes, you get the occasional piece of willow bark to chew on.

    I suspect they are targeting Australia & New Zealand with soft power & dirty cash as those are the current destinations of choice for people in Hong Kong and China with the brains to find the United Front’s soft power there not quite to their taste.

    That way, the CPC has some leeway in making both governments overlook the odd kidnapping and/or murder of dissidents and undesirables (booksellers, lawyers, millionaire businessmen, students, artists, poets, religious types, football fans, human rights activists, academics, greens, etc, etc) even though they’re now bona fide citizens of Aus or NZ.

  6. Joe Blow says:

    Did you know that ‘persil’ is French for parsley ? Not many people know this.

    Lest we forget, and we must never forget: BOYCOTT LAN KWAI FONG

  7. LRE says:

    @Joe Blow
    I reckon 274 million plus francophones counts as quite a lot of people who know that straight off the bat. Add in the number of people who’ve eaten at a french restaurant with a bilingual menu and parsley on it… and well… it might just be that more people know persil is parsley in french than know Persil is also the name of a German brand of detergent.

  8. Knownot says:

    I think this is a logical correction. Most French-speakers don’t know English, so they don’t know that persil is French for parsley.

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