Well, that escalated quickly…
The editor of China’s state-run English language newspaper has posted an incendiary piece calling Prime Minister Scott Morrison “ridiculously arrogant” and saying he should “slap himself in the face” on live television.
The searing editorial comes after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian posted a doctored image on Twitter showing an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of a young child holding a lamb.
…that is not the image you post if you are trying to call tension down, that is the image you post if you are attempting to goad reaction so offence can be taken on purpose.
China has thrown a gun down on the ground and told Australia to pick it up.
China is our Economic Overlord, Australia is our loud mouthed rude neighbour and America is our 5 Eyes Political Master, so to think we will be immune from such volatility between China, Australia and America is delusional.
To date NZ has managed to keep out of any direct confrontation with China because China bought the National Party and the National Party did everything in their decade of power to bend over backwards to China.
Key put all our cows in one Beijing paddock off the back of Helen’s free trade deal, and we’ve been trapped ever since.
The fact there was an alleged Chinese spy inside the National Party caucus highlights how compromised National had become.
With their investment in National wasted, soft power turns to hard force very quickly.
Trump’s erratic and increasingly desperate thrashing around while there are two carrier task forces in the South China Sea is an enormous uncertainty and recipe for miscalculation.
China could ‘poke out our eyes’ in 3 ways.
Economically – They could strangle off exports and hurt the economy.
Militarily – They could shoot down an American satellite launched by RocketLabs from a submarine off the East Coast.
Domestically – We know Chinese newspaper editors in NZ all take their editorial stance directly from the Chinese Government and calling for mass demonstrations against the Government for whatever perceived insult would cause enormous upheaval that could easily spill into something ugly.
NZ-Asians face the most overt racism in NZ, there is a huge tension beneath the mild surface of NZ society, and we aren’t prepared for if it ruptures from geopolitical tensions.
My gut feeling is that China isn’t imperialist and won’t invade anyone outside what it claims is its territorial waters, and would instead look to seize Hong Kong and perhaps Taiwan and then aggressively demand if anyone is going to stop them. Would Biden really spill American blood to retake Taiwan?
We must be a voice for peace and the champion for International co-operation and respect for the rule of law because conflict will create social reverberations we are not ready for. However, as a liberal progressive Democracy, we also have an obligation to speak out against China’s human rights abuses and if that costs us trade, then that is the price we pay to be a good global citizen.
China is rapidly becoming the diplomatic crisis for us right now.
It’s difficult for us to be critical of a Chinese tweet but not the Australian war crimes that inspired the tweet.
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