Academics Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg examine how the Chinese Communist Party influences world affairs by stealth.
Following on from Clive Hamilton's Silent Invasion (2018), which investigated the influence of the Chinese Communist Party on Australia's politics and culture, comes Hidden Hand. This new book is written with Mareike Ohlberg and takes a global perspective, examining in granular detail how the CCP has slowly and quietly made its influence felt in business, politics and academia. In short, it uses money as leverage. Fear of having markets cut off or finance denied makes business leaders and politicians toe the China line, often parroting Xi Jinping's talking points. It's a creeping and insidious infiltration of Western democracy and business. Many of the guilty Western parties (economist Jeffrey Sachs is highlighted in the book) should really know better.
Hidden Hand makes for depressing reading. Its detail and exhaustive research, with its endless listing of names, government bodies and institutions, is often quite dizzying. That said, it's an important book that raises a lot of important questions. For several decades, we in the West have courted China, thinking of it as a capitalist democracy in the making. Instead, it has become increasingly autocratic.
Essential reading for the informed citizen.
Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World, by Clive Hamilton and Mareike Ohlberg. Published by Hardie Grant. $32.99
North Melbourne Books