Let China burn!

The MSM is clutching its Chinese pearls today. Here are the links, courtesy of Sinocism:

Our great brawl with China risks trade war – The Australian

Beijing has accused Australia of launching an inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic for political reasons, declaring that “mutual ­respect and equality” must form the basis of bilateral relations amid industry fears an escalating trade clash could damage the $153bn export market to China.

Threats from China to impose tariffs on Australian barley exports and the suspension of meat exporters have also fuelled speculation Beijing is preparing a series of “retaliatory measures” to increase economic pressure on the Morrison government.

China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday night claimed the crackdown on four abattoirs in Queensland and NSW was not linked to the communist nation’s fury with Canberra even as it escalated its ­attack on Scott Morrison’s calls for a global investigation into the origins of the coronavirus ­pandemic…

The Australian can reveal that several industries are scrambling to protect their slice of the nation’s export market to China and are urging the Morrison government to consider its rhetoric towards Beijing. China is to decide by next week whether to impose massive tariffs of up to 80 per cent on Australian barley exports.

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Tania Constable, met China’s ambassador Cheng Jingye in Canberra last week, and argued that Australian minerals and metals had “helped build cities and power growth in China for decades”.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on May 12, 2020

Zhao Lijian: We have noted relevant reports. We have learned that China Customs detected repeated violations of inspection and quarantine requirements agreed by Chinese and Australian authorities in a few Australian companies’ export of beef products to China. To safeguard Chinese consumers’ health and safety, China has decided to suspend effectively immediately, processing four Australian companies’ import declarations for meat products. The relevant Australian department has been informed of this decision. The Chinese side has asked the Australian side to conduct a thorough investigation to find the cause and address the issue. You may get more specifics from the competent Chinese authorities.

As you mentioned remarks by the Chinese ambassador to Australia, I want to stress that China always develops friendly cooperation with other countries based on mutual respect and equality. I suggest you carefully read the full text of the ambassador’s interview. He was talking about the concerns that the Australian side’s recent erroneous words and deeds have upset the Chinese people and that they may impact bilateral relations. Is there any problem with that? How could it have anything to do with “economic coercion”?

The Australian side has been pushing for a so-called independent international review of the COVID-19 pandemic. We have repeatedly stated China’s position on this. As is known by all, the issue of the origin and transmission of the virus needs to be assessed scientifically by medical professionals. Political maneuvers under the context of the pandemic will only disrupt international anti-virus cooperation and won’t gain any support.

Bristling at coronavirus inquiry calls, China suspends Australian beef imports in trade dispute – The Washington Post

“If you threaten to shoot someone, no one will believe when you stand over his body a week later and claim he accidentally fell on a bullet — of course it’s linked,” said Jeffrey Wilson, research director at the Perth USAsia Center at the University of Western Australia. “But both sides left an off-ramp. They’ll have to talk their way out of this.”..

“It’s more bluster than reality,” said Peter Jennings, executive director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute and former high-ranking defense official. “They’re certainly not hinting that they will do anything with coal and iron ore. They need our products.”

China’s trade intimidation risks economic self-harm – The Australian Editorial

If there is gain in the pandemic pain, it comes with a warning and a promise. The pandemic is teaching us that we need to diversify our markets, hold fast to our values and always keep faith in our world-beating producers and workers.

Julie Bishop urges ‘calm and considered’ diplomacy with Beijing – Sydney Morning Herald

Former foreign minister Julie Bishop is urging Australia to do more quiet diplomacy behind the scenes to convince China to sign up to an independent global inquiry into the handling of the coronavirus.

Ms Bishop said Australia’s push for a global review also needed to include other countries’ handling of the global pandemic, including the United States and Europe, so it wasn’t squarely aimed at the initial outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

It’s all good to make friends where we can etc, etc.

But let’s not forget who we are and where this is going. The world is turning inexorably away from the US-sponsored free trade nirvana we’ve all enjoyed since WWII. The US is done with guaranteeing that system with the blood of its young men.

