Blundering Albo sells out to China on day one

The press is all dewy-eyed about this but is it good strategy?

China should dump its tariffs on Australian exports if it is serious about mending relations with Canberra, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has suggested, as he reassured the region a change of government in Australia should not be mistaken for a change in the nation’s resolve to seek regional peace and stability.

Australia currently has three main objections to Xi Jinping’s Angry China:

  1. Militarisation of the South Pacific.
  2. The 14 conditions to end democracy.
  3. Trade sanctions.

The three have importance to the national interest in that order.

China’ s Pacific Axis is a direct threat to ANZUS and therefore Australia’s place within the American liberal empire.

The 14 conditions to end democracy are a reverse Magna Carta, a CCP wishlist for how all democracies will need to devastate their freedoms when operating under China’s alternative illiberal hegemony.

Trade sanctions are narrow, have backfired and are largely tactical. Not to mention that they are operating in the Australian national interest by diversifying our trade and therefore enabling greater resistance to the first two.

In short, why are we offering the least important concession for a relationship reboot that has only one goal in mind from Beijing’s point of view? To make it easier to execute the Pacific Axis and the 14 conditions.

Moreover, that is what Albo just signaled to Beijing that Australia is happy with. Restore the bribe and you can take what you want!

For that matter, WTF is Albo and Wong doing flying on the seat of their pants into this negotiation? Where’s their policy process and intellectual framework? Are they still operating from Labor’s decade-old and malodorous Asian Century white paper? Or is this just some bloke from Leichhardt having a crack at it?

The politics of China in Australia are decisive. Albo can’t kowtow, even if Labor’s China-grovelling state leaders want him to. But since the death of Kimberly Kitching, Labor has lost the internal leadership to fight in the ways that matter.

And here we are day one with Albo selling us out via the failure to think strategically. Is it blundering? Or is it that he is carrying in his pocket no fewer than five Beijing-influenced electorates. Does he have a plan to ban WeChat and other CCP-controlled Australian media that was a cesspit of propaganda in the election? So much so that even the ABC and Guardian covered it in hazmat suits.

To put it in terms that perhaps even the ALP can understand, if there is an issue that can breathe life into the twitching corpse that is the LNP then this is it.

Houses and Holes
Latest posts by Houses and Holes (see all)


  1. Thank god we have a Labral government and the lower house is not full of minor parties and independents. Australia deserves what it gets.

  2. DingwallMEMBER

    Strategy…………. hahaha ….. that’s not a core to any Australian political parties mantra. That said they all seem to have one strategy………. let the incumbent government destroy itself over 3-6 years, and then step into their shoes.

    Albo is the deer in the headlights thinking “what the hell how did I get here?” Maybe he really should be having high tea sessions with the Teals and letting them run his strategy – certainly would get some definitive input.

    • Don’t know why Albo would wonder how he got Scott Dan Jacinta, palashay, McClown et al graduates of W E F YGL (not so young) so like old maaaate Gross Slob admitted they are all placed & many of their cabinet as well just like Truedeau. Gas light readers & commenters if you must but anyone with access to internet & curiosity can read said information on W E F website. Even mass resignation by design as many folk did their own research & take care of their own health & so declined the offer of a [email protected] and thus moved on as no idea of their rights & what a man date actually means. Plenty of folk willingly & ironically more able to work than their hexxed colleagues but can’t cos of Dan, gunners & Mac Closns ‘rules’ MB should stop with the non sense that anything else is at play

  3. happy valleyMEMBER

    “… if there is an issue that can breathe life into the twitching corpse that is the LNP then this is it.”

    And will likely be latched on to by warmongering General Il Dutto.

  4. kierans777MEMBER

    I think Albo should move softly – for now. If he’s seen to be too hawkish he will alienate people. But if China starts trying to play harder then it gives Albo ammo to go harder to, especially if the US is on our side.

    What would be alternate options right now? What should a fresh government barely sworn in be doing on China right now?

    • Frank DrebinMEMBER

      Smart politics – makes him look like a hero if they now do actually start removing tariffs. Aussie business will get right behind that.

      As to the first two, China could give a stuff what Albo or Australia does or says about those. Better to cultivate a response and actions off the public stage.

      • Yeah, I’m OK with him saying this, assuming he’s putting the onus on China to take first step, and lose face, which they probably won’t, especially as he also said, we didn’t change China did. But yes, he probably hasn’t been briefed by ASIO & Labor very unlikely to have formalised a policy till reflect Intel etc.

