Xi Jinping makes China great again

Chinese abuse continues unabated:

The Chinese embassy has accused Scott Morrison, Australian politicians and the media of “misreading and overreacting” to a fake social media post shared by senior Beijing official Lijian Zhao and harming the chances of a reset in the relationship.

The tweet depicting a Australian soldier slitting the throat of an Afghan child was described by the Prime Minister on Monday as an outrageous and appalling slur on the Australian defence forces which would diminish the international standing of Beijing.

A Chinese embassy spokeswoman on Tuesday called on the Morrison government to “face up” to the breakdown in relations with Beijing and “take constructive practical steps to help bring it back to the right track”.

And more:

In another breach of diplomatic protocol, the Chinese embassy on Tuesday revealed details of a private call between Department of Foreign Affairs secretary Frances Adamson and ambassador Cheng Jingye.

The embassy said Australia’s top diplomat had made “absolutely unacceptable” allegations over a tweet issued by Beijing’s Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian, which used a fabricated image to accuse Australian soldiers of murdering Afghan children.

The Australian government on Tuesday escalated its concerns over the tweet to Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters, after the company’s local office ignored its pleas to take the image down.

“We would like to further stress the following: the rage and roar of some Australian politicians and media is nothing but misreading of and overreaction to Mr Zhao’s tweet,” an embassy spokesman said.

The man that kicked it all off is back with the right response, at the AFR:

Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has pleaded with the business community not to publicly criticise the government’s handling of China policy, believing it will only prolong the trade crisis and play into Beijing’s hands.

In a rare show of support for the Morrison government, after savaging its response to the bushfires and energy policy, Mr Turnbull has urged the current leadership to “hold its nerve” and “not give in to bullies”.

“Once China sees the pressure is not working they will try something else,” he told a forum hosted by restructuring and advisory firm McGrathNicol in Sydney on Tuesday.

“Every time the business community attacks the government that is counted as a win by the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.

“The advice I have always given to business people is that if you think the government is mishandling the relationship with China and not being sufficiently respectful to China, it might be worth expressing that opinion privately rather than putting it all over the newspapers.”

Damn right. The AFR might want to have a word with Junket Jen:

Former West Australian premier Colin Barnett believes the antagonism between Canberra and Beijing is now so toxic it will be up to state governments to quietly rebuild some form of relationship with China.

He points to the West Australian government’s familiarity with China over decades given the state’s early role in establishing the valuable trade relationship between the two countries.

“That doesn’t mean state governments trying to usurp the federal government or getting involved in foreign affairs in a diplomatic role. That’s not appropriate,” he says. “You have to be careful not to be anti-Canberra or anti the Australian position.

How about you fall into line as well, Colin? The last thing we need right now is that. Indeed, it occurs to me that China is having a bit of laugh at Australia’s and America’s expense. Who does all of this Twitter rubbish remind you of? Insults flying. Juvenile outbursts. Outrageous demands. Compliant media. Dismayed allies. China First! Xi Jinping learned a thing or two from El Trumpo. 

Does that mean that this is Bejing “art of the deal”. Is it making ridicuouos demands as leverage for a lessor outcome? I don’t think so. The CCP does not back down from any positon. It’s power and exercise of it is is absolute.

Unsettlingly, the current war of words is threatening to escalate into a full-blown test of ANZUS. NZ piped up:

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has raised concerns with Chinese authorities about Beijing’s use of a doctored image to target Australia’s war crimes record as international pressure mounts on China’s Foreign Ministry.

Followed by:

China says that it is ‘astonished’ that NZ raised concerns about tweet regarding Australia.

As Australia and Fiji got closer:

The announcement that Fiji and Australia are negotiating a new military pact is another significant step in the intensifying US-led build-up to counter China’s influence in the southwest Pacific.

The Status of Forces Agreement will facilitate Fijian and Australian defence personnel to undertake exchanges and joint deployments and allow the two forces to exercise in each other’s jurisdiction. According to an official statement, the “landmark” agreement recognises the “growing sophistication of defence engagement between Fiji and Australia.”

