On May 21st, 2022, people of Australia elected a new Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, candidate of the Labor Party. Albanese defeated Scott Morrison of the Conservative Party ending his nine years rein of the Australian parliament. Morrison has been frequently in the limelight of the world stage because of his outspoken manner, in particular, following the drum beats of the U.S. and U.K. against China. Despite of the fact that China is a major trade partner of Australia contributing to its economic growth, Morrison often toots his horn in orchestration with the “China Threat” tune promoted by the U.S. Australia is thousands of miles away from China separated by the Pacific and Indian Oceans with no issue of any territorial dispute. In fact, Australia enjoys a very profitable trade surplus with China in exporting iron and coal as well as wine and agricultural products. Australia also has a significant number of Chinese students studying in Australia contributing foreign exchanges to her higher education. One wonders why Morrison would take an anti-China stance to destroy their trade relation as well as other diplomatic even cultural exchanges. In the last few years, Australia suffered in her economy, compounded by the COVID Pandemic and effect of climate change, in addition, the Australians also witnessed Morrison’s inconsistent foreign policies, flipping warm and cold to China, antagonizing China as well as alienating France in his joining AUKUS and canceling of the French submarine deal in favor of the U.S. submarines.
There are plenty of reasons for Morrison to lose the election, but on the flip side we should analyze why and how Albanese win the election and how different Albanese will be. On the surface, Albanese is a polished politician, a good speaker (although with a strong Aussie accent difficult for foreigners to catch his every phrase) and one knowing how to use timely political slogan - Change for a Better Future. He projected a positive can-do image by touting several campaign principles - He will bring Australians together, he will bring better life for next generation, and he will care for the disadvantaged and underprivileged. Of course, he also promised to work hard on climate war, healthcare, renewable energy and pumping up the economy. One of the major issues is foreign policy and we wonder whether he will bring change or improve the relationship with China. The China issue is not an isolated one since it is now clear, president Biden following Trump is continuing ‘Targeting China’ as the most critical competitor, a long code name for ‘enemy’. When the U.S. made it more open and direct that China is a threat, she utilized all her media power to paint a picture of China Threat not just to the U.S. but to the entire world. Of course, there is no justification to crown China as a world threat since China never invaded any other country and she is the only nuclear power declared that she would never use nuclear weapon first nor on anyone with no nuclear force. China threat is a fictional creation; China is simply working hard and effectively to give her 1.4 billion people a better life - an objective every leader including the new Australian PM desires to fulfill.
Whatever reason Morrison found comradeship with president Trump and his successor Biden regarding China Threat, the Australians should now rethink carefully, during the transition from Morrison to the new MP. Why would China be a threat to Australia when she needs and buys energy and food from Australia. The Russian-Ukraine war is a good example, the Cold War and detente are a mutual threat. Expansion of NATO closer to Russia’s door-step increases the threat to Russia. Now the conflict broke out, the U.S.-EU-NATO are sanctioning Russia, but the energy exporting country can fight back. EU with energy dependence on Russia is really hurt. Australia like Russia is an energy exporting nation, there is no one placing missiles or military bases to her door-step. Where is the threat? The Solomon Islands? The Chinese government simply wants to protect her people in Solomon Islands from riots and anti-China activists. There is no threat from China to Australia in the huge Southwest Pacific Ocean nor to the U.S. The history of colonialism is long passed, people on earth must abandon the racial discrimination produced by colonialism and consider all humankind are one body with a common destiny that is to live a better life. Americans, Australians, Chinese …. all have the same desire and the same right to live a better live.
We cannot predict whether Albanese will bring a positive change to the Australia-China relation, but the new PM has the opportunity to do so. Albanese is only 59 years old (Born March 2, 1963 Sydney), a parliament member since 1996. He became the leader of the opposition Australian Labor Party (ALP) in 2019. He was the deputy prime minister during the Kevin Rudd government and served as a cabinet member (Communications, Urban Infrastructures, Cities and Arts of Australia, 2007-2013. As the leader of the Australian Labor Party, he should be aware of that the ALP has at least 1.2 million Chinese Aussies as members. It is no brain-er that a good Australia-China relation will be good for the party and good for the country especially economically. The current U.S. anti-China policy has already rekindled the racial discrimination induced hate crimes in the U.S., not only the anti-black anti-white hate crimes but also the anti-Chinese and anti-Asian hate crimes. The U.S. government is arguing that anti-China is not against the Chinese people, it is against the CCP government. Who are they kidding? The CCP government has the highest people support (rating) of all governments on Earth according to international survey. As observers of Aussie politics, we congratulate Albanese for winning the election as people voted for change. The PM's first foreign trip will be attending the QUAD summit in Tokyo this May. PM Albanese has an opportunity to think and act independently for Aussies' benefits not someone else's selfish plot. Perhaps Albanese and Modi, PM of India, together they will guide QUAD onto a peaceful course for world prosperity.