Public commentary but not diplomatic dialogue

Australia-China relations are still frozen but no further drop in temperature

24 June 2021 | CCCA (Image: Denis Agati and APAC News)

Two interesting stories came out in the Sydney Morning Heald about Australia-China relations. The first story “The contradiction of the heart of China’s rise” (Peter Hartcher 22June2021 5.30 am)

The report covered three topics (1) Beijing launched three astronauts into the stratosphere to build China’s first space station; (2) the economic flourishing on a scale without precedent, has liberated vast human potential by raising 850 million people in the last 40 years by World Bank’s reckoning; and report (3) 500 police officers raided a newspaper office in Hong Kong to arrest five executives for allegedly endangering national security.

We responded with this comment published in the SMH:

Thank you Mr Hartcher for appreciating the China’s space program and the raising 850 million of her people out of poverty. The bad news is the closing down of Apple through application of HK NSL. The CCP is as popular as ever in China because Xi was able to deliver the material wealth to her people and inject national pride in her citizens with the Mars landing.

Flashback in 1969, I watched the US landing on the moon broadcasted to the TV monitors in the lecture theatres at UNSW and my feeling for the US was admiration and pride for her citizens (against the Cold War background( .We are not able to change the US or China political system in my lifetime, but hopefully I wish President Biden would change US foreign policy to include China and work together to make this planet a better place for all to live it. Otherwise, a war between the two giants would mean MAD.

The HK National Security Law story was comprehensively covered in the South China Morning Post which reported the demise of Apple Daily in Hong Kong.

Our published comment in SCMP:

The news about the demise of Apple & owner & editor is sad or happy depending on which shoes you put on. The Democracy movement has tried but lost the battle on these fronts – the allegations of violence, property destruction and foreign interference.  In retrospect the timing of the US China containment policy and the HK unrest, was not co-incidental and that resulted in China’s resolve to get tough on the island.

Compared to British security laws of 1948 Malayan Emergency Law, HK’s security law seems lenient. Under British rule, a suspected communist can be jailed indefinitely under HM’s pleasure, and without trial. All villages in Malaya were fenced, curfew imposed, and home security guard patrolled the perimeter. Democracy would eventually come to the East but not in its present form, but a much-modified version that would be compatible with Eastern cultures.

The second story is much closer to home. The Chinese community group, the consulate and the Labor Premier  (Marta Pascual Juanola  Eryk Bagshaw and Hamish Hastie June 22, 2021)

The WA government appointed two pro-Beijing community leaders to a new paid advisory council before Premier Mark McGowan escalated his criticism of the Morrison government’s handling of the China relationship.

This article also attracted our response which was published as a comment:

Many thanks to Mr Bagshaw et al for publishing this story. Many would think that the Reds are at it again as usual, but the Chinese Australian community wish to look into the positive aspect of this story. Removing the anti-China or anti-CCP ideology from the discussion, we believe WA Premier is a brave soul, under the current circumstances to maintain a conversation with a Chinese official whilst some of our Feds officials couldn’t.  If President Biden reverses its stand on China tomorrow, we still got Premier Mark McGowan whom the Chinese would not refuse to talk to. The Premier is our insurance policy when there is a policy turn around which we predict will happen sooner than later. The continuance of such adversarial global policy always means MAD.

As for our colleagues in WA, it is also brave of them to stand up to support their WA Premier. Some would label them Reds or Panda Huggers as they would have labelled us in NSW if we had such a gathering. Seriously, we Chinese Australians are independent in our thoughts & acting in our Australian national interest. We sincerely believe that a good Australia-China relations is a better way to peace and prosperity for all nations in the Asia Pacific.

Despite the perception formed about Australian’s MSM, these two articles in the SMH trying to give a more balanced view of the stories.  However, the readers’ comment in these reports still contain significant arguments based on political ideology, a bit of xenophobia and much chest beating exercises.

Unless there is a change of Australian Foreign Policy, the Australia-China relations shall remain frozen and our influence in the ASEAN nations can also wanned as a result of our strong stand with the US.

The harmony of this planet is in the hands of 3 strong leaders, President Biden, President Xi and President Putin and any leader worthy of their leadership should provide good governance for the people, of the people and by the people.  If Biden and Putin can have a face-to-face meeting, he also can have one with Xi.  Such meetings would prevent wars and ensure peace in the planet.

Once Biden and Xi embarks on a peaceful path, Australia would also take the same path.

This commentary is supplied by the Chinese Community Council of Australia Incorporated: Founding President, Dr Anthony Pun OAM, President, Mr Kingsley Liu. The views expressed in this article are those of the authors.

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