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  • Writer's picturePete Jonson

Trouble with China

Updated: Mar 23, 2021

The mighty nation that is China is flexing its muscles. It has put the Uigurs to work, interfered with the gentle Tibetans, broke China’s agreement with the people of Hong Kong and constantly threatens Taiwan. Today we hear threats from China to the junta of Mynmar, which if there was a Chinese police force in Burma might be worthwhile.

As a proud Australian of course I am greatly aggravated by China’s about turn toward the great South Land. Chairman Xi several years ago visited Australia when Tony Abbott was PM, entertained the pollies and even quaffed some good Aussie wine. Mr Abbott’s leftish successor, Malcolm Trumball did not seem to do much about China and Scott Morison has done a far better job. But his polite request to President Xi for advice on how the virus escaped from Wuhan has touched a nerve that has put Australia into the dog house. A small doghouse, to be sure, but refusal to even answer our phone calls signals that we shall not quickly be restored to the goodwill of President for life Xi.

Today is another blow, reported by The Australian’s China Correspondent, Will Glasgow. Seems like throwing stones at the dog house. A senior US official, President Bidon’s Indo-Pacific coordinator, Kurt Campbell, asked (‘demanded’ was the description by Will) China to ‘stop its coercion of Australia if it wants to improve its relations with Washington’. Good news for us, especially when Dr Campbell said: ‘We have made clear that the US is not prepared to improve relations in a bilateral and separate context at the same that a close and dear ally is being subjected to a form of economic coercion’.

And: ‘We are not going to leave Australia on the field’.

China’s foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lejia is reported as saying: ‘The root cause of the current difficulties in bilateral relations is Australia’s wrong words and deeds on issues concerning China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, which have undermined the foundation of mutual trust and cooperation between the two countries,’ he said at a press conference in Beijing on Tuesday evening.

‘The Australian side knows the ins and outs better than anyone else.’

Will Glasgow continues with reasons for the dog house. ‘China has launched trade strikes on Australian exports worth more than $20bn-a-year after the Morrison government last April called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus without giving notice to Beijing.

‘In recent years, Australia has angered Xi Jinping’s administration by banning Huawei from its 5G network, increasing scrutiny of foreign interference within its borders and criticising China’s actions in the South China Sea, Hong Kong and Xinjiang.’

Experts say it will take time for Australia to be allowed to leave the dog house. Our only big weapon would be to withdraw our iron ore, but one wonders if the wily Chinese would decide the great South Land needed discipline.

Read the full report below, and say a prayer for President Biden and his loyal team.

David Nolan explores an approach to kick-starting a (our) stalled economy. More here.


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