Australia needs to reset the relationship with China and stay cool
Exports rose only percent from a year ago versus a forecast of 10 percent Asia stocks decline after China reports weak trade data; Japan and Shares in Australia, Japan, South Korea and China saw losses on the day. Australia-China relations are characterised by strong trade bonds. East Asia Program Director Dr Merriden Varrall and others provide regular commentary on . The US is in the throes of an epochal political convulsion masquerading as a. You could argue that security ties to the US have become more On the other hand, and unavoidably, it acknowledged that the Asia Pacific is no and author of a study of the Australian-Chinese economic relationship, told.
The United Kingdom proposed in that Britain, Australia and New Zealand should simultaneously recognise the new government.Kevin Rudd on Australia's Need for a More Balanced Relationship with China
However, the Australian and New Zealand governments were concerned about electoral repercussions at a time when Communism was becoming a more topical issues, and did not do so immediately. Although Ben Chifley 's Labor government preferred to be realistic about the new Chinese government and would have supported its admission to the United Nations,  it lost the election.
The British government went ahead with the recognition of the PRC alone inbut the United States withheld recognition. However, fromAustralia refused to accept ambassadors from the ROC,[ citation needed ] and for many years Australia did not send an ambassador to Taiwan. From as early asthe Australian government's Department of External Affairs was recommending the recognition of the PRC, but this advice was not politically accepted. While the Labor Party 's official policy from was that Australia should follow the examples of Britain and France in recognising the PRC, on the basis that the ROC was unlikely to recover the mainland,  the Liberal Party-led Coalition played up the perceived threat of a Communist China for electoral advantage, including the support of the anti-Communist Democratic Labor Party.
As part of this political strategy, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt explicitly recognised the continuing legitimacy of the ROC government in Taiwan inby sending an ambassador to Taipei for the first time. As opposition leader, Gough Whitlam visited China in before Henry Kissinger 's historic visit on behalf of the United Statesand in Decemberafter Whitlam's victory in that year's federal election, Australia established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, and Australia ceased to recognise the Republic of China government of Chiang Kai-shek in Taiwan.
The establishment of relations with "Red China" roused great excitement in Australia. Since the Chinese economic reforms initiated by the late Deng XiaopingChina has benefited from significant investment in China by Australian companies for example, future Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had set up the first Sino-foreign joint venture mining company in China inwhile Australia has benefited from the Chinese appetite for natural resources to modernise its economy, infrastructure and meet its growing energy demands.
Australia subsequently won and Sydney hosted the Olympics. Eight years later, China hosted the Beijing Olympics in Australia is one of the few countries in the world during the global financial crisis that was not in recession.
Its continued economic growth due to that period is partly attributed to large demand and long term strong fundamentals from China.
The national security department of China accused the Australia intelligence agency of trying to collect information from overseas Chinese, and even encouraging them to subvert Chinese government. Although Hong Kong, as a special administrative area of China, cannot conduct its own foreign affairs, consular and economic representations exist.
Australia—Taiwan relations While Australia no longer recognises the Republic of China as the legitimate government of China or Taiwanunofficial relations are maintained between Australia and Taiwan.
The Taiwan government operates the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Australia, which fulfills most of the functions of an embassy and consulates at an unofficial level. Background China's growth since the s has entailed urbanisation, growth in manufacturing, and investment in infrastructure.
This created demand for building materials, energy for electricity and transport, and raw materials for manufacturing. Australia was well placed to meet a lot of this demand, and it was a ready market for Chinese manufactured goods. Today, China is Australia's largest trading partner in terms of both imports and exports.
Australia is China's sixth largest trading partner; it is China's fifth biggest supplier of imports and its tenth biggest customer for exports. A two-way investment relationship is also developing. As China moves into its next phase of development, its demand will shift from raw materials to elaborately transformed manufactures, services, and expertise.
Australia has some potential advantages in the supply of these, but they are not the clear advantages possessed by the resources sector.
China as a market for our commodities As the drivers of China's growth change from urbanisation and basic manufactured goods to domestic consumption and more complex goods and services, the growth in demand for Australia's resources will moderate.
Australia's resource exports to China are likely to continue to grow, but at a slower rate, with natural gas to some extent supplanting coal. Other commodities, such as wool and wheat, and other minerals will probably also do well as incomes in China rise. A probable result is that the Australian dollar will fall. This will mean a partial reversal of the huge rise in living standards which contrary to popular perception Australia has experienced in the last ten years.
Jiang's Zemin's efforts to restore the Party's legitimacy and ideological leadership are unlikely to see it return to the position it held during the post-revolutionary years.
With social discontent in the cities and growing dissatisfaction in the interior, particularly amongst ethnic minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang, the Party may have to rely increasingly on the Army to assert its control.
