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World China’s Clash With Australia Risks Backfiring Among U.S. Allies

14:15  30 november  2020
14:15  30 november  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

China’s major Indo-Pacific trade deal a 'wake-up call' for US and Europe

  China’s major Indo-Pacific trade deal a 'wake-up call' for US and Europe A bloc of key American allies joined a major new trade deal with China, even as Beijing seeks to convert economic clout into political influence at the expense of the United States. © Provided by Washington Examiner “Europe and the U.S. should see this as a wake-up call to join forces,” German politician Manfred Weber, who leads the European People’s Party in the European Parliament, said this week. The 15-nation Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership signed this week was celebrated in Australia as “the biggest trade deal since the [World Trade Organization] was created.

Australia must nimbly navigate tensions with China to avoid being dragged into the escalating dispute between Washington and Beijing, said economist John Edwards, who sat on the board of the Reserve Bank until 2016. Australia Risks Getting Dragged Into U . S .- China Spat, Economists Say.

China has issued an alert, warning its citizens not to travel to Australia in the latest sign of Australia is the most China -reliant economy in the developed world, leaving it Beijing responded with verbal attacks on the conservative Australian government, saying it was doing the bidding of key ally the U . S .

(Bloomberg) --

China’s economic offensive against Australia is partly designed to warn countries against vocally opposing Beijing’s interests, particularly with Joe Biden looking to unite U.S. allies. Yet it’s already showing signs of backfiring.

China last week imposed anti-dumping duties of up to 212% on Australian wine, the latest in a slew of measures curbing imports from coal to copper to barley. Tensions escalated further on Monday after a Chinese Foreign Ministry official tweeted a fake photo of an Australian soldier holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison quickly called on China to apologize for the “repugnant” tweet. China’s Foreign Ministry, in turn, questioned whether he lacks “a sense of right and wrong” and said overall ties deteriorated because Australia “took wrong measures on issues bearing on China’s core interests.”

Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party Is Burning Bridges With China

  Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party Is Burning Bridges With China As a prominent China critic and advocate of Hong Kong’s freedoms, Benedict Rogers is used to unwanted attention. But even he was surprised when he found out that the Chinese embassy in London had attempted to persuade members of the British Parliament to warn him off. The episode occurred in 2017 when Rogers was deputy chair of the ruling Conservative Party’s human rights commission that he co-founded. According to three separate people familiar with the events, the embassy lobbied Conservative MPs to try and convince Rogers, who is not a lawmaker, to “shut up” about China.

Russia is China ’ s ally => Serbia + China = friends. Chinese embassy was bombed by the U . S . at 1999 in Belgrade, the Government of Serbia since then Financial allies like : Australia , Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran

“If China wants to strangle us in international society, they could try to force all our allies to shift recognition from Taiwan to Beijing, then we’d be The U . S . is making a concerted show of support as Taiwan prepares to mark its own national day Thursday. Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, will

To Beijing, the attacks on Australia are meant to deter others like Canada, the European Union and Japan from joining a U.S.-led campaign to counter China’s rise. Communist Party officials see Morrison’s government as one of their most vocal critics, and an easy target: China accounts for about 35% of Australia’s total trade, three times more than the next highest country, Japan. Australia accounts for less than 4% of China’s commerce.

a sign on the side of a building: Cases of Wine Are Piling Up in Australia as China Shuns Imports © Bloomberg Cases of Wine Are Piling Up in Australia as China Shuns Imports

China last week imposed anti-dumping duties of up to 212% on Australian wine.

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

“It is only natural that China wants to sound some precautionary alarm” to warn countries off building an anti-China alliance, said Zhu Feng, professor of international relations at Nanjing University. “After all, confrontation is the least wanted by the world now.”

China slaps duties of up to 212% on Australian wine imports

  China slaps duties of up to 212% on Australian wine imports Australian winemakers have been dealt another blow from China as tensions continue to spiral between the two countries. © Bloomberg/Getty Images Cases of wine sit in a storage room at the Royal Star Wine experience center in Sydney, Australia, on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020. Australian wine exporters are watching stockpiles of product mount in warehouses as China, its biggest market, clamps down on shipments from the country.

