Australia’s “Patriot China” site closed due to Chen bashing

Apparently yesterday’s post by Senator Andrew Bartlett caused the administrator of the Patriot China site — the one I wrote about recently — to shut down, at least for now. The administrator explains in comments on Bartlett’s blog:

To Senator Andrew Bartlett
Dear Senator Andrew Bartlett.
I’m the admin of Patriot China,first I want to apologise for the extreme articles which I wrote,but I hope you can understand that because of one Chen Yonglin and his 1000 spies allegations,negative impact on Chinese in Australia may be caused.Before this incident,90% of my articles were about China guides,travel informations and sino-Australia relations and we all knew that due to the difference in cultual understanding and ideology,it’d be better that we didn’t get involved in politics and actually we never wanted to.
Dear Senator Andrew Bartlett,I can fully understand why you seem so angry,and I can tell that you are a good politician who’d always put Australian people’s interests first and it seems to me that Australians are pretty happy having you represent them.
I have shut down my site( because still I need to prepare for my exams and during this time I really don’t want to have any trouble although freedom of speech is what makes Australia the best country in the world.


Barlett writes about this at length in a new blog post — he strikes me as a true class act (and not just because he linked to Peking Duck yesterday.

The Discussion: 44 Comments

Is it just me, or does the toadying praise come across as a little insincere?

June 13, 2005 @ 7:28 pm | Comment

Toadying praise for what from whom? Can you please quote what you see as toadying?

June 13, 2005 @ 7:35 pm | Comment

That’s not very fucking patriotic of him!

Unless I’ve got this all wrong and that site had nothing got to do with China.

June 13, 2005 @ 7:39 pm | Comment

Sorry, I was referring to this bit –

“freedom of speech is what makes Australia the best country in the world.”

June 13, 2005 @ 7:40 pm | Comment

Hey, it’s his country, it’s his right to call it the best country in the world. It’s what a senator is supposed to say.

June 13, 2005 @ 7:52 pm | Comment

it seems senator did something that should happen in china.

June 13, 2005 @ 8:41 pm | Comment

Richard, it was the Chinese guy who wrote the comment about Australia being the best country in the world, not the Senator.

June 13, 2005 @ 8:46 pm | Comment

why u do not speak directly to “chinese guy”, kao

June 13, 2005 @ 8:56 pm | Comment

I don’t understand what you mean, sorry.

June 13, 2005 @ 9:01 pm | Comment

Richard W., you’re right – sorry about that, it was the thread administrator who said that. This has been a confusing thread, starting with the comment by Peter. Let’s move forward….

June 13, 2005 @ 9:13 pm | Comment

faint, i want to know how do u feel about Senator

June 13, 2005 @ 9:13 pm | Comment

About the toadying: Alex’s comments (“I can tell that you are a good politician who’d always put Australian people’s interests first…”) just seemed a little more fulsome than they needed to be, as if he was afraid to get on the wrong side of a powerful person.

June 13, 2005 @ 9:48 pm | Comment

I think Alex comes off as being very young.

He’s been spouting hateful rhetoric and it bit him in the ass. I don’t think he’ll understand why, or how if he were more supportive of free speech in China he’d not go off on Chen for speaking freely, really, but I feel kind of sorry for the guy.

June 13, 2005 @ 10:09 pm | Comment

He described freedom of speech as “what makes Australia the best country in the world”, but it seems the biggest gripe him and other “patriotic” students have against Chen Yonglin is that he said things which paint the Motherland in a bad light. Does he really admire Australia’s freedom of speech? I find that hard to believe.

June 13, 2005 @ 10:17 pm | Comment

why i support hate speech

A blog by China nationals studying in Australia has voluntary shut itself down after Australian Senator Andrew Bartlett criticized commentary on the site calling for the murder of Chinese defector Chen Yonglin. He became aware of the site via the

June 14, 2005 @ 12:07 am | Comment

Well, maybe Alex is one of the 1000, who knows:), and is afraid that Chen will out him and consequently he will loose his job.

June 14, 2005 @ 3:28 am | Comment

A simple explanation for this incident is that, this administor is likely to be a graduate student from China who is overzealous in his so-called patriotism. He got a angry letter from the senator and he was worried.

In China, if you make a powerful person angry, you could be in trouble. Therefore he shut down the site and pile up the praise about speech freedom.