Introduction Relations with China are one of the most important aspects of Australia's foreign policy. As an emerging great power in our region with whom Australia is developing a major economic relationship, good relations with China will become an increasingly prominent feature of Australia's international interests.
But maintaining good relations with China is also one of the most difficult challenges for Australian policymakers. The recurring friction in Australia-China relations which marked much of was a sign of the sensitive nature of dealing with China and a good indicator of the range of issues which can arise in managing the relationship.
Problems began to emerge in when China criticised Australia's policy on China and Taiwan which it perceived was becoming too closely tied with US policy and which it interpreted as throwing doubts on Australia's commitment to a one-China policy.
This perception grew out of the new Australian Government's quick expressions of support for US actions in response to China's military exercises in the Taiwan Straits during the March Taiwanese presidential election, as well as the upgrading of Australia's defence ties with the US in July China also criticised the visit to Taiwan by the Primary Industries Minister, Mr Anderson, and the discussion about the possibility of Australia selling uranium to Taiwan.
Adding to the ill-feeling was the decision by the Australian Government, in Aprilto cut part of Australia's aid program to China. Concerned to prevent any further deterioration in relations, Mr Howard moved, in Novemberto reassure the Chinese Government that Australia had not altered its China policy following the election of a Coalition Government.
He took the opportunity of the APEC summit in Manila to meet with the Chinese President, Ziang Zemin, to discuss the issues which had placed a cloud over the relationship between the two countries.
The meeting was reportedly very successful and the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying: The Chinese Government attaches importance to the statements of the Australian Coalition Government on placing emphasis on Sino-Australian relations, adhering to a one-China policy [and] being against containment We would like to develop a long, stable relationship with Australia on the basis of mutual respect, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, and seeking common ground while reserving our differences.
Following the meeting with the Chinese President, some observers suggested that the problems affecting Sino-Australian relations had been overcome. Certainly, the meeting between the two leaders, together with other contacts at ministerial and official level during the final months ofhelped reduce misunderstandings which had developed in Beijing about the direction of Australian policy.
The whole affair, however, underscored the inherently touchy nature of the relationship with China. Despite the apparent passing of tensions, Australia's relations with China will continue to have potential for friction for many years into the future. This paper outlines the recent problems in Sino-Australian relations and the light they shed on the challenges which confront Australian policymakers.
It provides a background against which to understand the development of Australia-China relations and discusses the nature of sensitivities in the relationship in the context of China's relations with the United States and the country's recent economic growth and political problems. Australia-China Relations in Retrospect Australia's relations with China and Chinese at a non-government level have been controversial for most of Australia's European history.
Anti-Chinese feeling, occasionally erupting into violence, was a feature of Australian goldfields from the s and a desire to prevent Chinese immigration was one of the first motivations for the White Australia policy instituted after Federation in At an official level, Australia-China relations were, from their foundation during WWII until recently, dominated by the concerns of wider strategic relationships.
InChina under the Nationalist government of Chiang Kai-shek became one of the first countries with which Australia established independent diplomatic relations. This relationship was established in the context of China's struggle against Japan rather than because of any significant commercial or political links between the two countries.
It was not untilhowever, that Prime Minister Harold Holt sent an ambassador to Taiwan to seal Australia's recognition of the Chiang Kai-shek regime as the sole legitimate government of China. By that time the question of the recognition of China had become a major political controversy in Australia and became linked to the issue of the Vietnam War and perceptions of China as a threat to Australia's security and sponsor of communist subversion throughout Southeast Asia.
Despite hostile political relations, Australia nevertheless continued to trade with mainland China, especially with major sales of wheat. The situation changed dramatically at the beginning of the s with the change of government in Australia and changes in US policies on China. One of the first acts of the newly-elected Labor Government in was to recognise the PRC as the sole government of China.
This laid the foundations for rapid growth of diplomatic, cultural and economic links between Australia and China under both the Whitlam and Fraser Governments. These developments were facilitated by China's efforts to strengthen its ties with the West as a whole, firstly to find allies against the Soviet Union and, following policy changes into boost China's economic growth by opening up to the world economy.
From the early s Australia's dealings with China began to move away from a preoccupation with global strategic issues and to concentrate on regional issues and bilateral economic links. In political terms, the 'special relationship' which Prime Minister Hawke considered had developed between Australia and China came to an abrupt end, however, with the violent suppression of the pro-democracy movement in Beijing in June Concerns about human rights abuses in China ensured that diplomatic relations between Australia and China were frosty for over a year, including a ban on ministerial visits until early Nevertheless, the importance of the commercial links which had grown up between Australia and China in the preceding decade meant that there was little possibility of relations returning to the kind of enmity and suspicion which had characterised the pre period.
