Australia must fight China to a standstill. Right here, right now

A supine Paul Kelly took the cake on the weekend:

It is a sobering thought whether Scott Morrison might end up being the first Australian prime minister since Billy McMahon not to visit China and, if so, whether that would be seen in this country as a sign of high principle or a strike against the national interest.

Related to this factor is how long before the new and conventional US president, Joe Biden, sits down for a one-on-one meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping — probably in 2021 or maybe 2022 — raising the question of how any Biden-Xi dialogue will reflect upon the Morrison government. People will ask: if Biden can talk with Xi, why can’t Morrison?

Australia is not used to being bullied by a great power. Our national character kicks back and we stand our ground. That’s admirable. It’s who we are — but the national interest test demands we learn to live with, and get on with, the bully. That’s a new test for us.

Beijing is making it easy for Morrison at present. Witness this week the intensification of its threatening intimidation, releasing a manifesto of grievance and resorting to the language of “enemy”, thereby giving the PM no option but to stand firm on Australian values and sovereignty, a stance that enjoys wide public support.

But the wheel will turn. This country has no national interest in making China our enemy. We have no national interest in a bullying China deciding to punish Australia more stridently than its treatment of other countries. If sustained, that would constitute a failure of national leadership and it would have grave consequences for the Liberal Party.

Unsurprisingly, Kelly’s view references Chinese agent of influence, Geoff Raby, who is once again cited without any disclosure of his direct financial links to the CCP.

Perhaps Mr Kelly should look out the window instead. The Australian people understand exactly what is at stake and the only “grave consequences” are for Labor as its Chinese kowtowing sidelines it for a generation;

Ditto for Australia’s entire lefty press. Like Labor, it was missing in action. The Guardian made itself the useful idiot of the Chinese embassy on the weekend with an “exclusive” propaganda outburst:

Chinese government ministers won’t start answering phone calls from their Australian counterparts unless Canberra stops treating Beijing as a strategic threat, a senior embassy official has warned.

China is urging the Morrison government to make a clear decision on whether it sees Beijing as a “threat” or an “opportunity”, setting this up as a key precondition for resuming ministerial-level talks, which have been frozen since early this year.

In a sign there is no clear offramp from the serious diplomatic rift, a Chinese embassy official told Guardian Australia it was up to the Australian government to reflect on what it could do “to arrest the decline of the bilateral relationship” and create a better mood for talks.

“Of course you can say it takes two people to tango but here, you see, the problem is all caused by the Australian side,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

“The core issue is we think that the cold war mentality should be discarded in order to look at China as an opportunity not a threat. Otherwise the whole trajectory will be derailed.”

Scott Morrison and his ministers have repeatedly said the ball is in the Chinese government’s court regarding Australia’s push for “mature, sensible dialogue”, while insisting they won’t “trade away” values or sovereignty.

Doesn’t The Guardian realise that it was selected only to help wedge the Australian left from the national interest? As Xinhua made clear last week, a captured Labor is the CCP’s choice to govern. This was not an “exclusive”. The Guardian was used.

Crikey was not much better:

Beijing ripped off the mask yesterday, releasing a dossier to Nine journalists accusing the Australian government of poisoning bilateral relations, including a handy list of 14 disputes. In briefing the media, a Chinese official reportedly remarked: “If you make China the enemy, China will be the enemy.”

But is the dossier really “extraordinary”, as the Nine newspapers chose to label it?

“I was a bit underwhelmed,” said Australia China Relations Institute director James Laurenceson. “There’s really nothing on that list that we don’t already know China are already annoyed about.”

But more importantly, given the toxic state of bilateral relations, does Beijing have a point?

No, it does not. And James Laurenceson has never had a bad word to say about China because his “think tank” was birthed by CCP-linked dirty cash from a Chinese agent of influence since banished from Australia. The center should have closed in disgrace years ago. UTS keeps it open as some sop to international students. That is why Laurenceson talks down a historic document that demanded the end of Australian freedom.

The ABC published more prostration from Stan Grant:

Australia is looking again to ride Beijing’s coat tails. In this year’s Federal Budget, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg based some of his growth projections on China’s rapid post-COVID recovery.

The Chinese Communist Party looks at America — ravaged by the virus and deeply politically divided — and claims China’s model of authoritarian capitalism is superior.

The view from Beijing is that China is a big power and demands respect.

As trade and political tensions simmer, speculation swirls about what’s really going on between the two nations — and what’s next on a Chinese sanctions “hit list”.

Australia is in China’s sphere of influence and it is always going to feel the heat, perhaps more than other countries. We are the canary in the coal mine. Other nations are looking to us to see how we navigate these dangerous diplomatic straits.

Australia is not “in the Chinese sphere of influence”. We live under the US nuclear umbrella. It guards all sea lanes throughout Asia to allow passage of our commodities. We house its critical satellite infrastructure. Our defence forces are fully integrated. We share a political system and values. By contrast, China has  illegally seized a few vulnerable islands in the distant South China Sea and has some economic sway. In hard and soft power terms, we live entirely within the US sphere of influence, as does most of Asia still (which is why many Asian nations are not at each other’s throats nor engaged in nuclear arms races).

Perhaps worst of all was The Saturday Paper, which did not even cover the story. The editor there should be unceremoniously sacked.

But I digress. The important point is this. Contrary to the advice of Kelly’s media cowards, now is a fantastic time to bloody China’s nose. There are five reasons why.

1. Is CCP China friend or foe long term?

First, we needed to know what CCP China would demand of us in the long future before its military grows, before it was too late to fight it. And now we do know thanks to the 14 demands:

In black and white, Chinese conditions for a smooth relationship with Australia demand the end of democracy as the US liberal hegemon is supplanted by an illiberal Chinese overlord that governs our parliament, media, defence, alliances and economy. We are warned.

2. The Chinese economy is a deliberate trap

The second point to make is provided by Bloomberg:

This is likely a sign of how the new economic cold war will play out. China has made it clear that it intends to weaponize dependence on its massive economy. Access to Chinese consumers, profits from mainland financial markets and investment in infrastructure will all be made conditional on the behavior and rhetoric of partner countries.

