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Whats the story?

China is a great and growing power, one of our favored trading partners, certainly one of our biggest. Our companies invest billions there. Almost all our consumer goods other than food come from there. We sell them iron ore, coal and gas. We accept immigrants and tourists and students from there.

China is also one of the few (hated) communist countries left in the world. An authoritarian human rights abuser and now a miscreant hacker government practicing (rehearsing) cyber warfare. It restricts its peoples freedom of speech. Imprisons those that critisise it. Executes almost as many as the seppos. Restricts the internet. There are no (real) elections. No democracy. They lie about history (Tienanmen).

How come we deal with this country?
What about all you socialism haters out there..what do you think of our dealing with the hated communists? Do you buy their goods?
Can anyone explain this seeming contradiction?
Should we refuse to deal with (and make wealthy) authoritarian and undemocratic regimes.
Is dealing with china while ostracising Nth Korea, Iran et al not seriously hypocritical?
Posted by mikk, Wednesday, 20 January 2010 6:19:01 PM
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This country sold scrap iron to pre war Japan, it came back as weapons.
We needed the money, without our China trade we would be very much in trouble.
Our growth even financial stability would not exist.
Would we be punishing China or us?
Todays China is interfering in other country's affairs, just like America and Britain during it Empire you can still find trouble and strife in England's footsteps.
Trade can be used and is, to calm troubled waters, watch China, be aware but trade and prosper while working towards a better China.
by the way your hatred of communism may well be stronger than that dieing idea, even in China people are asking questions about it, yes north Korea is different and far worse in every way than China.
Posted by Belly, Thursday, 21 January 2010 4:40:37 AM
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Dear mikk,

Over two centuries ago, Napoleon commented
that China was " a sleeping giant, and when
she wakes, she will shake the world."

Much the same could be said today. China is
an impoverished, predominantly agricultural
society. More than 80 per cent of the
population are peasants, most of them living
in harsh conditions. But with over 1 billion
inhabitants - over a fifth of all humanity -
China is the most populous society of earth
and hard to ignore.

Since the revolution of 1949, China has been
a communist-ruled socialist society. For much
of that time its former leader, Mao Tse Tung,
kept China in almost total isolation from the
rest of the world. However Mao died in 1976,
and his successors were faced with a society
in stagnation. Gradually, the new Chinese
leadership abandoned many of Mao's policies and
cautiously introduced reforms to take
China down the "capitalist road."

The new regime is pragmatic, lavishly praising
communist ideals but much more interested in
immediate results. As the saying goes:
"It doesn't matter what colour a cat is, as long
as it catches mice."

Inevitably, reform is spreading to the cities.
Planning is being decentralised, and limited
private enterprise is permitted.

Old line Chinese communists are resentful of these
changes - however China is irrevocably embarked
on the path to modernization.
Yet China has a long way to go as it still is
determinedly socialist and authoritarian.

It will be interesting to see how far the country
will stray from the socialist path in the future
and whether economic liberalization will in turn
lead to political democratization. Given China's
size and potential, its economic future will be of
world significance.

As for Australia's dealings with China - we can't
economically afford to ignore a country that
buys so much from us. Our economy would suffer
greatly - where it not for China.
Posted by Foxy, Thursday, 21 January 2010 10:55:48 AM
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