PETER GOERS. With China, many Aussies are absolute hypocrites (Sunday Mail 31.5.20)

We once ludicrously feared Reds under beds. Now, they’ve made the beds we lie in, writes Peter Goers in his monthly column.

“Revolution is just a t-shirt away” sings Billy Bragg. The t-shirts are made in China like everything else. We wear and consume the proof of the success of the Chinese Revolution and the Chinese drink our wine, use our peerless iron ore, eat our tucker and enrich our entire tourism and education sectors. It is almost impossible for almost anyone in the world to go a single day without buying or using something from China.

China is the engine of the world and China now rules the world economically. We once ludicrously feared Reds under the beds. Now they’ve made he beds we lie in. One in five people in the world is Chinese.

The People’s Republic of China (as even ardent conservatives attest) achieved the greatest social, political and economic miracle in world history by raising 1.5 billion people out of feudal poverty into a middle class in 50 years. China has wisely followed the American and British examples of economic colonisation of the world but avoided the appalling errors of fighting useless and expensive wars to invade the world. China has not caused a war for hundreds of years.

The economy of the world is predicated on China. We ignore China’s communism when we make money from it but because of the Covid-19 virus we are suddenly sabre-rattling and loathing China’s political system. Hypocrisy rules. Britain lied about Covid-19 mortality rates and Trump’s USA continues to exacerbate the virus. Has Australia demanded an inquiry into those countries? No. Japan has been building islands for decades with no international criticism. China builds islands and we send gunboats. Australia rails against China’s human rights violations yet we continue to imprison refugees in concentration camps, continue to treat Aboriginal people appallingly and Australia is the nation which persecuted and demeaned the Chinese and others through the iniquitous White Australia Policy for most of last century. Australia continues to treat the Chinese with racism and suspicion through a genetic disposition to distrust the “Yellow Peril”.

We despair of Chinese surveillance of its citizens yet increase surveillance on our own citizens. We despair of the Chinese persecution of minority races yet we are eternally trying to weaken our own Racial Discrimination Act. Our government is trying to suppress the press. We welcomed the English Lords Vestey and McAlpine owning half of northern Australia and allowed them to exploit workers, we allow American surveillance and military bases yet we resent any Chinese investment in Australia.

China is a developing nation and far from perfect but we have much to learn from it. The cold war against China is damaging and dangerous. The British tried twice to poison and weaken the Chinese through opium addiction, invaded China and stole Hong Kong. There are Australians and Americans who’d gladly try to repeat that. Sadly Sinophobia is back officially and publicly as Australians are spitting on Chinese-Australians. Shame.

We are encouraged to criticise China but we reel against Chinese criticism of us. Isn’t Prof Kam Louie right when he says Australian leadership is “male, pale and stale” and aren’t the Chinese right when they Australia is America’s dog?

The Chinese came to Australia before the British, traded peacefully with Aboriginal people and had the good manners not to invade, claim the country and dispossess and massacre Aboriginal people. America and Britain are dying. China is flourishing. Napoleon was right when he said 200 years ago; “China is a sleeping giant. When she wakes she will move the world”. Australia must move with and not against China with respect and showing good example. Then we grow together in the great leap forward. Put that on a t-shirt made in China.

Peter Goers can be heard weeknights and Sundays on ABC Radio Adelaide

This article is posted with the agreement of Peter Goers.

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7 Responses to PETER GOERS. With China, many Aussies are absolute hypocrites (Sunday Mail 31.5.20)

  1. Avatar Kien Choong says:

    I doubt China rules the world economically. True economic power lies with United States, notwithstanding its rising government debt. The reasons are: (i) the status of the US dollar as the pre-eminent reserve currency, and (ii) the widespread use of the US dollar for international transactions, both financial and trade. The latter means that most countries need to accumulate US dollar reserves.

    The pre-eminent role of the US financial industry also gives the US government the ability to implement and enforce rules that have extra-territorial effect. That’s why Huawei is in so much trouble in relation to its alleged dealings with Iran.

  2. Avatar Michael Flynn says:

    The debate about China and US in this forum is timely. After the lockdown the cultural institutions in Canberra must resume the excellent work facilitating better understanding of both here. The ANU, NLA and NMA in recent years have presented great events about China. The US has less cultural activity as DFAT, ASPI and others are very visible. My personal contacts are shifting. Two friends recently returned after excellent experiences as tourists in China. When tramping in NZ we met an American couple returning home to the US after living in Japan with deep concerns. A local Canberran with a PhD in chemistry has returned to research in China. The times are changing

  3. I don’t know why anybody would describe China’s economic system as “Communist”.

    http://www.holdingpattern.info/capitalism-does-fine-under-authoritarian-rule-china/

  4. Avatar Barney Zwartz says:

    Thank you for publishing I comment. Obviously I withdraw my dig at “the unlikely event” and apologise.

  5. Avatar Barney Zwartz says:

    What I wonder, amid this flood of sycophantic articles about China, is what happened to the notion of mutual respect. I have never, ever read on this website that China has responsibilities too, and owes Australia the respect it demands for itself. In the unlikely event that this comment is published, it will be the first time.
    Naturally Australia has to come to terms with China’s economic power, as it did the US last century. And I certainly condemn and reject any racism against Chinese Australians. Or other Asians who are mistaken for Chinese. But it is idle to pretend that China is a normal trading partner with the same integrity, as the barley tariff shows.
    As for notions of cultural superiority, this argument might have some integrity if Peter admitted that China has absolutely as much a notion of its cultural superiority as the West, and a very high level of racism in its country. It didn’t invade because it had no interest in doing so; the Middle Kingdom was the centre of the universe, and supplicants should come to it. And does Peter really find moral equivalence between the repression of the Chinese and Australian governments as he implies? Really?

  6. Avatar Anthony Pun says:

    The slavery, opium addition, gunboat diplomacy, race superiority and western ideological values are a legacy from the British Empire Yes they had their go in coloring the world map pink; in term of wealth accumulation they have done well for their descendants. Now the pink spots are receding in the world map filled with bright yellow and brown specks and it is somebody else turn to lead. God is fair, and you can’t pick what your parents are; at least the Buddhist has got better explained thru reincarnation, Anglo yesterday and reborn Black tomorrow; rich today born poor tomorrow! Rejoice in your rebirth to man and not snake!

  7. Avatar William Collins says:

    Some time ago I had a conversation with a Vietnam Veteran in a local park while we exercised our dogs. His contention was that ‘we’ did a ‘damn good job in Vietnam’ and while it didn’t stop communism we did ‘slow it down’.
    I pointed out Australia’s current wealth was due almost entirely to communism, to wit, China. I had short hair, no tats and had on stubbies and a T-shirt and although he examined me critically he found no entry point into my psyche.
    I further ventured that Australia’s commitment in Vietnam actually slowed progress that might have benefitted Australia. Conversation abruptly ended and he took his dog, a Shih Tzu and I took my dog, a blue heeler, and we went our different ways.
    I passed his house last Anzac Day early in the morning and there he was, flag flying, resolutely defending our street against communism. I wondered where the flag was manufactured.

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