Let’s hope so. Via Yahoo:
The hostile relationship between Australia and China appears to be damaged beyond repair, a researcher and academic has declared.
According to a recent analysis piece by Beijing Foreign Studies University’s Australian Studies Centre assistant professor Diane Hu, the incoming Biden presidency may reset America’s relationship with the Asian superpower, but will do little for bilateral ties with Australia.
In fact, things might get worse.
“The strategic and security aspect of bilateral relations between China and Australia will tend to grow more contentious,” Hu said.
This will be further exacerbated if Biden creates a new alliance of ‘US allies and partners’ – and it would be nearly impossible for Australia not to take part in this group, she said.
Excellent. We need to get as far from the kernel of evil as soon as possible.
Over the Christmas break, I have had a range of conversations with my very well-placed international relations contacts. They were mostly reassuring. The Australian national interest has survived the 2020 economic assault from China. The trends in relations between Australia and its two great and powerful friends are locked into increasing military (especially naval) integration with the US and decreasing economic engagement with China. We can say with confidence that over the next decade, institutional inertia plus a new urgency will steadily turn Australia into a bristling US naval outpost. Conversely, Australia will take falling Chinese trade on the chin and seek new markets instead of selling our children’s freedoms to the CCP for pennies.
We have turned a corner as it were. From 2003, Australia was on an economic trajectory towards China that was in stark contrast to its strategic alliances. Now, we are turning away from China economically to align ourselves with the US alliance network. This is a point that too few Australians understand. The current travails in the Australia/China relationship are a result of this pivot. Before 2017, for fifteen years we took the Chinese bribe. Especially after the mining boom went bust in 2011, the bribe shifted from export revenue to direct investment and we took it with both hands as international students and the mass immigration economy flooded Australian households with Chinese money via property and the services economy. The wave was accompanied by a step shift in CCP influence operations. It is no exaggeration to say that by 2017 Australia was on the verge of inadvertently destroying its relationship with the US via this phase of lazy greed. As treasonous behaviour became commonplace in Canberra, culminating in Andrew Robb’s lease of the Darwin port and Sam Dastayari’s cash for comment, we were suddenly shocked awake to the consequences just as the Trump Administration turned China hawkish.
Only the excellent work of security agencies and Malcolm Turnbull restored our national sense and repaired relations with the US via our leadership on Huawei, foreign influence counter-insurgency legislation and new skepticism about Chinese investment. That was the trigger for Chinese aggression that has been building ever since.
However, pressing dangers lurk still. CCP corruption is still present and always looking to divide interests from policy. The Australian Labor Party remains captured by CCP relationships, cash and propaganda. All of Canberra is hopelessly wedded to the mass immigration growth model that invites CCP influence into every Australian life, in particular the ethnic Chinese diaspora, as Beijing bullies, cajoles and bribes. The Liberal Party has its own further work to do on this front.
And there is one more danger. Among many analysts, even the majority of those that see a Chinese divorce as inevitable and good, there is a belief that Australia needs to do a better job with its sustaining the Chinese relationship. It makes sense on the surface. Why make the divorce any harder than it needs to be?
This is all true but it is also a fantasy in one crucial sense. None of these analysts accounts for the depths of depravity in Australian policy sausage factory. The depths of corruption in our political parties, economy, business elite and media do not fully register. Yet, when one accepts that the Australian political economy is broken, no more useful than it was when run by the Rum Corp of the 18th century, then seeking to be friends with China represents an ongoing danger. Such planning invites every interest and CCP carpet-bagger inside the policy tent. The clear and present danger is that they will recapture it and, by sheer dint of our moral turpitude, the Aussie elite could still stumble into the arms of the CCP.
This cultural grubbiness is a widely understood phenomenon. It is why Australians generally are so disgusted with our politics. It is also, I think, a part of why the general public is so supportive of giving China the bird whatever the chaos and cost. Yet it is not well understood by analysts. They tend towards seeing international relations policy as some kind of orderly chess game. Move and counter-move. The truth is it is more like mistake and counter-mistake or, perhaps even more accurately bribe and counter-bribe, with effective planning reserved for moments of true existential crisis.
Arguably, therefore, Australia’s current undiplomatic approach to China is an ideal policy. There is strong evidence for this proposition. So far, our failure to be “diplomatic” has yielded fantastic dividends. A disconcerted CCP has been flushed into the open:
- The CCP divulged its real agenda in being friends. The document of 14 conditions delivered last year was a major strategic blunder by Beijing. Every freedom-loving society on earth now has the truth written in black and white: friendship with Beijing equals CCP domination of every mind.
- CCP overreactions to the slightest provocation have exposed the regime as a brittle and illegitimate mafia that alienates free peoples once its mask is stripped bare. In turn, this makes it difficult for all but the most occupied of minds (such as the ABC) to defend it.
- Likewise, CCP overreactions in policy drive the very divorce that we need, faster and more decisively than it would happen otherwise.
- There has been a dramatic acceleration in Australian and global anti-China strategic alliance building.
- Finally, CCP economic bullying has backfired spectacularly, driving a boom in Australian income sucked directly out of crashing Chinese terms of trade. This has made plain China’s key strategic vulnerability in the decades ahead. It is a massive commodity importer whose economy, and the CCP’s legitimacy, depends upon global supply chains that are easily plugged
This is not to say that we don’t need a plan. It means that that plan should accept an accelerated divorce as the best case. The benefits of an Australia/China burning platform delivers benefits that outweigh any short term harm. The plan should therefore focus on maximising the divorce not slowing or reversing it.