What lies ahead is a reversion to 19th century imperial trading blocks guaranteeing their own security.

It’s exceedingly magnanimous of the Americans to allow us to think we have a choice in this. That’s the generosity embedded in the democratic system. It may be possible for us to use that freedom to give itself away and become part of a highly questionable Chinese future.

But probably not. Pine Gap and Australia as the Pacific “tip of the spear” in strategic terms likely means the choice is an illusion. We’re too useful to America to allow us to throw in with the Chinese trading block as the world of trade Balkanises, even if we’d like to, which we probably wouldn’t.

So, as the Chinese frustrations grow with this new world order, and it pushes ever harder to muscle out its own imperial trading block, we can expect more of this kind of economic thuggery.

We can pretend it isn’t happening and kowtow to Beijing to keep a few dollars more. But that’s really pushing against the tide of history.

We’re better off letting the Chinese push us away than we are groveling to such a point where interests try to push us out of the American imperium. We’re a lot better off within it for the quality of life of our kids.

Moreover, to push on with the Chinese economic coupling leads to a situation in which the decoupling becomes ever more violent when it push comes to shove, as it will. God knows we might already be there.

So let the Chinese relationship burn. The commodities we sell will get shipped anyway. And as they go elsewhere, that’s all to the good within this broader framework of geopolitics.

We should be preparing for the great Chinese decoupling anyway and it is more manageable if it is done incrementally.

Let China burn!

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. Andy McPherson

    Julie Bishop urges ‘calm and considered’ diplomacy with Beijing – Sydney Morning Herald

    Is this the same Julie Bishop who got an Chinese CP bribe of $480,000 as foreign minister via the “Julie Bishop Glorious Foundation”?

    The same Julie Bishop who now works for a university dependent on Chinese student $?

  2. We should as a matter of policy invest in our neighbours.

    Indonesia could use a hand. I see no reason they couldn’t become the world’s premier steel maker. Much shorter trip from Pt Headland too. Might ween them off their dependence of burning their environmentally critical rainforests.

    • Its a good idea, they make crappy steel right now but that could be changed.
      It makes much better strategic sense as other south east asian countries are heavily reliant on the south china sea for transhipment.
      The South China Sea is not gonna be a good place to be shipping good s if the cold war thaws even a little bit.

    • FKN – WHAT ABOUT US being the biggest steel producer in the world? WE have the IO, Coal, Energy and Water.

      Free Traitors(tm) keep trotting out that shyster J S Mill’s BS Comparative Advantage, well where the FK is it when we need it? C h 1 n a has no advantage other than overweening rac1alism which they use to devastating effect.

      • I kind of agree with you i just can’t see it happening, making the high quality stuff here and the lower end stuff somewhere we can keep the supply chain short, is about as good as its gonna get i reckon, even that’s pretty unlikely with the horse already bolted.
        The Indonesians have some interesting laws about exporting bulk commodities with no value adding.

    • “Invest in our neighbours” – “Indonesia”.
      Yes what could go wrong with outsourcing our manufacturing capability to our nearest neighbour that has over 100 million in population and is a fundamentalist Muslim nation?

      And how is that not any different to what has been done with China?
      Department of Defence heads would spin at your suggestion and rightly so.

      • Our manufacturing was all outsourced or just closed down a long time ago.

        Indonesia is not a fundamentalist muslim nation.
        It is constitutionally a secular democratic republic .with a 2 term limit on the presidency.

        There are a lot of islamists there mostly restricted to certain geographical areas, but there are so many more secular muslims and christians etc that the country would quickly descend into an extremely violent civil war if the islamist took control.
        The army are gonna make sure that doesn’t happen.
        The islamists are very much on the decline in indonesia, money from the gulf isn’t flowing any more and the US /Aus trained and part financed Densus 88 have been very succesful .

