Managing Australia – China relations

Between the gunpoint border and the spiritual violence of our identity“, “Beyond the daily war, beyond the days I wonder if the sound of my voice isn’t mine“ – by punk band Strike Anywhere – in their 2021 release Dress the wounds.

Australia’s relationships with the United States and with China have not been well managed by recent Australian governments.

The U.S. has been Australia’s main strategic ally for 80 years. As a result, Australia has been happy to follow U.S. foreign policy positions for much of that time. The election of Donald Trump should have made it clear that the alliance will hold up only if it is in the interests of the U.S. government (including domestic political interests). The U.S. is a strategic competitor of China. Australia’s relationship with China is different. China has become our most important trading relationship. We must have an independent foreign policy stance.

Australia should not have specifically banned Huawei from bidding for the country’s 5G network. It should simply have included in the tender process, a requirement that all tenderers to satisfy stringent security provisions. If Huawei could not, then its bid should have been rejected even if the financial arrangements were better than the competition. 

Australia should not have unilaterally demanded that China account for the Covid-19 pandemic. With Trump rhetoric spewing from the Whitehouse, it made Australia look like a puppet of the Trump government and smeared us with his bilious nonsense. I am not the first to say that this call should have been from a group of nations dovetailing into China’s scientific co-operation with international bodies and directed to a broad inquiry into the origins and progress of the pandemic, not to assign blame, but with the intention of preparing the world for the next one.

Foreign interference laws can appear to be directed at China when it appears that only Chinese nationals are targeted. Of course there are Chinese corporations pursuing their own interests in Australia as there are other nations and corporations doing the same. Of course, the Australian government should legislate to prevent improper foreign influence and be conscious of links between corporations and foreign governments. However, that legislation appears to be a little hypocritical when Australia’s lobbying industry appears to have carte blanche to pursue favours from government in the interests of favoured corporations. Tightening lobbying rules and establishing a Federal ICAC to address official corruption would be more effective generally and would permit any misconduct by Chinese interests to be swept up with the rest.

China will pay no attention whatever to Australian government criticism of its human rights record. Any such criticism is mere grandstanding to a domestic audience. The only way to protest effectively against China’s human rights behaviour is to establish concerted diplomatic pressure as part of a broad multi-national group. Australia should not reserve its criticism to strategic competitors of the United States and it should join with others to call out human rights abuses wherever they occur. Australia should also clean up its own act e.g. treatment of refugees and asylum seekers, truth and justice for indigenous people, admitting Australia’s fraudulent behaviour in negotiations over East Timor’s maritime borders  and providing proper redress, dealing with those responsible for the toxic culture in the S.A.S., not just junior officers etc. etc.  

All of these steps could be taken (or could have been taken) in a way which permits us to maintain a respectful and mutually profitable relationship with China without the current needless rancour and without compromising our principles.

John Curr 
2 December 2020

3 thoughts on “Managing Australia – China relations

  1. As I said in my post dated December 10, 2020 at 7:23 am |

    Therefore,the profits are now flowing back to PRC ,with once in a lifetime,geo-strategic benefits for PRC,with CHAOS in USA and UK , and the Plague in The EU.

    The CHAOS has started

    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/06/politics/us-capitol-lockdown/index.html

    WELCOME TO THE GREATEST AMERICAN REVOLUTION EVER !

    The Last Civil War – the culmination of the 5th generation war ! dindooohindoo

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    1. Thanks Samir for your comments

      Here are some responses (for what they are worth) to the points that you raise:

      1. It seems the Democrats do ‘regime change’ better than the Republicans with sleepy Joe Biden to be inaugurated on the 20th. Trump’s attempted putsch in the US has failed . See https://workersbushtelegraph.com.au/2021/01/12/trumps-regime-change-fails/ .

      2. Regarding Australia, we have a trade surplus with China, not the other way round (unlike many Western Countries). Morrison will be forced into a back down with China, if he wants to keep it that way. We are but a flea on the camel’s back.

      3. Regardless of the turmoil in Washington, the United States still has a very powerful military capable of doing terrible things, including to the people of China, Afghanistan and Iran. The Americans get upset when there is regime change at home but not when it is abroad.

