Trading a war of words
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Background explainers, news and analysis on China-Australia relations, including trade and investment and the impact of wider issues such as the US-China trade war and South China Sea.
In this issue of the Global Impact newsletter, we look back at the long-awaited visit to China by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and what it means for future relations between Canberra and Beijing.
Former premier Li Keqiang died in October, while the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation took place and China confirmed its economy grew by 4.9 per cent in the third quarter, year on year.
Australia’s ongoing failure to engage sustainably with China, and Asia in general, stems from its historic inability to build genuine trust with its regional partners. The Aukus pact proves to Asia that Canberra’s allegiances lie elsewhere. When Albanese visits China at the weekend, this will be the elephant in the room.
In the new normal in liberal democracies like Australia, a fearful majority can be mobilised against indigenous rights or a rational China policy. The Australian PM has to keep his objectives for his upcoming China trip modest, as it will be judged at home through the populist filter of fear.
Visit by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to Beijing aims to heal wounds between nations and maintain move to more sustainable policy.
PM Anthony Albanese’s coming China visit is aimed at resetting bilateral ties that have been strained by a laundry list of issues ranging from tariffs to the pandemic’s origins.
The market impact of foreign buyers has been exaggerated. Pointing the finger at foreigners is a distraction from the main problem bedevilling Australia’s housing market – a severe shortage exacerbated by the lack of needed planning reform.
Australia has no business playing the victim when the lines between strategy and economic interests have become increasingly blurred. Beijing should treat with caution renewed efforts to get relations back on track, and avoid rewarding Canberra for its coercive behaviour.
Canberra is risking a regional war for its overlord, the United States, against its biggest trading partner with which it has grown prosperous.
Pandemic upheavals have exposed the reliance of universities in the West on international students, particularly from China – as Hong Kong’s universities become good at attracting mainland students too.
America’s ‘war on terror’ has cost millions of lives but the enormity of this violence and suffering seems to have no place in the Western consciousness.
Australia is promoting the need for maintaining a strategic balance in a region where states had already acknowledged China’s leadership role despite backing continued US presence.
Academics and rights groups have slammed such laws for undermining Australia democracy, which have made Australia ‘one of the only Western liberal democracies to have made foreign interference a crime’.
Australia’s ruling Labor Party is still clinging to the idea of a US-led global order, despite criticism of the risks and cost of Aukus project.
Between the warmongering ‘red alert’ headlines and submarine sabre-rattling, harmony seems to be sadly absent from Australian society and public discourse of late.