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The Forum > General Discussion > Trade War With China

Trade War With China

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Following the "sobering", doom and gloom, economic assessment delivered by the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg yesterday that Australia is heading for a deep recession in the years to come. What we don't need, and can't afford, is a trade war with China. Australia's call for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus was viewed unfavourably by China, seeing it as Australia acting as a lackey of the United States. China's ambassador to Australia Jingye Cheng warned that Chinese consumers might not buy Australian products.

In the latest development, China firstly threatening to slap major tariffs on Australia's barley exports, which could rip hundreds of millions of dollars from the grain trade, as China sources barley from countries such as Canada. According to the Chinese, Australia has engaged in "dumping" of barley in their market. Next has been the imposition of a trade ban on several Australian abattoirs exporting $3.5 billion of beef into China. China sites technical issues concerning labelling and health certificate requirements as the reason.

A trade war with China is something Australia can ill afford at this time. Was it just a noble act in calling for an investigation into coronavirus, or indeed as the Chinese claim, were we acting at the behest of the failing Trump administration in Washington. Whatever the reason the trade outcome for Australia can only be dire, if it continues as is.
Posted by Paul1405, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 7:12:33 AM
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Yes, it could be dire, but Australia and the wold must not backdown against an increasingly assetive China.

The rise of authoritarian China, imo, is a setback for humanityit it was allowed to dominate.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 7:45:38 AM
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There are a few messages out of this.

First, the Chinese regime is a despicable despotism. Accommodating them is just as silly as accommodating Hitler was in the 1930s. There are not two sides - theirs and Americas - there are two sides - theirs and the rest.

Second anyone who relies on trade with China for their business or their national wealth has rocks in their head and should diversify immediately. The Chinese have done us a favour in reminding us what a brutal repressive regime they are.

If you have shares in companies like Fortescue Metals you should be looking at them very closely, and when their AGM comes around ask them what they are doing to diversify away from China.

On the bright side, this should hopefully alert a large number of countries to the dangers of doing business with the Chinese and encourage them to diversify. It should be a boon to India, Indonesia, Vietnam and a raft of smaller countries who can also do manufacturing at a good price.

Third, it must change our attitude to global negotiations on CO2 emissions. The Chinese have ramped-up their construction of coal-fired power stations. This makes us more reliant on them for manufactured goods, because despite our local wiseacres, coal-fired power is the cheapest, apart from possibly hydro. There is no point us cutting emissions if they aren't.
Posted by GrahamY, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 8:21:41 AM
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GY.

Why do I firmly believe our fate is sealed and our future is so cemented to China, we better get used to more of it?
Every aspect of this country is aimed squarely at it.

Dan.
Posted by diver dan, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 8:51:26 AM
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Some fools think we should be a "lackey" to China instead of to America. The thing is, we are not a lackey to Americaz which is our main ally and equal. China, however, is trying to make Australia their lackey. To the Chinese, everyone is inferior to China. They have thought that for over 2,000 years, and they will always think that. They are the bullies of Asia, and if they can, they will bully the whole world.

Our weak politicians, LNP and Labor, have to man up and drop China like a hot chip before they get their claws any further into us. We need to get back to being self-reliant and realising who our friends are, and that China is definitely our enemy.

The Chinese Communist Party is a war party.

"The CCP wars on its own population through political campaigns such as the one- child, now two-child, policy and the persecution of the Falungong. And China is at war with the world (whether the world knows it or not) through its territorial claims in the South China Sea and elsewhere, through its use of destabilizing proxies such as North Korea, and even more directly through its theft of technology, its currency manipulations, and it's highly sophisticated and incessant cyberattacks". ('Bully of Asia, Why China's Dream Is The New Threat To World Order', by Steven W. Mosher).
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 9:25:09 AM
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"rocks in their head", "diversify" sounds like another word for boycott. No problem, there are cheap labour coolies in "India, Indonesia, Vietnam and a raft of smaller countries who can also do manufacturing at a good price." get a nice shirt from K-mart, made in Bangladesh, but don't know what a Bangladeshis made car is like. Good to see we should only deal with the true democracies of the world like the aforementioned. China with its 1.5 billion could model its news "democracy" on a similar country, such as India. I'm sure the average Chinese would love to lift that oppressive yoke of authoritarianism in exchange for the freedom and democracy that the average Indian enjoys, and at the same time they could partake of the same standard of living, they would be overwhelmed with excitement at the prospect.

"Fortescue Metals you should be looking at them very closely, and when their AGM comes around ask them what they are doing to diversify away from China" Yes indeed, the shareholders would have little interest with the companies record profits, and would be much more interested in the humanitarian aspects of the business. They might want Twiggy to emulate the good deeds of the Salvation Army, and bugger the bottom line. Don't think it will wash too well with the shareholders, too much self interest.