        • Some intelligence chiefs were on the plane with him to Tokyo. I’m sure there were some conversations

        • Chinese face won’t let it happen.
          Albos’ as good as poored oil on the fire.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      There are at least 3 seats the ALP have won based on the Chinese vote turning away from ScoMo : Bennelong, Higgins and Chisholm. Saying it’s China who is alienating Australia is a smart move.

      • kierans777MEMBER

        Agreed. I was at the Chisholm Candidates Forum and the Libs had stacked it for the Former Useful Idiot however when the issue of WeChat came up they got fired up and wanted it banned. They were calling out and defending Liu for getting off it as it was full of CCP propaganda. Given how well the Liberals (Liu, Sukkar and others) have weaponised WeChat I found the supporters behaviour interesting.

        • See this thread.

          My new post looking at how 2PP swings to ALP at the booth level in a bunch of suburban seats in Sydney and Melbourne appear to be biggest where the % of people of Chinese ancestry is highest (Chisholm, Menzies, Parramatta, Bennelong, Reid, Mitchell, Banks)

    • Muttafukaburrasaurus.MEMBER

      I think this is a acceptable to all for a start, he won’t get anywhere if he pushes for complete reversal of CCP dictates. I think that the greater success of independents in the election results, (KK’s loss especially)are also a timely reminder that democracy is slow, stupid but also better.

    • “What would be alternate options right now? What should a fresh government barely sworn in be doing on China right now?”
      I think you have summed up the start of play well and as others have noted, Albo has placed the causes of difficulties on China and not us. So it looks good to me so far.
      Hopefully over time we will see a more aligned and consistent approach which integrates policy across a broader range of areas (Foreign Affairs, Aid, Defense, Climate action etc). That would be a massive improvement on the last government’s efforts which were at best disjointed and at worst, utterly incompetent. If they can also do it without the inane attention seeking announcements we saw from Dutton, that would also help. We just need them to get stuff done without the endless squawking.

    • They should stop all foreign & company purchases of residential, only Aussie citizens allowed (and Aussie companies with government approval)
      Houses are for living!

    • UpperWestside

      I 100% agree we should not sell the farm or the factories ( well the place that makes the Donner Kebab meat coz thats all we have left I think) but thats a big ask .
      Start with “reciprocity”.
      You can only buy Australian real estate or companies if Australians can buy your real estate/ companies
      It’s fair, and non discriminatory and achieves the goal in a nicely passive aggressive way.

    • Good joke, these are the very same pack of clowns who opened the FIRB floodgates in 2009!

  5. Uncle WattleberryMEMBER

    What else did he say? The AFR is paywalled, so we can’t put this in context. Without that David, I think you’ve out-toted Totes on this one.

  6. Ronin8317MEMBER

    “The Emperor is always right”, so China will never remove the tariff without Australia kowtowing first. It’s a smart political move by putting all the blame on China.

    The 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party is going to be held this year. Xi, with his ‘Zero Tolerance’ policy on COVID, is in serious trouble. The worse thing that can happen to an authoritarian regime is civil disobedience and open ridicule, both of which is all over Chinese social media right now. We may have a new Chinese Emperor by the end of the year.

  7. Evan Eveanton

    The “blow up the Sollies” analyst calls for more hawkishness. Shocked!

    Blaming China for being aggressive while standing behind the US while we work to solidify the bloc is sensible. Australia should work with other countries to sideline China, but not as the pointman if we don’t want to be the one who steps on the land mine

  8. Wang Yi presented @mbachelet with an English version of Xi Jinping on Respecting and Protecting Human Rights as a special gift.

    Wonder if Xi will give Albo a copy of this book! (Rumour has it, that it was ghost written by the Batoota Advocate😂)
    And his new one soon to be available at Chinese embassy near you, “Respecting and Protecting Rights in the Pacific”

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      The book would be great reading for the Shanghai residents marched off to quarantine because someone in their neighbourhood is COVID positive.

  9. MB readerMEMBER

    David, I think it is time for more perspective. “Blundering Albo sells out to China on day one” is too much! When you speak, you are measured, thoughtful and insightful and worth listening to. When you write, I often find myself rolling my eyes.

    • This statement I agree with. Click bait headlines, soon MB with be with, which is a shame, as their articles are worth the read, but I see a change in the style moving towards mainstream media and not analysis.

