China has long complained about disinformation coming from Australia, and up to now, over cosying up with the Trump driven aggressive posturing towards the nation housing a fifth of the world’s population.
A turning point was when the Australian government banned Huawei from the 5G network, which was accused of being a security threat. Not a shred of evidence was put forward to back this. The accusation was enough. The tech giant was even threatened with banning the sale of their mobile phones.
Given that our telecommunication technology is Chinese driven, and that our computers and mobile phones are just about all made there, the Chinese connection cannot be severed.
Huawei developed 5G, and its participation is the only way to guarantee that Australia has a first class network.
Then there was the intervention over Honk Kong last year. Despite one’s view on the politics, the territory is part of China, historically and through the agreement with the United Kingdom, when it ended Hong Kong’s colonial status.
The Australian government made clear its support for the break away of the territory. Australia would not accept this sort of intervention. Imagine the reaction if, for example, there was a move to break Queensland away and this had the backing of China. Wouldn’t Australia object?
When Australia is seen to be acting as an echo of United States foreign policy and its drive for a cold war against China, don’t expect the Chinese to be amused.
Complaints from China on these matters are branded as bullying. When China goes about building relations with better friends and establishes new trade deals, it is an overreaction.
When the Chinese government objected to the apprehension of Chinese journalists working in Australia, seizure their belongings, accusing them of being probable spies, and thrown out, again without evidence, it is another over reaction.
China returned the favour and pressured three journalists to leave China. it was then an attack on free speech. The double standard did not go unnoticed.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison turned up in Japan this week and talked about a military pact against China. Chinese media and officials responded angrily. This was called another over reaction.
Would you expect Australian Media and officials to be less angry, if the Chinese leader had gone to Japan to talk about a military pact against Australia?
Photo by Yumi Asada: Scott Morrison in Japan to talk ear games against China
Incredibly, the Australian government’s official position is that it has done nothing to damage the relationship between the two nations, and that China is misrepresenting Australia and seeking confrontation.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that this is not true, and that it is Australia damaging the relationship by chest beating.
China has been accused of trying to meddle in Australia’s internal political affairs. But it’s plain that it’s Australia that has been trying to interfere in China’s internal affairs.
From China’s view, Australia behaves as a puppet of the United States and really doesn’t act independently. This puts Australia in an even worse position.
By engaging and persisting in the anti-China crusade the Australian government is ensuring the relationship will continue to deteriorate, and this must impact on Australian exports to China.
China is not dependent on imports from Australia. There are alternative sources for most, and the Chinese economy is weaning off coal.
Australia has far more to lose. China is our biggest trading partner, and there are no substitute markets for major exports, especially when most of the world’s nations face contracting economies. Loss of the Chinese market will cause a great deal of damage to the Australian economy. It will cost jobs and opportunities. The damage has already started to make itself felt.
By playing into the cold war game, the Australian government is contributing to making this world a more dangerous place.
How are Australia’s interests served with any of this?