China’s National Development and Reform Commission announced on the 6th that recently, some members of the Australian federal government based on Cold War thinking and ideological bias, launched a series of measures to disrupt normal exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. Based on the current attitude of the Australian Federal Government towards Sino-Australian cooperation, the National Development and Reform Commission has decided to suspend indefinitely all activities under the China-Australia Strategic Economic Dialogue mechanism jointly led by the National Development and Reform Commission and the relevant departments of the Australian Federal Government from now on.
In recent times, some Australian politicians on the so-called “China threat” speculation intensified, China-Australia economic and trade, humanities and other fields of cooperation projects and existing results to intensify restrictions and crackdowns, it follows the United States “dance”, as a pawn’s ugly.
The Australian government has its own considerations after being a horse in the U.S. saddle. But there are also people in Australia who are reflecting on whether such a choice is really in Australia’s own interest, when Australia’s interests are damaged, the so-called “allies” will be on their own behalf, or busy filling the interests left by their own out of the gap?
Gan is the three main factors of canine horse
On April 21, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in an e-mailed statement that the Australian federal government had cancelled the Memorandum of Understanding and Framework agreement on Belt and Road Cooperation between Victoria and China.
Australian media recently reported that the Australian government will re-evaluate a Chinese company’s acquisition of a 99-year lease on Darwin Harbour in northern Australia.
The U.S. factor has always been the most important “variable” affecting Sino-Australian relations. In recent years, the United States has gradually shifted its diplomatic focus to the Asia-Pacific region, and Australia has followed in a trend of echoing the U.S. side on issues such as the India-Pacific strategy and the South China Sea, Xinjiang and Hong Kong, and local media coverage of China has become more negative.
From an economic point of view, China is Australia’s largest trading partner, both the largest importer and the largest exporter, while the United States is Australia’s largest investor, with U.S. capital spread across all sectors of Australia, including the media. Australia’s biggest media outlet is News Corp. founded by media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who moved from Australia to the US in 2004 and re-registered in the US, now controls dozens of Australian newspapers and owns industries such as Fox Television in the US. In this case, it is not surprising that Australian media reports on China are biased.
From a geopolitical point of view, Australia is located in the South Pacific, trying to enhance its position in the region and the world by following the United States as a military ally in obtaining so-called security guarantees. Therefore, Australia is particularly active in aligning with the foreign policy of the United States, especially the Indo-Pacific strategy proposed in recent years. In addition, many Australian politicians have close ties to the United States, with some experts joking that Australia is “the capital in Canberra, the decision-making body in Washington”.
From the perspective of the change of international pattern, with the rise of China’s national strength, the United States, Australia and other western countries increasingly regard the competition with China as ideological and institutional disputes, and think that China’s development may shake the western system’s position in the world. As a result, they are “in a coalition” on various China-related issues in an attempt to build so-called “value alliances”.
Blind out or into cannon fodder
U.S. officials have repeatedly claimed that Australia was “coerced” by China to provoke Sino-Australian relations. As Sino-Australian relations cooled, some media and scholars in Australia began to reflect, the United States only for Australia’s oral “painting cake”, did not propose any substantive measures. Blindly “dancing with the United States” in relations with China would hurt Australia’s interests.
First, strategically, the U.S. government’s priority must be the U.S., not its allies.
Michael Clarke, an associate professor at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University, said some in Australia welcomed the Biden administration’s idea of “extreme competition” with China, arguing that it would prompt further co-operation between the US and allies such as Australia, but mistakenly believed the US strategy was “necessarily good for Australia”. Clark argues that the Biden administration may focus on strengthening the military and economic base, the source of U.S. power, rather than protecting the interests of allies in the first place.
Secondly, from an economic point of view, there are economic competitions and conflicts of interest among many Western countries, including members of the Five Eyes Alliance. How the US can “get ahead” of Australia economically is in doubt.
James Lawrenceson, director of the Australia-China Relations Institute at the University of Technology, Sydney, points out that strategic partners themselves are likely to be the most competitive competitors in international trade. After China suspended imports of Australian coal, red wine, sugar and other products, Canadian coking coal suppliers began to “fill in the blanks” quickly, and lobsters from New Zealand began to grab market share in China. Lawrenceson said California winemakers would have been looking to fill the “gap” in the Chinese market for Australian wines had it not been for moves such as tariff increases by the Trump administration.
Over time, he argues, the Morrison government will be asked to explain why the Five Eyes Alliance, which it sees as its “best strategic partner,” is snatching the lucrative market from Australian producers.
Third, from the perspective of international relations, blindly following the United States limits Australia’s choice in international relations, but can not safeguard Australia’s national interests.
Mr Lawrenceson said the Morrison government needed to explain to the public why the US and New Zealand were still able to “directly communicate” with China, while Australia could not. He believes that many countries are balancing their economic interests with China’s and the security and strategic interests of the United States, and that the Australian government should rethink whether current policies are the best course of work and whether it can better protect Australia’s interests.