Australian MPs need to act on China
With disrupted international supply lines, the local economy in tatters and New Zealand going rogue things are not looking the best for Australia.
Yet day to day politics continue and political chameleons take the easy route in launching their verbal attacks on China. Talk might sound good but is also cheap. Action is needed.
China is, of course, a real threat. They are a threat to world stability, a threat to Taiwan and a threat to Australia’s cybersecurity. While China seeks to promote a positive image of itself, most ordinary Australians just can’t be fooled by that. The Australian left knows that China has major issues with its Human Rights record and the Australian right know that China is the enemy of individual and international freedom.
Rather than confront China’s ambassador, there has been too much talk from MPs about agreeing to climate change targets.
When the Chinese ambassador returned home, Australian politicians didn’t bother to say goodbye. Ambassador Cheng Jingye, who had been spearheading China’s campaign of economic coercion against Australia, left in silence.
Politicians went out of their way to shun the Ambassador, who utalised the self-professed “Wolf Warrior” style used by Chinese diplomats across the world.
Ambassador Cheng Jingye didn’t have many friends, but he also still had his scalp intact. After threatening Australia so much, the least politicians could have done is shred this aging diplomat. Instead, he went back to Beijing without a scratch.
China certainly did its best banning Australian products and stopping tourists visiting the country. But Ambassador Cheng and his political masters really got away with it all.
Having said that, China’s troubling links to the IPA or certain Liberal identities are minor compared to their complete control over the Australian Labor Party in Victoria.
Revelations have come to light about the proliferation of Chinese spies and growing efforts to interfere in Australia’s political system, but so far politicians have been reluctant to act except indirectly.
It is not wrong, of course, for Australian politicians to call out China and its bad activities, but politicians need to do more than pretend they are talking tough. Actions are needed.
Sitting on a committee in Canberra and sending out periodic media releases should lead to concrete actions.
Thankfully some in Australia’s media have had the guts to call for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. China was “dismayed” by these calls and said that the Chinese people might even stop consuming Australian products.
Australians want strength not chameleon language from its Senators. Having said that, the Australian Government has rightly not backed down on its stance against China and has wisely kept in step with the USA.
Australia has continued to take the right steps against Beijing, such as with the recent AUKUS nuclear submarine agreement and its growing participation in Quad grouping of Australia, the US, India and Japan.
Voters should be very concerned about those politicians who are quiet about China. There is also the issue of those who use anti-China rhetoric yet in practice it is more about their public profile than actually doing anything substantial about China.