Why does the totalitarian state of Communist China have its nickers in a knot over Australia?

The gratuitous use of a repugnant, undergraduate-level political illustration featuring an Australian special forces soldier holding a bloody knife to the neck of a terrified Afghan child was served up on Twitter on Monday by a senior Chinese diplomat to put the boot into Australia’s military reputation in the wake of this nation’s unflinching examination of misdeeds by a small number of special forces soldiers during Australia’s involvement in Afghanistan.

The artwork by Chinese hyper-realistic political artist Wuhequilin was used by Shao Lijian, China’s deputy chief of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a gratuitous attack on Australia’s reputation.

The up-to-now Australian government patience over months of Chinese pressure on Australia’s commodity exports ended abruptly.

It was a united voice which responded to the deliberately-outrageous insult by China.

The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, was joined by Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, in rejecting the offensive undiplomatic attack.

Across the country similar responses were made by a broad spectrum of politicians, commentators and academics.

The likelihood of China making an apology, however, is remote.

What has become increasingly apparent is that the mounting pressure by China on the Australian economy which is fighting for a return to normality is part of a deliberate strategy to bring this country to ‘heel’, especially on issues which are of great sensitivity to China.

It is not difficult to locate the causes of China’s displeasure – after all, the Chinese have recently issued a list of 14 ‘grievances’ against Australian sovereign policies.

These include; alleged unfavourable foreign investment decisions (notably the ban on Huawei Technologies and ZTE 5G proposals), calls for an independent international inquiry into the origin of COVID-19, interference in Taiwan and Hong Kong, antagonism to the Chinese Belt and Road initiative (especially in relation to Victoria’s involvement), the funding of anti-China think tanks, interference with China’s claims on the South China Sea, the ‘targeting’ of Chinese residents in Australia, and more.

The unspoken but clear inference about the Chinese government’s denial of maltreatment of the Uighur and other Turkic Muslim populations in China is also a sore point – despite international evidence to the contrary.

And so it is that China has sought to punish this country by choking the Australian exports of wine, barley, coal, timber, lobsters, sugar and copper ore. On these issues China has refused to accept calls from an Australian government minister for even the most basic of negotiations.

Australians are generally well aware of the importance of good trade relations with China – in fact, some 30 per cent of our exports go to China – but China should also be aware that Australians don’t go out of their way to cause trouble.

We are a sovereign, democratic nation with a world view of our own. Equally, Australians don’t respond well to bullying – by anyone!

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