I sometimes wonder whether we would have so willingly become embroiled in the Second World War had Nazi Germany been, back in 1939, a trading partner for Australia anything like as important as the PRC is today? The point was that the Third Reich was insignificant to this country for external trade. By contrast the United Kingdom was not merely important but crucial. Two thirds of everything we produced for export at the time was sold to the UK and two thirds of all we imported came from the same country. One third of our entire GDP comprised goods for export. In addition at least 90% of all external capital invested in this country came from there. Australia declared war on the Third Reich in September 1939 less because Britain was our sole ally at the time but because we could not have afforded to have lost this crucial overseas market and source of supply. Wherever mother England went in those days so did we.Sertorio wrote: ↑Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:56 pm
But only the US can drag Australia into a war where many Australians could get killed. Without Australian interests being at risk at all... It has already happened. In Vietnam. And it could happen again. But this time against a very powerful China... Are you willing to take that risk?...
The PRC currently accounts for around one third of our exports and provides considerably less than that of our imports. It may by now supply us with around one tenth of our investment capital. This means that while the PRC is very important to Australia as you can see it is still far less important to us in 2019 than the United Kingdom was in 1939.
Important enough to make us take pause should any US government demand that we drop our ties with it. The USA by contrast imports considerably less than the PRC from this country but runs a perennially surplus trade balance with us due to the fact that it keeps its markets closed to goods that the PRC freely imports from us. Which means that its economic "grip" on us is considerably less compelling than that of the PRC.
So Sertorio, in summary: should the USA demand one day that we sacrifice all of that for the sake of joining itself in a war with China, unlike in the case of 1960's Vietnam (and some others since) which were with countries of absolutely no importance to us in economic terms, any Australian government would more likely balk at the prospect and politely declare Australia's neutrality.
The terms and conditions of our (ANZUS) defense treaty would legally allow us to do this. You see, the treaty only compels both countries to consult with one another in the event that either is attacked by a third power: it does not legally oblige either to go to war. Further, it does not oblige one to assist the other if it is the aggressor that does the attacking in the first place.