China cool to Australia’s contradictory policy

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/4 23:26:05

The website and apps of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) were recently banned in China. ABC, long holding an aggressive attitude toward China, hyped the news intensively to attract the attention of the Western world.

Responding to media inquiries, Australia's new Prime Minister Scott Morrison said "China's a sovereign country. They make decision about what happens there." It was widely seen that Canberra has no plan to intervene.

Some analysts hold that China's telecommunication giant Huawei has just been banned from rolling out Australia's 5G network, a decision that Morrison strongly promoted as then treasurer and acting home affairs minister. He has no grounds to criticize China's decision to block the ABC website.

The website of foreign media outlets including some Western media can be accessible in China. Western public opinion institutions are clearly aware of the different treatment they receive in China. ABC is pretending to be confused by repeatedly asking why.

Some Western mainstream media outlets launched Chinese language websites in recent years, primarily targeting Chinese mainland audiences. They hope to sway Chinese society with Western freedom of speech and benefit themselves in both ideology and business.

ABC launched its Chinese language website last year, probably driven by the same idea. It's easy to imagine how ABC was annoyed when the website was banned in China.

But ABC reacts most fiercely, quite similar to the way Canberra handles its conflict with Beijing.

Chinese cannot understand why Australian political and media elites have an uglier attitude toward China compared to other Western countries despite the fact that there is no major clash of interests between the two countries and the two are bound by close trade ties.

In the face of conflict with China, when other countries are still pondering how to respond, Canberra has taken actions. Some forces in Australia seem to be willing to stand at the forefront of the West's boycotting of China's influence.

In Malcolm Turnbull's administration, its China policy contradicted itself. Canberra wanted all the benefits, but overestimated its strategic initiative. Canberra wasn't good at balanced diplomacy between major powers, and electoral politics often affected the country's rationality in strategy. The government always went too far against China and then tried to make up for it with cheap rhetoric.

Few Chinese scholars expect that Morrison will substantially change Australia's policy toward China. China should remain calm even if China-Australia relations stay at the current level.

China doesn't need to push Australia away nor does it need to appease Australia.

As a supplier of raw materials, Australia is more replaceable to China when the global economy is in a slump. Canberra has no right to act pettily toward China.

China should give up the illusion of persuading Australia to stop containing China together with the US. Instead Beijing should let Canberra calm down and rethink.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

blog comments powered by Disqus