Australian Financial Review
Australia's greatest foreign policy challenge – how to deal with a powerful China threatening to eclipse the US in the region – has morphed into. Check out 11 of his most memorable quotes about politics and life. Hostility towards China distorted Australia's international affairs for 20 years until , bipartisan relations with our region and the world, unmatched in Australian history. China is Australia's top trading partner, but their relationship is preparing laws to ban foreign political donations and better disclose links.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is due to visit China later this year, but the trip "will not be necessary", the paper declared blithely.
Malcolm Turnbull insists he has a good relationship with China and its leader, President Xi Jinping centre. Malcolm Turnbull China could also cut off trade with Australia — perhaps by freezing imports of wine and beef.
Of course, if China really wanted to use economic coercion, then it could inflict massive pain on Australia. Restricting the flow of Australian iron ore to China — or the stream of Chinese tourists and students to Australia — would have enormous ramifications.
But Beijing has taken none of these steps, and there's no concrete evidence it's seriously contemplating them.
Australia's Relations with China: What's the Problem? – Parliament of Australia
So far the signs of displeasure — a go-slow on diplomatic exchanges, public scoldings — are largely symbolic. And while the Global Times is a state-owned newspaper, it's best to think of it as a weapon, not a window into the deliberations of China's top leaders.
Fergus Ryan from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute says the Chinese Government uses the Times to create uncertainty and shape behaviour in English-speaking countries. Threats are cheap to make, but they can shape behaviour effectively. As Fergus Ryan puts it — "if they can get the message across in this way, then perhaps they won't have to resort to pulling those levers.
And despite the Prime Minister's bland assurance Wednesday morning that "we have a good, frank relationship with China", the reality is our leaders are facing rapidly sharpening choices.
Pollies, spy chief sound the alarm Two recent speeches to Parliament — one explosive, the other humdrum — capture the conundrum neatly. When Andrew Hastie got to his feet in the Federation Chamber on Wednesday evening, he didn't mince his words.
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The chair of the powerful Intelligence and Security Committee laid out a truth which is universally acknowledged — but rarely voiced — in Canberra: We are watching the rise of authoritarian states. Those states are conducting foreign interference operations across Western democracies. In Australia, it is clear that the Chinese Communist Party is working to covertly interfere with our media, our universities and also influence our political processes and public debates.
You can see why. It's an unpalatable reality.
Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. CNN Antagonistic statements by top media and political figures in Australia and China have undermined attempts by Canberra to rebuild its relationship with Beijing after months of diplomatic tension. Chinese state media tabloid Global Times, known for its hawkish statements on government policy, said in an editorial Wednesday a planned visit by Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull should be postponed "to make Australia pay for its arrogant attitudes.
Australia-China relations hit a decade low
For example, it will not be necessary for the Australian Prime Minister to visit China this year. In fact, he could visit a few years later," the editorial said, adding ministerial visits could also be postponed.
Turnbull said in a press conference last week he would be visiting China "later in the year. Read More Hastie made the claims in federal parliament, under the protection of parliamentary privilege, which allows politicians to make potentially defamatory comments with legal immunity. The provocative statements won't help improve Australia-China relationswhich have deteriorated since Canberra proposed new anti-foreign interference laws that China believes are aimed at Beijing.
Speaking to reporters at an event on Wednesday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull claimed the relationship between the two countries was solid. When both were asked about the meeting afterward, there were stark differences in their interpretation of the discussion.