The three key Asian allies - Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison - join other global leaders in recognizing the Democratic challenger' s Nov. 3 victory over incumbent Donald Trump

“If China wants to strangle us in international society, they could try to force all our allies to shift recognition Support for Taiwan has grown in the U . S . in recent years as China hawks look for ways to check The US, Australia all have diplomatic relations with China , why can’t the small countries?”

China is betting that most Western countries will avoid provoking Beijing and risking the kind of trade retaliation Australia is suffering, particularly with their economies weighed down by the pandemic. At the same time, it has sought to strengthen ties with Japan, South Korea and nations in Southeast Asia, in part by offering more trade, investment in 5G networks and access to Covid-19 vaccines.

Yet China’s moves are adding to worries about its use of economic coercion, and could end up pushing middle powers closer to the U.S. camp. President-elect Biden has vowed to rebuild relationships with allies damaged by Donald Trump’s “America First” policies, which in turn would make it more palatable for some allies to align more closely with his administration.

“Biden is planning is to resume U.S. international policy after a four-year hiccup,” said Jeff Moon, the U.S.’s assistant trade representative for China for part of the Obama administration, adding that the scope of China’s actions against Australia was “breathtaking.”

U.S.-China Relations Haven’t Been This Toxic Since Vietnam

  U.S.-China Relations Haven’t Been This Toxic Since Vietnam U.S.-China relations have been on a generally downward trajectory since it became apparent during the later Obama years that America’s longstanding policy of diplomatic and economic engagement had failed to bring China around to embrace democratic institutions or accept the rules-based international order led by the United States. On all fronts—diplomatic, military, and commercial—the relationship has been an exceptionally bumpy ride since Donald Trump assumed office. With the advent of COVID-19, international relations scholars and professional China watchers say, things have gone rapidly from bad to worse.

Due to China ’ s massive trade surplus over the U . S ., China can’t keep up with the magnitude of Trump’ s levies — Beijing doesn’t buy enough American goods on which to impose the equivalent volume of tariffs. But its remaining options for retaliation could backfire on its own growth.

To be honest, China helped Australia a lot around the time of the GFC in 08 - 09, and their interest in our country is STILL helping our economy. I think all other countries are allies , to varying degrees. Australia is basically a friendly country that doesn’t want to invade or conquer - sometimes we feel

“The leverage is to work together,” he added. “That is what they most fear, and they see that coming.”

While it’s still unclear how exactly that would work, several key groupings including the Quad -- the U.S., Japan, Australia and India -- as well as Five Eyes -- the U.S., Australia, U.K., Canada and New Zealand -- have been revived in recent years. New initiatives have also been floated, including one that would give countries an alternative to Huawei Technologies Co. for 5G networks and another that would find alternative supply chains to China.

Read more on China’s diplomacy:
Australia Demands China Apology for ‘Repugnant’ Afghan TweetChina Targets Australian Wine, Says Ties Have Taken ‘Nosedive’China Reaches Out to Long-Time U.S. Allies South Korea, JapanBoris Johnson’s Conservatives Are Burning Bridges With China Biden Gets Muted Reaction in China With Trump-Era Rift to Endure

The Wall Street Journal reported this month that the Trump administration was formulating a joint retaliation plan that would allow the West to push back against the kind of economic coercion China is inflicting on Australia. The European Union also plans to call on the U.S. to seize a “once-in-a-generation” opportunity to forge a new global alliance that would counter China, the Financial Times reported Monday, citing a set of draft policy proposals.

China’s Wolf Warriors Slam Australia, Win Fans at Home

  China’s Wolf Warriors Slam Australia, Win Fans at Home Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison demanded Beijing to apologize for a provocative tweet depicting one his nation’s troops holding a bloody knife to an Afghan child’s throat. Instead, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s top spokeswoman shot back, asking whether Morrison lacks “a sense of right and wrong.” The response was a hit in China, where spokeswoman Hua Chunying drew praise on social media for exuding the “style of a great power.” Her deputy, Zhao Lijian, was similarly cheered on for pinning the offending tweet to the top of his Twitter feed.

