Which freedoms will James Curran give up to be friends with China?

The question for every China apologist in Australia is which freedoms are they happy to give up to make friends with the CCP? The list is crystal clear, delivered directly from Beijing:

It’s a trick question, of course, because giving into one is giving in to all. When Bejing smells blood in the water it will press for the lot.

So, why does AFR commentator, James Curran, persist in refusing to answer this question? Who knows? I don’t know the bloke.

What I can say is that his line of attack on those seeking to defend our freedoms is nonsense:

…older fears and phobias being provoked and given new licence. These include that Australia is naked and vulnerable before the coming Chinese tide, that it needed to be “awakened” to the northern threat, and that a new cold war brews, with the slew of dated imagery that brings.

New myths too now join the old.

One is that the relationship prior to Xi was an embarrassing tale of Australia being relentlessly duped by China.

Yet even high moments in the relationship jostled with innate Australian caution, an awareness that ties with China would never be all plain sailing. The hedge was built in from the start.

In 1973, Gough Whitlam knew that Australia could not give the Chinese the impression that Canberra was “careless of its own interests”.

…After the horror of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, then foreign minister Gareth Evans wrote that “political relations with China are unlikely, in the absence of really fundamental change in that country, to reach the heights they did”.

John Howard, while taking the relationship to new levels of economic complementarity, specifically avoided the “special relationship” tag. Kevin Rudd was a “brutal realist” on Beijing. Later, Tony Abbott divulged that both “fear and greed” motivated Australia’s China policy.

A recent contributor to The Australian Financial Review’s opinion section concluded that when it comes to the future of the relationship, there is “no simple solution beyond reducing our exposure to China”. But what does this mean? Hard decoupling? Trade diversification is positive, but where is the other market the size of China’s? A supply chain that avoids China? Where are the explicit policies that might achieve substantial decoupling over the next five years without serious economic damage?

And what does this mean for the 1.2 million Australians of Chinese descent, now facing racist taunts and having their loyalty questioned?

If it is correct that China seeks a tributary relationship, we must therefore, according to the hawks, be reliant on the dubious assumption that America will have the capacity and resolve to honour all its security guarantees, especially on Taiwan, both now and in the years ahead. These arguments are problematic.

No explanation is ever given for why others facing the same challenge – such as Japan, Singapore, New Zealand or Canada – have not copied Australia. The hawks flick readily to the entry under “Appeasement” in their Cold War missals, but they also routinely employ the loaded, vile epithet “kowtow”, suggesting craven submission. Precisely who holds such positions is never really made clear. These are swinging haymakers thrown in ignorance.

These arguments are so bad that it’s hard to know where to start. For starters, the notion that “older fears and phobias” are responsible for shifting Australian attitudes to China overlooks the reality that the nation is subject to an outright psy-ops war by the vicious CCP tyranny, not to mention that half the country is locked up at home thanks to China’s (quite likely engineered) plague. I mean, really.

There are also very obvious answers to every question Curran poses:

  • Australia gave China the benefit of the doubt for many years based upon the notion that a liberalising economy would lead to liberalising politics. There are countless examples of this doctrine quoted from every leader.
  • That proved to be a mistake. The CCP has reverted to Maoist form with intense internal suppression and external hostility.
  • How is the Chinese diaspora in Australia better protected by giving the CCP greater access to this? It’s obviously better off decoupled and freed of suspicion.
  • America is extremely unlikely to abandon the Pacific for the simple reason that if it did it would have Chinese missiles sitting off its own coast. At no point in the Jacksonian Trump administration was abandoning the Pacific ever contemplated. On the contrary, it became its intense focus.
  • Other members of the US imperium do not face the same challenges: over-reliance on trade for both parties in iron ore, systematic incursions aimed at capturing the political economy and a ribald a psy-ops war.

The only question that needs to be asked in the real context is this:

  • Which of the 14 conditions for friendship with the CCP does James Curran support?
  • And why would Beijing not press for all 14 if we listened to him?
Houses and Holes
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Comments

  1. Read that article in AFR yesterday & it was actually pathetic. Many sections of the article were incoherent. It was pretty lame.
    To not even reference the 14 demands is a bit loose with the truth, but quite a common approach by CCP apologists.

