Does this parody on politics, provide prescience for Prime Minister Ardern?
For Australia is it to be: Trade v Security. China v America.
In a swipe at Australia’s human rights record after the release of the Brereton inquiry report into alleged war crimes committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman and information department deputy director Zhao Lijian called for Australia to be held accountable.
“These reports point to the hypocrisy of some Western countries who like to consider themselves as guardians of human rights and freedom,” Mr Zhao said last week. The comments were later supported and repeated by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Then, he said:
Australia has demanded China apologise for posting a fake picture on a government Twitter account that depicted an Australian soldier murdering an Afghan child.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Beijing should be “utterly ashamed” for sharing the “repugnant” image.
Chronology of most recent downpour:
- China with indignity refers Brereton inquiry.
- Australia with indignity, refers to a caricature capturing atrocity.
- Changing the goal post? Two different issues here.
- Perhaps but that’s not the point of this post.
This rough sea (above) in the channels of diplomacy follows a series of blows Australia has endured from China – one of its biggest trading partners.
How Big? In 2018, annual two-way trade between China and Australia reached almost AUD 215 billion. Iron ore, gas and coal make up the bulk of Australian exports to China (more than AUD 79 billion), but Australian service industries – led by education and tourism – are a growing part of the trade relationship.
Simultaneously stormy weather looms in South China Seas.
Jul 26, 2020 — Australia says China’s claims in the South China Sea are illegal.
27 Jul 2020 – Australia and the United States this month hardened their position on the South China Sea, where Washington has accused Beijing of attempting to build a “maritime empire” in the potentially energy-rich waters, despite regional concerns.
27 August 2020: In Canberra. More turbulence.
Wang Xining, the deputy head of mission at China’s embassy in Australia, said China saw Australia’s move to begin an investigation (into source of virus) as unfair because it had relied on the presumption Wuhan was the source of the virus.
24 November 2020. Storm approaching; batten down the hatches.
Mr Morrison called for China to reopen the lines of communication, which have fallen silent since Australia’s call for an inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, and resulted in China claiming issues with hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of exports.
The Storm has arrived.
China’s tariffs slam door shut on Australian wine’s biggest export market
Not only wine to China which takes 39% of Aussie exports, but 95% of crayfish out of Victoria and then there’s the grain tariffs and a warning by Chinese government to its students eyeing education in Australia to be careful of victimisation.
The eye of a storm is – calm?
Nov 10, 2020 — Fortescue Metals Group has secured 12 new agreements with Chinese steel …
But Andrew Forrest has demonstrated several times that he puts trade between his mining empire – first. As early as April 2020 he invited the Chinese consul general to a soiree – delivering his own version of China relations, much to the chagrin of Australia’s diplomatic strategy.
And the cause of this Storm?
24 November 2020
Australia has always insisted it can balance its security relationship with the US alongside its trading arrangements with China but there are fears Beijing will continue to use Australia’s exports as it further retaliates against Australia’s national security policies.
Or is it politics?
27 July 2020
Australia jumped from its perch of neutrality to align itself with the United States in supporting UNCLOS and the 2016 Award by the Arbitral Tribunal that heard the case brought by the Philippines against China. However, Australia went further and was more precise in its rejection of the legal basis of China’s maritime claims in the South China Sea.
1 December 2020
Australia will begin testing hypersonic missiles that can travel at least five times the speed of sound within months under a new agreement with the United States to develop prototypes of the next-generation weapons.
Perhaps America can take all Aussie exports previously destined for China?
Afterall! What are mates for?
Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland police spies; currently Honorary consul for an African state; Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in NZ and has international business interests.