That will in turn provoke new arguments within those nations. Capital, allied with exporters and China doves, will line up against market liberals, allied with domestic producers and national security hawks.

The problem for China is that it has done a terrible job exploiting these fault lines to date. Its efforts didn’t force Canada or South Korea to capitulate and there’s no reason to think they’ll work any better in Australia. Chinese leaders just don’t seem to learn: Publicly humiliating other countries, no matter how small, makes cooperation and compromise politically impossible. Even Frydenberg has had to harden his rhetoric a bit.

Indeed, for many of China’s trading partners, not just Australia, the argument for diversifying export markets and supply chains is more persuasive today than it was last week. And China should remember that dependence can run both ways. As my colleague David Fickling explained recently, Australia’s “ nuclear option” is to suspend iron ore exports — which drive the mainland’s steel industry — to China.

Exactly. “China has made it clear that it intends to weaponize dependence on its massive economy”. This is economics lifted into the pantheon of “Xi Jinping thought”. It is deliberate and permanent. We need to diversify away from the threat while we still can.

3. China is vulnerable and we can set rules

Third, right now, China has never been weaker in terms of soft power. Literally, everybody hates it post COVID-19:

Indeed, this influence meltdown is why China has been forced to trial new tools of statecraft such as economic bullying. Australia has been selected for the road test. But this weakness is also why it is such a great time to push back. Amid universal anger at China, other countries will rally to Australia in a multilateral response. They already are, at Domain:

Senior United States Senator Marco Rubio has lashed the Chinese government for its “economic coercion” against Australia, saying it is important for a global alliance of democracies to speak up in support of Canberra.

…Senator Rubio, a potential favorite to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2024, is part of a global coalition of MPs from democratic nations called the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.

The alliance of 38 MPs from 18 countries and the European Parliament was unanimous in its condemnation of Beijing’s latest threats against Australia in a phone hook-up on Thursday morning.

Senator Rubio told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age that IPAC would “play an important role in garnering support for Australia in the face of Beijing’s economic coercion”.

“Democracies must reject the CCP’s bullying and commit to concrete actions,” Florida’s senior senator said.

“Words alone will not deter China, but, by acting together, we can ensure the Chinese Communist Party pays a price for its malign behaviour.”

Australian resistance can help formalise and shape the free world into new structures that inhibit Chinese aggression permanently. Now is the time to do it. Before the Chinese military can park an aircraft carrier off Bateman’s Bay and deliver those 14 demands in-person to Kelly’s cowards in Canberra, leaving us with no choices.

4. Commodity peak cycle gives us power

The fourth reason that the timing of the push back is so good is that the CCP still needs us more than we need it. It is the peak of the commodity cycle. It is sucking in more iron ore than ever to keep the CCP in power via stimulus building to provide jobs. We have leverage and we must use it to create the above ramparts to protect ourselves into the future against Chinese political aggression.

5. History has accelerated

These four points go towards the fifth and conclusion. History had not scheduled a conflict between Australia and China of this magnitude for another twenty years. Everybody that follows Chinese development knows that war over Taiwan was to be the point of utmost stress for the US liberal empire in the Pacific. But COVID-19 has brought the conflict forward before China is ready.

And thank dog for it. If we had had plain sailing for Australia’s Chinese economic integration over two more decades then pushing back against Beijing amid a Taiwan conflict would have been impossible. Our democracy would be at great risk of sudden collapse as iron ore supply chains became red hot theaters of war plus a huge Beijing-bullied Chinese diaspora prevented us from responding at all.

But now, COVID-19 has opened an opportunity to prevent this future. We can diversify the economy. We can protect the Chinese diaspora and cap it so that Beijing can’t abuse our own system with a multitude of Gladys Liu stooges. We can help rally global resistance to Chinese bullying. We can keep the US thoroughly engaged, with our views central to a new Biden Administration outlook.

In short, China’s attack on Australia today is a classic case of imperial overreach and offers us a crucial chance to bulwark Australian freedom for our children and children’s children.

But there is a sting in the tail of such a fateful moment. If COVID-19 has forced China’s hand prematurely then it has also caught us on the hop. If we choose not to fight this struggle, and take instead the easy bribe of Kelly’s cowards and carpet-baggers, then we start irreversibly down the path to Chinese domination. The pressure from Beijing will not diminish. It will double and keep doubling until we are utterly broken and unrecognisable as a free society. By the time of any Taiwan conflagration we will be long lost.

Australia’s stakes in this conflict are not diplomacy versus trade as the apologists and weak intellects of the press suggest. These are cyclical fads.

The stakes now for Australia are gravely structural and boil down to this: do we want our kids to flourish under a Western liberal democracy or to cower under an illiberal Chinese dictatorship?

You choose or the media poltroons on display this weekend will choose for you.


P.S. This is the most important analysis I have written so please forward it to as many people as you can. The so-far steadfast Morrison Government is still under pressure internally from media fools cheering on their own demise. There is zero room for complacency.

David Llewellyn-Smith
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Comments

  1. The federal government should
    1. issue an immediate travel advisory warning Australians to not travel to nazi china or Nazi Hong Kong for any reason.
    2. Followed by advise that all passenger flights to and from Nazi china and Nazi Hong Kong will be suspended indefinitely in the near future.
    3. All expat Australians should immediately leave Nazi China and Nazi Hong Kong as their safety can not be guaranteed.
    4. Advise all Australian businesses with staff in Nazi China and Nazi Hong Kong to begin an immediate evacuation of staff and closing off/sale of business.
    5 No person originally from Nazi China that gained dual residency or dual citizenship here in the last ten years to be permitted to return to Australia.
    6 All Nazi China embassies to be closed and evacuated and personnel be deported immediately.
    7. All Nazi China corporations active in this country to be closed immediately and all assets seized and non citizen staff to be deported immediately.
    8. All Nazi China influence associations such as those directed by ex politicians and present in Universities to be disbanded and all participants to be investigated for possible espionage and influence operations.
    9. Port in Darwin to be seized and an immediate investigation into how it was allowed to be leased to Nazi China in the first place.
    10 Offer a 1 million dollar reward to anyone coming forward with information about Nazi China espionage activities that results in the conviction of a spy or Australian citizen collaborator.
    11. All real-estate holdings owned by citizens of Nazi China to be confiscated and resold, with the proceeds going to a government held reparations fund to compensate the most affected victims of the Nazi china plague.
    12. Immediate withdrawal from all trade and treaties signed with Nazi China.

