Australian news, and some related international items

Albanese must use Xi meeting to return us to the Howard-Abbott golden age of Australia-China relations (this from Murdoch’s Sky News !!!)

Good leadership isn’t about exclusivity. It’s about the careful management of competing interests and alliances and a recognition we need to lean on China for economic success and prosperity.

Sky News Sherry Sufi Contributor and Political Commentator November 16, 2022 

It feels like yesterday when Prime Minister Tony Abbott hosted Chinese Premier Xi Jinping in 2014 for a State Reception at Parliament House, Canberra.

In his address, Xi praised Australia’s goodwill towards China.

The fact that this friendship has since deteriorated with our largest trading partner is lamentable.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s recent willingness to meet with Xi should be welcomed by both sides of politics.

A meeting of this nature is long overdue.

In recent years, there has been no shortage of quasi-apocalyptic warnings by commentators about China’s emerging global assertiveness.

The one-sided nature of this commentary hasn’t helped de-escalate the tensions either.

We’ve been fixated on China’s treatment of Uighur minorities in Xinjiang, its overreach in Tibet, Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as its handling of COVID-19.

China insists there is no persecution of minorities.

Rather, it’s only cracking down on Uighur separatist terrorists affiliated with the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM).

The United States had ETIM listed as a terrorist organisation from 2002 to 2020.

The listing was only removed after the pandemic when relations with China began to deteriorate — intriguing in its own right.

Chinese intellectuals argue that if China had been the one to annex a strategically vital British port city — let’s say Portsmouth — and turned it into a Chinese colony for 156 years, Britain would also be doing all it could to re-integrate the liberated territory back into its administrative architecture.

That’s how China sees Hong Kong.

China maintains the US actively backed the Kuomintang party during the Chinese Civil War (1927-1949) because the American objective was to run an American-aligned vassal state — Taiwan — in the middle of the South China Sea.

That’s how China sees Taiwan — an American puppet in China’s maritime backyard.

Yet the US would never, for instance, tolerate China backing Puerto Rican separatists and running a Chinese-aligned vassal state in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico in America’s maritime backyard.

Every time the Chinese hear us say “China can’t be trusted because it’s militarising the South China Sea” — they chuckle at our hypocrisy. 

Guess what, the South China Sea was already heavily militarised — just not by the Chinese, but by our allies, the Americans.

For decades, the US has hosted combat-ready military bases across South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Guam.

We keep telling ourselves “our problem is the Chinese government, not Chinese people”.

This almost implies that since we’re not anti-Chinese “people” somehow that gives us a free pass to be anti-Chinese on everything else — including its right to manage strategic risks using precedents set by none other than the US itself. 

Let’s face it, Australian governments since the Abbott era inserting themselves into Chinese domestic affairs has brought us zero benefits for Australia.

As for those wondering, should we just let China bully us economically?

Obviously not — but there’s more to this than simplistic rhetoric.

Remember, it wasn’t China that forced Australian businesses to export our iron ore, coal, copper, precious stones, cotton, barley, wine, dairy, beef and seafood among other commodities.  

Australian businesses made conscious decisions to enter into agreements with Chinese trading partners due to the allure of lucrative mutual benefits — that is Capitalism 101.

Free trade is what gave China economic leverage over us. …………………………………………

What’s not reasonable is running one-sided commentary on how China deals with its domestic issues across Xinjiang, Tibet, Hong Kong or Taiwan. 

That stuff was never our core business…………………………………………

It’s now up to Albanese to return us to the golden age of Australia-China relations.

Dr Sherry Sufi is a Political Commentator and Analyst. His PhD thesis was on language and nationalism.


November 21, 2022 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international

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