Some commentors of your site, like Pete and FSN9, have already delivered the verdict that, he is no doubt an CCP’s agent. I guess this guy should be worried.

By the way, Pete also say I am a plant from CCP. Talking about quick analysis.

June 14, 2005 @ 3:32 am | Comment

Is the senator’s new blog post dffernet to the one Other Lisa kingly cut+pasted on yesterday’s open thread?

If so, it’s on blogspot and bbbbbbblocked in the motherland.

Could someone please cut+paste it here for us China residents?

It would be very much appreciated.

June 14, 2005 @ 3:59 am | Comment

So, is it right to say that The Peking duck caused this hate-site to be withdrawn?

Peking Duck first linked to it, which was then picked up by the Australian politican….?

June 14, 2005 @ 4:01 am | Comment

The patriot said: “Before this incident,90% of my articles were about China guides,travel informations and sino-Australia relations and we all knew that due to the difference in cultual understanding and ideology,it’d be better that we didn’t get involved in politics and actually we never wanted to.”

Hard to prove one way or the other now, but I remember had articles about FLG, Taiwan, Japan… hardly apolitical.

Over on the comments for Sen. Bartlett, Alex says: “I’m sorry,okay?This is my final year in my uni,and I dont want any trouble.I promise I’ll never write any “threatening and aggresive” articles in Australia from this moment.And please,think better of China.Thanks”

Dude, he sounds like a scared kid. How do you engage someone like this in reasonable dialogue? First he’s really angry, then he runs away. Thing is, we should find ways to talk to guys like him without a) anybody calling anybody names and b) no one freaking out and becoming uncommunicative. There are alot of Alexs out there, and we can’t simply pretend they’re not there.

June 14, 2005 @ 6:53 am | Comment

Steve, don’t overstate my words. I said that he’s a mouthpiece of Chinese policy, and he is. As for agent? Who knows? I admit though, that it all sounds a lot less organised than I had thought, and a lot more like just some young guy mouthing off (just like others have said here). On the other hand, his website HAS been quoted at China Daily as a mouthpiece for Chinese in Australia.

June 14, 2005 @ 7:15 am | Comment

Here’s how AsiaPundit describes the old web site:

I had once jokingly referred to the Patriot China (Canberra) site as a Chinese government-promoted blog. It toed CPC party line, although with more explicit and often violent language. I found it particularly offensive during recent tensions between Japan and China, during which the Japanese were regularly described on the site in exceptionally dehumanizing terms.

It was a a reservoir of hate and ultra nationalism, but I’m not happy that it’s gone. Most of the vile nationalist and racist comments that are on the internet occur in single-language chatrooms, or on websites where people of like minds congregate.

While Patriot China was an offensive site, it was also one where the authors had left open a channel to engage people who thought differently and who spoke a different tongue. That is a brave and welcome thing to do.

It provided an insight into opinions that are held by many within China but are unpalatable to the West. Though offensive, it’s much better to have these opinions expressed through an open forum than through violent protest.

I doubt that the authors’ minds will be changed through debate, but they certainly wouldn’t be changed if they left their opinions unspoken and unchallenged.

With that, I hope the site soon resumes.

June 14, 2005 @ 7:33 am | Comment

“First he’s really angry, then he runs away. Thing is, we should find ways to talk to guys like him without a) anybody calling anybody names and b) no one freaking out and becoming uncommunicative.”

It’s really very interesting that this description matches so very closely with the view’s of Bo Yang, in his book “The Ugly Chinaman” … he argues at one point that most Chinese are either a tyrant or a slave depending on the situation, and nothing in between. Well, his views are often a bit simplistic, and he almost certainly over-idealises western culture in order to make his negative points about Chinese culture … his views are more strongly worded than some of the most “China-bashing” I’ve heard here.

Here’s a sample of his words:
“Three of the most notorious characteristics are filth, sloppiness and noisiness. In Taipei they once tried to mount a campaign against filth and disorder, but it only lasted a few days. Our kitchens and our homes are always in a mess. In many residential areas, as soon as the Chinese move in, everyone else moves out. A young woman I know, a college graduate, married a Frenchman and moved to Paris. Soon their home became a regular stopping-off place for her friends who were travelling in Europe. She told me that as more and more Asians (not all of them Chinese) started to move into the building, the French started to move out. This is a terribly disturbing thought. But when I went to Paris and saw the place for myself, there were ice-cream wrappers and saqals strewn about everywhere, children running and yelling in the halls, and graffiti covering the walls. The whole place smelled like a mouldy cellar as well. I asked her, ‘Can’t you organise all the residents and clean the place upT She replied, ‘It’s impossible. The French are not the only people who think we are filthy slobs; after living here like this, we feel the same way.’