For its part, the Trump administration is continuing to pressure China with moves to prevent some of its biggest companies from accessing American technology. Senior officials have also stepped up visits to Asia ahead of the planned inauguration for Biden on Jan. 20: Following a visit to Japan this month, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien said leaders in Tokyo saw the Quad as a “game changer.”

“China against any individual country, including quite powerful countries like South Korea or Thailand or even Japan, China would be dominant,” said Malcolm Rifkind, a former British foreign secretary. “But in the real world when you have such a situation, your potential victims join up to ensure a collective and coordinated response.”

‘Weak Link’

While China has adopted a more aggressive “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy epitomized by the Afghan tweet on Monday, it has also used different levels to punish countries that step out of line. Earlier this year the Communist Party-backed Global Times newspaper said China should deliver “public and painful” retaliation to the U.K. for banning Huawei but avoid a full-fledged confrontation because it saw Britain as the “weak link” in the Five Eyes.

In a phone call with his EU counterpart Josep Borrell last week, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also sent a tacit warning that the bloc should think twice before strengthening alliance with the incoming Biden administration, as the two sides look to complete an investment treaty by the end of the year. “Strategic autonomy is a necessary character for staying independent,” Wang said, adding that it involves “opposing man-made ‘decoupling’, opposing confrontation among different blocs and a new ‘Cold War.’”

Marco Rubio: Twitter's tolerance of China's graphic attack on Australia shows bias

  Marco Rubio: Twitter's tolerance of China's graphic attack on Australia shows bias Twitter has made “an intentional decision” to condone the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s dissemination of “a doctored image” that purports to show an Australian soldier murdering a child, according to Sen. Marco Rubio. “It defies belief that Twitter is unaware of the image,” the Florida Republican wrote in a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. “As such, it appears Twitter made an intentional decision not to remove the tweet or even issue a warning label.” Rubio, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, remonstrated with Dorsey as an intervention into the intensifying dispute between Australia and China.

Australia, on the other hand, has faced China’s unabashed wrath ever since Morrison’s government called for Beijing to allow independent investigators into Wuhan to discover the origins of Covid-19. Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Centre at East China Normal University who said he had his visa to Australia revoked this year because he was labeled a national security risk, said Australia’s actions differentiated it from New Zealand, which maintained relatively good ties with Beijing.

“Australia has been purposefully echoing the Washington’s anti-China policy and coordinated with Trump’s strategic intentions,” Chen said.

Opinion Hardens

In Canberra, however, Australian officials have said Morrison’s government is speaking out for its own interests regardless of the U.S. on issues like China’s increasing grip over Hong Kong and assertiveness in the South China Sea. Morrison himself has also sought to portray Australia as stuck in the middle of the U.S. and China -- a view also shared by Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who said in an interview this month that many nations in Asia aren’t keen to join an anti-China bloc.

Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie: Parliament Sits With Prime Minister Scott Morrison Attending Virtually From Quarantine © Getty Images Parliament Sits With Prime Minister Scott Morrison Attending Virtually From Quarantine

Scott Morrison on Nov. 30.

Photographer: Sam Mooy/Getty Images

Even after he called on China to apologize for the Afghan tweet on Monday, Morrison again sought to restart talks with Beijing with no conditions.

“Countries around the world are watching this, they are seeing how Australia is seeking to resolve these issues and they are seeing these responses,” Morrison told reporters on Monday. “This impacts not just on the relationship here, but with so many other sovereign nations not only in our own region, but like-minded countries around the world.”

The spat has only hardened attitudes toward China within Australia, to the point where even business groups have stopped pushing for warmer ties, according to Natasha Kassam, a former Australian diplomat who worked in China and is now a research fellow at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute. At the same time, she said, it’s “impossible to imagine” China apologizing to Australia.

“While there may be an emboldening of countries in the region responding to China,” she said, “it’s equally likely that a number of countries will see the way in which Australia’s export industry has been punished and think twice about making their own criticisms.”

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Australia Passes Law That Can Scrap China Belt and Road Accords .
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has new powers to veto or scrap agreements that state governments reach with foreign powers under laws that could stymie China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Australia and further inflame tensions between the trading partners. The laws passed by Parliament on Tuesday will give the foreign minister the ability to stop new and previously signed agreements between overseas governments and Australia’s eight states and territories, and with bodies such as local authorities and universities.

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