We should view China’s recent bullying as a blessing in disguise. Our government should resist quickly bending to its will for we would only embolden Beijing by such a rapid display of weakness.
China’s true colours are on display. Barley tariffs, meat bans and now minerals are up for debate. All because we wish to have an inquiry into the beginnings of the virus.
We are not blameless. Our universities squeezed the Chinese student lemon until the pips squeaked. These educational institutions never built in contingencies. They are culpable for such pathetic risk management processes. Our property market has benefited from Chinese investment. Our primary industries rode the back of this panda and now fear they could end up inside.
However China is welcome to source its coal from Indonesia if it so chooses. We have globally competitive cost curves which would be welcomed in other nations.
Of course there will be short term disruptions but the entire global supply chain is being rewritten. That can only be in our favour. We aren’t playing aggressor while covering up a pandemic. This isn’t lost on most of the world, even if governments might tiptoe around the subject.
We should be revitalizing our relationship with Japan. At least we know when we sign a contract, the Japanese will stick to it rather than the Chinese style of starting negotiations after a deal is inked.
Why would we move away from our relationship with America? Much more opportunities in partnering with the US and India as well.
Chinese military aggression is self evident. Its investment in defence and space is exponential. While a fraction of US military spending the Chinese power projections in the South China Sea as well as the Paracels, Spratly and Senkaku Islands should raise concerns. Man made military island bases in the Pacific as well as ‘trading’ ports around the world which would welcome Chinese naval vessels.
Don’t take our word for it. Japan revealed in its 2019 Defense White Paper just how much China has been toying with it. Look at the trend of Japanese Air Self Defense Force jet scrambles to intercept Chinese military aircraft approaching its shores. Less than 100 a decade ago to over 600 in 2018.
The map at the top of this post shows how many times PLA Navy ships have sailed through Japanese territorial waters in what would be our equivalent of the Indonesian Navy sailing through the Bass Strait between Victoria and Tasmania without warning.
China’s true colours should make the rest of the world sit up and take notice. While China has trapped many countries in debt turning them into financial colonies, this pandemic will create a world that wants to rely less on China. The Middle Kingdom might be a formidable trading bloc but its domestic economy is challenged and the louder the external rhetoric, the more we know how much it is hurting inside.
We needn’t fold at the prospect of threats. Best forge new all weather friendships. China will quickly learn how fast the world that is not in debt slavery to it will ignore the Forbidden City. We can forget pandering to the Paris Accord which China ignores while we are at it.