Turning to the subject of noise, Chinese people’s voices must be the loudest on earth, with the Cantonese taking the gold medal. I heard a joke about this: Two Cantonese men in the United States are having a conversation in the street. An American walks by and thinks they are having a fight, so he calls the police. When the police arrive and ask them what they are fighting about, they say, ‘We’re just whispering’.

Why do Chinese people shout when they talk? Because we are insecure by nature. The louder we shout, the more right we are. If we shout at the top of our lungs, we must be right, otherwise why expend so much energy? The above-mentioned behaviour patterns are damaging to both our self-image and our mental equilibrium. Filth, sloppiness and noisiness can also damage our nerves. If Chinese lived in a clean, orderly environment, they might behave entirely differently.”

I don’t necessarily agree with everything he says … but I figure it’s bound to give rise to some interesting conversation. Do remember, that it is written by a Taiwanese person, not a westerner.

June 14, 2005 @ 7:34 am | Comment

Is this cencoring or not? And are some people here using racial prototype here?

Perhaps, I am going to be labelled as CCP agent too.


June 14, 2005 @ 7:44 am | Comment

Kuke, where is the censorsahip? The guy closed his site voluntarily and said he will re-open it later.

June 14, 2005 @ 7:46 am | Comment

Filthy, that’s an interesting comparison between what I wrote and what Bo Yang says. So he argues that most Chinese go back and forth between “tyrant” and “slave”, huh? Sounds a bit extreme to me. I was only talking about Mr. Zuo over at, not “most Chinese”, though I can see where Bo Yang might get that idea. Then again, maybe he’s guilty of the same thing by being so critical and over-idealizing Western culture? Is that the slave mentality, whereas’s aggressive outrage was the tyrant?

“The louder we shout, the more right we are”… heh, watch Crossfire or Bill O’Reilly lately? I wouldn’t give Chinese people the monopoly on that. Shouting is the refuge of the insecure and frightened – that’s my point about and its constituents, clearly there’s fear driving both the anger and the retreat. But was, as Asiapundit pointed out, brave enough to come out say what was on their minds. I rather that than silence.

June 14, 2005 @ 8:27 am | Comment

Dave, I agree 100% with what you say. Still, I do think his book is worth a read, by Chinese and westerners alike. I’d be the last person to agree with everything he says, but he does succeed in raising a lot of interesting questions, at least.

June 14, 2005 @ 8:59 am | Comment

Richard, anyone,

Lisa cut+pasted from the senator’s blog yesterday but has he written more?

Could someone please cut+paste it here for China readers? (It’s on Blogspot).

June 14, 2005 @ 10:09 am | Comment

Martyn, here’s a cut and paste of yestrerday’s entire post:

Monday, June 13, 2005

Update: Chen comments withdrawn

My previous item expressing concern at some threatening comments about Chen Yonglin on a website run by Chinese students in Australia has led to the site being shut down by the site’s administrator. He explains his action in the comments section of the previous entry.

I saw this development whilst checking my site on a computer as I was waiting at the airport tonight. I was on my way down to Canberra for the final seven days of Senate sittings before the Prime Minister gets control of the Senate.

I discussed this issue with one of my perceptive staff, who deals regularly with multicultural issues. She reminded me that the threatening postings I drew attention to are not dissimilar to plenty of other abusive stuff you get on the Net – just false bravado as I suggested in the title of my previous post. Nationalism and uncritical patriotism can tend to bring out these sorts of aggressive and strident comments and there are plenty of examples of Australian blogs and websites with abusive and threatening stuff on them towards others – especially if the person was seen as being ‘anti-Australian’ in some way. (I won’t link to any of them because I don’t intend to increase the traffic to their sites)

I’ve been called a traitor many times just for supporting the rights of refugees, let alone for when I criticised our Government in committing us to war I believe was wrong. I’ve also had very threatening emails (usually from people calling themselves Christians) when I’ve spoken in support of the rights of gays and lesbians. Whilst it is never pleasant, it is part of the price you pay for freedom of speech (although I would argue it is an abuse of that right).

