China has its “wolf warriors” and we have our “possum pansies”. This is the last thing that Labor needs to hear, at The Australian:
…Labor’s shadow cabinet has been told a parliamentary anti-Chinese influence group called The Wolverines, which includes Victorian ALP right-wing senator Kimberley Kitching, was “destructive” to Australia-China relations.
On Monday, Allan Gyngell, former head of the Office of National Assessments, foreign policy adviser to Paul Keating, honorary professor at the ANU and a board director of the China Matters institute, briefed the Labor frontbench on the need for “sensible engagement” with China.
Professor Gyngell also told a virtual meeting of the shadow cabinet that The Wolverines group was “immature, juvenile and destructive”.
Dennis Richardson, a former ambassador to Washington and head of ASIO, Defence and Foreign Affairs, addressed the ALP legal and foreign affairs caucus on Australia-China relations.
Mr Richardson, who advocates firm Australian stances on China, said in a Zoom meeting that The Wolverines ginger group of MPs and senators — including Liberal MP Andrew Hastie, who is chair of the intelligence and security committee — “adds no value” to the Australia-China debate.
Classic possum pansyism. “No value” except that without them we would have seen no change in the normatives that govern the Australian elite’s engagement with China. I find it hard to think of a greater contribution that they could make than that.
Australia needs to push China. We’ve gone down the road of kowtowing and repeating the CCP lines about a liberalised economy, peaceful rise, people-to-people links, rules-based order, Thucydides trap and all of the other possum pansy guff.
What we found at the end of it was a more totalitarian China not less, a violator of international norms, a territorial aggressor and, most troublingly, a deeply hostile wielder of democracy-corrupting sharp power.
We can pretend that these things do not enable the tyranny to distort and undermine our freedoms and go back to doing business as usual. Which without a doubt will advance it.
Or we can keep pushing back now, while there is no larger kinetic conflict and the alliance network still holds ballast, to find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes.
Given the survival of our very system of government and way of life could be at stake, blindly betting on a benevolent China is no longer an option. We need to know what we’re dealing with while we can still muster resistance to it if needs be, and the Wolverines are doing a great job of doing so.
One of the issues being exposed is just how deeply the ALP and certain arms of government are compromised:
Push ’em even harder!