Australia and China

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Sertorio
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Australia and China

Post by Sertorio » Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:56 am

Australia trade surplus built on shaky long-term basis
By Global Times - Jan 07, 2021 08:12 PM

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202101/1212165.shtml

Australia's trade surplus shrank to A$5 billion ($3.9 billion) in November, down from A$6.6 billion in October, according to figures released on Thursday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

While the country's imports, which hit a record in November thanks to the strong domestic demand, may have played a part in the narrowed trade surplus, the slowdown in its exports to China also seemed a likely factor impacting the figure.

Superficially, this may simply show that Australia's trade surplus contracted because its exports didn't grow as fast as imports in the month, but should this trend continue, the country's trade surplus may become unsustainable and face long-term structural problems.

For a long time, China has been a significant market for Australian exports, and also a major contributor to the latter's trade surplus.

In many cases, a growing trade surplus could be a flash point for trade conflict between countries. However, within China-Australia trade, the surplus has become a stabilizer and booster of bilateral trade, as trade volumes between China and Australia expanded from less than A$10 billion two decades ago to A$235 billion in 2019.

Yet, it should be noted that Australia's trade surplus is mainly built on low value-added exports, with resource-based products making up the bulk of exports to China and other countries. Such export structure is not competitive and could be easily substituted, bringing its sustainability into question.

At a time when China-Australia relations are seriously strained, it is clear Canberra is set to struggle in finding new markets to replace China.

Thanks to the continuous expansion and rising demand of the Chinese economy, the Australian economy has enjoyed an unbeaten run of 28 years without a recession before entering a recession in 2020.

Over the past three decades, many economists have raised concerns about the lack of diversification in Australia's trade structure, an issue ignored by Australia's political elite.

Almost three decades ago, former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew warned that Australia was in danger of becoming a poor country in Asia Pacific. But a fast-growing Chinese market demand for Australian resources masked long-standing imbalances and fragility.

Now the Australian economy is facing a double whammy of the COVID-19 fallout and the trade tensions with China, it is hard to predict what the next stage of Australia's economic development will look like. But one thing is certain: the urgency of improving the structure of Australia's export economy is growing, and Canberra is struggling to play catch up.
Global Times is definitely a Chinese propaganda tool but this article is sufficiently objective to make it worthwhile reading. And it shows that economically China is more important to Australia than the other way around. Not being in danger of being attacked by China, Australia should maybe reconsider its unfriendly posture in respect of China. Sooner or later the US will fade from the western Pacific while China will still be there. So, why not being on a friendly footing with it? Isn't trade more important than trying to score political points?...

neverfail
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Re: Australia and China

Post by neverfail » Sat Jan 09, 2021 12:28 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Sat Jan 09, 2021 2:56 am
Australia trade surplus built on shaky long-term basis
By Global Times - Jan 07, 2021 08:12 PM

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202101/1212165.shtml

Australia's trade surplus shrank to A$5 billion ($3.9 billion) in November, down from A$6.6 billion in October, according to figures released on Thursday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

While the country's imports, which hit a record in November thanks to the strong domestic demand, may have played a part in the narrowed trade surplus, the slowdown in its exports to China also seemed a likely factor impacting the figure.

Superficially, this may simply show that Australia's trade surplus contracted because its exports didn't grow as fast as imports in the month, but should this trend continue, the country's trade surplus may become unsustainable and face long-term structural problems.

For a long time, China has been a significant market for Australian exports, and also a major contributor to the latter's trade surplus.

In many cases, a growing trade surplus could be a flash point for trade conflict between countries. However, within China-Australia trade, the surplus has become a stabilizer and booster of bilateral trade, as trade volumes between China and Australia expanded from less than A$10 billion two decades ago to A$235 billion in 2019.

Yet, it should be noted that Australia's trade surplus is mainly built on low value-added exports, with resource-based products making up the bulk of exports to China and other countries. Such export structure is not competitive and could be easily substituted, bringing its sustainability into question.

At a time when China-Australia relations are seriously strained, it is clear Canberra is set to struggle in finding new markets to replace China.

Thanks to the continuous expansion and rising demand of the Chinese economy, the Australian economy has enjoyed an unbeaten run of 28 years without a recession before entering a recession in 2020.

Over the past three decades, many economists have raised concerns about the lack of diversification in Australia's trade structure, an issue ignored by Australia's political elite.

Almost three decades ago, former Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew warned that Australia was in danger of becoming a poor country in Asia Pacific. But a fast-growing Chinese market demand for Australian resources masked long-standing imbalances and fragility.

