Australia needs to reset the relationship with China and stay cool
Free Essay: Many products we use today are made in China. Trade between Australia and China has heightened in the last couple of years. China has one of . With Australia-China bilateral relations at close to a year low, the Turnbull Whether this can be sustained is an open question. Still, when the Australian Foreign Policy White Paper was released in November, while. This essay analyses the Australian-China bilateral relationship since and in This close relationship continues to raise political questions for Australia to.
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.
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'.
Australia and China Tade Essay
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.
- Australia's Relations with China: What's the Problem?
- Australia-China Relationship
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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'?India and China Relations (भारत चीन संबंध) /History & imp Facts
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-China Relationship | Free Essays - klokkenluideronline.info
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. It is quite unusual for Australian foreign policy to be subject to a repeated critique in the Chinese press. The View from Beijing The change in the character of Chinese statements about Australia needs to be understood as the product of a general perception in Beijing that Australian policy was being redefined under a Coalition Government.
A number of individual actions without a united objective in mind were interpreted by the Chinese authorities as a co-ordinated policy response.
The Australian Government did not appear to appreciate the extent to which Beijing would read a single coherent meaning into the actions. The view from Beijing was that Australia under a Coalition Government was becoming less sympathetic to the Chinese position on highly sensitive issues such as Taiwan and Tibet and was moving to re-emphasise traditional especially US relationships at the expense of Asian connections.
Of particular disquiet from Beijing's point of view, Australia's renewed stress on the importance of the US alliance was seen as a return to a less independent foreign policy which would conform more closely to US interests.
This was regarded with particular concern at a time when China-US relations were being affected by a number of disagreements. Dealing with an Emerging Great Power Following the efforts of senior Australian Government officials and the meeting between the Australian Prime Minister and Chinese President in Manila in Novemberthe government of China brought an end to the hostile public critique of Australian policy.
A Chinese presidential spokesman was reported as describing the Howard-Ziang meeting as 'very friendly': One meeting cannot resolve all the problems, but the two leaders have reached a common understanding to overcome our difficulties and keep better relations in the future.
This is the beginning of another stage; that we should keep the momentum going. His comments indicate that the Chinese Government has a generally positive attitude towards the prospects for Sino-Australian relations.
Politically and militarily, China and Australia pose no threat to each other. Economically, the two countries complement each other. Furthermore, there are many opportunities for Australia and China to cooperate with each other in international and particularly regional issues.
He said the difficulties in were due to the Australian government taking 'some actions which ended up hurting the national feelings of the Chinese people'. As long as the two countries respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, bilateral relations will continue to develop and the potential for cooperation between the two sides will be enhanced. Although Australia's relations with China have undergone a qualitative change during the last decade and are no longer framed in predominantly geopolitical terms, the Chinese leadership still conducts all its international affairs with broader regional and global implications in mind.
Containment, Engagement and Australia-China Relations Chinese perceptions of how it is regarded in international affairs are still strongly influenced by suspicions that the US and to some extent Japan and other Western powers harbour a desire to prevent China from taking its place amongst the major players on the world stage.
Chinese officials look back on a history in which China saw itself as the 'Middle Kingdom' to which the rest of the world paid tribute, followed by a hundred years of humiliation and incursions into its sovereignty by foreigners.
When the Chinese people 'stood up', as Mao put it inand embarked on a new effort to rebuild their country, the US instituted a policy of 'containment' which the Chinese Government considered was an attempt to keep China weak and isolated. These crucial underlying factors in China's relations with the countries of the West became especially evident in the discord which affected US relations with China beginning from Relations deteriorated over a number of issues: US actions over Taiwan and strategic issues began to be read as signs of a return to the policies of 'containment'.
Beijing feared that while professing to seek 'constructive engagement' with China, the US actually wanted to contain the rise of a rival superpower. Australia is seen as a faithful long-term ally of the US which supported the US during the Vietnam War and the Cold War and emulated the US policy of recognising the Taiwan regime as the legitimate government of China.
At the same time, Australia is appreciated for its capacity to act independently of the US, including trading with China during the s and s and recognising the PRC insix years before the US. During the s, Australia's close relationship with China also played a small role in facilitating China's economic and political opening to the world in the post-Maoist era. Australia also expressed its disagreement with US efforts, in andto link China's MFN status with the issue of human rights.
Nevertheless, the Chinese authorities remain highly sensitive to any perceived changes in Australia's strategic and economic outlook and are especially wary of any moves to return to what could be seen as a slavish emulation of the US. While Australia and China have, since the s, developed a strong bilateral relationship based on shared interests, China still handles its affairs with individual countries in the context of global strategic relationships.
As Australia's bilateral and regional involvement with China grows in the future, a key challenge for Australia's policy-makers will be to balance the demands of the relationship with China while maintaining close strategic and economic ties with the US.
