Flat White

We are no longer alone staring down China

19 May 2020

3:46 PM

19 May 2020

3:46 PM

Insiders panellist and ABC host Raf Epstein observed last Sunday that it would have been better if Australia hadn’t chosen to go it alone over China

As usual, the ABC put fancy before facts.

Australia is now part of a demarche; the posh diplomatic word signifying concerted action by a group of countries to achieve an aim for all. And China is now feeling the anger of an international community that has seen citizens die, lives destroyed, economies trashed.

The Chinese Communist Party is lashing out through its embassies overseas, punishing us with trade tariffs against barley with threats more to come.


But the so-called “wolf” diplomacy isn’t working. It isn’t even diplomatic.

Indeed, former foreign minister and high commissioner in London Alexander Downer summed it up beautifully this morning on yes, the ABC, when he called out the bullying tactics being employed to bring us to heel by slapping on massive tariffs.

Downer was so on the ball that even Fran Kelly heard him out without the usual interjections and interruptions.

He was perfectly correct. China’s ambassador in Canberra has simply shown he hasn’t understood the way diplomacy is done, taking me back decades to Mao’s Cultural Revolution and the insults used then — “running dogs”,”capitalist roaders” and worse.

Things are fraying for China’s political class and the lack of PR success in both Taiwan and Hong Kong are indications. We can sit tight and help our farmers, bolstered by the fact that we are no longer alone.

We don’t have to be best friends to have good trade relations.

Ask the Russians.

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