Our whole approach to China is cringeworthy and very thinly veiled racism and frankly white supremacy. We're nowhere near as advanced a country as we think we are.HERE WE GO AGAIN?
This current AFR opinion piece (edited down per BF posting rules) contains shades of my four-part OP to this thread (which I have edited up and fleshed-out since it was first posted in July).
Morrison turns China ‘threat’ into an election wedge.
Borrowing from the Coalition playbook of Menzies and Holt during the Vietnam War, the Prime Minister is putting domestic politics ahead of long-term policy for dealing with Beijing.
James Curran Columnist, Australian Financial Review, Nov 21, 2021
Scott Morrison has taken a provocative approach to China that first appeared under Malcolm Turnbull, sharpened its edge and has now grabbed the loudspeaker.
His government makes foreign policy a critical wedge against Labor as the election approaches: tactics drawn from the Coalition playbook of Robert Menzies and Harold Holt during the Vietnam War. Opinion polls appear to confirm support for this recycling of the China “threat”, despite the Prime Minister’s adverse polling on a two-party preferred basis.
Disapprove as one may of this approach, it is unarguably consequential, and Australia may pay the cost for some time.
… The consequences belie Morrison’s rhetoric. A long-term policy for dealing with China does not exist. This as President Biden avoids the stampede towards a “new Cold War”, looks to limited co-operation with Beijing and tries to avoid military conflict.
Reflect, then, on the unforeseen consequences that can occur when a ruthless politician opts for headlines exploiting hostility to an Asian power.
… Yet the Morrison government now has an investment in continuing bad relations between the US and China, and with it the risk of an inadvertent or deliberate outbreak of war. It willingly dials itself into Washington’s martial calculations against the Chinese state. Canberra tumbles once more into an overexposed, lonely prominence.
A day after US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stressed that competition with China need not lead to conflict, Defence Minister Peter Dutton basically committed Australia if there is a war over Taiwan. Whatever restraint there was in the government’s language on China is abandoned. No consideration is given to the catastrophic effects of any conflict on the region.
… Everything is now seen through a “China threat” prism. Relations with the Pacific, south-east Asian countries and Japan cannot be viewed on their own terms. All are submerged beneath the politicking on “pushing back’ against Beijing, on the apparent gratification of Australia being the model for “standing up’ to China.
… Morrison fails to understand that what appears tough on the home front can look in regional capitals to be a lack of sophisticated diplomacy. Look no further than when, before heading for Cornwall, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong reminded his Australian visitor that China is always “going to be there”, that countries will have to deal with Beijing.
… Indeed, the China debate here, for all its claims to novelty, echoes more and more the rhetoric of the late 19th century and the 1960s, especially its obsession with “invasion”, “threat”, “subversion” and “containment”. Much of this flows from the continued emphasis that Australia now straddles the front line of a “new Cold War”. Well may we rightly express unease at how China uses its power, but Australia must find the courage to look into the mirror too.