Opinion | For China, Australia is a big puzzle
By Augustus K. Yeung
Of all the countries in the world, Australia is one that puzzles China: Australia is a big and beautiful country. The Australian people that we know of in Hong Kong are friendly, passionate, and well-informed. The former prime minister Kevin Rudd, a great statesman in the making is one of these global citizens, who can contribute to world peace by building international relations, but some how he was eased out. And, then we have Jason Wordie and many more talented Australians living and working in Hong Kong, Macau (SAR) or mainland China.
What is this? If this is not brain drain!
American scholar Richard Florida whose book, "The Rise of the Creative Class," taught us that a city or country with Tolerance, Talent and Technology, tend to attract people of a creative nature, making the city or country great. Unfortunately, Australia is driving away its own talents and concomitantly weakening the nation. Why?
The Peter Principle is Working Against Australia's Interest
Instead, you have people who are verbally belligerent and of a bullying nature in leadership positions in one Australia's corridor of power or another. And yet, Australia's relations with "Captain America" looks sheepishly subservient like that: one of "his master's voice" (if you know what that means?).
What a pity!
Notably, speaking at an American Chamber of Commerce in Australia event last week, Mr. Peter Dutton, Australian Defense Minister, "said the activities and rhetoric of Chinese officials had grown 'increasingly bellicose' and 'coercive', as he accused China of undermining the global rules-based order that had for decades benefited Beijing," reported the Post. ("Beijing returns fire over 'dangerous' comparison to rise of Nazi Germany." South China Morning Post, September 13.)
The geopolitical climate had 'echoes of the 1930s', he warned, effectively comparing China's behavior to the rise of Nazi Germany in the build-up to World War II. 'We are grappling with a regional environment far more complex and far less predictable than at any time since the second world war.'"
Two Bones of Contention for the Defense Minister to Bite
One of our bones of contention is, "Whose rules?" His master's rules!? The man is just echoing President Joe Biden's pet phrase "rules-based order". And so, Mr. Dutton—the Australian Defense Minister—is happy to be a parrot, repeating his American master's voice.
The next bone of contention is, "China's behavior had 'echoes of the 1930s', effectively comparing the US trade rival's behavior to the rise of Nazi Germany in the build-up to World War II." The Australian Defense Minister is mouthing like a marketplace woman generally known for hearsays and gossips--with absolutely no scientific evidence whatsoever. The Chinese Ministry of Defense spokesman should not have answered back, as Mr. Dutton had been talking nonsense, trying to drum up or stirring the pot in preparation for next week's Quad Summit, consisting of Captain America, Australia, India and Japan—the very aggressive country that America had nuclear-bombed into submission in World War II.
Furthermore, for his information, modern China did not rise at the expense of Mr. Dutton's master whose rules-based order was broken by communist China. Read Henry Kissinger's book, "ON CHINA", and you will understand that it was cold war which had driven President M. Nixon, the insightful statesman, to secretly send his Secretary of State to China to strength his hand for the national security interest of America. (Henry Kissinger, ON CHINA, Allen Lane Publishing, 2011).
This peace initiative had led to the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two great nations, and China and America have since enjoyed peace and prosperity until the Korean Conflict, when a new American leader turned hawkish against China, whose door was being threatened, significantly setting back normal Sino-US relations for decades. What a political blunder!
Australia as a Big Country did Nothing to Ease the Tensions
Big as it is, Australia always seems contented to play the role of a second fiddler, taking orders from America, the great conductor, who orchestrated the performance on the world stage. This follower mindset is set in stone, or what?
It was China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping who masterfully kicked open China's door to the world that attracted business investors, including Australians to the big country that helped to change China's fate, among other factors. Naturally, China is happy to be naturally doing business with Australia, New Zealand, and other Asian Pacific nations.
And didn't Australia benefit from trading with China until Mr. Dutton's country meddled into China's trade war with the United States? And what did Australia get for coming between the lion and its wrath?
In effect, Australia lost to Canada and the US its trading privileges: China was importing a variety of goods, including Australian lobsters, tons of lobsters. And so, for just being nosy, posy and lousy foreign policy, Australian businessmen now stand to lose more lucrative deals by the day. Is a government that hurts the business interests of its countrymen a good government!? Whose interests should shortsighted Scott Morrison serve, America?
What Nature Endows, Australia Kowtow to Delta Variant
At a time when Australia is providently gifted for being a remote island continent, the country was able to avoid a large-scale outbreak…The Delta variant has, however, turned that success upside down. Instead of planning for COVID-19 or the Delta variant's assault, the government officials, the Australian Minister of Defense included, have done nothing to prepare the countrymen for change. And now Australia is at the mercy of Delta variant, which is now wreaking havoc the nation for being militarily hawkish and medically careless and negligent.
Australia is a big and beautiful country. Unfortunately, the peter principle seems to be working against the best, the bright and the talented Australians such as former prime minister Kevin Rudd and Jason Wordie, a highly respected Hong Kong-based social historian, who can tell Australia' Minister of War a tale or two about how the Japanese Imperial Army in its concentration camp had been starving and ill-treating the captured Australian POWs, soldiers who had come to defend Britain's crown colony in World War II.
Amid the long lockdown period, perhaps Australia should reflect on its traditional foreign policy, especially in respect to China, a steady trading partner who had once been fatally bitten by the Japanese imperial snake in World War II, which is now twice warry of militarism.
Today's China is Scientific; it Believes in the Works of Charles Darwin
Yes, China today has made a meteoric rise, but it is done at the expense of austerity; the discipline-conscious Chinese Communist Party (CCP) tightened its belt, abstained from the luxury of foreign religious freedom, and experimented at the expense of the whole nation to come up with a winning formula with the help of its Academy of Social Sciences and the People's Liberation Army (PLA), which is tasked with guarding the territorial integrity of the nation, which had suffered--at the hands of great powers—enduring a century of humiliation.
Ultimately, it was Charles Darwin, whose enlightening theory of "Survival of the Fittest" that has taught the Chinese to be strong or be militarily fit. Or else, expect to be invaded by warmongers. Science is the nation's bible and militarizing the country to prevent China from once again being predated is the lesson Charles Darwin, the great natural scientist has had to teach China.
The author is a freelance writer; formerly Adjunct Lecturer, taught MBA Philosophy of Management, and International Strategy, and online columnist of 3-D Corner (HKU SPACE), University of Hong Kong.
The views do not necessarily reflect those of DotDotNews.