No worries, all is good, we have Simon Birmingham suiting up, to get out there and give those Chinese a real shellacking. I can hardly wait to see the Chinese trembling in their boots as Simon rocks up!
Posted by Paul1405, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 9:31:09 AM
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Communist China has no interest in the welfare of free societies, they have a very planned agenda to occupy the whole of South East Asia. Watch as they buy up these meat processing plants to process animals from their Northern Australian Farms and ship out to China from Port Darwin. They have been working within our National security for years and are involved in our national defence. It is their agenda to move more and more loyal Party members into Australia, and influence our University education on the benefits of Marxism. With the present activities they intend to break our nationalist spirit and appear to make concessions to pose as the good guy. This is what they did by extracting all our medical supplies then sending back inferior product.
Posted by Josephus, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 9:41:39 AM
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To the Chinese, everyone is inferior to China.
ttbn,
Well, they can prove it ! Unlike the West they don't have morons sabotaging their own Nation !
Posted by individual, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 10:35:43 AM
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This morning, barley and beef producers are bellyaching that our government's call for an enquiry into the China virus in China is the cause of China's thuggish threats on increased tariffs on their products - or refusal to buy them. This sort of behaviour from China has been going on long before they exported their virus to us. And, if we have to be so badly treated to get a third of our export money from this vile Communist country, we would be better off without it.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 10:42:14 AM
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I think it is already too late ttbn, the gate is open & the last horse has bolted. Without the earnings from our iron ore, coal, gas & some agricultural exports, we wouldn't have the money to buy the computers we are using, our cars or consumer goods we need.

In the early 60s I was the technical adviser for a plastics raw material supplier, teaching industry how to mold & use the latest engineering plastics. We supplied in Sydney alone 6 companies making radios & TV, 5 making refrigerators, 8 making appliances, & 7 making components for the car industry.

I only know of 3 of these still in the business of manufacturing anything. I really doubt we could make most of those things today, without importing the know how, & from where, CHINA?

Can you imagine us being able to now, with the motor industry gone, rapidly set up an aircraft manufacturing industry as we did during WW11.

Yep, I reckon we have already lost the war, without ever knowing we were fighting it.
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 11:42:59 AM
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It is never too late.

Wherever there is a will, there is a way.

The time has come for Australia to take some short-term pain while diversifying our economy more and look to increase exports to other countries.

Other nations can also see what is going on with China, and they too can use the opportunity to take advantage by developing their own industries.

Someone will always need raw material exports, but we can also start building things.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 12:31:33 PM
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A quarter of Australia's international trade and
over a third of our exports go to a nation that
might assault a Royal Australian Navy Ship in the
South China Sea.

China's institutions and culture is very different
to ours yet it is in a large measure responsible
for our prosperity. Dealing with China is a challenge.
However not dealing with China is not an option.
It is wise therefore to try to maintain good relations
while at the same time try to draw closer to other
countries and neighbours in our region.

This will take time, possibly decades to establish.
In the meantime we have made the mis-judgement of
relying too much on trade with China and it will
now take longer to develop a foothole in other
international markets.

It is wiser to continue to maintain good relations
with China. Our economy depends on it.
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 1:42:57 PM
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Dear Foxy,

I'm sure that you would agree that Australia should be diversifying its export destinations far more than it has done. I'm puzzled why we don't put much more effort into cultivating far more diverse export relations with India, for example: by the time Australia gets around to it, say by 2030-2040, India may actually have the largest population of any country in the world, right on our door-step.

Indian immigration has been immensely valuable for Australia: where would we be without Indian health and IT professionals ? Many Australian farmers have been switching to cater for Indian markets, which are almost unlimited. An Indian steel industry could take vast amounts of our coal, gas and iron ore, not to mention other metal-oriented industries. And very many Indians speak English, although like us, with their own accents.

And as for India, also Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, South Korea and Vietnam: there's another four hundred million potential customers. A couple of billion people, all-up, all with growing middle classes.

Paradoxically, I suspect that we will come out of this Covid crisis with strongly renewed trade relations with China, in spite of the current huffing and puffing (and the US more of a bit player, still grappling with its incompetent handling of the crisis, perhaps for the next five years) - BUT if Australia had half a brain, we would be diversifying, building up relations with those other major countries in the region, all the way from India around to Japan.

Joe
Posted by loudmouth2, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 2:04:20 PM
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Dear Joe,

We want good relations with both China and the
US but we must also invest in drawing closer to other
countries near us and in Asia. It would be foolish
to do otherwise.
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 2:10:52 PM
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and the belts and roads initiative by Mr Andrews?
Posted by runner, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 2:15:48 PM
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Foxy, i have nothing against Chinese people. I have long believed that most people just want a decent life.

However, i loathe authoritarian nations; nothing more evil that societies that quash the rights of individuals if you do not follow the party line.

As far as i am concerned, a liberal democracy should not sell its soul just to stay rich.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 3:22:29 PM
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It is now being said that China is threatening Australia and being brutally aggressive as an example to the rest of the world. Whatever. Australia must the line. Labor is already cracking via Penny Wong,who is suggesting the government do the same.
Posted by ttbn, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 3:55:44 PM
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Dear Chris,

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

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.

Mao died in 1970, and his successors were faced with
stagnation. Gradually, the new Chinese leadership
abandoned many of Mao's policies and cautiously
introduced reforms. The new regime was pragmatic
lavishly praising communist ideals but much more interested
in immediate results. As one leader dommented -
"It doesn't matter what colour a cat is, so long as it
catches mice."

Of course old-time Chinese communists are resentful of any
change. And China is still determinedly socialist
and authoritarian. It will be interesting to see how far
the country will stray from the socialist path and
whether economic liberalisation will in turn lead to
political democratisation. Given China's size and potential
its economic future will be of world historical significance.

Australia needs to maintain good relations with both China
and the US, but we must also invest in drawing closer
ties to other countries near us and in Asia.
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 3:57:15 PM
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It would help if our leaders and politicians
would explain to us what position they were
planning to take on China and why so that
we could better understand what is going on.

The more information we are given the better informed
we are in making the right choices when it comes
to elections and who we want to be leading this
country. Therefore information is vital.
Posted by Foxy, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 6:49:46 PM
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China has been so concerned about this boycott. Our trade minister, Morrison's glove puppet, Simon Birmingham has demanded a meeting with his Chinese counterpart. The Chinese haven't bothered replying to good old Simon.

The idea that China could in some way turn itself into a Western style 'liberal democracy' is farcical given the countries history and circumstance. On our trade relationship, China is dominant, that puts us at the disadvantage. In times of depression/recession countries like Australia that supply simple base commodities to the world, which at these times are generally in over supply, with most of our raw materials available to buyers from other sources.
Posted by Paul1405, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 8:05:19 PM
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Joe remember the Adani Coal Mine. I think it is reasonable to assume we have been trying to sell our exports to India, but after the ratbag Greens caused so much extra cost & delays, are you sure that India is still silly enough to want to do business with us?
Posted by Hasbeen, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 8:44:39 PM
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So Paul, what is your solution?

Surely it is not kiss China's a..
Posted by Chris Lewis, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 8:48:27 PM
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Chris, the solution is to act in ones best interest, sad but true. China accounts for one third of Australia's exports, equal to the next five customers, very important to our well being. Running around acting as Americas deputy sheriff is certainly not in our best interest when dealing with China. The coronavirus as terrible pandemic as it is, there are 98 deaths in Australia, at the last reported official count 83,425 dead in America, there are a string of countries who should be jumping up and down demanding an inquiry into China's involvement in the whole bloody mess, before Australia makes that call. China is likely to take as much notice of Australia being impartial on such things, as America would be if North Korea was making the same demand on them. Funny how Britain, France, Spain, Italy etc are keeping their heads down, and not trying to play the hero, like little old Australia is.
Posted by Paul1405, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 9:52:23 PM
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Just understand that China believes that only China is a sovereign country.
China, the Central Kingdom, knows that all other countries are vassal states.
In dealing with China we have to start with that in mind.
Australia and other countries have to act together to gradually reeducate
the whole Chinese people that things have changed in the last 3000 years.

It will become more complicated in that both China and Islam have the
same long term goal, ie to control world's people and their countries.
China thinks that way because that is the way it is and always has been.
Islam is bringing Mohammad's message from Allah who has commanded
moslems to either kill the unbelievers or convert them to Islam.

There are signs, slight for sure, of co-operation between them and the
moslems probably believe they can convert the Chinese.
However the Chinese will run rings around the Islamists.
Just watch the Chinese lead the Arab countries especially into a disaster.
The real question is whether China will bypass Central Asia and move
into the Middle East and Africa. Somewhere in those areas there will
be a clash between them, before each try to take over Europe.
The Islamists will overplay their hand and the Chinese will just outwit them.
Something like I suggest will happen and resources will define the battleground.
Posted by Bazz, Wednesday, 13 May 2020 10:50:04 PM
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yes, it is sad that the West chose to rely on an authoritarian nations for economic growth, led by big companies investing there over the years.

But I don't think the word can afford this trend to continue forever.

The West, and the rest, need to find ways to counter China's rise. It is in the interest of all non-Chinese nations to say enough is enough and put constraints on its rise.

Trump was right to take on China, although I am not so sure about the rest of his policy mix.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Thursday, 14 May 2020 5:36:27 AM
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We're not in a trade war with China.

China is just showing us that the real decisions on the Australian economy are now made behind the closed doors of the Chinese Communist Party.

Australia's politicians, bureaucrats and business people have been selling us out to China over the past 30 years in order to keep the economy afloat and now we have very little control over determining our own future.

The Chinese Communist Party has injected so much Chinese state controlled capital and populated the country with so many of its own citizens that we now look and act Chinese. One trip to Sydney will demonstrate that.

And look at what Andrew Forrest did the other day, which sent the obvious message as to who is really running the country.

All we need now is for the LNP to promote Gladys Liu to Prime Minister.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Thursday, 14 May 2020 8:08:12 AM
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'Funny how Britain, France, Spain, Italy etc are keeping their heads down, and not trying to play the hero, like little old Australia is.'

yes and funny Paul how all the regressives want little old Australia to destroy its economy in leading the way with the gw fantasy.
Posted by runner, Thursday, 14 May 2020 10:25:11 AM
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runner,

It seems that countries like Sweden, Costa Rica, Nicaragua,
Scotland, Germany, Uruguay, Denmark, Chjna, Morocco,
Kenya, and even the US are all trying to eliminate
fossil fuels from electricity generation.

The US solar industry now employs more people than coal and
nuclear combined.

Poor "regressives."
Posted by Foxy, Thursday, 14 May 2020 11:00:19 AM
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seen your such a great researcher Foxy, how many new coal fired power stations have India and China built over the last 2 years?
Posted by runner, Thursday, 14 May 2020 11:20:32 AM
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You can only be in a war if you're prepared to fight. There's precious little information that we are prepared to fight.

I wrote in previous threads that we (Australia) are now in serious economic straights. A combination of the foolish lockdown and the changed world-wide economic conditions portend bad tidings for Australia.

China is currently trying to use its economic weight to intimidate the world into ignoring its bastardry in regards to the virus and their part in hiding its nature and extent. Europe has already bent the knee - but that is to be expected.

But the question is just how much economic clout China will have going forward. Clearly the US is determined to extract revenge for what the CCP did to its economy. Even a milquetoast like Biden will be forced to take on China, despite what it'll do to his son's and supporters kick-backs....errr I mean income.

As business moves out of China either back home or to less threatening nations like Vietnam and India, China's clout will wane. That'll be a dangerous time internationally, but that's for another thread.

So even if we do bow to China's threats, the fact is that they won't be using the same level of resources as their own economy contracts and therefore we will still suffer.

We simply need to understand that the next decade or two aren't going to be all that lucky for the lucky country. We will need to rebuild some manufacturing.

But we will also need to build new international partnerships. We ditched Taiwan long ago. That must be reversed. We have gone out of our way to piss of the Indians. That has to stop yesterday.

We need to economically rejoin the anglo-sphere asap.

Even then, it'll be a generation before we even get back to where we were 6 months ago.
Posted by mhaze, Thursday, 14 May 2020 11:37:08 AM
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Most of Canberra wants to avoid a difficult conversation about China in the hope that Australia will keep getting rich if we just pretend that nothing has changed.
Posted by ttbn, Thursday, 14 May 2020 11:39:57 AM
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"The US solar industry now employs more people than coal and
nuclear combined."

That's rubbish. Its a meme deceptively calculated.

Basically what they did was count anyone even remotely attached to the solar industry as being IN the solar industry, while only counting those directly involved in coal or nuclear as being in those industries.

So for example, take a company that makes a particular screw. The screw is used to hold solar panels in place. They counted that company's staff as being in the solar industry. But the screw is also used to hold the walls of a nuclear plant in place. But they didn't count them as being in the nuclear industry.

Ditto on a range of things from transport to finance.

Its was a meme designed not to elucidate but to deceive the perpetually gullible. If the authors saw this thread they'd probably feel ...'mission accomplished'.
Posted by mhaze, Thursday, 14 May 2020 11:43:47 AM
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Runner,

Hundreds, actually.

China:
http://www.wired.com/story/china-is-still-building-an-insane-number-of-new-coal-plants/

http://www.carbonbrief.org/analysis-will-china-build-hundreds-of-new-coal-plants-in-the-2020s

India:

" .... some experts still think that coal will continue to lead the growth of India's power sector as the country is one of the world's biggest producers and importers of thermal coal .

"Coal remains the most practical means to stimulate affordable electricity generation growth at the pace and scale needed by many emerging markets, particularly as power demand is expected to surge," analysts at Fitch Solutions said in a recent note."
in
http://www.argusmedia.com/en/news/2104439-indias-coal-power-growth-plans-face-risks-ieefa

Joe
Posted by loudmouth2, Thursday, 14 May 2020 11:44:53 AM
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mhaze,

I see you have decided to joins the ranks of rational thinkers on China. Good to see, keep it up.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Thursday, 14 May 2020 11:46:11 AM
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Dear Joe,

Thank You.
Posted by Foxy, Thursday, 14 May 2020 12:22:43 PM
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mhaze,

The US Department of Energy disagrees with your
take on things. Their report was published by
Forbes in which it was stated that in the US
more people were employed in solar power than in
generating electricity through coal, gas, and oil
energy combined.

Bloomberg also confirmed that solar beats coal on
US jobs. That the US solar industry employs more
people than coal, nuclear and wind combined.

There's more given on the web. All you have to do is
Google it.
Posted by Foxy, Thursday, 14 May 2020 1:58:54 PM
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The big elephant in the corner is the multiplication of wind farms and
solar farms that have to be installed to guarantee 100% supply 100% of the time.
By 100% time I mean the normal that is acheived, say 99.9% or better.
What it means is that if the peak power demand in a year is 100 Gwatts
Then if you install enough wind and solar to supply 100Gwatt on a sunny
windy midday then you have to duplicate it a number of times to meet
the guarantee o 99.9% availability.
The big argument is what is that figure ?
The only guess I have seen is 12 times !
That seems excessive and the CSIRO study did not help.
I believe the figure is inversely proportional to expotentional geographical size of the grid.

Germany found out it was too small.
Is everything east of the WA border big enough ?
The proponents push batteries but they add large dollars to the cost.
However more generation has to be added so they can be recharged at any
inconvenient time.

The ultimate quest is can we afford it, it turns out to be a very
expensive way to generate electricity ?
Posted by Bazz, Thursday, 14 May 2020 1:59:05 PM
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Bazz,

Get up to date with your information.

All you have to ask when Googling is -

Are renewables cheaper than fossil fuels?

Fossil fuel plants are costly to maintain
and are closing down. Renewables are becoming
cheaper with new technology and they are our future.
Posted by Foxy, Thursday, 14 May 2020 2:09:40 PM
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Somehow we have to impress on China that we will not be intimidated by
the tactics they have employed. We must demonstrate by reactivating
industries that will quickest to crank up and show China that we really
do not need anybody else to be able to lead the good life.
We need to show them that if they do not want our food then we will
eat it ourselves or sell it to someone else, or grow something else.
Same with coal or iron ore. Plenty of other countries wanting to climb
the ladder of industry.
A country wanting to establish an industry, we could provide them with
the technical expertise to get it up and running if they use our feedstock.
Posted by Bazz, Thursday, 14 May 2020 2:16:35 PM
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Now back to the topic of the trade war with China.

The Australian Financial Review, May 12th 2020,
tells us that Australia is not blameless in the
current trade war with China.

We're told that "Australia has been imposing hefty
duties on Chinese steel, aluminium and chemicals for
much of the past decade. Apparently China reminded
Australia of its international obligations and said
Canberra should take the "China-Australia bi-lateral
economic relationship into consideration.

This indicates that Canberra hs been on notice for the
last six years that Beijing was unhappy with its
trade posture and may look to retaliate.

Australia ignored this unusually clear message from
Beijing and continued to impose hefty duties on Chinese
steel, aluminium and chemical imports even as -
the Productivity Commission said there was -
"no convincing justifications for the measure."

More grating for the Chinese perhaps was that Australian
Ministers continued to travel the world lecturing others
on free trade, while quietly erecting sizeable tariff
barriers at home. For steel pipes imported from China
those tariffs are currently as high as 144 per cent.

And there's so much more at the following link:

http://www.afr.companies/agriculture/australia-is-not-blameless-in-china-trade-war-20200512-p54sax
Posted by Foxy, Thursday, 14 May 2020 2:21:13 PM
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My apologies for the typo. Here's the link again:

http://www.afr.com/companies/agriculture/australia-is-not-blameless-in-china-trade-war-20200512-p54sax
Posted by Foxy, Thursday, 14 May 2020 2:26:48 PM
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'Get up to date with your information.'

Yes Foxy ask Michael Moore, Renewables need fossil fuels and massive subsidies to run. Prices for power continue to explode thanks to renewables.
Posted by runner, Thursday, 14 May 2020 2:31:33 PM
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Foxy that is the point I have been making, renewables are cheaper until
you have to guarantee 100% 100% of the time.
No one has modeled it in real time, using real wind speed and solar at
sites all around the area of the grid, over a couple of years at least.
It can be modeled using weather stations on prospective sites.
If the grid area is halved I think the duplication is increased four times.
It is like saying my car is cheap to run petrol only costs $5 a week.
Posted by Bazz, Thursday, 14 May 2020 2:43:27 PM
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What about these LNP jokers in Canberra, They've put 600,000, probably more, Australians on the unemployment scrap heap, while putting the rest of Australia in the poor house with another $200 billion of debt! Done all this in about four weeks! THE ECONOMIC GURUS!
Posted by Paul1405, Thursday, 14 May 2020 4:59:29 PM
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'What about these LNP jokers in Canberra, They've put 600,000, probably more'

says Mr lockdown everything except public servant salaries.
Posted by runner, Thursday, 14 May 2020 5:24:36 PM
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Hi Paul,

Yes, if only they had left it all alone, even if a few hundred thousand Australians died, taking 'one for the team', from this so-called pandemic (which is probably fake news), which after all has killed barely a hundred here, so why do we need any health services for if they are going to be idle 99 % of the time ? The cost of all that !

Not to mention the cost of an extra 600,000 now unemployed.

Come to think of it, with all of the unnecessary expense on 'defence', when we haven't been even threatened militarily for decades - why can't we do without that too ? And as for country roads, don't get me started ! Empty, most of the time: why not require drivers to make do with only, say, 5 % of the roadways ?

And schools empty for 85 % of the time. All that unnecessary expense ! Money taken out of the pockets of the poor just to employ the spoilt darlings of the rich ?

Overthrow society NOW ! Take it all from the rich and give to the poor NOW !

Joe
Posted by loudmouth2, Thursday, 14 May 2020 6:21:24 PM
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LOUDmouth,

Sounds like you've been hitting the Wuhan Bat Soup. I think you better lay off the heavy stuff for a while because you are really starting to scare me with your "We don't do this" and 'We don't do that" attitude. Is that really how you want smart people like me to see you?
Posted by Mr Opinion, Thursday, 14 May 2020 6:54:08 PM
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Spot on Joe, what about South Aussie, got 6.9% of the population, but has 7.2% of the unemployed. There must be some double dipping going on. BTW what do they want roads for? Leave the village of Adelaide, and your into the desert. BBTW they had an earthquake down there today, me thinks it was a 10.9 on the wacko scale, whatever they call it, all it did was scare a flock of galah's and make a couple of kangaroos nervous! Some say after the quake the whole place broke away from the rest of us, and is now floating south towards' Antarctica, get your winter woolies out Joe. Got down to 7 degrees in the village this morning, more evidence you're heading south, get in your row boat and head to sunny Queensland before its too late. I'll put ya on the books and get ya 1500 bucks a fortnight, and shout you a couple of beers as well!
Posted by Paul1405, Thursday, 14 May 2020 6:56:02 PM
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The other epidemic, Leftists crapping their pants & verbal Diarrhea are approaching Pandemic status. The realisation that having gone to Uni is no longer an automatic entitlement to be mollycoddled from cradle to grave by taxpayers is the most scary aspect for them !
Posted by individual, Friday, 15 May 2020 8:25:50 AM
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China and Aus have an FTA, and to all extents Australia has been complying with the terms and conditions, while China largely has tried to skirt them.

A decade ago I was part of a project to build a huge new factory and after issuing tenders we looked at buying about $50m of prefabricated steel for the buildings from China, with the local refinery at Wollongong quoting roughly $100m. Preferring to buy locally we attempted to negotiate the price down, but as the locals pointed out the price we were paying China was just above the price of the iron ore to fabricate the steele, which the refineries in China were also paying.

That Chinese companies could sell the steel at such low prices was due to huge subsidies from the Chinese government and was a clear sign of dumping which violated the FTA. We purchased the steel from China and the local refinery closed one of its 2 blast furnaces.

The subsequent anti dumping tariff on Chinese steel was done exactly as per the FTA.

China in turn has tried a series of extra legal measures to retaliate such as delays in customs etc, and is now threatening an 80% anti dumping tariff on Aus barley. If they cannot justify this Aus can retaliate and this would be the start of a trade war.

That China is now using trade for political leverage is a two sided weapon especially as it is alienating all it neighbours. Australian is standing up to the bullying and should do so. The weapon that Aus can use is its relationship with other countries such as the US.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Saturday, 16 May 2020 6:04:19 AM
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Not being an expert in international trade all I can say is that
China does not seem to be worth the trouble.
We need to find other customers.
Some seem to think that China is untouchable militarily but a couple of
Collins class submarines could cripple China in a week or two.
Well, so long as they could get their torpedoes replaced, if not
a follow up email would finish China for the duration.
Posted by Bazz, Saturday, 16 May 2020 8:34:45 AM
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It was suggested earlier by GY; "anyone ( in Australia) who relies on trade with China for their business or their national wealth has rocks in their head and should diversify immediately", a number of god fearing democratic countries were suggested in China's place, India, Indonesia and Vietnam were three named, countries with substandard labour laws, and pay coolie wages. I responded with naming Bangladesh as another fantastic country whose cheap labour could be exploited by wealthy Aussie concerns, the ideal low quality, big profit margin, Bangladeshi shirt from Kmart!

We have news on that front; "Australian clothing brands are cancelling, delaying payments or asking for big discounts on millions of dollars' worth of orders from Bangladesh, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the women who make their clothes. Advocates say some of the world's lowest-paid garment workers are poised to be the biggest losers."

Can we say; anyone (in Bangladesh) who relies on trade with Australia for their business or their national wealth has rocks in their head and should diversify immediately!
Posted by Paul1405, Saturday, 16 May 2020 1:17:23 PM
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Paul,
Do you think the Indian & Bangladesh people would be worse off if we
diverted purchase of the things we buy from China to their countries ?
Remember India has a high tech industry much more so than we do these days.
India has always had a much more diverse engineering than we had.
I remember when I first started working I was shown Indian lathes and
other machine tools that like we never made in Australia.
India is one of the top software developers in the world.
Hyderabad is very competitive with Silicon Valley.
Posted by Bazz, Saturday, 16 May 2020 4:29:17 PM
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Bazz,

Do you believe we have total control of the market? Where buyers are beating a path to our door in these tough economic times to purchase our commodities. Trade with China 2018/19 was, exports $153 (32%) billion, imports $82 billion (19%). India in the same period exports $23 billion (5%) imports $8 billion (2%). We enjoy a strong trade advantage with both countries. The major difference is the size in dollar terms of that imbalance. With China its $71 billion, India $15 billion. Do we maintain the China trade advantage while increasing exports/imports with India, how do we do that in these times of global recession?

We may reasonably hold the line with China, but lose out badly with India and others (US and Japan) because of the coronavirus pandemic. Not counting travel and services, our top exports by far are mining and farming. Imports again without services is petroleum products and motor vehicles. We could probably buy more Indian manufactured tech goods and other services, but our exports would be dependent on a growing Indian economy, which is not likely for some time.
Posted by Paul1405, Saturday, 16 May 2020 6:18:29 PM
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Paul said; Where buyers are beating a path to our door

Of course not, but that is why you need salesmen.
It will change step by step as we demonstrate that we are a reliable
supplier.
Note that other customers of China are noting the way that China is
threatening their customers. Not a good sales technique !
Posted by Bazz, Sunday, 17 May 2020 9:55:08 AM
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how can any sane person support authoritarian China?

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-05-11/indonesia-condemns-abuse-of-fishermen-aboard-chinese-boats-slave/12233312
Posted by Chris Lewis, Sunday, 17 May 2020 10:45:28 AM
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ACís comments seem to lead to the idea that Food Security is not just about Food- but can include steel and other commodities.

Strangely most people seem to agree on the trade issues with China- even lefty Paul- Kudos. I agree that Australia should try on focusing on higher value exports. The concern with our exports to China are that Australia is perhaps selling off itís pension plan at bargain basement prices- something that is not immediately visible by monetary indicators.

I saw a video some time ago with a protest between two groups of Hong Kong protesters both from the Chinese diaspora one supporting China the other supporting Hong Kong. Fascinating- The China supporters were wearing Socialist T-Shirts and the Hong Kong supporters werenít from Hong Kong. The male Jewish interviewer was accused of being a Nazi by the well spoken possibly ABC (Australian Born Chinese) female Socialist Chinese representative- and the Hong Kong supporter supported the interviewer- apparently his family had been sexually abused by a Rabbi. This indicates the complex and multi-layered nature of these political issues.

The west should engage in a policy to create more stability in inter-national geopolitics and encourage other nations and regions to team up to do the same. I don't think the UN can be trusted to do this. The information below is not intended as a list of enemies so much as a list of things we need to "watch and act" on.

The political far left's historical policy is to use subversion to provoke revolution in target nations- so they are potentially a source of global instability- and within the west.

China has a declining population which will inevitably factor into their power ambitions- however this doesn't mean that it is not a threat- plainly it is. China's Gross National Product is also significantly higher than India's at my last viewing. China's infrastructure has grown significantly in recent years.

India will have a larger population than China very very soon. Perhaps this year. I believe India is the dark horse in geopolitics in the near term.
Posted by Canem Malum, Sunday, 17 May 2020 12:42:40 PM
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Sadly India doesn't seem to be on the proscribed list of nations- maybe this is because of itís Commonwealth status.

From what I have seen India is investing fairly heavily but carefully in it's military. eg. Buys Russian ship then duplicates the technology many times. India is also buying up Australian assets and negotiating interesting deals with the Australian Government. Also it's infrastructure is growing very fast. I don't expect it will be long before their Gross Product catches up to China's. The Indian diaspora also seems to be infiltrating our universities. Itís also a nuclear power and soon will be on the UN Permanent Security Council.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permanent_members_of_the_United_Nations_Security_Council

In a way Australia is in a much more vulnerable position than the US and even the UK and so needs to take greater precautions.

Perhaps China and India see themselves as heir apparent to world power and are jockeying for placement in the world revolution. Vulture's circling an injured beast.

Who will win this- some indication may be indicated by things in the Himilaya's- I suspect it will be India. This may be surprising to some.

There are other regions and nations that threaten the stability of world geopolitics either intentional or explicitly- Africa, South America, Islamic regions. About 5 regions we need to be wary of- probably a similar number we need to protect for our self interest.

As some have said often the countries in these threatening regions have more conflict between each other than the west- but this conflict still apparently enabled the twin towers.

As the Chinese say "may you live in interesting times".

As to Indian IT Expertise being an asset- I think there is a complex interaction between lack of investment in training employees, proprietary products engaging in IT market manipulation, high IT Training Costs, universities stuck in bricks and mortor mindset rather than open education. India at least until recently has low barriers to entry for IT Training due to cheap access to software and training due partly to piracy.
Posted by Canem Malum, Sunday, 17 May 2020 12:45:48 PM
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I suspect there are other factors at play too- for example most IT incubators in the west appear to be in expensive locations- like San Franciscos Silicon Valley- these negatively impact students trying to break into the software development industry.
Once again leadership seems to be an issue in the west.

Once upon a time the west was entrepreneurial and this moxy translated to the rest of the community- now it's everyone for themselves- no community cohesion- perhaps a consequence of multicultural fragmentation.

To encourage innovation in the cities of Australia seems somewhat of a lost cause. According to Ted- In order for innovation to occur there are some factors- team, timing (need), money, idea, resources, ...

In order to form a team there needs to be trust.

In a tight community it's not a zero sum game- when business moves to India it is

International trade requires a ďbeachheadĒ- but if your own people control both sides and you control the government- why do you need the locals?
Posted by Canem Malum, Sunday, 17 May 2020 12:46:50 PM
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@Canum Malum

"I suspect there are other factors at play too- for example most IT incubators in the west appear to be in expensive locations- like San Franciscos Silicon Valley- these negatively impact students trying to break into the software development industry."

This is part of it I think. The other reason is that technology itself is different. In the 1980's, technology was open. The IBM PC for example was an open design, that one could understand and use. I have a book on my bookshelf, which has in incredible detail, the workings of an IBM XT system, including the source code for the BIOS. Later books still had plenty of detail on how hardware worked.

Now, technology is being closed off. We are given not tools, but "walled gardens" where we interface through abstract interfaces which separate us from the technology. In places like India, because they don't have as much money, they more readily break copyright, or use free and open source software which costs nothing and you can break apart and understand. In the West, we just are interested in YouTube now, and many developers just work with the Web, where they don't understand the underlying technology.

Lastly, a lot of the tech developed is crap. Apps that don't need to be, slow bloated systems. Much is buggy, much is simply reinventing the wheel.
Posted by Assembly Line Human, Sunday, 17 May 2020 7:17:21 PM
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Thanks for your comments Assembly Line Human. You make some thought provoking points.
Posted by Canem Malum, Sunday, 17 May 2020 9:58:57 PM
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Good on Australia for being one of first countries to call for inquiry into how virus started.

So much for the wimps who said how could we do it and risk anger from China, when no one else has.

now there are 62 countries that agree about an inquiry, including India and Indonesia.

Leadership, on behalf of humanity and our liberal legacy, is about having guts.

Go Sco MO.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Monday, 18 May 2020 1:13:58 PM
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Dear Chris,

Spot on.

Great to see our PM leading.
Posted by Foxy, Monday, 18 May 2020 1:23:20 PM
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Trade Minister stating today there is no trade war.

He must know that China will only purchase what it needs, and will use any other opportunity to screw countries that stand up to it.

But poor China, it now has 130 countries wanting a inquiry into virus.

It probably thinks it will one day be loved, but it wont.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 11:06:52 AM
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I think that China retaliating against Australia's call for an investigation into the origin of the Wuhan virus by harming the Australian economy shows that China is guilty of starting the pandemic. Why else would China be so angry if it did not have anything to conceal?

And keep in mind that when Australia closed its borders against the pandemic it also hurt China-Australia trade by cutting off one of China's most important exports to Australia: Chinese migrants. Or "our colonists" as they are called in Beijing.
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 3:28:47 PM
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Finally a workable proposal for a WHO inquiry into the coronavirus.

The motion tabled by Australia and the European Union at the WHA and now backed by more than 120 other nations demands an independent inquiry into the Chinese origin of COVID-19 "at the earliest appropriate moment". China is in agreement, wanting the inquiry delayed until after the pandemic has peaked.

The original Australian proposal was not strongly supported, as it was viewed by many as a American backed mission to conduct a biased witch hunt into China. Chiefly as a means to deflect from the Trump administrations woeful handling of the pandemic in America, and to boost Trumps failing domestic standing.

Addressing the WHA by videolink, Xi Jinping said; "China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 after it is brought under control, to sum up experiences and deficiencies," Mr Xi went on to pledged $US2 billion ($3.1 billion) to WHO's coronavirus response, and promised any Chinese-developed vaccine would be made available as "a global public good".

Donald Trump is still of two minds, demanding the WHO bend to his way of thinking or else. According to Trump If WHO does not change to his satisfaction within 30 days, the temporary freeze on US funding to the organisation would become permanent.
Posted by Paul1405, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 7:23:32 PM
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Paul1405,

Everyone knows the WHO is in the pocket of China. The US knows it and that is why it won't fund the WHO.

Xi is just using delaying tactics and has no intention of letting an independent group conduct investigations inside China. When the pandemic is eventually brought under control Xi will just say "What investigation?"

You have as much chance of getting Xi to allow an independent investigation in China as you have of getting China to relinquish it's annexation of the South China Sea or stop putting long range missiles into North Korea (the other Cuba).
Posted by Mr Opinion, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 7:44:39 PM
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Mr O, I'm not defending China, "Everyone knows the WHO is in the pocket of China" Well, that is Trumps narrow interpretation, and he's welcome to it. It's my opinion that the WHO has to some degree cow-tailed to China, over coronavirus. Is there evidence that the WHO was overwhelmingly biased in favour of China, no. I can't see that the reaction requires the Trump response, given much of Trumps indignation is political, rather than factual. Where is the much touted evidence that the virus was manufactured in a Chinese laboratory. We can only wait and see what comes of this.
Posted by Paul1405, Tuesday, 19 May 2020 9:47:11 PM
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Bloomberg reporting that China will target other Australian exports.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-19/china-mulls-targeting-australian-wine-dairy-on-coronavirus-spat
Posted by Chris Lewis, Wednesday, 20 May 2020 5:21:05 PM
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China has no problem with the supply of barley, the United States is prepared to sell them all the barley they want, duty free, thanks to the yanks and their trade agreement! Suck that one in!
Posted by Paul1405, Thursday, 21 May 2020 5:47:18 AM
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Yes Paul, international trade and politics is complex.

The US must ensure that it works with partners more, albeit it has its own obvious national interest.

Next ten years are going to be interesting for Australia.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Thursday, 21 May 2020 9:42:53 AM
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An article I read yesterday said that our trade after China with the next
four countries was equal to China.
That surely means that a sales campaign should be able to peel a useful
amount of trade away from China.
The thing is you need real salesmen.
Posted by Bazz, Thursday, 21 May 2020 2:04:05 PM
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Bazz, i am confident we can do it.

Should be a lot easier than putting our eggs in one basket.

If you succeed with three out of four countries it will turn out as win, win win for more countries and Australia.

We have no choice but to trt, in any case.
Posted by Chris Lewis, Thursday, 21 May 2020 3:09:44 PM
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Bazz,

It also means we need lots of cheap energy which means lots of natural gas as this is the century of gas but since just about our entire future reserves of natural gas have been sold to China it puts us back o square one and dependent on China which the China had forecast when they conned Australia into selling off all of its natural gas reserves to them.

You've been had fellas! China has got you by the short and curlies. (Is that Andrew Forrest I see smirking to himself in the corner?)
Posted by Mr Opinion, Thursday, 21 May 2020 3:14:53 PM
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In 2002 Little Johnny Howard called a press conference to announce, with the widest grin he could manage, that after "years" of negotiation, Australia's mining interests had pulled off a $25 billion deal to supply China with liquefied natural gas. The initial sale contract set a bargain basement price for our natural gas that couldn't be negotiated upwards. That was a shocker, but that is what the Howard government allowed. Was Little Johnny wearing his green and gold tracky dacks at the time. More likely getting a free side order of 'egg foo young'. All for the Australian people of course!

Over the years I believe more than just Labor's, the "Honorable" Sam Dastyari have enjoyed a free bowl of 'chop suey' in Beijing at Australia's expense.

Back in the day, the British created the Arabian royal family which then sold oil to the Poms at a penny a barrel. It made a very small Arab elite very wealthy, along with the Pommy oil co, the Arab peasants at the time got nothing.

Why don't the Chinese set up an Australian Royal Family with King Scotty I as its head, along with Crown Prince Simon handling "negotiations", will the Chinese take the royal minister for trade, Crown Prince Simon's phone calls? That is the burning question. I'm sure the Chinese will be up for buying our natural resources at twopence a ton! BTW, to be fair the court jester Albo, will want to be in on "negotiations" all in the sprite of bipartisanship. What do you say to that?
Posted by Paul1405, Thursday, 21 May 2020 5:10:37 PM
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Do I sense that the Chinese buyers of our products are seeing an
opportunity to screw our producers while the going is good ?
A bit of slow delivery may stir things a bit.
Posted by Bazz, Friday, 22 May 2020 4:57:41 PM
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BTW, am I imagining things or has Madam Tussaud's contributed to the
Chinese Government image of its leadership ?
Mounted through the sunroof of a car passing by the Madam Tussaud's
troops with tracking heads ?
Greeting visiting head of states, who could have saved travel time by
visiting her London HQ where their own moulds could all be assembled
for a CO2 saving meeting !
Posted by Bazz, Friday, 22 May 2020 5:17:27 PM
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