Trade and investment between the two countries were unaffected, and the Australian Government emphasised that Australia 'remain[ed] committed to a long-term cooperative relationship with China'. The focus of the Keating Government on deepening links with the countries of Asia meant that particular attention was given to the relationship with China. At the same time the government was sensitive to continuing domestic and international concerns about China's human rights record and emphasised that relations were maintained with a 'realistic, business-like approach' rather than with the ideas of a 'special relationship' which had marked the pre period.
Australia fears fallout from US-China trade war
Prime Minister Keating conducted a successful visit to China in Junewith an emphasis on trade and investment. A Year of Friction Following the election of the Howard Government in MarchAustralia-China relations encountered serious problems as the Chinese Government began to react to what it saw as change in the direction of Australian policy on China. China had expressed concerned about Australia's increasing contacts with Taiwan duringbut the problems reached a new level in The Chinese perception was fuelled by a number of actions by the Australian Government which Beijing interpreted as together forming a shift away from a previously supportive stance on China towards a position more closely tied with US interests and less friendly to China.
The issues over which the misunderstandings developed were an indication of the sensitive nature of the Australia-China relationship and the degree to which the relationship is directly linked to the health of China's relations with the United States.
One China or Two? In March Taiwan held its first fully democratic presidential election. The Chinese Government, in an effort to reassert its continuing claim to sovereignty over Taiwan and to influence Taiwanese electors not to vote for pro-independence candidates, began a demonstrative series of missile tests in the Taiwan Straits.
In response, the US Government moved two aircraft carrier groups into the area to monitor the tests and to affirm its interest in the security of Taiwan. One of the first foreign policy actions by the new Coalition Government after its election in March was to call in the Chinese Ambassador to express its concern about the mounting tensions between China and Taiwan. The new Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Alexander Downer, also welcomed the US decision to move warships into the Straits as a sign of US commitment to the security of the East Asian region, as 'demonstrating [US] interest in participating in regional security issues in a very practical way'.
Chinese Government representatives did not make any particular public response to the position of the government, but subsequent events suggest that they took note of Australia's quick support for the US and began to look for further signs that policy in Canberra was changing with the new government, in particular that Australia was moving away from its 'one China' policy. China began to register great sensitivity to Australian dealings with the government in Taipei.
In July, the Mayors of Beijing and Shenzhen declined to attend an Asian cities' conference held in Brisbane in protest against the attendance of the Mayor of Taipei, Mr Chen Shui-bian, a leading figure in the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party. Mr Downer had issued a statement saying that the federal government had no objection to a visit by Mr Chen.
Funded as part of Australia's overseas aid program, the scheme had been controversial for some time and the government decided to abolish it as part of efforts to reduce budget expenditure. The Chinese Ambassador said the move would: We hope that the Australian Government will follow internationally accepted practices and continue to support the projects in the pipeline All these projects have been committed by the two governments.
If they are not to be carried out, then it won't be in line with international practices. But it has also been suggested that the Chinese were particularly concerned that the cancellation of DIFF funding was part of a wider campaign by Western countries to restrict the flow of development assistance to China.
Australia's cancellation of projects in China financed through soft loans may have strengthened fears in Beijing that Australian foreign policy was taking on a new pro-US and anti-China character. The 'Claws of a Crab'? Part of the foreign policy agenda of the new Coalition Government was to re-emphasise Australia's security relationship with the US.
At the AUSMIN talks the two countries signed a new security declaration and agreed to expand the range of joint exercises, including regular participation by US personnel on Australian soil.
Australia’s economic relationships with China – Parliament of Australia
Chinese reaction to the development came quickly and stridently, in the form of a commentary in the official People's Daily. From this we can see that the United States is really thinking about using these two 'anchors' as the craws of a crab The recent moves by the US in Australia show that the Cold War thought process has not changed much in the minds of some people, who still hope to play the role of the global policeman.
Whereas the previous Labor Government paid more attention to building bilateral security relations, the new government has repeatedly emphasised the importance of its traditional allies. Using the metaphors beloved of Chinese commentary, the article compared Australia to a bat which gave its allegiance to the mammals when they triumphed, but showed its wings and declared itself a bird when the birds were victorious. What countries have seen instead are aid cuts to Asia and speeches by the MP, Pauline Hanson, full of anti-Asian and anti-immigration sentiment.
As soon as it was announced that the Buddhist leader and symbol of the Tibetan independence struggle would be visiting Australia, the Chinese Government began protesting against any suggestion that the Dalai Lama would meet the Prime Minister or any senior Australian Government figure.
When the Prime Minister said he would indeed meet the Dalai Lama, the People's Daily launched a particularly strident attack on the Australian government: The statement repeated the warning that the decision would 'unavoidably produce a negative impact on relations between China and Australia'. Nevertheless, senior members of previous Australian governments and parliament had held meetings with the Dalai Lama without the vituperation which marked their reaction to Mr Howard's meeting.
The Chinese have always opposed such meetings but their response on this occasion was at a new level.