    The prime minister should address the nation and declare Nazi china now is an existential threat to this country and the free world.

    • Are you ready to deal with the shortages of virtually everything likely to result from that? China merely increasing local demand for medical supplies saw australia undergo shortages. China refusing to ship anything at all to uss would be that and more in almost everything.

    • UpperWestsideMEMBER

      yeh, na! I assume that was an attempt at humor but its just too close to the bone.

      We need to stick with those principles that make Aus great.

      We should simply espose a basic principle of reciprocity, with slightly better conditions from our side so we maintain a moral highground.

      If I can buy 100% of a company in your country, you can in mine. If not … then your countries rules apply.

      If I can buy land in your country then with some possible caveats you can buy land in mine. If not then you can buy a 30 year leasehold that reverts to the Australian people ( proxied by Aus Govt, not quite the same thing but close) at the end. Unless of course your govts rules are more way restrictive, in which case reciprocity rules apply.

      Exporting countries need to take back and recycle the packaging that you ship stuff in ( price all externalities including the environment ).

      Students – happy to have you – you get to protest ( within reason) about anything you like – and others get to do the same – the day you try and stiffle others free speech – out you go.

      Australia openly embraces global youths intellectual rumspringa, we need to educate our neighbors why they should embrace it too.

      PR/citizenship – if you signup for PR/citizenship you take our way of life warts and all. You can force your kids to attend religious education up until say 14 – when they can legally decide from themselves what they believe. Leave medieval baggage at the border on your way in.

      Your kids , born in Australia are Australians unless they choose to be otherwise, let them grow up as Aussie kids with Aussie values.

      As a citizen you are morally ( and legally obligated) to put Australia’s legitimate national interests first, if in doubt go down to the pub and ask the question openly of the patrons – they will set you right .

      All people in Australia ( temp/PR/Citz) have an absolute right (maybe responsibility) to call out political bullshit wherever we see it – points will be given for dry creativity.

      What have I forgotten?

  2. China’s Bullying Tactics Will Only Unite Its Foes
    https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2020-11-19/china-s-trade-pressure-on-australia-will-likely-fail?sref=Tye1gQ0m

    In recent years, China has made no secret of its ire at perceived slights from other countries. Its anger has been expressed sometimes through the tweets and hawkish soundbites of aggressive young “wolf warrior” diplomats, and at other times through unofficial boycotts and politically motivated prosecutions. Various members of U.S.-constructed alliances have found themselves on the receiving end, including South Korea, Canada and even mild-mannered Norway.

    Still, the broadside Chinese officials launched against Australia this week represents a notable escalation. The criticism was shockingly overt: The Chinese embassy in Canberra provided journalists with a list of 14 ways in which Australia had offended. The list was almost amusingly exhaustive, citing everything from the hurdles raised to Chinese investment in Australia to the federal government’s funding of critical think tanks.

    Given that China had already begun to constrain the import of a wide range of Australian products from wine to coal, the threat was equally overt. One Chinese official told a reporter in Canberra, “China is angry. If you make China the enemy, China will be the enemy.”

    Many Australians will be worried; about a third of the country’s exports of goods and services go to China. Many executives from mining companies, food exporters and the like might agree with Australian Finance Minister Josh Frydenberg, who argued before the embassy issued its list that decoupling from China-centric supply chains “would carry huge economic costs” and that instead, “we can work with China.”

    I think in pieces like this – and others this week about the web – the point is being missed that Australia is being given a bit of a touch up because Australia is the weak link….

    China has a very straightforward attitude.

    It wants to undermine ‘democracy’ as the Western world knows it – multi parties, independent public institutions, free press etc. The reason it wants to undermine those is because the existence of these poses a threat to the Communist party control of China. Now that a significant section of Chinese society has been made relatively prosperous by the CCP any risk to the CCP control of China is now an implicit threat to the quality of life of these people.

    It knows the 1% have already trashed all of the above so that multiparties, institutions and press now already toe a given line (the Neo Liberal Line)……….all they need do is change the line. They also know that the Neo Liberal line has ceased to provide a meaningful lived experience for vast numbers of people in the developed world – and particularly Australia – and that without providing that meaningful improvement in the lived experience Neo Liberal line is increasingly easy to undermine, and is already being undermined by elements within these societies

    They would have no doubt that of all the ‘Western’ democracies the one most rotted would be Australia.

    Its politicians havent been acting in the public interest for 2 decades – and numbers of politicians on both mainstream sides have received funding from CCP sources, and have exhorted CCP positions in the public domain

    Its institutions have been outsourced, privatized, had capital stooges placed on top, corrupted from within and underfunded for a generation. This has had the effect of diminishing public respect for and the capability of those public institutions

    Its homes of ‘Free speech’ (The University sector) have been pawned to Chinese interests already for a decade. The looming end to the mass Chinese student numbers leaves those institutions with a choice between becoming much smaller institutions, or becoming much less respected (in terms of the education and research they undertake and provide) institutions.

    Its media is openly running a narrative that doesnt reflect the lived experience and exhorts a simple few themes (sort of like the Chinese media but with less vigour or real interest) to support the political status quo – and is entirely dependent on state advertising or state taxation farming settings. The Chinese would be seeing two main media groups – News and Ninefax – and the ABC, plus three ‘private’ TV network which basically dont do news at all

    Its economic strength is solely commodities for which China is the major buyer, and the housing banking lobby which China could pocket easily at any time, and for which the marginal price setting buyer in the two largest markets has been the China funded buyer for about a decade

    No, whatever way we look at it if there were to be a nation China would look at pawning and getting a little ‘knock head’ type obeisance – and sending a real message to the world, knocking off an old world loudmouth – then Australia would be well worth a look.

