An open letter to Australia’s ABC
After being invited to appear on an Australian ABC evening show last week, I was unceremoniously uninvited. No reason given, just dumped after I made a comment that I’m happy to be asked because my view of China doesn’t usually align with the usual view the ABC holds on China.
I have written an article about Western media’s obvious campaign to ignore the real China here: https://jerry-grey2002.medium.com/western-medias-campaign-to-ignore-the-obvious-258bc219a749
I decided to write the article and I sent a copy to the ABC but wanted to give them time to respond — in giving them that time, I felt it was appropriate to explain why I was upset with their decision to ignore my views, I also thought it was appropriate to explain how my views were/are formed: Here’s what I wrote… Sadly, two full working days after sending this, I’ve received no reply
Good evening ABC,
Before proceeding to a formal complaint level, I want to share some information with you, so you understand where I come from and why I feel so strongly about what needs to be done.
It was you who contacted me, not me contacting you about my experiences in China, experiences you learnt about through a friend sending you information about my writing. So, I assumed, before contacting me, you had done a little research, but as soon as I told you I don’t hold the same view of China as the mainstream narrative you disengaged in a rather abrupt manner.
I’ve listened to the host you mentioned several times, my friend, the man who passed my article to you is a regular listener and knew the host personally some time ago. I know that he is a man of integrity, I assume working with him that you must also be.
I guess the question is: Is he/are you able to stand up to the pressure if someone goes on his radio show that speaks out against the narrative on China?
I sincerely believe the entire China, Xinjiang, HK and Covid reporting all constitute another “WMD/Babies in incubators/Viagra to help mass rapes/theft of oil/Gulf of Tonkin” you name it, whatever the excuse for starting a war in the last 70 years. It’s always been something the USA have concocted and, so far, it’s been exposed as a lie on every occasion.
This may seem like a conspiracy theory to you but is genuinely based on personal experiences on the ground. I’ve visited Xinjiang several times, not as a normal tourist, but as a long-distance cyclist and, in doing so, have cycled thousands of kilometres through the region (it’s not a province) I’ve met with an uncountable number of Uyghurs and established to my own satisfaction, that there is no oppression going on there. This is further evidenced by the hundreds of videos coming out of the region on Chinese social media and YouTube. Also, by the fact that more than 200 million tourists have visited the region in the last 3 years as well as over 100 diplomats, thousands of journalists and even Counter-terrorist chief of the UN (Vladimir Voronkov, if you wish to research this). And also from Better Cotton Industries who were misrepresented by the BBC as pulling out of Xinjiang due to “concerns” but who actually pulled out because they were threatened with sanctions if they didn’t, for the record in 8 years of visiting Xinjiang on behalf of their membership, not one case of labour abuse was ever reported by BCI and they still maintain their Shanghai offices, although, sadly this has caused them to need to let several staff members go.
Hundreds of companies, some Australian, including over 100 of the fortune 500 members have offices in the region and send managers there regularly for audits (the factories sometimes being informed and sometimes uninformed). The very fact that the UN, the US Senate and the UK parliament have all declared that there is insufficient evidence for a claim of genocide, indicates the Xinjiang narrative looks weak. The motion (not a bill) passed by 5 members of the UK house last month does not constitute evidence, merely an accusation and, since the entire narrative is now about 3 years old, it’s pretty hard to believe that no damning evidence, no smoking gun and no death camps, trainlines into them or evidence of crematoriums anywhere in the region (and yes, I can refute ASPI’s Nathan Ruser claims of satellite imagery showing camps too).
Turning to HK; I’ve lived almost 17 years just a few miles from Hong Kong and been there dozens of times, I personally know hundreds of HKers who are extremely happy with what’s going on now that China has instituted the NSL. Given the hundreds of people I’ve spoken to and the fact that several million people have signed petitions in support of China’s activities — and the fact that China has never intervened with its police, security organs or military, it seems the international anti-China HK involvement narrative is somewhat weakened. I’m also a witness to the fact that literally hundreds of thousands of young HK entrepreneurs are setting up in China’s Greater Bay Area (GBA) and getting massive subsidies to bring jobs to HK youth, stabilise the economy, close the wealth gap and reduce housing costs — all causes of the recent rioting which, now seems like ancient history but is still a nasty scar on the surface of HK. Especially if you mention the letters NED.
With COVID-19, You’ve seen some of my writing on what’s happening with Covid in Mainland China, I’m not into the science behind the origins, but that again seems like a weak argument. Living through Covid in 2019/20 and recent outbreaks in my home province of Guangdong, I saw (and am currently seeing) what steps were/are taken, I saw how effective and real the lockdowns were and I sincerely believe the numbers China announced are as close to correct as is possible given the chaos that went on at the beginning. I have friends in Wuhan who also went through the lockdown and, to date, with all my contacts in China, I’m yet to meet anyone in China who knows someone who even caught Covid, let alone died from it. I do however, have family in the UK and a friend in Australia whom I know have suffered.
