Australians Plan to Celebrate Mao Zedong Anniversary
World Media Literacy

On September 7th, the NY Times posted an article that verified China’s territorial expansion: it picked up on China’s influences in Australia. The article’s contributor, Dr. Michael Fullilove, is the Executive Director of the Think Tank Lowy Institute for International Policy.


Australians Becoming More Pro-China

The article spoke of a memorial concert that was planned for the 40th anniversary of the death of Mao Zedong. It was organized by Chinese-Australian’s to curry favor with the Chinese government. The concert was cancelled due to issues with public safety, but there were allegedly other similar occasions organized around Australia.

Fullilove mentioned that Australians were divided into those who are pro-China and those who are “wary of Beijing’s growing influence”.

The Lowy Institute has published results from a public poll conducted between February and March this year asking to identify ‘Australia’s best friend in Asia’. 30% said China, an answer more popular among the younger generation, and Japan was second at 25%.


Economic Dependence on China

In Australia, too, China is increasing its economic influence.

In 2015, the control authority of the port of Darwin was leased to a Chinese company for a contract period of 99 years. This company allegedly has connections with the People’s Liberation Army of China. At the time, the U.S. strongly opposed this contract that led to strains in relations.

In Australia, many Chinese investors are investing in Australian land and infrastructure. As a result, real estate has made great strides in the larger cities, but at the same time, the Australian citizens don’t get the opportunity to buy prime real estate.

China is also Australia’s greatest trade partner, both in imports and exports. In 2015, they signed the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, and by 2019 the customs duty will be abolished.


China An Anti-Japan Alliance

Australia’s shift towards China reflects PM Malcolm Turnbull’s intentions.

In 2015, when Turnbull assumed the role of Prime Minister after Tony Abbott, he gave a speech in Sydney commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII. In it he said, “In Australia’s battle for survival against Japan our longest ally was China”.

Australia is a country with an abundance of resources geographically positioned right between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. If it falls under China’s control, Asia will lose its peace. If Australia continues to lean towards China, China will expand its supremacy. We must stop this from happening.

In his article, Fullilove rightly suggested the U.S. as a trustworthy partner in protecting the safety of Asia from China’s influences:

“It is more sensible for Australia to hedge against the risk of uncertain future behavior from China by deepening our connections with other major Asian countries like Japan, South Korea, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, and by keeping the United States deeply engaged in the region.”

Talks between Australia and Japan were held at the ASEAN Summit on the 7th of September. Australia and Japan should deepen economic cooperation and strengthen connections in order to tighten security in the Asia Pacific.

Australians Plan to Celebrate Mao Zedong Anniversary
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