Now the Australian economy is facing a double whammy of the COVID-19 fallout and the trade tensions with China, it is hard to predict what the next stage of Australia's economic development will look like. But one thing is certain: the urgency of improving the structure of Australia's export economy is growing, and Canberra is struggling to play catch up.
Global Times is definitely a Chinese propaganda tool but this article is sufficiently objective to make it worthwhile reading. And it shows that economically China is more important to Australia than the other way around. Not being in danger of being attacked by China, Australia should maybe reconsider its unfriendly posture in respect of China. Sooner or later the US will fade from the western Pacific while China will still be there. So, why not being on a friendly footing with it? Isn't trade more important than trying to score political points?...
The article content is all true Sertorio.

Your commentry though needs correction on one point. It is China's current policy towards us that is unfriendly: not Australia's "posture" towards China.

neverfail
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Re: Australia and China

Post by neverfail » Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:40 pm

https://www.watoday.com.au/politics/fed ... 56tpb.html

The secret plan for countering China: Trump should have followed his own strategy

A highly sensitive document outlining the United States' strategy for the Indo-Pacific represented a strong blueprint for the region but Donald Trump never followed it.
The strategy outlined in this document is closer to Australia's foreign policy than Trump's. Australia is now hoping Biden follows the blueprint better than his predecessor.

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Re: Australia and China

Post by Sertorio » Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:27 am

neverfail wrote:
Wed Jan 13, 2021 9:40 pm
https://www.watoday.com.au/politics/fed ... 56tpb.html

The secret plan for countering China: Trump should have followed his own strategy

A highly sensitive document outlining the United States' strategy for the Indo-Pacific represented a strong blueprint for the region but Donald Trump never followed it.
The strategy outlined in this document is closer to Australia's foreign policy than Trump's. Australia is now hoping Biden follows the blueprint better than his predecessor.
That's because of such hopes that Australia is in trouble with China. The US is a foreign country to Asia and should stay away from its problems. Besides, the mentioned blueprint (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/u ... eclass.pdf) is mostly a blueprint for disaster for the US and its allies...
“We will see the US consumed by domestic power struggles for years, even decades, gradually abandoning multilateral politics, especially in Europe. This trend will continue regardless of which party controls the White House. And this is a stark reality that Europe and Germany must acknowledge.”

Two weeks after Pohl wrote those words, the US Capitol riots corroborated her prognosis. Germany and France will not hitch wagons with the Biden administration on any confrontation with Russia. The likelihood of them joining the United States’ “Indo-Pacific strategy” to contain China is even less.

https://asiatimes.com/2021/01/germany-d ... for-biden/

neverfail
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Re: Australia and China

Post by neverfail » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:18 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:27 am


That's because of such hopes that Australia is in trouble with China. The US is a foreign country to Asia and should stay away from its problems. Besides, the mentioned blueprint (https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/u ... eclass.pdf) is mostly a blueprint for disaster for the US and its allies...
Sertorio: The US is a foreign country in Asia? What do you think that China is in relation to virtually every one of its terrestial neighbours? Come on! Cease pretending that Asians are a single, homogeneous ethnic group who think the same way and have the same set of national interests.

You conveniently, repeatedly ignore the fact that none of China's Asian neighbours are keen on seeing China fulfil its hegemonist, imperialist dreams. China's recently aggressive foreign policy stanhce dows disquiet everywhere around its rim.

It is not just us.
“We will see the US consumed by domestic power struggles for years, even decades, gradually abandoning multilateral politics, especially in Europe. This trend will continue regardless of which party controls the White House. ”

Two weeks after Pohl wrote those words, the US Capitol riots corroborated her prognosis. Germany and France will not hitch wagons with the Biden administration on any confrontation with Russia. The likelihood of them joining the United States’ “Indo-Pacific strategy” to contain China is even less.
https://asiatimes.com/2021/01/germany-d ... for-biden/

Europe can go to the devil as far as I am concerned.

We have nowhere else to go!

It is just that I agree with the above assessment that "We will see the US consumed by domestic power struggles for years, even decades,.... That is not a foregone conclusion but only a forecast likelihood. While I will breathe a sigh of relief once Biden is sworn in yet I suspect that my relief may be premature. It looks now as though Trump will be let off far too lightly and will spend his remaining years manipulating his 70 million or so credulous followers attempting to make life a hell for Biden and all of his other perceived political enemies; disrupting US politics in ways that will divert the country's and the US political establishment's attention; disappating energy and draining willpower away from matters more important than Trump's accursed bruised ego.

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Re: Australia and China: holding the CCP to account.

Post by neverfail » Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:37 pm

Sertorio,

Cassowary published an illuminating observation in his inagural reply in the discussion re: China's demographic time bomb quickly ticking down
https://davosman.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4907

China's authoritarian or totalitarian system does have its advantages as can be see by its successful response to the pandemic as compared to western democracies. But it also has its disadvantages and this is a sign of one of them.