The negotiations were initiated at the second annual Defence Ministers’ Meeting involving Fiji’s Inia Seruiratu and Australia’s Linda Reynolds on 24 November. Reynolds declared the relationship was going from “strength to strength.” She praised Fiji’s deployment of a military unit to support Australia during last summer’s bushfire crisis. Australia and Fiji worked “shoulder-to-shoulder” in response to challenges from COVID-19 to Tropical Cyclone Harold, Reynolds said.

And the US Security Council mocked China again:

200 MPs worldwide joined in:

The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC), comprising more than 200 MPs from a range of political parties and representing 19 country legislatures, has launched a campaign to convince people to buy and drink Australian wine in December, as a show of solidarity.

It comes after China slapped tariffs of up to 212 per cent against Australian wine producers, which Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said would spell a “hellishly tough time for Australia’s winemakers.”

The global alliance of cross-party representatives, who have banded together to try to counter China’s increasing aggression particularly against Australia, released a video in which MPs from Japan, Italy, Germany, the United States and even Australia’s wine-producing rival New Zealand, among others, urge their citizens to enjoy an Australian drop. The video is subtitled in Chinese and English.

The WSJ declared that the US should get involved:

As the Asia scholars Charles Edel and John Lee have noted, the U.S. and Australia face different problems from China’s mercantilism. The U.S. has been hit by China’s technology theft, whereas Australia depends more on China’s consumption of raw materials.

Yet the US shares an interest in helping Canberra resist Beijing’s extortion. China is trying to rewrite the rules of economic development in the Pacific. It wants to condition access to its economy on submission to China’s increasingly authoritarian political system, including limits on criticism from abroad.

If Australia can demand trade and diplomatic relationships based on equality, then so can nations like the Philippines and Indonesia. If it can’t, then China will draw more nations closer to its orbit, and the Pacific balance of power will drift away from the U.S.

Whether planned that way or not, this whole “make China great again” schmozzle is mushrooming towards a test of ANZUS and the US alliance network. It is a feint to see what the allies will do. To test for vulnerabilities as it were. Especially given the ongoing and bumpy transfer of power in Washington.

With the Biden Administration seven weeks away there is no way to coordinate a response so we’re on our own for now.

So far, ScoMo’s political instincts have served us well. Playing the troll wars is galvansing the country against China and a treasonous Labor. But he needs to be careful that he does not blow everything up such that the alliance is tested at an inopportune moment.

He can ignore China’s drivel for a while. If that doesn’t work then he can expel all Chinese diplomats. They are misusing a gormless and cowardly media and have lost any right to stay. If we boot them out it will at least only be remote access to journos. If that doesn’t work then he can apply the proportionate iron ore export tariff as well.

All the while, we must drum up support in the free world and ready the Biden Administration for a combined pushback.

Buckle up.

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


  1. If those same civilians were killed by a drone strike instead of Aussie SAS, literally no one would care.

    I guess this means that human ground forces are obsolete.

  2. MB always told us that Aus will be at the front and centre of the US and China Cold War. Here we are.

      • Australia is key, if China separates it from the US, it has the entire Pacific to itself – well the important bit!

        People mistake this as trade, it’s all about power, and China increasingly knows it can go toe to toe with the US and in their minds win.

        Australia is the key, and now the front line.

  3. I feel like these attacks on us are racially motivated.

    We are the only predominantly white country in the region afterall.

    Taiwan gets more respect despite being at war with the CCP for 70 years.

    By the way DLS, have you reconsidered your position on not coming to the aid of Taiwan when they are invaded by China? If Australia isn’t willing to fight to stop an evil empire from invading a democratic, sovereign nation with a rule of law such as Taiwan then why would any other country fight Australia’s battles?

    • No one could win a war with China on their door step. For every fancy plane you send them, China can built 20,30,50 to counter. They have more than 60% of global manufacturing.

