Penny Wong shoots Labor in the head

Following Penny Wong’s very poorly crafted speech this week, Labor now faces two problems.

First, the China kowtowers are back. Geoff Raby leads the way:

Mr Raby is pretty loose with the truth. As I reported yesterday, the Morrison Government has been clear that it will consider CPTPP entry for China if it engages on trade coercion with Australia.

More to the point, frozen relations with China are in the national interest precisely because they marginalise the Geoff Raby’s of this world. His ilk would like nothing better than to clip the ticket as Australia once again deepened its trade relations with China.

How can that possibly be in the national interest now? Why would we increase our exposure to a bullying Beijing that has shown its true face of using trade coercion to crush freedom, is explicitly gearing up for a Taiwan war, and has spent two years ruining the world with a plague it refuses to account for.

In the face of this, Wong’s and Raby’s goal of deepening engagement with China from a position of advanced economic over-dependence is dangerous nonsense.

Henceforth, trade disengagement and diversification are the clear national interest goals for so long as the CCP is in power.

This is true no matter what the US is doing. Or, for that matter, what China is doing:

Xi Jinping’s new man in Canberra will be Xiao Qian – China’s current ambassador to Indonesia.

The Australian can reveal Mr Xiao’s nomination by Beijing to become ambassador to Australia has been agreed to by the Morrison government. He is said to be “smart” and “tough”, but is not yet known as one of Beijing’s “wolf warrior” diplomats.

Diplomatic sources said Mr Xiao was well-regarded by international counterparts, and suggested his appointment might mark a “more sophisticated approach” by Beijing to its engagement with Australia.

The iron hand in the velvet glove still holds a gun to your head. The last few years have shown us that it will always be drawn when needed.

The second issue for Labor after Penny Wong’s fell swoop is that it has reminded the polity that Labor cannot be trusted on China, at precisely the wrong moment. Today, Wong’s pro-China drivel is resonating through the community instead of what should be, the global bashing of the Liar from the Shire:

A “cheated” France is taking aim at Australia, along with China, as the drama over the nuclear submarine deal with the US and UK refuses to go away.

France slammed Australia overnight after its Europe and Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian flew into Jakarta for a two-day visit with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and senior officials.

Mr Le Drian, who signed France’s agreement with Australia in 2019, has spent the last few weeks lashing the new deal, and during his visit to Indonesia he pointedly omitted Australia in detailing the French Indo-Pacific strategy. He also said France felt “cheated”.

“The challenge is to take stock together of the new international order where the cards are being reshuffled everywhere on all subjects”, he said during a speech on the French Strategy on the Indo-Pacific at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.

Mr Le Drian criticised the US and UK for “breaking away from the tradition”, but of particular focus was Australia’s former submarine deal with France.

“We thought we had a good industrial partnership,” he said.

“It came to an end in a second, out of the blue. This is not correct, but so be it.

Don’t think the Morrison attack dogs haven’t noticed. Peta Credlin is all over it:

A fortnight back, former prime minister Paul Keating, who has served as a longtime adviser to a Chinese bank, declared that Taiwan (a fellow democracy of almost 24 million people) was not a vital security interest of ours, and criticised both sides of politics for being too close to the US.

A few days later, Defence Minister Peter Dutton was quoted in this newspaper as saying it was “inconceivable” that Australia would stand aside from any American bid to help resist a Chinese invasion.

…The best way to ensure the unthinkable remains unlikely is to let the Chinese know that any attack on Taiwan would have incalculable costs. If the Chinese ever thought no one would come to Taiwan’s aid, the chances of an armed assault would increase immeasurably.

…This is why US President Joe Biden has said twice recently that America would defend Taiwan against Chinese attack; and why even US government officials wary about upgrading their longstanding policy of “strategic ambiguity” stress that America’s commitment to Taiwan is “rock solid”.

…Japan has gone even further than the US and Australia with a recent statement from the deputy prime minister that a Chinese attack on Taiwan would be an “existen­tial” threat to his own country, thus justifying the deployment of Japan’s armed forces in Taiwan’s aid.

The Morrison Government is a swamp the likes of which we have not seen occupy Canberra in my lifetime. It fulsomely deserves to be drained ASAP.

