Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Australia needs a more consistent and rational approach to China

Australia needs to reset the relationship with China and stay cool The Conversation  Tony WalkerAdjunct Professor, School of Communications, La Trobe University, 

Let’s call it the “China syndrome”. This describes a condition that is a bit compulsive and not always rational.

Australia’s response to China’s continuing rise mixes anxiety, even a touch of paranoia, with anticipation of the riches that derive from the sale of vast quantities of commodities.

Economic dependence on China is two-edged and potentially policy-distorting.

To put this in perspective: Australian exports of goods and services to China in 2016-17 were worth $110.4 billion. That accounts for nearly 30% of total exports. This compares with $20.8 billion for the US, or 5.16% of total exports. The EU (including the United Kingdom) accounted for $30.5 billion, or 9.8%.

In other words, nearly one-third of Australian goods and services trade is hinged to the China market. Putting it mildly, such a level of dependence on a single market is not ideal……….

What is lacking in Australia’s approach to its relationship with China is consistency, so the government speaks with one voice and, where possible, separates domestic politics from the conduct of China policy. ……..

the greatest risk for Australia is that an erratic Trump administration will undermine a rules-based international order critical to Australian security.

Canberra’s diplomatic efforts over many years have been aimed at drawing Beijing into a rules-based system, promoting certainty in China’s behaviour as a “responsible stakeholder”.

That longstanding impulse of Australian foreign policy is now under stress.

However, what also needs to be kept in mind is that relations between Canberra and Beijing have had their ups and downs over the years. These blips have come and gone……..

The Australian government needs a reset of the relationship that would move the two countries past a difficult stage caused by a combination of misunderstanding and loose talk.

Australian officials also need to bear in mind that, in a region in flux, Australia’s Asian neighbours are accommodating themselves to new realities at warp speed. Old certainties such as the validity of US security guarantees are being questioned.

The Turnbull government is operating in a much-changed environment. Stakes are high. Levels of anxiety about China’s rise are unlikely to fall. Australia needs to keep its cool and avoid falling prey to a China syndrome characterised by unsteadiness and poor judgement. https://theconversation.com/australia-needs-to-reset-the-relationship-with-china-and-stay-cool-97370?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20June%204%202018%20-%20103249093&utm_content=Latest%20from%20The%20Conversation%20for%20June%204%202018%20-%20103249093+CID_283a8e2d929a46b44b455fc08b8056c4&utm_source=campaign_monitor&utm_term=Australia%20needs%20to%20reset%20the%20relationship%20with%20China%20and%20stay%20cool

 

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June 3, 2018 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international

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