The difference with this case that may make some feel it is more than just over-aggressive nationalistic internet bravado is that it could be perceived to have a powerful Government behind it that has a record of acting on that intimidation in unpleasant ways. If I get stuff from Australians mouthing off in a threatening way, I usually just think they’re idiots and ignore it. If it’s seriously bad, I refer it to the Federal Police and then ignore it unless I hear something back from them (which I never have).

However, if a Chinese dissident sees stuff from someone mouthing off in a threatening way, they could perceive it having the Chinese Government tacitly behind it. I’m not suggesting that the Chinese student website is a pawn of their Government, but there is no doubt the Chinese Government has committed many serious breaches of human rights (far in excess of Australia’s less than perfect record) and that uncomfortable knowledge would undoubtedly increase the fear of someone who feels they are a target when they see open threats like the ones I described.

In any case, the website administrator has apologised and withdrawn the material and I feel it is appropriate in this forum to accept that at face value.

June 14, 2005 @ 10:23 am | Comment

He hasn’t written anything new on the topic since yesterday.

June 14, 2005 @ 10:24 am | Comment

Sounds like a fascinating book, Filthy – a Taiwanese guy taking Chinese culture to task.

Just as an exercise, do you think there’s an American counterpart to a book like that? Usually we get books criticizing a section of America, whereas this sounds like it throws the book at all Chinese people. A reviewer from Hong Kong at Amazon said this:

First of all, a confession. This reviewer has only read the original Chinese version of the book. However, assuming that the English translation has been faithful to the original, the comments apply to both versions equally.

Bo Yang had a particular purpose in his mind when he wrote the book. His target audience was his fellow Chinese, especially those living in Taiwan, who at the time were still lulled in the belief that Chinese culture (or at least as it was preserved in Taiwan) was the best among all civilizations. While everyone acknowledged that the West was technologically superior, many felt that spiritually and culturally China still triumphed over the decadent West. No one disputed that Chinese society had severe problems. But prior to Bo Yang’s work, it was customary to blame these ills either on Westernization or a departure from China’s true values. Bo Yang turned the tables by arguing that the culture itself was the source of these ills. It is as earth-shattering as William Bennett coming out and identifying Judeo-Christian values as the source of much that is wrong with the West.

Did William Bennett actually do that? Oh, the reviewer also said:

A Western reader certainly should not use this as a primer on Chinese culture, but it does offer a fascinating glimpse into the mind of a very influential writer in the Chinese speaking world. Nor should a Western reader use this book as “evidence” of the total failure of Chinese culture, any more than non-Westerners should understand America by reading only “The Ugly American”. Bo Yang’s work could instead be viewed as one attempt by a still very vibrant, living culture to come to terms with what it means to be modern yet true to one’s sense of self. Ironically, thus far it has arguably been the more “Westernized” Chinese societies (Hong Kong, Taiwan, to an extent Singapore) that has been better able to preserve “Chinese” values.

Reconciling the modern with the traditional? One of my favorite China topics!

June 14, 2005 @ 10:38 am | Comment


You know the reason the excuse used by CCP to shut down website:
foreign support behind the website,
mouthpiece of foreign influence;
It is tragic that many anti-CCP people sounds like CCP.

The key question should be ” does his comments against law and fall in hate crime?” If yes, his website should be shut down. If not, the approach of the senator is questionable.

Yeah, he is scared to shut down his website. and it is not censorship. How about self-censorship?

June 14, 2005 @ 4:12 pm | Comment

Steve, he had a choice to close his site or keep it open. That’s the bliss of living in a free country. His site certainly seemed hostile and a little crazy, but that’s not against the law and the choice to close it was his own. It sounds to me like he freaked out and got paranoid — but that’s his problem. No one threatened him. It’s not like in some other countries, where he would disappear into the night.

June 14, 2005 @ 5:05 pm | Comment

Um – I have a question. This is a sh1t-stirring question, but a question nonetheless.

If Chen is to be ridiculed for creating an environment that may, in the future, create discrimination against Chinese, how is Alex judged? Cause there’s nothing to inspire discrimination like well-posted rabid, maniacal murderous rage.

I can’t get over the difference between his post and his letter to Bartlett. What’s the expression in Chinese? Horse-licker? He didn’t even defend his opinion. I understand why but I have to say that it isn’t a great way to have a concensus building conversation.

