Australia was sacrificed to USA's crusade against China's growing global power. China will not leave this without a response.
On Wednesday, April 21, Australia terminated several agreements that had been concluded with China as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
The relations between the two countries worsened during the coronavirus epidemic, when Canberra, following Washington's example, demanded an "independent" investigation to find out the origin of the novel virus. In addition, Australia remains one of the most active critics of the policy of the Chinese authorities in relation to the Uyghurs and constantly evinces interest in rights and health of Australian journalist Cheng Lei, who was arrested in China a year ago.
In response to interference in its internal affairs, China banned exports of a range of commodities from Australia last year, including coal, copper and sugar, raised customs duties on Australian wines to 212 percent and limited supplies of two of Australia's major mutton suppliers. Australia's direct losses from those moves were evaluated at $20 billion.
On Wednesday, April 21, the Australian federal government withdrew two agreements between the state of Victoria and China, signed in 2018 and 2019. It was the first time, when the government took such a measure in relation to the state "for reasons of national security." To crown it all, Australia became the first country to have abandoned the signed agreement on the Chinese mega-project.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Thursday, April 22, that the move would increase tensions between Canberra and Beijing further.
"China urges Australia to immediately correct its mistake, immediately reverse the wrong corresponding decision and not to rub salt in the wound of the already complicated Sino-Australian relationship. Otherwise, China will surely respond firmly and decisively," the official said.
A senior Chinese diplomat, deputy ambassador of China to Canberra, Wang Xining, warned Australia by saying that a superpower is "not a cow that can first be milked and then slaughtered."
"China is not a cow. I don't think it would occur to anyone to milk China in its prime while plotting to kill it in the end," Wang said.
"Australia condoned the United States in a very unethical, illegal and immoral crackdown on Chinese companies. Do not try to pretend you have high moral standards," the diplomat said, news.com.au reports.
China is Australia's largest trading partner. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia's recent moves have made key Australian exports "vulnerable to further attacks from China."
According to experts interviewed by the newspaper, Australia may lose an estimated $80 billion a year in iron ore export revenues, as well as another $5 billion a year, if China bars Chinese students from studying in Australia.
Michael Shobridge, Defense Program Director of the Australian Institute for Strategic Policy, believes that it was not in Australia's interest to create a China-centered global economic order, in which China would have more economic leverage over other countries, including Australia.
According to Shobridge, the Belt and Road Initiative has been the hallmark of President Xi (Jinping) to build a China-oriented economy, and the lack of assistance in the implementation of this dream of global economic power is a good thing.
Well, Australia is not the Czech Republic, which the West uses as a pawn in the political game of chess against Russia. The land down under will suffer greatly from the loss of supply chains and the closure of entire industries. Western solidarity is always solid only verbally — everything else costs money. The Australian elite should keep their heads on their shoulders and think twice before they send a kangaroo to slay a Chinese dragon.