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Sinophobia Meets Prison Labor in a Think Tank Down Under
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The West has been literally swamped by a non-stop propaganda offensive about Uyghur forced labor camps – thoroughly debunked, for instance, here. Now let’s examine the other – Western – side of the story.

In early 2021, Defense for Children (DCI) took the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) to court in New South Wales. DCI’s lawsuit charges that ASPI may have been receiving funds from a number of weapons manufacturers and government agencies in the US and UK profiting from prison labor.

Although lawyers for ACPI assured these funds would be cut off if any serious evidence surfaced, the case got murkier, and there are doubts it will ever go to trial.

Sources that prefer to remains anonymous insist ASPI exercised serious pressure directly on DCI’s headquarters in Geneva to drop the case.

So why is this so important?

Like many of its peers in the Five Eyes constellation, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) bills itself as an “independent, non-partisan think tank”.

ASPI, based in Canberra, was founded in 2001 – the year of 9/11. Its funding comes from a mixed bag of Australian institutions, especially the Australian Department of Defense, as well as “overseas government agencies”, including the US State Department, the Pentagon and even NATO, which financed a quirky “social media research project”.

The US industrial military complex is well represented by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. Other NATO stalwarts like BAE Systems, Thales and Saab also show up.

The bottom line is that like reams of other Five Eyes think tanks, ASPI is directly funded by corporate Weapons Inc..

ASPI had at least 56 sources of income in 2018-19 – blandly described as either “sponsorships” or “commissioned income.” Yet what raises eyebrows is that a significant part of these funds from at least 11 donors can be directly and indirectly tied to prison labor, which is equated all across the industrialized West as modern slavery.

At least 4 ASPI donors – Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon and BAE Systems – have been connected to the use of prison labor in manufacturing components for their military hardware.

Raytheon, for instance, may have exploited prison labor directly for the assemblage of electronic parts for surface-to-air Patriot missiles. A report showed how “it costs prisoners 23 cents an hour to make parts for the missile”, and prison management is entitled to withhold some or all of the prisoners’ wages at will.

The US federal report on prison labor actually states, unambiguously, that “all able-bodied sentenced prisoners” are required to work. The operative word is “required”.

UNICOR, which operates no less than 110 factories in 65 federal prisons, is blandly described as the trade name for the Federal Prison Industries (FPI) in the US, a “self-sustaining government corporation that sells market-priced services and quality goods made by inmates”. Including, of course, weapons for the industrial-military complex.

According to 2019 figures, the US government – which de facto operates the prison factories – funded ASPI with \$1.37 million.

Unisystems, an IT firm that sells interphones for US prisons, also funded ASPI from 2005 to 2019. Inmate labor may be dirty cheap,

but if they want to place a call to their lawyers or their family they need to shell out up to \$24 for 15 minutes.

BAE Systems funded ASPI between 2014 and 2019. BAE Systems profits from components made by prison labor in the aerospace system of the notorious Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle.

Weapons Inc. fully in charge

Compounding the picture of a Five Eyes system weaponizing and profiting from serial disasters for years in Afghanistan, the Australian military have also been exposed to serious scrutiny.

ORDER IT NOW

On November 2020, Australian Defense Force commander Angus Campbell confirmed Australian Special Forces have been involved in serious crimes in Afghanistan. A long-running inquiry recommended that 25 soldiers, most within the elite SAS, should be investigated for a handful of cases leading to the assassination of 39 Afghan prisoners, including civilians – women and children -, as well as torture of 2 others.

As if accusations of Australian soldiers committing murders in Afghanistan while corporate donors to an Australian outfit profit from prison labor was not a toxic enough mix, the overarching twist is that ASPI happens to be regarded as the most authoritative, “independent” source for Chinese matters in Australia.

Similar to its American counterparts, ASPI as a branch of Weapons Inc. pursues a clear agenda. One vector churns out hefty literature demonizing China – complete with detailed Uyghur “forced labor” reports – and actively promoting the specter of a “China strategic threat”.

The other vector lobbies – what else – for increased defense spending especially in missiles. That’s Quad territory (US, Japan, India, Australia). Quad needs to contain China at all costs.

And that’s what qualifies ASPI as a de facto lobby for Weapons Inc., much more than a think tank.

It gets curioser and curioser when one learns that the Australian government wants to equip itself with the AGM-158C Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM) manufactured by none other than ASPI donor Lockheed Martin.

So have fun with our little Five Eyes tale, where an Australian “think tank” focused on demonizing China 24/7 gets some of its financial kicks from a Weapons Inc. handsomely profiting from Western prison labor.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: American Media, Australia, China 
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  1. Are you at all aware what the Qiao Collective is? From all appearances it is simply a CCP funded front. They have debunked nothing. China has been the aggressor, not the US.

  2. Ed Case says:

    A long-running inquiry recommended that 25 soldiers, most within the elite SAS, should be investigated for a handful of cases leading to the assassination of 39 Afghan prisoners, including civilians – women and children -, as well as torture of 2 others.

    The reason for the Inquiry was that former SAS members had spent years [since 2008] trying to get Defence to respond to their concerns over one particular SAS member.
    The Inquiry limbo danced it’s way thru the minefield and eventually fingered 25 but the problem guy
    doesn’t get a mention in the report.

  3. Sisifo says:

    At least we have freedom in Australia. No, wait…

  4. Jiminy says:

    All would be acceptable if only the western allies stopped going on about the plight of the wegers. They are clearly China’s own problem. They groan to China and China says how only a hypocrite throws rocks if you live in a glass-house. But clearly the good guys don’t want prying eyes looking on to see what they themselves are doing. The less that is known about the processes behind these organisations the better. Never shine a light on their affairs.
    With privatising of the jail systems, what if more prisoners are needed for manufacturing purposes? Send more people, even innocents to jail to bolster the inmate workforce numbers. Surely that doesn’t happen.
    Australia’s government needs to stand up to America and just remind them that we have arrived at this point now because we have blindly, loyally followed the US for decades. And look where we have ended up, now thinking of warring with China.
    But the trouble is corruption and greed permeates the halls of government. Wherever you turn people are getting there palms greased.

    • Replies: @Ultrafart the Brave
  5. @Quartermaster

    China has been the aggressor, not the US.

    226 years at war out of 244 years of existence. USA is a warfare state constantly looking to justify its continued military spending. China is just the latest excuse.

  6. reading says:
    @Quartermaster

    You make us admire the empire. Embarrassing for people who see empire as a city on a hill.. Joe is manipulated by China. Trump is manipulated by Russia… So what is the Earth Empire? Legos? Stop this…

  7. “Prison Labour” for the sake of multinational (or government) profits in ANY country is a DISGRACE.
    It is unalloyed exploitation. It is no different from the founding circumstances of both the US & Australia.
    We have gone back to the future for the social & labour conventions of 1700 & 1800’s for the sake of corporations that measure their wealth in the trillions. 23c an hour for work (maybe), but \$ 24 for 15 min of phone time.
    And these are the shits a so-called “independent” Australian think-tank takes money from….Like I said — DISGRACE. (But — like its all a”big surprise”)

    • Agree: Randy Dazzler
  8. Tom67 says:

    I have tourism business in Central Asia and know about Xinjiang and the Chinese atrocities there already at least three years. I don´t know who pays Escobar to write something like that but there are historic antecedents: Chomsky on Cambodia and the Khmer Rouge; any numer of English aristocrats on Hitler Germany and famously Maxim Gorki when he visited the White Sea Channel in the Thirties were tens of thousands were worked to death. Take your money Mr. Escobar and be ashamed. Your name will live in infamy. The truth of what is taking place in Xinjiang will be acknowledged in China itself some time in the future. Because whatever else: Chinese people have a conscience and will be horrified what has taken place in their names. You Mr. Escobar though are a paid mouthpiece and have no excuse.

