Stand with Australia against China's attempt to punish it for demanding an inquiry into coronavirus origins
China is targeting Australia, the first nation to demand an official inquiry, with boycott threats in an attempt to squelch overseas demands for investigation of its responsibility for creating and spreading the coronavirus. It perceives Australia, which depends on China for almost 35% of its exports and enjoys a trade surplus with China, as less able to withstand economic pressure than the U.S., which has run huge chronic trade deficits.
China may be threatening to sanction U.S. politicians that criticize it, but it is threatening to boycott Australia's key exports to it: beef, iron ore, and barley, important domestic industries that would be devastated by the loss of Chinese markets. China is a classic bully, targeting weaker victims in hope of intimidating others. And while some Aussie politicians have been critical of Australia taking the lead in demanding an investigation, P.M. Scott Morrison is receiving wide backing, including from the normally left-wing trade unions (paywalled):
China has threatened to cut off Australia's $63 billion iron export pipeline to the communist nation in what it describes as a "wake up call".
The menacing warning came as the boss of one of Australia's most powerful unions took the extraordinary step of writing to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, urging him not to be "bulled" by China.
In a major raising of the stakes in Beijing's stoush with Australia over PM Morrison's calls for an international inquiry into the origins of COVID-19, China has made it clear that it can easily look elsewhere to source key imports.
The threat served up in China's state-owned Global Times follows Beijing suspending trade with four Australian abbatoirs and threatening 80 per cent tariffs on barley imports.
The editor of the Global Times, an official outlet, actually called Australia "pieces of chewing gum on the sole of China's shoes."
Journalist Andrew Bolt gets it and addresses Australian critics of the demand for an investigation, writing in the Herald Sun of Melbourne:
It takes a special kind of fool to blame Australia for being bashed by China, as if it's all our own fault that this menacing dictatorship is angry.
Can't these know-nothings see how many other countries also have China shaking a fist in their face?
Haven't they checked the extraordinary press briefings last week from Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, the regime's Dr Goebbels?
It's not just about us, people. New Zealand, Japan, the US, India, Vietnam, Taiwan, France and more all felt Beijing's lash last week.
The dictatorship is on the move. It's time we paid attention to the bigger picture and stopped blaming ourselves.
In fact, 116 nations have so far backed Australia's push for an inquiry. The U.S. must take a leadership role and organize talks with Brazil, Canada, and other exporters to China of the key goods China is threatening to target for boycotts and agree to resist being used as cudgels against Australia.
Hat tip: John McMahon.
Graphic credit: PublicDomainPctures.net.