When you have an all powerful leader, it is easy to get things done. If he acts correctly, as in the pandemic, problems are solved quickly. But if he makes a mistake, then disaster strikes. The one child policy was started by Deng Xiaoping in 1979 to curb China's growing population. But you cannot blame him alone. His successors also must share the blame for maintaining it.

Now, the damage is done. To compound matters, Chinese statistics cannot be trusted. That's because provincial leaders have an incentive to exaggerate the birth rate so as to receive more funding from Beijing to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure. I suspect things are worse than reported.

China always had this problem under its Socialist dictatorship. During Mao's Great Leap Forward, provincial governors were reporting bountiful harvests when the opposite was true. Under Socialist ideology, farm collectivisation should have produced bountiful harvests because workers would no longer be alienated as happened under capitalism. Those brave enough to tell the truth were punished because they were deemed to be uncommited to Socialism/Communism. The CCP simply does not like criciticism. You can't tell them their ideas are wrong.

(So when Australian PM asked for an investigation as to how the coronavirus got started, the CCP was furious. It means Morris didn't believe their official story. Its like one of Mao's old comrade, General Peng, who told him that his collectivisation was not working. He got sent to the labour camp. So the system does not reward people who tells the truth. )
It seems that our government made the tactical error of attempting to hold the (non-accountable, a law until itself in its own domain) Chinese Communist Party to account over COVID-19 and of course they were outraged that anyone should have the temerity to demand accountability from it. Understandable though not laudable. If as Cassowary suggests the regime over there is grounded upon and sustained by lies then of course it would feel threatened by any attempt to expose the lie.

Since there is nothing within the PRC - no free mass media or party of loyal Opposition for instance - to hold their ruling party to account any attempt to render the CCP to greater accountability for its actions will (logically) need to come from external sources.

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Re: Australia and China: holding the CCP to account.

Post by Sertorio » Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:54 pm

neverfail wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 2:37 pm

It seems that our government made the tactical error of attempting to hold the (non-accountable, a law until itself in its own domain) Chinese Communist Party to account over COVID-19 and of course they were outraged that anyone should have the temerity to demand accountability from it. Understandable though not laudable. If as Cassowary suggests the regime over there is grounded upon and sustained by lies then of course it would feel threatened by any attempt to expose the lie.

Since there is nothing within the PRC - no free mass media or party of loyal Opposition for instance - to hold their ruling party to account any attempt to render the CCP to greater accountability for its actions will (logically) need to come from external sources.
Why do people keep forgetting that there is no evidence whatsoever of China being responsible for the outbreak of Covid19? The idea that a state could deliberately start such an epidemic is so outrageous that I wouldn't even suspect Idi Amin of being able of such an act...

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Re: No Sertorio: not malice but incompetance.

Post by neverfail » Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:15 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:54 pm
Why do people keep forgetting that there is no evidence whatsoever of China being responsible for the outbreak of Covid19? The idea that a state could deliberately start such an epidemic is so outrageous that I wouldn't even suspect Idi Amin of being able of such an act...
:lol: Well, I would like you to know that I do not believe that the PRC deliberately started it either. yet no matter how much I wanted to believe that the pestulance was a natural mutant that jumped from bats to humans - the official PRC explanation for its source - that still strikes me as far fetched. Since there is a state biological research laboratory allegedly just across the road from that legendary "wet" market where wild game is sold It is not unlikely that the virus might have somehow escaped the lab and lodged itself in someone working in that market or else in another market patron.

All it would have taken would have been one careless lab employee who, having worked on the backteria, failed to effectively de-contaminate himself before walking across to that market place possibly to buy lunch.

What came after was a cover-up by local Communist Party officials in Wuhan City who tried to keep the news from reaching the Party bigwigs in Beijing (that is a known fact) lest they learn how slack security was at the research lab. Well,the virus' spread in Wuhan and into neighbouring Hubeh province raged on uncontrolably and the top Party officials learned anyhow. I know not what sort of retribution the Wuhan officials suffered for witholding news of the pandemic from the top Party men in Beijing but you can be sure they would have suffered some punishment.

Now; why was that Laboratory in Wuhan experimenting with such a lethal virus as COVID-19 anyhow? It makes you wonder whether they were doing it to develop a lethal agent for future use in biological warfare in some inderterminate time in the future - and that is a dirty secret that the PRC government would not want the rest of the World to know.

Hence the overreaction to diplomatic pressure to let in a WHO team of investigators.
...............................................................................................................................

By the way, that team of investigators is in China right now. IT seems they might have wasted their time in coming because they have found that virtually all evidence has already been removed or destroyed before their arrival. The lack of cooperation in enabling the investigation to proceed by the CCP speaks for itself don't you think?

(Now, try not to make excuses for them Sertorio. :) )

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Re: No Sertorio: not malice but incompetance.