  2. Fishing72MEMBER

    Can anyone genuinely expect a different response from an outlet titled “Australian Financial Review”? The rag’s limited scope is revealed within the name. AKA The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing Daily

  3. The question for every China apologist in Australia is which freedoms are they happy to give up to make friends with the CCP? …….
    It’s a trick question, of course, because giving into one is giving in to all.

    Really? That’s what you’re going with today.
    Sure with many of the 14 claims it is simply inconceivable that any sovereign power would give an inch, but that’s not the same as saying that we can’t at least find some common ground wrt to such claims as

    “the early dawn search and reckless seizure of some Chinese journalists’ homes and properties without any charges or giving any explanation”

    This is not an Australia that I can support, I don’t condone these actions against Chinese Journalists any more than I accept similar actions taken against Australian Journalists (Kristo Langker…producer of Friendlyjordies).
    In my opinion we are no better than these jackboot CCP politicians if we employ similar tactics and methods to suppress our political enemies. I mean Bruz clearly believes he can get away with deploying the FPU as his own secret police. Bruz clearly believes that Australia has no 4th estate rights, there is no freedom of the press, there is no such thing as Political accountability and that furthermore it is abundantly clear that Bruz believes the Justice system should function solely as his personal security and punishment detail.
    This is not an Australia that I recognize and it’s not an Australia that I accept. I don’t accept these methods being used to suppress Chinese Journalists any more than I accept similar methods being deployed to suppress Australian Journalists.
    So yeah label me “an Apologist” because I believe we’re better than this, we should continue to hold ourselves to a higher standard, not because we owe it to the Chinese but rather because we owe this to our fellow Australians.

    • SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

      those United Front operatives allowed to live comfortably in Australia and not in a re education program LOL

    • C'est de la folieMEMBER

      In my opinion we are no better than these jackboot CCP politicians if we employ similar tactics and methods to suppress our political enemies. I mean Bruz clearly believes he can get away with deploying the FPU as his own secret police. Bruz clearly believes that Australia has no 4th estate rights, there is no freedom of the press, there is no such thing as Political accountability and that furthermore it is abundantly clear that Bruz believes the Justice system should function solely as his personal security and punishment detail.

      Mate this is all a perfectly fine position to have.

      But it doesnt take us away from the fact that

      1. Australia currently has no journalists in China
      2. Even when they were there they were under far more scrutiny, and far more opaque laws than any journalist here
      3. China has a ‘social credit’ system involving the monitoring of individuals social media commentary
      4. There are numerous representatives of Chinese state security in Australia keeping an eye on Chinese nationals here
      5. There are far more Chinese citizen journalists working in Australia than there ever were Australians in China
      6. Chinese interests fund our political systems through regularly questionable processes
      7. Representatives of those Chinese interests have already been identified for influencing Australian decisionmaking processes
      8. The only arrests or raids on the premises of Chinese nationals in Australia have revolved around their involvement in attempts to influence Australian political or decisionmaking processes

      The major concern for Australians is

      9. How far has Chinese state interest embedded itself into both sides of mainstream Australian politics?
      10. What are the interests of China in seeking to influence Australian decisionmaking, does Australia have any reciprocal capacity to do similar, and do Australians have any ability to influence decisions made by the Chinese state insofar as they have impacts on Australia?

      • I don’t disagree with what you’re saying the way that several leading Chinese politicians have been behaving (for about the last decade) is unacceptable. However it is also true that the way several leading Australian politicians believe they can behave is completely unacceptable. One I have some degree of control over, the other is something that I have to accept.
        In my opinion China is shooting itself in the foot but that doesn’t mean we should do teh same.
        I could name at least 100 leading figures in the Scientific and Engineering community in Shanghai that have quietly left China over the last decade. This change is reducing their ability to execute their own political agenda which is especially apparent in their recent High Tech endeavors. The dearth of high quality technical leadership is indirectly undermining the Political agenda…which is as it should be when the Political leaders behave badly.