China Youth Network reported on December 18 that the Australian media reported that Prime Minister Morrison would reorganize the cabinet. In the interest of improving Sino-Australian relations, Dan Tehan, the former Minister of Education, will be appointed Minister of Trade and the current Minister of Trade Simon · Birmingham will be transferred to Minister of Finance. Some netizens commented: Why should I have known today?
Simon Birmingham is an anti-Chinese “star” figure. A few days ago, because China imposed anti-dumping duties on Australian products, he had “threatened” to bring a lawsuit to the WTO. Earlier, he also complained loudly to the international community, saying that officials from relevant Chinese government departments refused to answer his calls.
Although Simon Birmingham is very unfriendly to China, he still does not rank among the hawks in Australia. For example, Morrison also selected a former Air Force Special Forces captain Andrew Hesti as the Assistant Secretary of Defense, the head of the Parliamentary Intelligence Committee this time. He is the anti-China diehard. In November last year, this person was banned from visiting China.
Tensions in Sino-Australian relations will bring tensions to trade between the two countries. Precisely because of this, the post of Minister of Trade is like sitting on a “volcano crater.” It is easy to become a meeting point for the two countries to converge on fire. In this general environment, whoever serves as the minister cannot escape the fate of Simon Birmingham.
To be honest, the dumping of Australian barley, lobster, wine and other products is not unique today. However, when China-Australia relations are relatively friendly, most of the time China opens one eye and closes one eye. Anyway, the Chinese market is large enough, and these products from Australia are cheaper than imported from other countries, which benefits Chinese consumers. We are happy See it.
Nowadays, Australia is willing to be the U.S. puppies and bites China like a whirlwind, which has made Sino-Australian relations more and more tense, and the dumping of Australian goods has emerged. During the friendly period of Sino-Australian relations, the merchants of these Australian products expanded their production and accumulated a large amount of production capacity. The sudden tightening of the Chinese side will inevitably lead to huge losses for Australian merchants.
What makes Australia even more frightened is that China has already taken one of Australia’s most important commodities-coal. Although part of the coal backlog in the port has been released before, the signal is very clear. Not long ago, China’s National Development and Reform Commission approved the unrestricted import of coal (except Australia) for power plants to curb price increases.
Due to the huge volume and energy accumulated in China-Australia trade over the years, it is difficult for China to reverse the release of this energy in a short period of time. Just like a heavy truck, even if it brakes hard, it will still maintain a high speed due to huge inertia Moving forward. However, the Chinese side has released the signal to “step on the brakes,” and the critical point will definitely come one day in the future.
China’s huge consumer market is an important support for Australia’s economic development. If one day loses the Chinese market, or partly loses the Chinese market, it will be an immeasurable loss to Australia. As an Australian expert vividly compared, China lost the Australian market and was bitten by ants at most. On the contrary, Australia is like being stepped on by an elephant.
It is precisely based on the fear of losing the Chinese market that there are voices in Australia from time to time that they are looking for alternative markets for exports, repairing Sino-Australian relations and stabilizing the Chinese market. However, an Australia that is politically dominated by Washington, without the permission of the United States, can hardly take effective measures to improve China-Australia relations independently.
We can predict that even if the United States ushered in the Biden era, Sino-US relations will not improve much. As Australia is attached to the United States, no matter who comes to power, it is difficult to improve Sino-Australian relations. Not to mention changing a trade minister, even if the Australian Prime Minister Morrison is changed.