Post by Sertorio » Fri Jan 15, 2021 2:05 am

neverfail wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 10:15 pm
Sertorio wrote:
Thu Jan 14, 2021 3:54 pm
Why do people keep forgetting that there is no evidence whatsoever of China being responsible for the outbreak of Covid19? The idea that a state could deliberately start such an epidemic is so outrageous that I wouldn't even suspect Idi Amin of being able of such an act...
:lol: Well, I would like you to know that I do not believe that the PRC deliberately started it either. yet no matter how much I wanted to believe that the pestulance was a natural mutant that jumped from bats to humans - the official PRC explanation for its source - that still strikes me as far fetched. Since there is a state biological research laboratory allegedly just across the road from that legendary "wet" market where wild game is sold It is not unlikely that the virus might have somehow escaped the lab and lodged itself in someone working in that market or else in another market patron.

All it would have taken would have been one careless lab employee who, having worked on the backteria, failed to effectively de-contaminate himself before walking across to that market place possibly to buy lunch.

What came after was a cover-up by local Communist Party officials in Wuhan City who tried to keep the news from reaching the Party bigwigs in Beijing (that is a known fact) lest they learn how slack security was at the research lab. Well,the virus' spread in Wuhan and into neighbouring Hubeh province raged on uncontrolably and the top Party officials learned anyhow. I know not what sort of retribution the Wuhan officials suffered for witholding news of the pandemic from the top Party men in Beijing but you can be sure they would have suffered some punishment.

Now; why was that Laboratory in Wuhan experimenting with such a lethal virus as COVID-19 anyhow? It makes you wonder whether they were doing it to develop a lethal agent for future use in biological warfare in some inderterminate time in the future - and that is a dirty secret that the PRC government would not want the rest of the World to know.

Hence the overreaction to diplomatic pressure to let in a WHO team of investigators.
...............................................................................................................................

By the way, that team of investigators is in China right now. IT seems they might have wasted their time in coming because they have found that virtually all evidence has already been removed or destroyed before their arrival. The lack of cooperation in enabling the investigation to proceed by the CCP speaks for itself don't you think?

(Now, try not to make excuses for them Sertorio. :) )
Suspicions about what really happened when no hard facts are known is a legitimate thing. But there are civilized and uncivilized ways to convey those suspicions and to request a thorough investigation. For political reasons the US - and Australia - opted for the uncivilized, aggressive way, and it was only to be expected that China would not take kindly to it. And if China did not deliberately started the pandemic, and it was all a case of faulty security at the referred laboratory, I guess one could have left to the Chinese government dealing with it and punishing the guilty parties. But the objective was to humiliate China and the Chinese, and force it to take actions which would be unacceptable when imposed from abroad.

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China and Covid-19

Post by Sertorio » Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:45 am

Interview with WHO expert coming to China on COVID-19 origins
https://news.cgtn.com/news/2021-01-11/C ... index.html

CGTN reporter Wu Guoxiu has an exclusive interview with one of the team's members, Professor Marion Koopmans, head of the viroscience department at Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

(...)

CGTN: As you have just mentioned, the WHO had sent experts twice to China in February and July. What were those trips about? And what's the difference now?

Koopmans: So in February, the focus was very much on the evolving epidemic. So, not much attention was given to the origin of the virus because that's a more academic question. However, there were already discussions happening between the WHO and the Chinese team to start some work that would help address the question of what happened and how it got to this pandemic. What was the origin of the pandemic? And some of those studies have started, and we will discuss the work with our colleagues as well.

But we think there may be more needed. There's also, of course, we have learned throughout this year, we have learned new things about the virus, about how it affects, who it affects, which animals it may affect. So it's also good to look back at the original studies and say, okay, with what we know now, are there additional things that could be done?

CGTN: Some people have pointed fingers and blamed China for the pandemic. What do you feel about such claims?

Koopmans: I think that's unfortunate. Tackling a pandemic is a global responsibility. The WHO warned about the risk of emerging diseases, and I don't think any country is immune to that. So I don't believe this is about blaming. It's about understanding and learning that for the future of our global preparedness. So, I don't think we should be pointing fingers here.

CGTN: A study showed Italy potentially had COVID-19 cases months before it wound up in China. Other studies also suggest the virus appeared in the U.S. and France in December. That's much before the time the virus was officially identified in China. Does this indicate that the virus might have occurred in different places around the world at similar times?

Koopmans: At this stage, I don't think we should rule out anything. But it is important to start in Wuhan, where a big outbreak occurred. And we need to have an open mind to all sorts on the hypothesis. And that's what we've been asked to do. But we need to start in Wuhan where we first learned about the situation.
Prof. Koopmans is a lot wiser about this pandemic than the various governments which chose to blame China, even without any evidence.

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