Angry China has so far made a series of terrible blunders. First, it quietly invaded Australia with bribes and influence networks that got sprung. Second, it backed itself into a corner on the trade war. Third, it arrested all kinds of foreign nationals and applied punitive trade practices to supposed friends, including on Australia. Fourth, it massively overreached in Hong Kong and lost Taiwan.
Today Angry China invaded the Aussie parliament:
China’s Ambassador to Australia says his country is ready to “fight to the end” in its trade war with the United States, as Scott Morrison calls on both nations to calm tensions.
The Prime Minister has vowed Australia will not stand by “passively” as China and the US slug it out in a global power contest, and he will act in Australia’s security and economic interests if the superpower relationship continues to deteriorate.
Ambassador Cheng Jingye told a gathering at Parliament House in Canberra this morning that China does not want a trade war with US President Donald Trump, but will protect its interests.
“China is willing together with the US to reach a win-win solution on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” Mr Cheng said.
“There is no winner in a trade war. China doesn’t want a trade war, nonetheless it will firmly safeguard its own legitimate rights, interests and development rights.
“China is open to negotiations, but we will also fight to the end if needed.”
One wonders when the penny will drop for Angry China that cheating, bullying and bleating is not working:
Relations with major powers
Only 32% of Australians say they trust China to ‘act responsibly in the world’, in a 20-point fall since 2018 and the lowest level of trust in China ever recorded in our polling. A bare majority of Australians (52%) trust the United States to act responsibly, which is steady from last year.
Half of Australians (50%) believe ‘the Australian government should put a higher priority on maintaining strong relations with the United States, even if this might harm our relations with China’. A sizeable minority (44%) say Australia ‘should put a higher priority on building stronger relations with China, even if this might harm our relations with the United States’.
Confidence in world leaders
Only 30% of Australians have confidence in China’s President Xi Jinping to do the right thing in world affairs, a 13-point drop since 2018. One-quarter of Australians (25%) have confidence in US President Donald Trump, a five-point drop from 2018.
Australians’ highest level of confidence among the nine leaders polled is placed in New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern (88% saying ‘a lot’ or ‘some’ confidence). The Australian leaders follow, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison (58%) and former Opposition Leader Bill Shorten (52%). Eighteen points behind is Indonesian President Joko Widodo (34%), followed by US President Trump and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi (both 25%). This means President Trump is only ahead of Russia’s Vladimir Putin (21%) and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un (7%).
A majority of Australians (74%) say Australia is too economically dependent on China. A sizeable 68% say the Australian government is allowing too much investment from China. More than three-quarters of the population say ‘Australia should do more to resist China’s military activities in our region, even if this affects our economic relationship’ (77%, an increase of 11 points since 2015) and believe that ‘China’s infrastructure investment projects across Asia are part of China’s plans for regional domination’ (79%). Only 44% say China’s infrastructure investment projects are good for the region.
A majority of Australians (60%) would support the Australian military conducting freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea and other disputed areas claimed by China. However, only 43% of Australians are in favour of the Australian military becoming involved if China invaded Taiwan and the United States decided to intervene. Almost two-thirds of Australians (62%) would not support using the Australian military if China initiated a military conflict over disputed islands or territories. Only a quarter of Australians (27%) agree that Australia is doing enough to pressure China to improve human rights.
Almost three-quarters of Australians (72%) say Australia’s alliance with the United States is either ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ important for Australia’s security, a four-point drop from 2018. A clear majority (73% each) agree the US alliance is a natural extension of our shared values and ideals and that the United States would come to Australia’s defence if Australia was under threat. A majority of Australians (56%) say the alliance relationship with the United States makes Australia safer from attack or pressure from China.
However, almost half (46%) agree the United States is ‘in decline relative to China and so the alliance is of decreasing importance’, a five-point increase from 2011. A sizeable majority of Australians (69%) say that ‘Australia’s alliance with the United States makes it more likely Australia will be drawn into a war in Asia that would not be in Australia’s interests’. Two-thirds (66%) agree that Donald Trump has weakened Australia’s alliance with the United States.
By all means keep it up. Freedom will be the winner.