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      The alternative is the ‘we should kowtow’ version from Stan Grant?

      A Chinese navy base on Solomon Islands is a national security crisis for Australia. Playing nice to the domestic audience is fine, but it’s a national security ‘red line’ that must not be crossed.

      On a side note, the Chinese phrase used by Deng Xiaoping is not ‘hide and abide’ is misunderstood. The original is 7 x 4 word idiom to guide China’s foreign policy.

      冷静观察、- observe calmly
      稳住阵脚、- be sure of your position
      沉着应付、- don’t panic
      韬光养晦、- don’t be a show off
      善于守拙、- don’t expose your weakness
      决不当头、- don’t lead
      有所作为 – then you’ll be able to achieve results

      Deng Xiaoping said it in the 80s during the Cold War because he want to stop promoting ‘socialist revolution’ aboard and concentrate on internal matters instead. “Hide your strength, bide your time” is something the West have made up. A much better phrase to describe China’s current foreign policy under Xi is “China is Amazing”. 厉害了,我的国. It is pure hubris.

      • “’s a national security ‘red line’ that must not be crossed.”
        While I agree it is a big problem, if you’re going to draw red lines you need to back it up and I’m not sure we’re there yet Ronin. There seems to be a view in some quarters here that China is not ready to take on the US. The reality is the US is now well behind China and Russia in anti-ship capabilities (among others) and that poses a very real problem for the US and Australia if we are to project power (if necessary) to keep China out of the region.
        I’m a little worried China is pressing hard now because they know this advantage will be eroded over time by the US’s considerable R&D capabilities. The US spent a long time gearing up for relatively low intensity anti-insurgency operations and they need time to muscle up for this very different kind of military engagement. This is also why I am wondering about the change in US language about Taiwan. If their supercarriers/amphibious landing ships etc cannot be protected effectively (and I think that is the big problem here), a large unsinkable island well placed off China’s coast becomes far more important.

  10. Is this a joke?


    How about this headline?
    Blundering MB doubles down on second day of Labor government and sells out to Australia. See how easy it is? No substance….just rubbish.

    • Nice. Seems that even the logical MB cast and crew can attack someone being in a new position after a day and thinking they can create miracles.
      The fairies are around us.

  11. “And here we are day one with Albo selling us out via the failure to think strategically. “
    Cool story bro.

  12. Jumping jack flash

    “Are they still operating from Labor’s decade-old and malodorous Asian Century white paper?”

    Probably. I don’t think any politicians have had an independent thought since Howard left office.
    They’re still, to this day, implementing Howard’s wage inflation suppression policy even though there is absolutely no need for it since 2007, and arguably it wasn’t even needed then, but at least it was justified.

  13. For all the whinging about Morrison, he at least had some back bone… this is just the start. Labour think they can pick and choose. Their intellectuals have already made the decision that America have lost this century (and they could be right, but that is not to say that they lose power completely, that it is not possible to remain outside of Chinas orbit and thrive!). They will appease, and the US will eventually have to leave us alone to do what we want.

    The game is already over. e.g that AlexD above is a nut job, exactly what Labour radicals think – and key among them is Wong, the power behind the throne.

    • If I am a “nut job” for seeing risks, then I will wear the tag with pride. Where have I suggested we sell out to China or turn our backs on the US relationship? The reality is surface ships like carriers are now vulnerable so the game has already changed a lot and the contest in this region, more even than you think.
      Edit: “Morrison, he at least had some back bone… .”
      All marketing theatre with no substance.

    • For what its worth, a key solution as I see it is to throw a lot of money in the right places to shore up support in the region and help develop them economically. As Ronin and others have noted, the Chinese are not well liked in the region (for their illegal fishing among other things) and with the US on board it shouldn’t be too difficult to displace China. One whiff of military action against Sogavare would make him call up his mates in China and it will be on for young and old.

  14. Nope, can’t agree with this take. There’s no harm in Albo putting it out there about the tarrifs. If China respond positively (which they won’t) then it opens up the dialogue on the other matters too. If China ignores it – well at least Albo knows where we stand. Do you think the national security folk wouldn’t have had input into Alba’s response? Do you think you’ve got a better handle on the China strategy than Australia’s national security agencies?

  15. What is DLS background re Economics & Political research in the ASIA Pacific region?
    Maybe DLS has a better brief on these matters than MBers?.