      Taiwan’s future is already written… but that doesn’t mean that ours is! You have to be pragmatic…

  4. Nazi china, worm of a country that it is, is pulling this crap now because El Trumpo is not interested in doing his job for the time remaining. Until Biden is sworn in Nazi china will keep doing this, because El trumpo is too busy with his narcissistic psychosis episode. When Biden is sworn in Nazi China will tone it down some what. Not because they are worried about Biden personally, but more because he is likely to listen to his Generals and NSA team. Its Bidens team that is likely to want to put the US navy on the front foot and just let China know that they are there.

  5. “………. But he needs to be careful that he does not blow everything up such that the alliance is tested at an inopportune moment.”

    Say what! Is that suggesting we may need the US to intervene in a military sense on our behalf in the next 7 wks?

  6. Someone should be compiling a useful idiots list, maybe we could rank them by their degree of sycophancy to China. I’m sure that the correlation will be almost 1:1 to their reliance on funding from the Great Dictator.

  7. More great work, appreciated.
    Economic war wit Chyna is winnable the world is up for it as pollies can promise jerbs at home

  8. ANZUS? Is there really still such thing?
    New Zealand learned the hard way that criticising a Big Power gets you nowhere but left out in the cold.
    The USA and Australia shunned New Zealand after it took a stand on nuclear warships entering its ports a few years back and was ostracised for decades; left out of any form of ANZUS cooperation.
    It took a grovelling Sir John Key, on his knees to the USA to even start the process of ‘normalisation’ of any remnants of ANZUS
    It’s a bit hypocritical to site ANZUS now as something sacrosanct when is was so discriminatory of other people’s positions; allies to boot.
    Whatever you think ANZUS still is, it probably isn’t.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      The animosity in defense matters of Australia and the US towards NZ has a long history. When Curtain withdrew all Australian troops from Europe & Africa after the fall of Singapore in 1942, he asked the NZ Prime Minister to do the same. The NZ PM refused.

      For much of the Pacific War, NZ provided only 3500 (Maori) troops, a fraction of the NZ force fighting for the British in Europe. MacArthur and Curtain were so incensed by NZ’s refusal to fight the War in its own region, that they excluded it from post-WW2 reconstruction efforts in the region.

      NZ has had to be continually cajoled into providing a modicum of defense forces, and relies completely on Australian air power, and partially on the AU Navy.

      NZ has been protected by the US and Australia since WW2, despite barely lifting a finger to protect its own interests from WW2 up until today.

      All of this is well documented, and there to read if you go looking. Kiwis are full of self righteousness in these matters, but they don’t know their own history.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        That may be over egging things a touch.

        The Kiwis have generally had a much tighter Defence budget than Australia and their Defence force has been much smaller, and for a number of reasons has done a lot of training with the ADF.

        In WW2 the deal arrived at was that the forces in North Africa (Australia and NZ) which had also been in Greece previously were requested by Curtin as things deteriorated in 1941. Churchill asked Roosevelt if American forces could be got to Australia (at this time there were significant forces in Philippines, and UK forces in Singapore) on the assumption that these would hold. Straight after Pearl Harbor Curtin told Churchill he wanted the Australians back. With the situation in North Africa ‘complex’ Churchill also needed them there and later proposed them for use in Singapore or Burma if not North Africa. Because Australia was considered under more (then possible) ‘threat’ it was agreed that except for 2 Divisions the rest could move to the East or Australia. Those two were the 2nd NZ Division and 9th Australian – because NZ was seen as under less direct threat and the Defence of NZ would be shaped by the outcome were Australia to be seriously threatened. The NZers did raise another Division for use in the Pacific to support things there, but after New Guinea (where Australian and US forces beat back Japanese forces) and Guadalcanal (US forces limited scope for further Japanese expansion towards NZ) the remained a long way from New Zealand. They also didnt have enough people to support the Units they had formed and once the threat had passed it was decided their Division in North Africa would remain there (and it subsequently was a notable part of the invasion of Italy) while the last Australian division was returned (after El Alamein) to the Pacific.

