“We will set our own laws and our own rules according to our national interest,” Morrison mentioned. “Not at the behest of any other nation, whether that’s the United States or China or anyone else.”
Michael Shoebridge, a nationwide safety professional on the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, mentioned Canberra’s method with Beijing — which beforehand centered “wholly on the mutual advantage of economic engagement” — shifted as Xi “aggressively used Chinese strategic, military, cyber, technological and economic power against Australia’s and others’ interests, not just internationally, but also inside our own nations.”
“We could have expressed our differences with China without burning the relationship,” he mentioned. “The current government in Canberra believes it is imperative to get close to Washington and they believe the way to do that is to be the most anti-China of America’s allies.”
All such actions additional anger China.
“For all the years of engagement with Australia, Beijing doesn’t understand the place or the people,” Shoebridge mentioned. “Bullying Australians achieves the opposite of acquiescence and subservience. And Beijing’s coercion of Australia, now using our trade as a weapon, is helping collapse hard-won soft power gains Beijing had made here and internationally in the last 20 years.”
He predicted that China’s aggressive commerce coverage particularly may backfire, “because our high levels of trade will wane the more Beijing uses trade as a weapon.” And whereas Chinese officers have bemoaned makes an attempt by Washington towards decoupling, that is precisely what they’re driving as regards to Australia.
But in the end will probably be Australia that pays the higher value, Carr mentioned. He pointed to the “cruel irony” that the massive winners from Australian companies being excluded from Chinese markets may very well be Canberra’s allies in New Zealand, Japan, and — notably — the United States.
“We inflicted self harm to impress Washington, but under its phase one trade agreement with China, it’s US farmers, wine makers and fishers who will fill the gaps in the supermarket shelves vacated by Australian produce,” Carr mentioned, including that Canberra will look “even more foolish if (President-elect) Biden opens up partnerships with China on climate and pandemic management even as he maintains pressure” on different points such because the South China Sea, Hong Kong, and cyber safety.
This story has been up to date to incorporate Zhao Lijian’s Five Eyes feedback.