Everything you want to know about Australia-China trade war but were too afraid to ask
In a bid to shed some light on the increasingly confusing stoush between Australia and China, we asked you to put your situs slot online burning questions to three of the ABC’s China experts — international analyst Stan Grant, foreign affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic and bilingual reporter Bang Xiao.
“Australians are clearly concerned about the state of relations with China,” says Grant. “So many of you are looking long term and asking how we engage with China which clearly presents a clash between our interests and our values.”
Foreign affairs reporter Stephen Dziedzic has been following the relationship between Canberra and Beijing closely. Here’s what he had to say:
I asked someone in the Government the very same question a few days ago. They said “we don’t want to get in the sandpit with China and start flinging stuff about”.
In other words: we don’t want to play dirty. If we were to hit Chinese imports with tariffs for no valid reason then our moral authority would be shredded. Our appeals to China to play by the rules would ring very hollow and any global support we’ve gathered would fade away.
Plus it would likely just draw further economic punishment from the Chinese Government. And this is probably a good time to repeat an obvious point: China’s capacity to inflict economic pain on us is *much* greater than our capacity to inflict economic pain on China.