    Our politicians and ‘elites’ have a choice. They can either….

    Give the CCP a bit of a mea culpa and smother the Australian electorate some more….

    or

    Give the Australian electorate a bit of a mea culpa and smother the CCP influence in Australia….

      • Exactly, this is why they are trying to control world bodies like the UN, they see a liberal UN, WTO etc as a direct threat to the CCP and they will extinguish them just as they have with religious organisations, NGO’s, lawyers etc in China.

    • Australian Finance Minister Josh Numptyberg, who argued before the embassy issued its list that decoupling from China-centric supply chains “would carry huge economic costs” and that instead, “we can work with China.”

      We can work with China…… LMAO. It’s frigging one way traffic forced upon us.
      Begin to dismantle it please …. piece by piece , week by week.

  3. Paul Kelly:

    “Australia is not used to being bullied by a great power. Our national character kicks back and we stand our ground. That’s admirable. It’s who we are — but the national interest test demands we learn to live with, and get on with, the bully. That’s a new test for us.”

    Translation of Kelly weasel words from the Newspeak Dictionary:

    “Let’s pat ourselves on the back for the tenacity of former generations and bask in their glow, but never forget that the sycophantic powerful of today’s Australia are attached to the teat of the CCP and want to keep suckling no matter what magnitude of indignity others must suffer.”

    One hopes that Paul is not related to Ned, but should he be, “such is life” I guess. One can only hope that Paul is given enough rope to meet a similar end. At least he’s made a good start with this piece, which he might well have copied from an article written in 1933 about trade opportunities with Nazi Germany.

    A person not up for standing his ground is Paul Kelly – in fact, he has form in this respect:

    “In November 1991, after the massacres at Santa Cruz (near Dili, East Timor), Kelly had supported Indonesian President Suharto and declared him to be a moderate with no alternative to his rule. Kelly’s support for Suharto continued to 1998 and earned criticism from fellow journalist John Pilger who compared it to the appeasement of Hitler in the 1930s.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Kelly_(journalist)

    And another gem is that:

    “Kelly was previously married to Australian Labor Party Federal Member of Parliament and Minister Ros Kelly (née Raw).”

    Oh, would that be the same Ros Kelly in the Hawke/Keating government that began the one-trick China bandwagon? The same Kelly who’s literary career has embraced a cottage industry waxing lyrical about the ALP’s shift to Asia and the glorious achievements therein?

    Yep, the great appeaser Paul Kelly. Man with the crystal ball and a political rear-vision mirror, but no balls where they matter. How blessed are we to have a press gallery packed with those who cave in to bullies and do so transparently time and time again- no shame, no argument, just roll over and wag your tail.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      Give Paul an order of Straya and professorship of journalism at some elite Strayan uni if he hasn’t already got those and he can enjoy those until he falls off his mortal coil?

      Ros did hit true paydirt second time around on the marriage merry go round, hooking up with Dr David Morgan (ex CEO of Westpac and now PE guru at J.C. Flowers, a US-based PE investment firm)?

    • “Oh, would that be the same Ros Kelly in the Hawke/Keating government that began the one-trick China bandwagon? The same Kelly who’s literary career has embraced a cottage industry waxing lyrical about the ALP’s shift to Asia and the glorious achievements therein?”

      Talk about LMFAO.

      Clive,

      Hawke / Keating went out near on 25 yrs ago, been a few gov since then, but don’t let that stop you.

      • In the spirit of helping you with your belly laugh today:

        https://www.afr.com/politics/bob-hawkes-asian-engagement-20030305-j8ajt

        Or a ton of media and historical accounts…

        The China myopia began with the H/K government in the late 1980s. What we have today was based upon the assumptions that the CCP would reform and become liberal. This was a long term policy adopted by both parties that was prompted by another political shift (UK joining the EU). It will take another long term shift to redress the miscalculation that the CCP’s intentions were benign. The ALP (and LNP) have much to answer for and perhaps the biggest problem is that the ALP seem incapable of reforming on the basis of reality.

        • “The China myopia began with the H/K government in the late 1980s.” Yes, BEGAN with H/K gov, didn’t end there, did it??

          Do you not think for yourself Clive, or when you choose to go down a particular path you stay on it regardless of the changes you see as you move along; wouldn’t you reassess your decisions based on changed circumstance or do you blindly maintain your original decision? From your comments, that’s how it appears, or your political bias is so strong it overrides your thinking.

          It’s been nearly 25 yrs and we’ve had eight gov since (Howard PM of 4 of those) and not one has seen the need to re-evaluate our country’s positioning and you want to blame H & K, so no, I’m still LMFAO.

          We’re where we are because we’re a lazy country run by lazy politicians, bought and paid for by lazy business groups.

          Edit: Britain started the economic separation from us in the 60s, joining the common market in ’73.

          • Errrr, well, I’m not sure it has anything to do with my political bias – I can’t stand any of the major parties. And you’re quite wrong about the moving frame of 3-4 year political terms meaning that the originators of a policy shift are off the hook. The H/K government set the policy for the ALP that is with us to this very day. The ALP is inculcated with the China policy – as was the LNP. When you look at how a policy shift happened you need to look at the assumptions, predictions and rationale that got it going – this is its very basis. Key to this was the idea that the CCP was benign and a force for social and economic development lifting its people from poverty (which it did to a great degree) hand in hand with the West. Keating and Hawke made their post political loot based upon such a business model and Rudd was a China-engagement monument to the ALP rhetoric (he even began his PhD on the rise of Xi Jinping. To this very day the ALP is unable to unshackle itself from neoliberalism (globalisation) AND China as it has been an ideological fixation for 35 years – hand in hand. None of them expected that the CCP was to stay in the 1950s ideologically.

            The only way for the ALP to get back into power is to openly embrace that the world has changed, but there has been too much invested and too many speeches given about the brilliance of the H/K reforms that set Australia up for economic Nirvana with China as the partner. It isn’t me making this up, just look at every election platform since the H/K years! It was laid on with a trowel.

