Little bit of panic in China’s rhetoric on Australia


By Peter Jennings*

After another tumultuous week in the Australia–China relationship, four conclusions are becoming increasingly clear. First, we are going to be on this rollercoaster ride for years. National positions are hardening. Neither Beijing nor Canberra will back down and the prospects for ‘negotiation’ are zero given China’s ‘wolf warrior’ mania.

Second, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his senior ministers look increasingly confident in their stance to seek ‘a balance in favour of freedom’. The language used about relations with China is careful but is becoming clearer and more definitive. There is something to be said for knowing when your back is hard up against a strategic wall.

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