        A number of Australian units boarded the ships in early 1942 for ‘unknown destination’ while the politics played out. They were told once out of Egypt that their destination was Singapore, which interested them as they were in desert gear, and most of their equipment was on a separate boat. On one particular boat (The ‘Orcades’) they had the air raid siren played for them and were told that the next time they heard it it would be for real. Then they were told they would be going to Netherlands East Indies rather than Singapore. They arrived at Oosthaven (Southern Sumatra) and proceeded to disembark, when within an hour someone arrived to inform them that the Japanese were within a couple of miles and that they should re embark and get away. They did this (without loss) and arrived in Batavia (Jakarta) the following day. From there they were formed into some sort of Defence of Java (with British American and Dutch forces) which was doomed from the outset, but with the Australians conducting one spirited stand at the Bridge at Lewilliang (near Bogor). They were all captured in early March 1942, having been in the Middle East in early January 1942. Thus were Australian units wasted.

        I mention all of the Java stuff because it shines some sort of light on the politics of military deployments – quite an issue in the context of Australian forces being deployed to Afghanistan for 16 years, and the SAS being the core of that, and with a number of SAS soldiers having done a number of repeat deployments to Afghanistan without there ever having been significant light shed on what the game plan actually was in Afghanistan. That is the classic circumstance in which soldiers go rogue. I know that Java stuff because one of the Australians was my grandfather who got 3 years in Japanese prisoner of war camps making railways.

        But I think suggesting the Kiwis were in some way shirkers a bit off the mark.

    • Banning Nuclear warships from your ports while also expecting same warships to protect you does seem a might hypocritical and inconsistent. If you are that opposed to nuclear warships and weapons I might suggest you no longer want the US as an ally.

    • The validity of NZ’s ban on nuclear powered ships could be tested by thinking about what would happen if a huge earthquake occurred in say Wellington.
      If the 7th Fleet and USS Ronald Reagan was nearby, would NZ Parliament deny allowing it into it’s waters to assist, and provide 750,000L/day of fresh drinking water to citizens in desperate need?

      If the answer to that question is No, you have a problem.

      The ban on Nuclear Weapons in more justifiable, however the problem with that category of weapons is it is all very well to be virtuous about it, but somebody has to have them, you can’t have a situation where only your enemies are in possession.

  9. reusachtigeMEMBER

    But will Fiji come to our aid if we are invaded? That’s the important question. Their sizable force could be a decider especially if they send their natives as they are tough. Not so much of the Indian ones though please.

    • I think the deciding factor is if they think if they will be next. You would rather join early to have a bigger mass to defend if you know for sure that after they pick off aus, fiji will be next in line anyway.

  10. working class hamMEMBER

    Probably the best time for Scomo to push his point.
    With the US dealing with internal shiv, China thinks that it’s got a bit more leash to run on, which it does. Only problem, the China sentiment is in the sewer ATM and galvanising their bully status right now is probably not the best move. Lack of US involvement may lead to international outcries/involvement, further derailing China’s agenda. Forcing China to double down and save face.
    Actual conflict is at the end of this. Australia will be front and centre, if we don’t back down. Which we shouldn’t.

  11. Ronin8317MEMBER

    Engaging in a troll war is demeaning the office of the Prime Minister. ScoMo look ridiculously thin skinned. The Chinese is mimicking Trump in using social media : retweet some outrageous claims, the political opponents will overreact, and the false claim gets a lot more air time. The clash made international news headlines, so every country in the world now knows about Australian soldiers committing war crimes in Afghanistan.

    Expect a move to put the Australian soldiers into the War Crimes tribunal next.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      The only solution now is to go all Breaker Morant on our war criminals to make an example of them for political ease.

  12. Let’s keep it in perspective. It’s a meme. China wants our politicians to KEEP giving them our country.

    China’s not the problem. If it weren’t China it’d be some other country.

    Our core problem isn’t China, it’s our own politicians. Their lack of loyalty to Australia and our future. They haven’t been acting in Australia’s interests for many decades.

    It needs to change more than anything else, or we’re going to lose everything we’ve got.

    A smart electorate would terminate the career of a politician at the slightest hint of national disloyalty. Wouldn’t be many of this parliament left.