            Where to now? Ignoring history isn’t going to cut it. Facing up to it might be a start. But when you’ve walked so far down the wrong track using the wrong map you first need to overcome the cognitive bias that prevents you from admitting the mistakes to yourself. That’s what the ALP faces. Let’s stop kidding about – everyone with even a mild interest in history knows this to be the case. Even Paul Kelly knows – its just that he’s all for playing nice with a CCP bully and likes the taste of shoe polish. We all know how that ends up.

            Economic warfare was made inevitable by Australia’s ill conceived one trick China policy. That began with the H/K policy and we saw no signs of change when Rudd was impressing Xi Jinping with his Mandarin skills and writing a thesis on the great leader. How much more obsequious can you get?

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            “We’re where we are because we’re a lazy country run by lazy politicians, bought and paid for by lazy business groups.”

            – and with that a new Donald Horne was born.

          • Stewie GriffinMEMBER

            Horne was telling it as it is/was, as are you. I certainly wouldn’t disagree with that comment.

        • Didn’t say anything about H & K being off the hook, just that you cannot lay the blame at their feet using 25 yrs of hindsight. Every gov since then has just continued doing what was going on prior without any effort at re-evaluating our direction.

          As I said, lazy gov, people and business. Makes me laugh when biz & media (which the av Australian laps up) go on about how innovative Australia is, if so where are those rewards? If we’re innovative what’s that say about Sweden?

          We’re a backwater and always will be, it’s just the media & pollies (+ [email protected]) that go on about how respected we are around the world and that we “punch” above our weight. Lived O/S for 8 yrs and the only time we got a mention the words involved fire, bush, shark, backpacker murder. It’s like American belief in how great their country is; parents bragging about their child’s success. Reflected glory, as it makes us feel better about ourselves.

          • I agree with this 100%. 35 years too late, now is the time that we might be forced to get off our arses. That will require a realisation that Horne was a profit and our political laziness and community apathy matched only by the mythology of our innovation. It has enabled the ‘silverware flogging’ Ponzi economy incapable of building a great society. Political opportunism will never be inspired policy. Ever since the Murdoch’s ilk had a hand in the myths of WW1 we have lapped up self-affirming propaganda – following the trail all the way to the cliff edge. There has never been a galvanising belief in our own capacity and destiny built upon creativity and excellence. A ‘Republic’ is just another political theatre to give the impression of advancement, when true advancement comes from risk taking, pride and a determination to walk the walk. Belief in our children, rather than eating them in a debt inspired orgy of intergenerational theft, is the first way to get the boot-heel of mediocrity off the neck of Australia. Only by investing in our own and being prepared to take the hard road will Australia live up to its modern day potential. The Paul Kelly’s of Australia are not up for the risk. Thirty-five years of lazy politics has the parasite-class firmly latched to the host; defending their legacy of luke-warm and uninspiring piffle.

            Australia needs a political drenching gun as well as the will to take our flaccid representatives for a short one-way walk to the back paddock.

  4. Paul Kelly, with help from the stupid Plibersek, is also doing a fine job, lying about the queen and the dismissal.

    Takes a while to realise, that the Australian elite harbours such rank prejudice against the US. Far too many of our “intelligentsia” take it as read that the US is finished, and of course we must align with totalitarian China.

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      You watch Labor become completely absorbed with becoming a Republic when Chuck becomes king. It’s about 80 on the list of importance for the plebs. Number 1 with the Labor party.

      The party is beyond an embarrassment, and is costing our country dearly, led by the likes of elite Plibersek.

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      On present form, Labor will be dead, buried and cremated after the next federal election and we will in to the second official term of ScoMo and the thousand-year LNP reign?

    • Shades of MessinaMEMBER

      Would love to see an analysis done on what Australia imports from China and how much of it is actually crucial.

      The bulk of the cheap consumer crap can be substituted from other markets albeit at a higher prices (but most likely better quality which is a win in other areas).

      Certain medical manufactures like Coedine and Vitamins would need to be manufactured locally but again that’s not too hard and a win for quality.

      Machinery as well I guess but that can also be sourced from other markets or drive a boom in repair/reconditioning locally ?.

      What will we miss out on exactly ?.

      • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        If you look carefully around you, *everything* you see you will miss by hard decoupling from Chayna, (as peddled by fund-mngrs that went all-in Cheina-bearish)

        Everything is either made in CHN or relies heavily on their product.

        Most people will be happy to remove some flooding of cheap sheat at the bottom end but that is trivial and a tiny fraction of the plate. When it comes to the upper end there is almost no infrastructure left to resume operation outside Tschina. At best it would take several decades and repeated severe depressions to decouple from the last manufacturer on the Earth in this moment in time.

        • The advances in computer vision and 3D printing over the last 10 years mean that there are epic opportunities for manufacturing automation. I believe most manufacturing will be localised over the next 50 years with reconfigurable manufacturing facilities capable of producing huge ranges of product based mostly on software. China has a short window of opportunity to dominate and they know it.

          • Someone ElseMEMBER

            Have you seen the Czinger super car assembly station? Reconfigurable robot arms putting the sub assemblies together. The units can pit any car/machine together as required. It’s all in the software. Bloody impressive.

          • One should observe the machines making machines on a large scale from a broader point of view. Perhaps when we belin to live a times that resemble Soylent Gree, Logan’s Run or even Brave New World
            3D printing has limitations which are insurmountable, e.g. items of great intricacies and broad variety of materials used or require time lag stages of assembly.

            Decoupling from cheap labour elsewhere and mass production – is not possible without huge system crashes (multiple). Painless decoupling from Xina is not possible without major lifestyle change (which can occur only by a force majeur or divine intervention) and such change will be met with fierce resistance from common plebes.

            Marco Polo and Columbus were not driven by adventure… consumerism and capitalism demanded items from across the world.

        • “At best it would take several decades and repeated severe depressions to decouple from the last manufacturer on the Earth in this moment in time.”