I’m living in a country that is far more free, far more private, far more business friendly and far more caring of its citizenry than Australia yet everything I read about China makes me think I should be looking over my shoulder with doubts — there aren’t any doubts and I know I’m not alone in thinking this.
It seems apparent to me that the ABC, like every other Australian mainstream media outlet is controlled by some invisible force to promote the idea that China is all bad and it completely refuses to open a dialogue with anyone, like myself or the hundreds like me, who are qualified, experienced and/or knowledgeable about what really happens in China. For sure, ABC’s own Bill Birtles, who left China last year was not in that category, or if he was, didn’t provide any evidence of it in his reporting, he was geared up to continue the “China bad” narrative. Prior to Birtles, Stephen McDonnell, was even worse, he left the ABC in China to work with the BBC. He still writes and presents erroneous and misleading reports from here. Both individuals are widely despised in China by anyone who can read enough English to see their level of reporting.
The larger issue I have is that the ABC should be unbiased, it clearly is not, let me ask you: when was the last time you heard a positive report from someone on the ground in China? The simple answer, I already know, is you don’t hear, see or read anything positive and, while this may be acceptable for the tabloids or for Murdoch Press, it’s not acceptable for the ABC, purportedly, in your own slogan, “Australia’s most trusted news”. Or, do you think that I’m wrong and this is acceptable?
So, the question is: Why is it that “Australia’s most trusted news” is only giving one side of the story? And in this question, there is a fuller and much deeper story for an investigative journalist .
I wonder if the ABC has such a person? And, if they do, would that person like to speak with people like me for the real story of what happens in China? I could introduce several, perhaps hundreds of “on-the-ground witnesses” to the positive aspects of China.
I do understand people in Australia are afraid to speak out — I saw what happened to Jane Golley a couple of months ago, she is the Chair of the Centre for China at The Australian National University (ANU), she had the “temerity” to speak out about a report which questioned the narrative on China at a press conference in Canberra, she wasn’t saying there’s no genocide in Xinjiang, she was saying there’s evidence to suggest that the narrative might be wrong. The report she was referring to was from people she trusted and is academically supported but the writers were afraid to attach their name to the report. Yet when she mentioned the report and asked for academic freedom to pursue such research, she was vilified by the Australian press.
Is the ABC living in fear of stepping over some imaginary line and incurring the wrath of Murdoch press hounds? Ms. Golley, took extended leave after receiving many attacks on her personal email, her Twitter account, through her office and in media. (Search Jane Golley online and you’ll see what I mean)
I live in China, I have some fear that my position and my stance on China, which I wholeheartedly believe to be true, might place me in some personal danger but, for me, the danger is low, I’m semi-retired and not seeking a professional career in Australia, I doubt very much if I will ever live there again, but I am sure, on my next return to visit family, I will be picked up and interviewed about my loyalties. I am not loyal to China nor do I hold any allegiance to the CPC, I’d be quite happy to once again swear allegiance to the Crown or the Country of Australia, but I simply want to see the truth reported and am brave enough to step up to the plate and face what comes when I ask for this right.
In case you’re thinking I’m some kind of crackpot with a conspiracy theory, I’ll give you a little background. I was a police officer in Central London from 1977–1982 (I have seen the carnage of a terrorist attack first-hand). I moved out to Essex and served there until 1987. I was married to an Australian girl and we decided to live with our kids in Australia. I moved to Brisbane where I quickly got a job with Chubb Security. Over the next 18 years I worked for them in various capacities including in 2000/01 as State Sales Manager of your state, there will be people in the Chubb office there who remember me. I left Chubb from the position of General Manager of a division called Chubb Traffic Management Services, when they were taken over by the US conglomerate UTC. Leaving with a very nice redundancy package, I decided to go back to college and first got a teaching certificate which would allow me to both work and travel as an English teacher, I next achieved a Master’s Degree with Merit from a British university (with a dissertation based on Chinese Workplace Psychology) and have lived and worked in China as a teacher, a teacher trainer, a training manager and an IELTS examiner (working for the British Council). I am, I think, quite a professional, well researched and well-rounded person, not some flat-footed former copper/security guard who escaped to China to get a cheap life and an Asian wife. In fact, those kinds of people exist in Vietnam Thailand and other SE Asian countries but don’t survive long in China. They graduate from being failures here to where they currently make up a large part of the “Social Media community” with claims to have first-hand China experience. They are usually weeded out of their jobs and eventually leave or are kicked out. But, if they do manage to stay in China on a marriage visa, are unable to legally work, so they are marginalised into very low paying jobs until they decide there’s more money to be made on YouTube! I could name names here, but will not at this juncture.
A long letter I know and I apologise. I believe you have the integrity to read it, to respond in a fashion that helps me to understand the next steps and mostly because I see a great injustice being done by the USA while using Australia and Australia’s media as their pawns.
I have also written an article which I will send for publication. I will not send it until I have heard back from you, unless of course, you decide not to reply in a timely manner. I’ve attached a copy for your reference
This email, in a slightly different form (I edited the names of the people I wrote to and referred to) was sent at midnight on Sunday 14th June 2021. No reply was received by close of business Tuesday 15th June, two working days later.