      4. The Left in Australia (such as it is) was more interested in Marcuse critique of consumerism than Derrida’s de-construction theories.
      See https://workersbushtelegraph.com.au/2021/01/12/herbert-marcuse/

      Beware the Democrats in power … they are capable of great hypocrisy … decrying Trump’s putsche but spending most of their time arranging coups in the global South. Of course they would say the US supports regime change in undemocratic countries; yet Chile had a democratically elected President (Allende) and they had him ousted by a Dictator Pinochet. In many of the countries that had authoritarian regimes (Iraq) their regime change produced a far worst result, chaos. Libya is another example of this, supported by Hilary Clinton, once a thriving economy with a very high standard of living now a basket case like Iraq.

      Ian Curr
      Editor
      12 Jan 2021

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  2. The Aussies are NOT using the Derrida Deconstruction of Chairman Xi’s thought process.

    Pre-Covid

    In the Pre-COVID era,nations DIPPED into the CHINESE POT OF ELIXIR,for their vitality and growth, and then , targeted China,for Rights and Soverign violations. The Chinese do NOT appreciate this intellectual sophistry.The Chinese have their own Socrates and Aristotle,In Mencius and Confucius.

    Hence,the Chinese ignored the noise and built up the INFRASTRUCTURE IN PRC and AFRICA, using the raw materials of the o/s world – and that phase is OVER.

    Thence,there was the need for the DEFLATOR

    The Deflator = COVID

    COVID is the deflator and there are many more in the pipeline.The objective was GLOBAL DEMAND DESTRUCTION and SUPPLY CHAIN DISRUPTION,so that the PRC can PICK AND CHOOSE THE GLOBAL SUPPLIERS,it wishes as supply chain partners.dindooohindoo

    DEMAND DESTRUCTION makes distance less relevant,wipes out marginal capacities,destroys banks and leads to massive unemployment.That is VULNERABILITY for all the EXPORTING NATIONS TO PRC. Therefore,the profits are now flowing back to PRC ,with once in a lifetime,geo-strategic benefits for PRC,with CHAOS in USA and UK , and the Plague in The EU.

    When distances become irrelevant,alternative suppliers of raw materials abound- and so PRC,will not need Aussie raw materials.

    THE DEFLATOR has ensured that,EVERY EXPORTED ITEM FROM AUSSIE TO PRC,has an Alt supplier,from a nation,which is VULNERABLE,and will ALLOW UNFETTERED CHINESE INVESTMENT ,and will NOT opine of China’s Rights,and Soverign infringements.

    THE DEFLATOR has NOT merely proven that China has a RESILIENT AND RELIABLE supply chain.IT IS A MESSAGE TO THE WORLD that PRC is the INTERSECTION OF GLOBAL SUPPLY CHAINS – making it INDISPENSABLE.THE DEFLATOR is the 1st PHASE of the WEAPONISATION ,of the SAID INTERSECTION.

    The Turning Tides and Waves

    There is NO Turning Tide.Tides and Waves follow a regular and repetitive pattern.This is an EPOCHAL DEFLATOR.The UK /USA and EU are in TERMINAL DECLINE,Putin HAS CANCER – and I do not see any hope ,besides the Gods in The Atlantis, under the Barrier Reef.

    The FUTURE is as clear as the STORY of JESUS, in the Bible of BARNABUS.U may HATE Barnabus,but the FUTURE is evident – and the Aussies should let the Indians perish,at the hands of the Chinese,and the Japs and Korea can sort their disputes with PRC (with US help).Aussie has no role in this matrix.

    DISTANCE IS A PROTECTION FOR THE AUSSIES – but if the Aussie neighbors align with PRC,DISTANCE will be the heel of Achilles,for the Aussies (especially in the inevitable future of Naval Undersea Drones).

    Y has this Anti-Chinese sentiment hijacked Aussies ? It is the immigration of Viets,Indians and other Asians into Aussie land,and their baggage of hate and insecurity.

    Pause and Reflect – in the future of AI and Robotics,what will Aussies do with these immigrants ? Either the immigrants or the original Aussies (Whites),will become dead weight,in the future – and that is a recipe for Political Disaster.As it is Chinese Billionaires from PRC are buying up Aussie politicians and bureaucrats – like strawberries.

    Are these immigrants aiding the transition to the New Economy (non-export based) ? But will these New Economy businesses exist in the future ? Like in the USA,immigrants,aliens and illegals will decide the fate of Aussie land in the future – towards the inevitable doom as you are seeing in the USA today

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