          Great commentary. Neither we nor Xina have those decades at our disposal. Complexity and resource depletion will ensure the next fifty years will be characterised by shortages of every description and black outs/brown outs as globalisation begins to unravel, ultimately ending in regional and localised consumption and manufacture, and a paucity of everything.

          We will look back and recognise China as the last great manufacturer on Earth. Period. We’re now just over the cusp of Peak Civilisation which we’ll only recognise in hindsight.

    • Display NameMEMBER

      Time to put the tariff on Iron Ore. Lets see them source 400Mt of ore somewhere else. At the same grade. In the next 5 years. Not going to happen. This is a two way street. And not entirely one sided.

  5. Great post. Gunna makes a Fine point in spotting the link between those globalists who would rule us and the CCP. They both wish to subvert the society to promote their own interests and suppress the national interest.

  6. “China has made it clear that it intends to weaponize dependence on its massive economy”

    Through economic warfare to break up Chyna is a reasonable goal. Great post.

  7. An excellent piece DLS. I particularly applaud the fact that you don’t shy away from the difficult topic of the Chinese diaspora. A cap on their numbers is critical to avoiding being subsumed by the CCP. Perhaps we should look to Tiawan for the top-up.

      • There should be no tolerance for dual CCP/Australian citizens. You cannot be loyal to both.

        CCP migrants from the last 10 years should have their houses confiscated to pay for Covid costs.

        • The90kwbeastMEMBER

          Bit of a long bow to pull isn’t it to suggest that Chinese PR and Citizens of Australia should pay for a virus that originated not in Australia… You’re barking up the wrong tree.

  8. Here is the official policy from the US…….looks a lot like the Menzies era effort against the Soviet Union. Rupert is already indoctrinating the adults and the battle with the education unions as the Five Eyes seek to indoctrinate our children will be fascinating.

    https://beta.documentcloud.org/documents/20407448-elements_of_the_china_challenge-20201117

    Present efforts are like the Napoleonic blockades of Great Britain and will fail for the same reasons i.e. the world needs Chinese manufacturing more than China needs Western consumers ( at least for the next 20 years ) Western industrial policy must come first for this to succeed.

  9. Good stab at it, but as I see it you can’t simultaneously argue that Iron Ore demand is at it’s peak today, yet suggest that waiting however many years until the Taiwan conflict erupts would put Australia at even greater economic risk of collapse because Iron Ore will become even more structurally important .
    It’s one or the other .
    If Iron ore is at it’s peak today then it follows that acting now will have the greatest immediate economic impact on Australia
    However If Iron Ore demand (and Price) (as in: Total value of the Iron Ore export market) will keep increasing for the next 20 years then by acting today we are “nipping it in the bud” but at what cumulative economic cost over the next 20 years?

        • When you’re dealing with so many unknowns it helps ease the decision making to know for a fact what is a fact.
          Goodness where would the world be, if the game of diplomacy required that facts be actually true?
          F’me I’m pretty certain that’s not a world that I’d fit into at all, all the best facts are malleable and molded to fit preferred narrative.

          • The cumulative cost of pandering to miners, China and the banks has been the collapse of Australian society as it once was. It was a better place when we had manufacturing, a university sector that actually benefited the country and people on wages could afford to live in their own houses. China and its kleptocrats have nothing to offer Australia but servitude to borrowed money and a more rapid pillaging of iron ore mined by largely foreign operators. Bugger em.

          • Well that’s exactly what I mean alternate facts and the corresponding narrative
            Our glorious Manufactures gave up doing something that they were really good at so that our Miners and Bankers could have their evil way with the country.
            That’s certainly an interesting way to interpret our recent history.

    • Does “structurally important” equate directly to higher prices? It depends on what the phrase actually means in this context. I am not sure, so will let DLS elaborate.

    • We probably only have a 5yr window on iron ore as the CCP are pushing ahead with Simandou, the good thing is that it’s on the other side of Africa to China so if they do kick off with military aggression iron ore could be blocked relatively easily at this time… though it’s obvious with Chinese military basses in Djbouti and looking for others in eg Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Madagascar, etc this may not last long.

      • It’s not just alternate mines China needs more of their own Ports / IO unloading facilities to be ValeMax capable. They also need far more ValeMax ships to make these longer supply routes both profitable and possible (number of trips * tonnage per trip)
        There’s a lot to infrastructure that has to be built globally before Australia’s IO gets replaced by alternate product.

  10. Which is why the US started in 2019 with tariffs, which has had the effect of moving supply chains elsewhere.

    Hate to say it, but Trump was right on this one.

    • I’ll put it simple:
      What Trump did was just a tiny scratch for shows.
      There is no way to decouple from Xina in any way, form or shape in capitalism or ‘debtalism™’ (debt driven economy).
      In this moment in time only ideologically driven economy can decouple from Xina and the outcome of such economy we’ve seen in Soviet Union.

    • UpperWestsideMEMBER

      I haven’t noticed much change in supply chains from the US point of view.
      Pretty much everything at Home Depot/Lowes in made in China ( but you have to look as they are getting good at hiding the labels).
      I notice that Amazon does not offer the ability to search by country of origin. I had a chat with some of their folks, seems its an often requested option that management doesn’t have much interest in supporting.

  11. Charles MartinMEMBER

    When is the next Federal Election? 2022 if scummo doesn’t call an early one.
    Given the number of Paul Kellys at all levels of gov’t, “journalism” and any other enterprise, I’m starting to think that somewhere in a backroom there is some schitfvckery going on already on to influence the next election in Labors favour, or perhaps the beginnings of starting a narrative that is sympathetic to China.

    God knows Labor won’t win on it’s own merits.

    Don’t want to go down the conspiracy rabbit hole, or start that argument, but from what we are starting to see, I wouldn’t put it past any of them. The system only works when it has many useful idiots to choose from.

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      Nothing can convince the electorate Labor nor China are in our interests.

      IMO the electorate will not change its position, and it’s up to us adults to teach the kids about what’s being done to them via school, university, MSM, big business and the Labor party.

