Worst year of China-Australia relations
The year 2022 marks 50 years of Australia’s diplomatic relations with communist China. Relations are continuing to worsen as China increases its repression in Hong Kong and threatens Taiwan.
With China extending its sphere of influence seaward, it appears that their medium term goal is to reach Australia. Already they are trying to create a fake casus belli against Australia, including trying to garrotte trade and assert control over Australia’s island neighbours.
Arguments about the origins of COVID and the patronising of the Winter Olympics aside, China’s track record is not good, both in terms of internal cultural genocide of minorities and its violent bullying on the international stage.
Australia did the right thing in signing up to the AUKUS deal, which benefitted both Australia with better submarines, and benefitted Australia’s traditional allies, the UK and the USA.
There are an array of enemies out there, perhaps in France, certainly large foreign media networks and of course China who know how much Australia’s new nuclear submarines will be a strong defensive measure, and who made such an uproar around the world as if Australia was doing the wrong thing.
Since when is making a good treaty and Australia’s defences been morally bad? On the contrary, if anything, the deal does not go far enough.
China’s bad faith can also be seen in how it is imprisoning and torturing Australia’s citizens in China. Thankfully the COVID situation meant that some Australians have returned home, but not all have escaped the fury of communist China.
China has also attempted to condemn the free speech of Australian MPs and contributors to the Australian press who have expressed their deep concerns about how China has been treating the ethnic minorities like the Uyghurs.
To Australia’s credit, the Liberal National Government has banned the Belt and Road initiative, meaning that Victoria’s arrangements, as signed by Sinophile Daniel Andrews have been scuttled. Daniel Andrews has been desperate for funds after an infrastructure spending spree, and without China’s dirty money, Andrews has driven Victoria to the brink.
(This is the same Daniel Andrews who has effectively shut down Melbourne for the best part of two years, another tribute to his Chinese overlords.)
When Australia announced it was cutting Victoria’s Belt and Road deal in April 2021, some State MPs were vocal in support. Others were quiet. Strangely, former Victorian MP Inga Peulich went so far as to facetiously ask what was Chinese-Australian MP Gladys Liu’s view on this? (This from Gladys’ alleged close supporter!)
Thankfully, the cancellation of the Belt and Road deal was widely supported in Australia, and according to experts, “struck a real nerve over in Beijing”. One expert, Dr Yeophantong, explained that there was real “anger and frustration” about this in China.
Dr Yeophantong said Australia was a middle power and could be a thorn in China’s side targeting Beijing’s soft spots.
As such, the wolf warrior diplomacy of China has had the exact opposite effect and stirred up Australians against China, which has tarnished the image of Chinese President Xi’s persona as a cuddly teddy bear. Instead, Australians have instinctively seen China as a bully and can see through attempts from left wing media within Australia who might have pushed for appeasement. In turn, much of Australia’s domestic media has therefore sided with a more anti-Chinese view.