    • Troll: d dan
    • Replies: @showmethereal
  9. KlcTan says:
    @Quartermaster

    Qiao Collective has proved everything that there is no forced labour in Xinjiang.

    ASPI is a front for the US military-industrial complex and for the Australian Defence Department.

  10. Yee says:

    Tom67,

    “I have tourism business in Central Asia and know about Xinjiang and the Chinese atrocities there already at least three years.”

    About 200 million tourists visit Xinjiang every year, how strange they never witness the “atrocities” you “know about” sitting in Central Asia.

    • Replies: @Tom67
  11. Tom67 says:
    @Yee

    Sure enough 200 Million. Even the Chinese who live there are sick and tired of all the pervasive controls. OK, they are waved thru at all the checkpoints. But what about having to visit Muslim “relatives” that the state selects for you and that you have to report on if you want to keep your job? Maybe you anyhow hate Uighurs but you don´t exactly relish having your phone checked every now and so often for any “illegal” content? Man, you are Chinese yourself and probably see this as Western propaganda. Unless you are a paid troll (like Escobar) try to remember what the party did during the cultural revolution or the great leap forward and combine it with all intrusive digital technology. That is Xinjiang for Muslims today.I neither like Islam nor any other violent religious fanatics but what is happening in Xinjiang is really, really terrible. It is Orwell combined with brave new world. There is common decency in China though and hopefully in my lifetime the Chinese people will learn what is done in their name

  12. d dan says:
    @Tom67

    “try to remember what the party did during the cultural revolution or the great leap forward…”

    Here you go. Another idiot troll who have nothing else better to prove than to bring up events over half-century to prove the big fat CIA lies of Xinjiang “genocide”.

    “the Chinese people will learn what is done in their name”

    Chinese (including the Uighurs) know what is going on in Xinjiang and they support the government to combat Islam terrorism as well as Western subversive terrorism on China – which of course, includes propaganda efforts from brainwashed people like you.

    • Replies: @Tom67
  13. Yee says:

    Tom67,

    “But what about having to visit Muslim “relatives” that the state selects for you and that you have to report on if you want to keep your job? Maybe you anyhow hate Uighurs but you don´t exactly relish having your phone checked every now and so often for any “illegal” content?”

    Keeping an eye on your Jihadist cousin equals “atrocities”? At least they let him keep his job. Much better than the McCarthyism treated communists in America. And let’s not talk about the Chinese researchers worked in the US who lost their job without any prove they work for Chinese government.

    Checking people’s phones? The US government is doing that. Deported some Chinese recently for contents found in their phones…

    In any case, I think you need a change of people you keep company with. There’re plenty of Uyghurs not making the watch list of the Chinese government. Also, don’t think for a second the FBI does not have some sort of watch list, either.

  14. @Quartermaster

    China has been the aggressor at what actually??? Aggressively combatting terrorism with re-education and skills training rather than using drone strikes and wasting money on military apparatus… In that case then maybe your comment would make sense.

  15. @Tom67

    “Because whatever else: Chinese people have a conscience and will be horrified what has taken place in their names. ”

    You have zero clue what you are talking about. Many many Han people were on the internet calling for revenge against Uighurs because of the anti Han riots… The Chinese government scrubbed that type of talk from the internet.
    Also all of Central Asia trades with Xinjiang… They do business with Uighur business people and not “forced laborers”. And the governments all (except for Afghanistan – but they claim they will get on board) help track militant Uighurs and give the info the China.

    • Agree: Erebus
  16. @Jiminy

    Australia’s government needs to stand up to America and just remind them that we have arrived at this point now because we have blindly, loyally followed the US for decades.

    That’s true, no question about it. The last shred of Australian sovereignty disappeared down the plug hole when they metaphorically whacked Gough Whitlam (lucky for him they didn’t JFK him).