      Whoever thought LNP would be a better option for the plebs? That’s where Labor’s taken us.

      • The LNP aren’t better than the ALP, just less worse. It’s the old “Which flavour and texture of sh1t would you like on your sandwich today?” problem.

        • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

          True. LNP are less horrendously bad as Labor.

          We can’t control LNP until Labor’s gone. Labor feed LNP everything thing they need to have their way with us.

  12. China grovelers (Australia’s business and waffling class) have been grovelling for years about China reform and liberalization. Never happened. We know these types would crawl over broken glass for a dollar, or in reality, expect us Australians to crawl over broken glass for a dollar. Sadly for this class, work for pro Chinese think tanks, consulting opportunities, paid speeches and board positions will have to be set aside.

    Posted that under Paul Kelly’s waffle on Saturday. It was rejected.

    • The90kwbeastMEMBER

      It’s been global though not just Australia. Why anyone thought allowing that country into the WTO in 2001 I believe it was would be a good idea can only be attributed to western billionaire greed, enabled by yes-men millionaires. They fed a monster now its all backfired as the beast is rebelling against its ‘masters.’ Should never have happened.

    • That did surprise me! Even though I’ve long called out the notion that Australia is in Asia as it’s about the same distance from Sydney to Beijing as London to Johannesburg

  13. A choice between todays greed or Australias future National Security.
    Given what I’ve seen from most Australians, Greed seems to be winning so far. I wonder at what point will that change?

    Just take a look at whats going on in Australias Real Estate markets today. The walls of self-interest and corruption are astounding.

    Boomers will embezzle this country till there in there grave. They’ll be dead soon anyway. Why do they care what future they leave behind?

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      I disagree. Most Australians don’t want globalisation.

      Look at an election results map. Labor were wiped out everywhere but Sydney and Melbourne.

      If we manage to direct all those marginal seats to independents, we get our country back from Labor and LNP.

  14. Looks like the hot disinformation war has already started folks.
    US military captured the vote rigging Dominion server from a CIA base in Germany.
    Whispers of other raids in Sweden, Thailand, Phillipines.
    FBI DOJ deathly quite.
    Its looking like the crazy Q conspiracy theory is playing out.
    The stuff coming from trumps team is bat Sh*t crazy yet the media wont report it even to mock them.
    What the hell, I’m going to say it
    #thegreatawakening

    For anyone else that wants to go down this crazy rabbit hole, go check out the autists at thedonald.win.
    Now to find some aluminium foil……

  15. darklydrawlMEMBER

    “yet the media wont report it”. I’ve worked in the MSM (big commerical newsrooms) and whilst a newspaper has a right to take sides on any issue, it does not have the right to resort to distortion or dishonesty to advocate a cause. They are enforceable standards around this. They cannot report whatever crap they like. This doesn’t mean they don’t make errors or mistakes, but they need need to have a reasonable standard of proof before reporting a story.

    Thus MSM is not reporting this nonsense as most of it has been debunked already and the with the remaining claims there is no verified evidence supporting it. Just ranting about stuff doesn’t make it real – the people making these claims need to provide evidence that can be verified or give up. The current approach is to just sprew plenty of BS and hope some of it sticks.

    • Totes BeWokeMEMBER

      They can omit to report though, and even leave out crucial aspects, and that’s where nearly all the distortion comes from.

      Sensible Australians don’t believe a word MSM say, and that is a ripe environment for conspiracy theories.

      MSM is on it’s last legs IMO. They only have themselves to blame.

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        Yep… That is exactly what I did. Ooops. Sorry, was a busy time of the morning (thus the spelling mistakes as well!). Just to be clear the “nonsense” I was refering to is the already debunked claims of:
        “US military captured the vote rigging Dominion server from a CIA base in Germany.” <– Not true.
        "Whispers of other raids in Sweden, Thailand, Phillipines." <– no evidence of this.
        "FBI DOJ deathly quite. <– Because there is nothing to comment on.
        "Its looking like the crazy Q conspiracy theory is playing out." <— Uh huh….

        I would add:
        "They can omit to report though, and even leave out crucial aspects" <– They cannot report hearsay evidence or claims as facts. It's not being omitted as a giant cover up, it is being omitted as these claims don't stand up to basic fact checking. You can start a blog / website or whatever and bypass those laws / rules on reporting, but the MSM cannot.

        As for Q Anon in general. Anyone who thinks there is a seamless global organisation silently and smoothly pulling the strings in the background is dreaming. Go see how long it takes and painful it is to get a trade deal signed off between two friendly Governments or companies or organisations and then reconsider that "A secret and efficent cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against US President Donald Trump". <— Yeah, right….

        • The threats are real, the blockades are real. Its not made up.

          This is an opportunity to diversify, now and quickly. The best we can. Yes it will hurt, but it is what it is… and I think in the long-run it will be a beneficial move. The alternative is too horrible to contemplate. China will never negotiate.

  16. Australia will have to make a choice between the US and China, as the two country enter a new era of hostility. Selling 50% of our export to China while maintaining the our alliance with the USA is no longer a viable option. Everything else is merely noise. China is a dictatorship, US is a democracy, but that from a national interest point of view, that doesn’t matter. What matters is the terms of the alliance : China demands Australia to become a client state, the US does not, so the choice is obvious.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      I want to see this situation restart and expand Australias manufacturing base.
      All government expenditure on infrastructure, public transport assets and government vehicles should the Australian made with Australian resources and materials that are processed and refined here.
      No government procurement except for the most high technology weaponry should be sourced from overseas.
      This would be a much more sensible form of economic stimulus than crappy QE.

      Has a single journalist Questioned the Andrews Governments purchase of Chinese rolling stock for their rail network expansion?
      I’ve not seen one “journalist” do so.

    • Good ‘academic’ observation Ronin!

      Based upon what I’ve seen in the last 25 years, it looks like Straya has already made it’s choice about who’s taking us to the dance.
      There’s so much more money to be made in the short and long-term with a corrupt dictatorship i.e. housing, education, commercial enterprises have all been built around the promise of a glorius and happy future where ‘we’ all become rich without any real effort.