        Indonesia provides a strategic buffer to our Northern approaches and we need them on our side. A strong Indonesia non chinese aligned indonesia is crucial to our defense. And importantly achievable, as they have a strong distrust and now territorial disputes of their own with the CCP. I’m fairly sure the DOD would tell you the same thing, that s why we spend a lot of time and money training there officers and special forces and have been for about the last 40 years.

        I’m not saying we should drop our pants and bend over like we have done with china for so many years.
        We need to maintain our tech advantage (nuclear submarines !), that’s always been part of defense doctrine. And yeah bring as much manufacturing as possible back.

        We could learn a lot from Indonesian Legislation s that protect the country against foreign i influence. foreign workers(mandatory training of locals ,mandatory numbers of locals employed per work visa), foreigners can not own land constitutionally, only lease. Value adding laws mentioned above.
        The population is close to 260 million not 100 million with good demographics, and has poor education and medical so there are a lot of opportunities there for trade.

  3. Ronin8317MEMBER

    Betting Australia’s future on Trump winning re-election is a brave move at this point in time. While Biden looks like a push-over, there is a very good chance he won’t be the candidate going against Trump. China’s future is questionable, but the American one is equally so.

    Ripping up the ‘Free Trade Agreement’ with China should be the first step. What the point of having one when China can impose trade restrictions whenever it wants?

      • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

        Time to demand that all the CCCP’s “Confucian Institutes” be closed and expunged from Australian Universities.

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        There is a difference between ‘American First’ and ‘China Last’. Shifting production from China to another country like India is not ‘America First’.

        Excluding energy, the US trade deficit went up even further under Trump, and the trade war with China only made it worse as China imports less from the US.

      • Charles MartinMEMBER

        Uncle Joe is in his basement trying to read from a teleprompter and failing miserably.

        • The Donald was at his lectern but could not read the autocue so spat the dummy after some women had the audacity to ask for clarification.

    • surfbeach2536

      No need to rip up a worthless FTA, just do what China does, find issues with the import quality, keep the ships at sea while we process the paperwork or better still find problems with the Australian exporters that are Chinese SOEs and prevent them exporting because of wages rorts, safety or environmental issues, etc.
      This should reduce supply, put upward pressure on prices and help Australian owned exporters while at the same time helping our trading partners understand it is a cooperative arrangement

      • Shades of MessinaMEMBER

        Any pollie that attempts to meddle with mineral exports will quickly find himself at the bottom of a river with iron ore shoes

  4. David, do you have any Geopolitics “experts” that you follow?
    MB members thoughts too?
    I can only think of Zeihan, Freideman that are reasonably active.

  5. Business interests (Hello Twiggy, Gina, Kerry, Dicko et al) are running a media campaign to try and get us collectively kowtow to Beijing in the interests of their profits.

    • Shades of MessinaMEMBER

      Would be cheaper and easier for them to push for secession then they wouldn’t have to deal with Canberra.

      Problem is that Dan Andrews might try and join them.

      • I reckon they would have to deal with Canberra, and the USA , and not in a mate to mate sort of a way.

  6. Having oft visited both US and China, no question where my cultural allegiances lie. Much less painful to decouple our economy from China, than to decouple our economy from Emissions.

    • johnwilliamsmithMEMBER

      Excellent article David the sooner we extricate ourselves from the malevolent CCP the better. Amazingly Daniel Andrews is still embroiling Victoria in the Belt and Road entrapment scheme.

  7. Re the Chinese trade “strike” – is it possible they’re just having trouble mustering the USD to pay us for this stuff – and they’re using the strike as pretence?

    Elsewhere on here, I saw someone posted a link about BHP accepting yuan. Presumably they were offered this, rather than requested it.

  8. LabrynthMEMBER

    While extreme, could Australia offer itself up as a 50.5 State of the United States?

    We would come under the USA direct but we retain the right to manage our immigration levels, right to ban guns. Our states would be dissolved and the federal government and local governments would remain.

    The goal is to retain a sense of our western culture and come under the guaranteed defense umbrella of the mighty US army.