    But now, we’re all marching in lockstep down the path to Uncle Klaus and creepy Bill’s Great Reset, where we will “build back better” (for them) and those of us who survive will all “own nothing and be happy”.

    • Replies: @Ed Case
  17. @Tom67

    I neither like Islam nor any other violent religious fanatics but what is happening in Xinjiang is really, really terrible. It is Orwell combined with brave new world.

    Please get back to us with an on-site video report after you travel to Xinjiang and do a comprehensive real-life investigation of the actual situation on the ground.

    https://www.facebook.com/chinaembmy/videos/578726669235245/

  18. Tom67 says:
    @d dan

    Differently to you I been there and I have friends who have been there. It would just be me and a few others like Darren Byler or Gene Bunin if the Chinese authorities had continued to just intern the Uighurs in their hundreds of thousands. Uighurs aren´t allowed to get out of China and are continuously monitored in China. So much so that they get detained for simply taking a call from abroad. Nobody calls Xinjiang anymore for fear their friends will get detained and so the information blockade could be seemless. But the CPC made a mistake. They also targeted the Kasakhs. Simple ordinary people who were detained in their tens of thousands in terrible conditions. They have relatives in Kazakhstan who put so much pressure on the Kazakh government (which is in hock to Beijing) that Kazakhstan was forced to intervene to get at least the double citizen Kasakhs out. Thousands of Kasakhs have since testified to the conditions in the camps. Look here: https://shahit.biz/eng/ To torture, forced medication and sterilisation. Their testimonies are available on the internet. Mostly in Russian and Kazakh (Kazakhstan is a bilingual country). I myself who is a Russian speaker have seen many hours of these testimonies. Expat Chinese who have seen these testimonies were equally shocked. This thing will not be buried forever and people like Escobar will not be able to hide the truth forever. There will be a reckoning. Not the least because there will be changes in China as well. How far into the future I don´t know. But Solshenizyn published his Arkhipel Gulag in 1973 and 20 years later the Soviet Union was gone.

    • Replies: @d dan
  19. Yee says:

    Tom67,

    “They also targeted the Kasakhs. Simple ordinary people who were detained in their tens of thousands in terrible conditions.”

    So now the Chinese government “torture, forced medication and sterilisation” the Kazaks, too? Why? Besides the usual “China evil” rhetoric, of course.

    Kazaks Chinese have no separatism problem, and is a very small ethnic group of 1.6 million. Most of them are cattle /sheep herders, and in recent years runs almost all the prairie tourism in Xinjiang.

    Why would the Chinese government “torture” the Kazaks, except to create enmity towards China in Central Asia to sabotage the New Silk Road, which is a US goal?

    One thing is sure though, CIA is hard at work in Central Asia. I wonder how many hours of video-watching it takes to turn a not too bright man into a terrorist or a CIA recruit.

    Creating a previously non-exist terrorist problem in another ethnic group would no doubt be a huge accomplishment for the CIA. Evil on Earth.

    • Replies: @Showmethereal
  20. @Yee

    Indeed China has the most Kazhaks outisde Kazhakstan. Many did lewve some decades ago as agreed between the two governments. Many of them though found it hard to fit in in Kazhakstan and wished they had stayed. Travel between the two is very regular and very common. So yeah the guy is a clown. The only way China would detain Kazhaks is with coordination with Kazhakstan.

  21. d dan says:
    @Tom67

    “intern the Uighurs in their hundreds of thousands.”
    Lie number 1. Note: CIA says a few millions were interned, why do you downgrade to hundreds of thousands? If you need to lie, just go full steam, don’t need to be shy.

    “Uighurs aren´t allowed to get out of China ”
    Lie number 2.

    “they get detained for simply taking a call from abroad”
    Lie number 3.

    “Nobody calls Xinjiang anymore”
    Lie number 4.

    “CPC … also targeted the Kasakhs.”
    Lie number 5.

    “Simple ordinary [Kazaks] people who were detained in their tens of thousands in terrible conditions.”
    Lie number 6.