One of the central dilemmas for both Australia and the US will continue to be the question of Taiwan. China under the current regime would never accept a formally independent Taiwan, but Taiwan has been effectively independent for many years and is becoming an increasingly important economic player in the region, lobbying with growing effectiveness for a more regularised status in the international community.
The contrast of Taiwan's transition to democratic rule with the authoritarianism and suppression of human rights in China has been instrumental in winning Taipei many supporters in the US, particularly in Congress. Any change in policy on Taiwan in either Washington or Canberra would jeopardise the even more important relationship with Beijing, yet the pressures on the current ambiguous arrangements can only grow in the future.
When Australia works closely with another country on a global initiative, such as the conclusion of the Chemical Weapons Convention, it strengthens the bilateral relationship with that country.
Australia's Relations with China: What's the Problem? – Parliament of Australia
In this way, multilateral and regional efforts feed back into, and broaden, bilateral relationships Aggarwal Australias participation in the Korean War and later the Vietnam War meant that in a very real sense China which gave direct tangible support to both the North Koreans and the North Vietnamese was Australias enemy Vadney The Fraser government continued this policy direction with China, which was strengthened even further during the Hawke and Keating years The Howard government has continued this policy and has chosen to place economic and trade considerations above ideology.
In handling bilateral relationships, the Government often claims to have adopted an integrated approach taking into account the totality of Australian interests. This close relationship continues to raise political questions for Australia to grapple with, such as her relations with Taiwan, Tibet and Chinese human rights issues. A comprehensive approach to bilateral relationships also involves working closely with the Australian business community to expand market access and other opportunities for trade and investment.
It means facilitating institutional links in fields such as the arts, sport, and education. In this way, each strand of the relationship not only has value in its own right, but also contributes to building a broader base from which to develop and advance mutual interests, hence the burgeoning of cultural links between Australia and China since Aggarwal Working through bilateral relationships also enables the Government to calibrate strategy to take into account national differences.
This is particularly important in terms of regional issues. In relation to China some Australian government policies, for example, supporting the student protest in Tiananmen square Cotton and Ravenhill damaged its relation with China and engendered antagonism from some Asian countries that Australia seemed to impose its will on other nations in the region.
John Howards meeting in with Chinese Leader Jiang Zemin was significant in that it skirted around controversial humanitarian issues despite considerable public pressure and concentrated on economic and trade matters.
Arguably there appears to be an acceptance by Australian political leaders that China represents communism with a capitalist if not democratic face. As a nation with global interests, Australia must deal with countries in many regions. Each relationship engages Australian interests in different ways.
China has the potential to become the most significant of all the nations with which Australia deals on a bilateral basis. This will help ensure that we are in a position to maximise the benefits to Australia from our relationship with China, including from investment inflows that are likely to both expand and diversify across many areas of our economy. We have a strong relationship, but we must not be complacent about it — we need to be aware of the challenges the relationship presents for Australia and to think actively about how we should address these.
Greater economic weight will bring greater strategic weight. Whatever the truth of that perception, with greater prestige and influence comes greater responsibility and an expectation that China will contribute to the provision of global public goods — and provide global economic leadership. The stability and further development of the world economy can only be a net positive for China. China is a key member of the G20 and it has had its representation on the IMF and World Bank increased to more closely align with its economic weight.
China will need to work constructively to help address major global challenges, including rebalancing global growth, addressing climate change, finding a way forward for global trade liberalisation and supporting efforts in Europe to address the sovereign debt crisis.
By virtue of its sheer size, no major global public policy issue will be capable of resolution without China. But if China is not seen as engaging constructively on these issues, its interests will ultimately suffer. Of course, while China looms large in absolute terms, it is still at a relatively early stage of development. And even bywhen it is expected to become the largest economy in purchasing power parity terms 1per capita GDP will still only be less than one quarter of that of the US.
China faces a daunting and complex domestic reform agenda as it shifts towards a more consumption oriented economy. As it confronts issues like financial market reform and climate change policy, China is at a stage of development where whole of economy reforms are more economically desirable and necessary, rather than isolated pilot-style reforms which have been used in the past.
UN data projects that the share of people of working age in the total population will start to fall from While China will continue to benefit from freeing up relatively inefficient agricultural labour, there will no longer be an impetus to growth deriving purely from an expanding labour force.
Beyond this re-orientation of the existing workforce, China will need to increasingly rely on productivity to drive growth. Promoting technology innovation, industry upgrading and competitiveness will help.
Importantly, this requires better resource allocation — and ultimately a more market-driven exchange rate. That aside, it is worth noting that many of the challenges that China faces are also being grappled with by policymakers elsewhere, including in Australia.
We are also anticipating the consequences of an ageing society and we also face the need to improve our innovative capacity and productivity performance. So there is a common dimension to many of the challenges and it serves everyone to have an open debate, in forums such as this, about the challenges we face, and also the opportunities.
Opportunities In a relationship growing as fast as the Australia-China relationship there are of course a wealth of opportunities.