      Many may sense the danger in this and wish to hit the brakes, but our momentum will carry us off the cliff.

  17. “but the national interest test demands we learn to live with, and get on with, the bully. That’s a new test for us.”

    For a moment there I thought I was reading Neville Chamberlain.

    Appeasement never works.

  18. Poochie the Rockin DogMEMBER

    I hope China doubles down and cuts off trade between the countries for good. It’s about time Australia had a real recession & total economic reset. Side story I ordered some sunglasses from the Myer website & thought the experience was pretty good (ray bans at half price!) And nice website so there’s a chance they can do ecommerce well. I was going to invest some $$$ in Myer shares, but then it turns out my sunglasses are being directly shipped from China – Myer is a local store FFS why are they shipping from China + I’m annoyed that I may have to wait several weeks for these glasses. So no investing in Myer

        • Jumping jack flash

          EVERYTHING is manufactured in China.
          I use Ali-Express for all my shopping needs. There’s pretty much nothing I can’t find there for a fraction of the price if I bought it locally.

          I’m in the middle of setting up a battery drain prevention system for my caravan. Last time I was camping I almost ruined my battery because it depleted too far. Not this time. I’ve found all the parts direct from China for around $50, and they should all arrive before Christmas when we go away.

          Delivery times are getting better. They say 8 weeks delivery but I had something arrive in 6 a couple of weeks ago.

          • True but is something genuine just because it is made at the same factory using the same materials and the same processes as the genuine article
            We all know that “Fake” Nikes are defined by customs to be Nikes that were not imported by the locally authorized Aussie Nike agent. It doesn’t matter where they were made, or who made them, or for that matter who designed the product, the product is basically “fake” if it does not enter Australia through authorized channels.
            It is these authorized marketing channels that really own the Nike brand in Australia.

            I’m not saying that this is morally right, however, by this definition almost everything that one could purchase in China using Alibaba or for the that matter the US using Amazon is a “fake” products under Australian customs rules.

          • Be very careful with electronics you buy from there as they don’t have to pass certification requirements that “proper” imports do.
            I recently bought a AC-DC power supply off AliExpress that I opened up to see why it was spewing RF interference and found it to have no shielding and to be of such flimsy quality that I was surprised it didn’t melt/explode into flames.
            Another previous experience with a similar cheap Chinese electronics site had me purchase some mains-voltage relays that melted when switching a load much lower than they were rated for.
            Anecdata and all that…

  19. TailorTrashMEMBER

    “It’s unlikely, for instance, that we will ever see a return of the China boom in tourism. Our great education export industry, that undermined the integrity of our universities, may well have peaked too. That’s no bad thing, even if it does come at a cost.”

    Such heresy…..Never thought I’d read that on the ABC
    Ian must have lifted that from MB
    ….keep up the good work lads

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-23/can-australia-wield-an-iron-fist-with-china/12909188

  20. Luca BiasonMEMBER

    Manufacturing dissent between the business community and the government is one of the key targets of the CCP strategy – supported by a group of ‘useful’ academics and journos. Likewise manufacturing the ‘evidence’ of a split in the public opinion in the manipulation of likes/dislikes the comments sections of newspapers articles and tweets.

    There are several sectors that have failed the integrity test that this junction has presented, and seem keen to continue to do so.

    The list of contradictions in the academia is too long to put it here, but just as a free sample: “Don’t curb our academic freedom to (blindly) engage with a country that curbs academic freedom!!”

    https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20201120133357669

    https://www.voanews.com/east-asia-pacific/voa-news-china/malicious-tip-offs-stifle-academic-freedom-china-analysts-say

    This further voids the core argument that critical exchange will foster mutual understanding. No chance of that in Xi’s China.

  21. The World Economic Forum has admitted that Covid-19 was around a while before the end of 2019…
    The ‘bat woman’ scientist has spoken of a new test result showing it did not originate in China.
    The whole Covid-19 and China thing is a falsehood.
    Big Tech and the oligarchs are hand-in-hand with the Chinese govt.
    Big Tech et.al have just rigged an election in the USA.

    Good luck Australia in putting up any resistance now that Donald Trump is gone …
    So long !

  22. Wanna make it simple ??

    Ask the South Koreans and the Japanese to setup a couple of massive steel mills in the North West.

    Sell only tertiary product (steel) and not primary product (iron ore).

  23. Andrew PeglerMEMBER

    thanks for writing this David. You are a great thinker. I don’t just say that because I agree with you. I fkn hate echo chambers. But this stuff is thoughtful and has vision for any thinking person not matter their views.

  24. “In Plato’s Phaedrus, Socrates uses the maxim ‘know thyself’ as his explanation to Phaedrus to explain why he has no time for the attempts to rationally explain mythology or other far flung topics. Socrates says, “But I have no leisure for them at all; and the reason, my friend, is this: I am not yet able, as the Delphic inscription has it, to know myself; so it seems to me ridiculous, when I do not yet know that, to investigate irrelevant things.”

    Let’s face it, so-called ‘liberal democracy’ has been corrupted beyond recognition in the US, UK and Australia. All three countries invaded a foreign country under faked, false pretenses and we now know committed atrocities there. Know thyself as a corrupt society and fix it first before being distracted by trying to set the rest of the world to rights, no matter how bad the rest of the world might be.

    • If I said the CCP is corrupt because they may be involved in organ harvesting without the individuals consent, does it mean the whole CCP is corrupt?

      Freedom of speech is a feature of a liberal democracy, which involves people saying what they think about what they see in the world.

      People with freedom of speech can talk about the rights or otherwise of people in any country, no matter the style of government in fashion at the time.

  25. BarratuesdaiMEMBER

    Xi’s CCP is doomed, it will happen quickly and it’s erasure from memory will be completed in a decade. What comes next is the big question?
    Authoritarian control structures reduce their number of ‘trusted’ members until they are isolated and paranoid overly sensitive to criticism and intolerant of ordinary people…. 1.4 billion ordinary people.

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