    “To torture, forced medication and sterilisation.”
    Lie number 7.

    …, and more. I am only halfway through your post.

    Liar lies – it is that simple – throwing enough lies just hope a few will stick. You are a disgusting evil tool of the CIA who wish bad thing befall China.

    • Replies: @Tom67
  22. Jiminy says:

    We just woke up this morning to the reassuring news that we are now going to have a fleet of atomic subs. Only now somebody’s got to break the bad news to the French. I’m not sure how they’re going to take hearing of the loss of a 90 billion dollar conventional sub deal over there in frogland. Hope they don’t start a fight with us.
    The yanks and the poms finally want to share their nuclear knowledge , hoping for the result of pulling those bloody Chinese into line. Without doubt our gst tax system is now going to be overhauled so we can pay for all of this. Squeeze the poor, after all everything is happening for their benefit.
    If past experience is what we go by though, then we should expect to have the new subs in about twenty years time.

  23. Tom67 says:
    @d dan

    Judging by your English and your strident tone you are Chinese. I hazard a prediction: the CPC will have such tremendous troubles in Han majority China before long that they will ease up on Xinjiang. Then the truth will out as neither will they be able to keep hundreds of thousands of detainees locked up forever nor forbid them to talk when they get out. I understand your nationalist fervor but it is completely misguided. China isn´t the CPC and spare your energy for some better cause.

    • Replies: @d dan
  24. d dan says:
    @Tom67

    “I hazard a prediction: the CPC will have such tremendous troubles in Han majority China before long”

    Why don’t you at least be honest to yourself. This is your wish, not an objective prediction based on fact.

    “Then the truth will out as neither will they be able to keep hundreds of thousands of detainees locked up forever”

    A “few hundreds thousands” (or a “few millions” like you CIA boss claims) is a large number. Practically EVERY Uighur extended family, *and* EVERY Kazaks family would have a member detained. If that is the case, mountain of evidences should be available right now. Instead, you want people to wait for FUTURE “truth” to come out, even after hundreds of millions people, including many anti-China Western journalists have visited Xinjiang. This shows how off-the-mark your are and how much lies you are spreading.

    “China isn´t the CPC and spare your energy for some better cause.”

    Of course, you also think Chinese are not intelligence enough to make their own judgement, and you are more “enlightened” than 1.4 billion people, and people needs your advice on what is the “better cause” for China. What an arrogant SOB and a liar.

    • Replies: @Tom67
  25. Tom67 says:
    @d dan

    Every Kazakh family and every Uighur famliy does have a member in detention. And as they don´t want to end up there themselves they shut up as long as they are in China. Unfortunately for the CPC a lot of Kasakh dual nationals were detained. The Kasakh government was forced by their relatives to demand their release and China grudgingly complied. That is how the story got out.
    As to China and her 1,4 Billion citizens: come on. Do you really believe they first of all believe everything the Chinese media tells them? Do you really think Chinese people are stupid? I grant that they don´t care what is happening in Xinjiang and in doubt believe the official story. But they are human beings and when they find out what is being done in their name they will be horrified.
    Apart from that: I know the Chinese government is paying trolls to influence social media in Kazakhstan. They are found out quickly though. I don´t think you are a paid troll as I don´t think the Chinese gov cares about Unz. But I think you might be reasonable person. So just let me tell you that I believe that ultimately China has a better chance to find a way into the future than the West and that she will be the beacon that will shine the light for the whole world. But not at the moment and not under CPC rule. To explain that I might have to write a book. Just so much: I studied in Beijing once upon a time and was much impressed by China. Now she is copying the West. When she finds her own way then things will improve.

    • Replies: @d dan
  26. From the link in the first paragraph:

    ➤ 2015 October – France begins operating “de-radicalization programs.” It would seem these programs have since garnered mostly criticism from the public, but mainstream Western discourse has not accused France of cultural genocide.

    Well, that’s what it is. Removing the violence from Mohammed’s words is like neutering a farm animal or gutting a jalapeño of its seeds. The difference in Xinjiang is that Islam is up against a competing totalitarian ideology of greater power locally. Thus our sympathy for the underdog.

  27. d dan says:
    @Tom67

    “Every Kazakh family and every Uighur famliy does have a member in detention.”

    This is a lie. Firstly you have no way to verify that. Secondly, if this is the case, the mountain of evidences should be easily obtained.

    “they shut up as long as they are in China.”

    So you also believe every Kazakh and every Uighur is a coward. Even when there are thousands of Uighurs fighting in Syria, even when they are willing to commit suicide terrorism for their causes, but somehow they suddenly are so frightened, they dare not even speak out to the hundreds of millions visitors and thousands of journalists about their detention?

    “Do you really think Chinese people are stupid? I grant that they don´t care what is happening in Xinjiang and in doubt believe the official story. ”

    So, you now claim that every single Chinese is either stupid, ignorant or morally depraved? Stop your holier-than thou high horse. Chinese people is capable of supervising its own government, demanding justices and fairness, differentiating between lies and truth, and rebelling against oppression and evils if necessary. Chinese history is full of those stories. Now tell us more about your country history – is there a match?

    “But I think you might be reasonable person.”

    I am not going to reciprocate. I still regard you as a liar and a despicable person.

    “To explain that I might have to write a book”

    No, you have to stop the lies and being repugnant first.

  28. Ed Case says:
    @Ultrafart the Brave

    The last shred of Australian sovereignty disappeared down the plug hole when they metaphorically whacked Gough Whitlam

    Rubbish.
    The Whitlam Government was on the nose with Australians by 1975.
    Whitlam’s ploy to hang onto Power was to covertly pressure his long time buddy John Kerr [who he had appointed Governor General in 1973] to sack his government, then appoint a caretaker Government that would dissolve Parliament and call a fresh Election.
    Whitlam’s thinking was that Aussies would empathise with Whitlam and reelect him, though without knowing the full story.
    It sounds insane and it was.
    At the fresh Election, voters totally rejected Whitlam in the biggest landslide in Australian history.

    • Troll: mulga mumblebrain
    • Replies: @mulga mumblebrain
  29. Yee says:

    d dan,

    “I still regard you as a liar and a despicable person.”

    In one comment, that poster claimed expat Chinese who have seen the videos he showed them were shocked , and in another, he claimed everybody in Xinjiang are scared into silence… Why would people be “shocked” if every family has a member in torture camp? Why would they need him to show them videos?

    However, I do believe him did show videos to expat Chinese and they were shocked. It’s the same thing the Falun Gong has been doing to Han Chinese who travel abroad, give them printed paper and try to get them to watch videos.

  30. @Quartermaster

    Liar, and, no doubt a racist. At every stage, the Five Eyes racist thugs have led the way in provocation and aggression.

  31. @Ed Case

    I know this sort of lying thug from experience in Austfailia. Whitlam’s was the ONLY sane and decent Government in the last fifty years, so naturally Rightist racists and sundry other reactionary thugs hated it with a fury. That swinish type have dominated the country ever since, hence its descent into a racist, moronic, hard Right sewer, infested with creatures like this and heading straight to national suicide, by picking a fight with China. The ‘Whitlam’s long term buddy, Kerr..’ tells you that this is a pig ignorant imbecile, or an impudent liar. The pig is pig ignorant, of course-Kerr became G-G in 74, not 73.

    • LOL: Ed Case
  32. Ed Case says:

    Whitlam’s was the ONLY sane and decent Government in the last fifty years,

    When Whitlam won office in 1972, there were 3,000 on the Dole in the entire Country.
    When he left 3 weeks short of 3 years later, there were 500,000 out of work
    The guy was a Psychopath, and an American Intelligence asset, just like every other Australian Labor Party leader since Calwell.

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