    I mean our politicians are selling our country anyway, I’d rather it go to the US than China.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      It’s far more likely we would become part of the Western Pact (California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada & Colorado), as federal authority in the US disintegrates.

      Maybe NZ and Hawaii too.

    • Denis413MEMBER

      We more or less already are through the 5 eyes program. Australia is not autonomous. No choice has been provided from America, hence the steadfast approach by AUS to the inquiry. We were told to do something by USA, and we did it. Just like we did in Iraq, just like we always do.

  9. I would like to see the US cut China off from the US Dollar funding markets and remove access to SWIFT.
    Subdue your enemy without fighting.

  10. Andrew2MEMBER

    It’s not a Trade War, it’s a unilateral attack by the CCP. If Australia retaliates by cutting iron ore exports then it’s a war.

    • TailorTrashMEMBER

      I have long thought that China has this shiny brand
      new navy , airforce and army equipped with all the modern gadgets of war and they are itching to try it out.
      Might not be wise to take on Japan or the US directly
      as a lot of it might get sunk or dented pretty bad . So who to test it on ? Ah yes …, that chewing gum little country with its US weaponry ..,,,a few skirmishes
      …a few sinkings ….and more medals for the admirals and generals …..would not be surprised al all by such a development .

    • …and we enforce English language standards at our uni’s – consider it the nuclear version thereof.

  11. FTAs eh? “You chewing gum people must follow the rules. We are Mighty, Mighty Wolf Warriors and we will do whatever the hell we please”. Pfffffft.

    If your mates give you a nickname it’s generally a mark of affection and respect. If you give yourself a cool nickname e.g. “Wolf Warrior” that nobody else uses it indicates that you’re an insecure narcissistic idiot. This is like me referring to myself as The Sniper, while everybody else calls me Fcuknuckle. I wish they’d stop that.

  12. MajulesMEMBER

    we do not need china as much as they need us. could you imagine the massive,political,economic and structural damage that would be done to china if there were no more boats of Aussie coal & gas. the country would very quickly grind to a halt

  13. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    one thing is for sure chyna wont be like japan, they will make a mess of everything, they will go down swinging like a 2 bob watch

  14. In the end of the day, Aus and Americans have one thing which people take for granted in common and that is a major factor in our alliance…not only similar way of life but we share a common language….English…that will always be a great bond for our future alliance.

  15. Of course the ban is not political….that’s why Andrew Forrest’s beef operations (largest in WA) haven’t been banned mmmmm….

    • I also heard they’ve made all the chained-up Uighurs watch Channel 7, just to help out Xi’s mate Kerry Stokes. The poor b#stards.

    • Are they trying the baby powder scam again? Drive the other beef producers into bankruptcy then their agent, said Twiggy, swoops in and buys them up as her CCP takes control of our beef as well as diary.

      • John Howards Bowling Coach

        It won’t be Twiggy who buys them up, he’s being played by them and doesn’t even realise what a patsy he is due to his overwhelming sense of congratulating himself at his Genius of selling to the Chinese. It will be the Chinese government who scoops them up later, under our FTA they will be hard to stop, they don’t even need Twiggy, he’s just a useful idiot barracking for their team while wrapping himself in our flag.

  16. John Howards Bowling Coach

    China is playing their game again right now. Just as they did with Bellamys by hobbling the company that was reliant on China to torch the shareprice and buy it later for a fraction. They will do the same with the Aussie Ag businesses they are hobbling right now under the guise of Australia insulting them for bringing the world as we knew it to it’s knees. They are breaking the FTA rules by putting in place trade barriers now, but later with use the FTA to swan in an grab businesses like the grain growers and meat producers they are intentionally crippling later under the open market of their FTA. To anyone who understands the cunning long game China play this is openly transparent, but I doubt those noise maker China funded types like Joel Fitzgibbon would even understand how complete their treachery against our nation through their defence of China really is. The firing squad for the lot of them, after all that is what would await a treasonous public servant in China.