How to move forward with China
To fourteen point list of grievances via the australian media. Second wine joined beef. Bali timber lobster call among our exports that the chinese communist party has imposed tariffs on. And then that tweet. This is the tweet of the posting of a digitally altered of an australian soldier about to slit the throat of an afghan child. The chinese embassy issuing a bellicose statement the rage in roar of some ustralian politicians and media was misreading and reaction. It said to deflect public attention from the horrible atrocities by sickness soldiers and to blame china for the worsening of bilateral ties. So what's going on. He and asha camera respond. Jeff rabi is a former australian ambassador to the people's republic of china and he's author of china's grand strategy and australia's feature in the new global order. That's just been published and it's available in all good bookstores jeff. Welcome back to the show so some great to be back now. I your thoughts about beijing's response to australia in recent weeks so we have that list of the foreign complaints the wind terrace and of course that tweet while a say i up disappointing to see the slights that have been made After the two quite constructive comments at the triumph prime minister a last week quite clearly. The prime minister was Diplomatically signaling That there was a strong wish to start a process of getting back to some sort of more normal relationship between the two countries the product make though it sounds dramatic when you run those three things together the way you have done that certainly not the same thing. And i'm not sure that they're all necessarily coordinated. I mean the fourteen points clearly seems to be freelancing by the embassy on matters that well known and in the public record in any case at a very odd way of putting something out if you leak it to a channel nine television crew that seems to be pretty casual behavior by the embassy then the tariff spo there has been a processing trained for months on the wind tariffs and i do understand that that was the normal process and the strain companies were busily making written submissions as part of that process. And then the tweet The present time it sounds like it's been contrived by the chinese foreign ministry as individual action. it was a tweet that was particularly widely on social media by a now nationalist artist and twitter and the foreign ministry spokesperson on his private twitter account. Pinder to name and so it's philippine. Middle level action doesn't really look to millions of any of these really coordinated broad cross section of the australian people just looking at the y. People who've responded this week is there is outrage and surely win china. does things like. This doesn't make it harder for people like you because you've been an eminent company on this issue for several years now. Hugh watt a bobcar. Pass gas on this program. Of course the former prime minister paul keating. Doesn't it make it hot. A all of you to make the case that al leaders should try to rebuild trust with such a regime yet. I can understand the public outrage especially the media is going into overdrive steer and just as you have said running all these things together as a coordinated action from the state It does make it harder to get sensible constructive discussion going a story about how we deal with these things. I like to find myself in such august company as you outlined. And you might add gareth evans. Many others that to the group as well but it certainly history doesn't help and it's difficult context in which to conduct foreign policy. What we're seeing is what is like to live in the situation with china relationships In a very poor state now. Other people in camera that i see welcome this their peopling camera who have the view that bad relations with china are inevitable. This is the new normal. We should get used to it and lupus it while the questioning myself. And the august company you've being linking me with. Is this the best interest of australia. And it also basic question. Your what has australia down to bring on china's in this way why you think china is picking on again. Picking on is quite pejorative. They're not doing this to other states. Our other key point. And i would phrase that differently tom i would say how is it that astray amongst like minded friends and allies other liberal democracies in the world in the region why's at the trial has become an outlaw and i think that really needs to be part of the public discussion. Isn't the reason. The australia is so over exposed to chinese pressure in beijing. Nosy so the chinese leaders going to inflict pain on australia whenever they can't australia. And not the other like minded way boy more. In other countries we ought to forty percent of our exports to china. No other country has that kind of exposure. I prefer countries in the region. China is by far the largest trading power. I mean that exposure would be the same for korea south korea which is liberal democracy in the region. it would be near that level. For nearly all the countries in the east asian region china is the dominant economic patna of all of the countries in the region and that is just a fact at its reflects. The extent to which china has grown as the dominant economic power in east asia. Alexander downer. The former. Foreign minister says that now's the time to reduce our exposure to china. But what everyone is saying. There's nothing new novel in that. And obviously when people start to realize that we are going to have for a long time a difficult and challenging relationship with china's manage. That's a fairly obvious. Point to make interesting from In addition to being former minister former director of the board of while clay. And very active Proponent in boosting. Australia china trade relations phrase time as soon as minister and i work very closely with him in that and i think we achieved a lot. So why wouldn't you wanna diversify every sensible business. Every sensible company diversifies the port made over and over again on this aspect is that it's going to be very hard. Because of the absolute scale and growth and prosperity of china. You are a foreign policy realist. All gripe house ruthless and that includes chana hardball at every turn and the stronger. China gets the more likely to throw its wide around now to the extent. These realist analysis is correct. How on earth do we solve. this problem. absolutely correct agree with all those points. Another point that needs to be made. And you don't make it much tom. And your pride yourself as being a realist and that is the relationship is asymmetrical that is effect. We need china. More than china needs us. This is not a comfortable place for us to be but it's a place we are. It's a place where we're stack and will remain and so We need to work out how to manage that relationship and we haven't done a particularly good job of a judging by the state rewritten today. So although you express yourself in a different way you essentially gray with the foreign policy realists professor join me shauna regular guest on this program and he argues that his china's power increases its definition of its national interests will grow and then beijing will seek a survey influence in areas on which its future security and prosperity dependent in response. The us will go to great lengths to stop china's rises. It essentially. your argument is well up a poet. I'm a great Admire of joint mish as well. I differ with him on a couple of points but his analysis and arguments have been hugely influential in helping me shape my thinking about these But i put on sphere of influence is. I think that's already happened. I think china is the dominant paranagua this at length in my book in eurasia from the east china sea to also china is the dominant parent. That's happened largely because sanctions against russia poor economic performance by russia Pushback from from europe against russia has meant that brushes had to cede to china's ascendancy in eurasia and so very part of the world. And i think we now live in a world of michigan talks about a world of two great powers with boundary orders and in the question then becomes is some equilibrium at stable between the two. And i believe there is.