Goading China with war rhetoric will only damage Australia's national interests
Published: Jan 22, 2022 05:29 PM
China Australia Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

China Australia Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

The Morrison/Dutton blind hostility toward China has cost livelihoods. If they keep going, it will cost lives. 

Morrison insists he is defending Australia's sovereignty. He has already ceded it to the US.

The US manipulates Australian policymaking, through the "Five Eyes" intelligence arrangements and through ASPI, a policy think tank funded by the American military/industrial complex. 

American economic penetration of Australia is 10 times greater than China's. American influence is pervasive throughout Australian society and culture. The US has military bases in Australia. 

The nuclear subs, the Abrams tanks and other deals supplement the profits of the US military/industrial profiteers, now that they have lost the $300 million per day from the war in Afghanistan. 

AUKUS provides for a significant expansion of US military presence in Australia, making Australia a target for any Chinese reaction to a US offensive. 

Morrison/Dutton, and the Murdoch media, insist there is a "China threat." China has not invaded anyone. It is at war with no country, whereas the US is active in many "shooting wars" around the world. The US has over 800 overseas military bases, many encircling China. China's defense build-up against the massive US military presence on its coastline does not constitute a threat to Australia. 

China's trade restrictions are in response to Australia's hostility. China still exports to Australia - especially supplies to combat the pandemic. If Australia keeps making itself the enemy of China, China may decide to cut off trade altogether. 

At least 160 countries, including all of our Asia-Pacific neighbours, cooperate economically with China. ASEAN has renewed its comprehensive strategic partnership with China. They won't join us in a no-win war against China. None sees China as a threat. 

Military support from India is also unlikely. It has security cooperation commitments with China under its membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It gets its armaments from Russia, which has a "better than treaty" relationship with China. 

The US strategy envisages using Taiwan to "bog down" China in a protracted struggle, depleting its military strength, impeding its economic growth and hampering its infrastructure cooperation with other countries. 

The plan is to goad China to launch military action to prevent Taiwan from seceding. Taiwan would be left to conduct its own defense. The US would keep resupplying Taiwan forces (at great profit to the military/industrial complex) while keeping its own military "at full strength." 

Dutton has goaded China by encouraging Taiwan to secede, which would trigger the war he says is "inevitable." If Australia were to join the battle to "save Taiwan," it would suffer devastating military and probably civilian destruction. 

Dutton has pointed out that China's navy is vastly larger than Australia's. China has missiles that can strike anywhere in Australia which has no anti-missile defense. US "support" would be sales of arms and equipment (further profit to its military/ industrial complex) and no risk to its own military or civilian assets. 

New Zealand has demonstrated that an alliance under the ANZUS Treaty need not mean slavishly adhering to US foreign policy. It has shown that a middle path is possible. Peace can only be assured by understanding and cooperation, never by military confrontation. 

Australia needs to adopt a reasonable and balanced approach to China. 

The author is a former Australian diplomat who served as Deputy Ambassador to China 1974-76 and as Director of the China Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs on three separate occasions. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn 

The author is a former Australian diplomat who served as Deputy Ambassador to China 1974-76 and as Director of the China Section of the Department of Foreign Affairs on three separate occasions. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn