Our White Man’s Media again hides important Australian news about China

Nov 17, 2021
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(Image: Unsplash)

China has just signed two major LNG contracts with US companies at the expense of Australia. There has been little mention of it in any Australian media.

Our ministers and  media tell us continually about how the US is supporting us in our self inflicted loss of markets in China. We have been told many times by US officials that the US “has Australia’s back” in the trade dispute with China.  Yet we are seeing time and time again how the US is seizing the opportunity to grab our markets in China.

Take the latest case of the US “eating our lunch”.

On November 6, the Global Times in China announced that China’s state-owned Sinopec had signed a contract with US company Venture Global LNG to buy 4 million tons of LNG annually for 20 years. The Global Times gleefully told us that it was at Australia’s expense. But once again our media was mute and partisan.

At the same time, it was announced that the Sinochem Group in China was buying 1.8 million tons per annum for 17.5 years from US company Cheniere Energy Inc.

The Global Times reported that China had imported 5.4 million tonnes of LNG from the US from January to August 2021, an increase of 375 per cent compared with the same period in 2020.

In the same 2021 period China bought 20.5 million tonnes of LNG from Australia compared with 19.1 million tonnes in the year before. But it is very clear that the growth in Chinese imports is now coming very largely from the US.

Early in 2020 there were no Chinese imports of LNG at all from the US. It is now growing rapidly.

At a time of booming demand for LNG, the US is clearly making inroads at Australia’s expense.

With American LNG suppliers moving into China, there was little mention of it in the Australian media, not even in The Australian Financial Review! Reuters and Bloomberg ran the stories, but typically chose not to mention that the stories had come from the Global Times.

This glaring omission of information by the Australian media is another example of the campaign to ignore the US looking after itself whilst hypocritically telling us that it “has our back” in the dispute with China.

But LNG is only one part of a continuing story in which the US is saying one thing publicly in our support, but acting behind our backs in looking after US corporate interests.

[In Pearls and Irritations in September, Saul Eslake highlighted how the US and others have been “cutting our lunch” in trade with China, showing that we’ve been losing out in a wide range of sectors: coal, copper ores, beef, barley, wine, crustaceans, wood and wood products.

On November 10, 2021, in Pearls and Irritations, James Laurenceson described how the US was taking advantage of us::

“The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, insisted in May that the US will not leave Australia alone in the field.  Washington has yet to show any interest in bearing a cost to make good on that promise.”

The evidence is accumulating in one field after another that the US is taking advantage of us as we are forced from the Chinese market. Yet Australia’s mainstream media tells us little or nothing about what is really happening.  At every step, the US is applauded as a great and dependable ally. It is not. It is fooling us and taking advantage of our naivety.

It tells us a lot about the biased and unprofessional behaviour of our media. Its coverage and views are framed by the US government, US interests and the  US media.

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