Australia Must Look Up To India And Stand UP To China
Colonel Awadhesh Kumar, Veteran
Dated : 04 Dec 2020 (IST)
Australia has always been looking towards the USA for its security, ever since the Second World War. The American presence in the Indo Pacific has become more imperative for Australia, ever since the rise of China as a military power. Australians get into panic mode whenever there is talk of reduction of American military presence from this area.
No wonder China has often trashed Australia for being an American lackey like the UK. Though Australians think otherwise, they keep harping that both China and USA should have sit down talks for deeper relationship.
Last decade, to appease China, Australia had even walked out from Malabar Naval Exercises to be conducted by India.So when they became eager to join back, India too its own sweet time to extend an invitation.
Now for the past few years, Australia has tried to show the World that it can a stand up to China on its own. It became the first country to ban 5G from Huawei Company, passed the Foreign Interference Law to curb Chinese Interference in Australian affairs and recently called an international enquiry into cause of Wuhan Virus spread.
So naturally China has retaliated by banning imports of Wine, Coal, barley and Cotton from Australia. The Latest is the TWEET WARFARE. Prime Minister Morrison has angrily demanded apology from Govt of China for a Chinese Cartoon showing an Australian soldier with a knife at the neck of an Afghan child. The world, he warned, was watching.
However simultaneously Morrison also called for a reset with Beijing, reiterating that Australia’s end game was still “the happy coexistence of two partners.” It shows that Australia does not want to get caught between two superpowers.
There is widespread concern that a Biden administration will focus less on America’s Pacific partners and more on rebuilding ties in Europe. That has pushed Australia deeper into a position of pleading for help in corralling China even as it beats its chest for sovereignty.
In this context Australians better start looking towards India.
In case Doklam incident was not a clear indication, the Maldives affairs should have cleared all Australian doubts. Now after Galwan clashes, the whole world is seeing that only country which can stand up against China and stop it in its track, like no other country not even USA, is India.
Since settlement started, Australians dependence was on the dominant power, England, then during Second World War it shifted onto the United States. The prospect of an end to that stability, with American decline or indifference and Chinese dominance, fills most Australians with dread. Well it is their fault that till recently they never considered the Indian potential and never tried to establish deeper relationship.
Now the Australia China relationship has taken a turn and has been described by Geoff Raby, a former Australian ambassador to China, as a self-perpetuating cycle of paranoid provocation. Each is confirming the other’s worst suspicions, he said.
After the Australian plan to file a lawsuit with the World Trade Organization over China’s blocking of barley imports — one of many products that China has rejected as tensions have soared – became clear, then the Chinese Embassy officials summoned an Australian reporter to a meeting and gave out their series of Grievances.
These included academic visa cancellations, “a crusade” against China’s policies in Hong Kong, a call for an independent investigation into the origins of Covid-19, a ban on Huawei in 2018, and the blocking of 10 Chinese foreign investment deals.
The Chinese have reacted adversely because Chinese think that Australia is violating the most basic rule –If you get rich with our help, stay quiet and grateful. It is the truth that few countries have gained as much wealth from China’s growth as Australia, and since coming to power in 2012, Xi Jinping has made clear that he expects silence and harmony from all who benefit from the Chinese Communist Party’s prosperity.
Australia must understand that Chinese will always use all the power at their disposal if they receive weakness. An editorial in the state-run Global Times very blatantly said : “The Morrison administration is making Australia provocative and wanting a spanking.”