According to a report on overseas website on December 1, when the trade dispute between China and Australia broke out, Pauline Hansen, a former Australian senator and leader of the far-right party “One Country Party”, openly called for a “boycott of Chinese goods”, which attracted the attention of Australian public opinion. In response, Australian News Network pointed out on December 1st, entitled Why Australia’s boycott of Chinese goods is doomed to fail, that this practice will have disastrous consequences for Australia.
China is Australia’s most important partner in imports, and Australia purchased goods and services worth 71.3 billion Australian dollars from China from 2017 to 2018, which is equivalent to 18 percent of Australia’s total imports, the article said. Some of the most common imports include telecommunications equipment and their parts, computers, furniture, mattresses, strollers, games and sports goods, which means that Australia does rely on China to provide what it needs.
Two scholars, Rod Tyles, professor of economics at the University of Western Australia, and Zhou Yixiao, a senior lecturer in economics at the Australian National University, have published articles pointing out that the “total trade war” with China will cost Australia 6% of its GDP.
The two scholars believe that if Australia-China relations (meaning economic and trade relations) completely collapse and end two-way imports and exports, the loss of China’s exports to Australia will be disastrous for Australia, but the impact on China is like being bitten by a mosquito.
Although there is no specific explanation of the impact of stopping Chinese imports, both believe that in the end, Australia will be the biggest loser in the trade dispute with China.
Gary Mortimer, a consumer expert at Queensland University of Technology, also believes that the proportion of products made in China in almost every category in Australia means that “boycott” is almost impossible.
Mortimer pointed out that people only need to wander around any Australian department store to understand the proportion of imports from China. Consumers are so dependent on Chinese-made goods that the call for boycott will be ignored, because it is so challenging to do so.
He also pointed out that if Australia stops all imports from China, it will have a “destructive impact” on Australia’s GDP.
In addition, Tony Kevin, former Australian ambassador to Poland and Cambodia and honorary director of the Australian National University, also commented in the Australian media on December 1 that Australia is rapidly becoming a sad joke and a typical example of provoking disputes with China.
How far has Australia fallen under the influence of false narratives in Australia’s mainstream media, and the Australian elite are abandoning critical thinking. Australia’s economic decoupling with China will only hurt itself. China has many other good choices, but Australia has no other choice.