June 14, 2005 @ 5:09 pm | Comment

“If Chen is to be ridiculed for creating an environment that may, in the future, create discrimination against Chinese, how is Alex judged? ”

Do you mean, if that happens, Alex should bear some blame for the environment and that environment is partly understandable?

By your logic, if one western man raped a chinese girl in China and there is anti-western sentiment, how should that man be judged?

June 14, 2005 @ 5:36 pm | Comment

Steve: This may be a little late in coming, but I never said that Alex was a CCP agent. How could he be? Secret agents are supposed to be clever and devious, and avoid drawing attention to themselves. None of these attributes apply to Alex. All he is, is a naive and immature student who thinks that politics and historical events are excuses for bigotry. He’s not a patriot- I don’t believe he particularly loves his country or people, he’s simply been encouraged to use other countries as an outlet for his own, carefully nurtured hate. In this way he’s similar to “patriots” the world over. China seems to have quite a few of them. Who was it who said that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels? They were right.

June 14, 2005 @ 7:47 pm | Comment


In my message, I said Pete, not Peter. Please refer the entry titled “Blind Rage, Part 3”. I have some discussion with Pete.

I agree with your analysis. It is not easy to be able to go oversea study. The senator is asking DIMIA to get involved. The fellow must be scared.

His response to the power is a tragic result of his experience under CCP. Unfortuantely, lots of people are celebrating gleefully the power of politician interference. Some commentators have enjoyed his quick about-face and total surrenderring.

Instead, people should ask, is his behavior inside the boundary of the law? If people are acting within the boundary of law, shutting down people by politician threat should be condemed, not celebrated.

June 14, 2005 @ 8:19 pm | Comment

Steve, with all my heart I really believe you just don’t get it, despite your intelligence. His behaviour was indeed within the boundary of the law. Period. Full stop. No one disputes that.

But as anyone who read his posts knows, he was also being an incredible asshole. Posts by various bloggers, including the senator and maybe even myself, drew attention to the fact he was being an asshole (repeat, fact) and he made the face-saving decision to close it down fast. Of course, he can open it again at any time, and he said he will; he is free to do as he chooses. Can you consider the possibility that maybe he realized he fucked up, and felt bad about what he did? And do you understand that in China, a blogger who makes a similar mistake of criticizing his host government could well end up in serious trouble? (As in solitary confinement for many years?)

June 14, 2005 @ 8:57 pm | Comment

Okay, a request here. We have multiple Pete’s and Steves. Would you fellows mind modifying your handles a bit? Because I get confused…

June 15, 2005 @ 1:18 am | Comment

whoever replied to my post proved my point – this is precisely the reason why Chen should be viewed as an individual. And Alex too. Alex is in a sticky situation because he does have something to do with a group in australia, and chen is similarly in a sticky situation because he’s making claims that might hurt diplomatic relations. But to blame either one for creating discrimination against chinese citizens is shortsighted, as the people responsible for discrimination are not the people that might inspire it, but the moronic reactionaries that it is inspired in.

June 15, 2005 @ 4:58 am | Comment

Other Lisa
I think there is only one pete now. A little bit ago, I saw another “pete” handle and asked him to change it. He graciously did so, without a question to me or any fuss.

I think there is only one steve, but if there are more they can answer up for themselves.

Don’t take my comment so seriously. Only you know if you are not a plant. If you are not, have some self confidence. In that case I say good on you. If you are… well then so be it.

June 15, 2005 @ 7:44 am | Comment

Regarding the multiple nicks, fair enough. If there is another “Peter” out there, I’m happy to change my handle (I think “Pete” and “Peter” is distinctive enough to tell us apart, however).

Regarding discrimination against Chinese citizens: it’s not only short-sighted to blame this on people like Chen, or others who say things which paint China in a negative light. It is unfair as well, and makes Chinese people into hostages- “you can’t say this, otherwise some Chinese person somewhere might suffer discrimination”.
Due to the nature of this site, most of the articles show China (or America) in a bad light. People who are prejudiced against China will no doubt find information which confirms their prejudices, but that does not make the author responsible.

June 15, 2005 @ 6:43 pm | Comment

The real name of the webmaster of OZ ‘Patriotic China’ is Zuo Qiao, a Liaoning native. For those who can read Chinese, his family tree:


Note at least two of them are serving the CCP and hold party positions.

June 16, 2005 @ 11:06 pm | Comment

Change the encoding to UTF-8 and you won’t have problem viewing my previous post.

June 16, 2005 @ 11:07 pm | Comment

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