Yet, Penny Wong just forced swathes of centrists to vote Coalition instead.

Against their will!

Houses and Holes
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Comments

  1. ” Morrison Government has been clear that it will consider CPTPP entry for China if it engages on trade coercion with Australia.”

    Now imo this is approach is a colander, it’s like a RE agent saying pay a non refundable deposit and we’ll talk about any cost of works that a building report finds! No guarantees, nothing. China engages, loses a bit of face but actually doesn’t have to give anything up.

    • I think anyone who is aware of CCP modus operandi would know that Xi will say everything to get into the CPTPP, then just ignore whatever they didn’t like , just as they have with other agreements, while also taking control of it effectively via bullying etc. I just hope we are only dangling the CPTPP carrot knowing they are unlikely to take it.

    • Labour are becoming much more ideological and harder left as every day goes by as they embrace political correctness and identity politics. Its fracturing the party to bits and it’s making them conflicted and confused on several positions including defence, trade and immigration. Political correctness and identity politics distils a sense that the party need to appease everyone and that position is untenable in many circumstances.

        • As long as you put them both at the bottom of your preferences, Australia wins. Which one above the other is a fraught choice. Reluctantly, despite the PM, I will probably preference Lib over Lab if only because their party is prone to fracture right now. The less united they are, the more likely the leadership will try to please the people over the party.

          • Reluctantly, despite the PM, I will probably preference Lib over Lab if only because their party is prone to fracture right now. The less united they are, the more likely the leadership will try to please the people over the party.

            And that’s why there’s no chance of them trying to please the people.

  2. Jumping jack flash

    “The Morrison Government is a swamp the likes of which we have not seen occupy Canberra in my lifetime. It fulsomely deserves to be drained ASAP.”

    Indeed. But I doubt any of them are much better. They’re all people, and not all that brilliant or special either.

    A couple of decades of living large, as much free-flowing cheap debt on tap as you could want, and borrowing and spending our way to prosperity will naturally do that. We have surely forgotten struggle and discomfort (just ask my kids). Our leaders are just a reflection of their constituents, and our own indolence and sedentariness.

  3. The geo-political situation is fraught at the moment making it no time to take strong positions. Even those who were poo pooing the build ups around Ukraine are starting to get worried. If Mr Putin thinks he can’t wait on events any more this northern winter will be one for the ages.

    https://rochan-consulting.com/the-build-up/

    The Chinese are not ready to move on Taiwan yet, but the Middle and Near East will blow wide open if this kicks off and any attack on Iran will be a heavy blow to world oil supplies at a crucial economic time.

  4. Mr Raby is spot on again a – valuable asset to Australia given all of the misinformation on China that’s floating around.
    Ms Wong is moving in the right direction.
    ……and there won’t be a war over Taiwan – the current silliness is just Americans playing “ poke the panda” and it will not get them or Australia anywhere.

    • C'est de la folieMEMBER

      Yeah, those crazy Taiwanese should stop playing ‘poke the panda’ by sending fighter jets over China, and those silly Indians should stop provoking the panda by pushing and shoving on the edge of precipices in the Himalayas. And dont start on those totally insane panda poking Philippine Vietnam Indonesia Brunei and Malaysia fortified islands which have sprung up in the South China Sea.

      Like that panda likes a poke, what?

      and would you get a load of those Tibetans and Uyghurs! They poke the panda just by being there….

  5. The current ALP leadership are the smuggest bunch of midwit cnts you’ll find in one location in Australia, and have been so for many years.

    I don’t think they’re completely stupid, so I can only assume they just like the perks of parliament in opposition. A very well paid and cushy life and no responsibilities.

    Despite the vileness of the LNP, I expect them to win the next election.

    • The Traveling Wilbur 🙉🙈🙊

      3 from 3 (paras).

      Say what you like about Shorten (really, feel free) – but at least he really really tried (a bit badly). This lot…

  6. “Yet, Penny Wong just forced swathes of centrists to vote Coalition instead.”
    Really? My reading of her position suggests she wants to do a lot more to push back against the CCP than the current government. Chest thumping and military spending alone wont accomplish much.

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