    • Yeah but showing outrage will give the other nations another reason to rally around us publicly. Which is in turn a wedge for CCP because it will show everyone where the chips lie. Best time for that coz chinas support is in the gutter right now.

      • Excellent point. I agree. I saw somewhere yesterday, other countries are encouraging their people to buy Australian wine.

        Still I’d love to see China release details of the Australian politicians they own. Of course it’s not in China’s interests and isn’t likely to happen, but I can dream.

      • That was the plan, and Australians fell for it.

        You can get an election results map and see the concentration of disloyalty across Australia. Mostly in the cities of course. While the rest valiantly attempt to vote against it and end up with LNP.

        Now what? We’re doomed.

  13. Anyone see Matt Canavan on Today Show this morning. Wow – he’s gone from coal mad peanut to talking about iron ore export tariffs to China, diversifying global steel production and financial help to Aussie exporters looking for alternative markets. He did drop in a comment about building more coal mines though for good measure

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Yeah we should pursue more diversified coal markets as we have such a great competitive advantage in coal.

    • Matteo Cannavanni could be talking about the pleasures of fresh orange juice consumption and find a way to slip in something about coal.

  14. Mr SquiggleMEMBER

    So, Scotty from marketing has used WeChat to send a.message to Chinese people. Perhaps he should do a little dance on TikTok as well.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      Yeah what a s0ft c0ck. Should be threatening them. I love the Liberal Nationalists but have no respect for SlowMo so he has got to go.

      Australia needs a tough hard man more than ever. Looking back I don’t think we have ever had one. Maybe Gillard could have had the balls to be tough. Even Hawkie was soft. It’s like we seem to vote in pansies. Rudd, LOL!

  15. Bored with this fight already. I give it a month tops and we will be back to rolling out the red carpet to foreign students and erecting huge property development banners in Chinese. Free bottle of penfolds when you book a flight to australia on qantas.

    • first batch of students landed in NT a couple of days ago. Aussies stuck overseas can get ….!

    • Robert, you should realise that everything you post is considered dubious and that every time you refuse to respond to a question simply confirms this.

      But, please, keep ’em coming.

  16. Arthur Schopenhauer

    “World War III is a guerrilla information war with no division between military and civilian participation.”
    Marshall McLuhan

    World War Three. You’re soaking in it.

    • The information war is just the prelude.
      Much like groups of protesters yelling at each other, eventually someone gets bored of the antics, rocks are thrown and next thing you know there are cars on fire everywhere and teargas is being shot left, right and centre.

  17. I wonder if there is an element of taking turns to poke the tiger here. India started it. Aus picking up. What next, Japan deciding to honour its war dead from Nanjing, or Phillipines taking some interest in Chinese fishing boats, etc etc and so on? Endless potential and an actual united front.

  18. Best to let the CCP keep ranting while the smart Australian exporters, quietly move towards other markets. Yelling back at the Chinese government is a no win tactic and the simplest response would be to ignore the stuff coming out of its “wolf” diplomacy. If the west starts teaming up and bellowing together against this madness, the CCP will just push back harder and become more bellicose. Pity the Taiwanese, because if China really wants to display its metal, they will be the next Hong Kong and I cant see any western country rushing to war over that action. Let their puerile attacks go through to the wicket keeper. Australian politicians asserting indignation just doesn’t cut it and weakens our image and the CCP loves the idea that it’s hitting its target.

    • Yeah, we shouldn’t get drawn out of our crease but we can certainly whack the odd 6 now and then using their own propaganda, eg the push to drink Aussie wine around the democratic world not only helps our wine industry but brings home to ordinary folk that the CCP is an issue

    • “Pity the Taiwanese, because if China really wants to display its metal, they will be the next Hong Kong and I cant see any western country rushing to war over that action.”
      Taiwan is armed to the teeth. A Chinese invasion would take months even without foreign assistance. And how happy do you think the USA would be allowing the mother of all holes punched in the first island chain? Taiwan is a very different situation to Hong Kong.

  19. One wonders if this is all a grand distraction as Xi prepares to take Taiwan….

    I ponder whether Biden would have the figs to intervene should this all go down during 2021…