That’s the reply given by former leader of the Australian Labour Party, Paul Keating, when asked on Sky News, “what makes you so sure China isn’t a military threat to Australia?”
— Marcus Reubenstein (@ReubensteinM) March 15, 2023
For the eternally credulous, whose name is Legion, the unanimity of all sections of Western media on the threat from China rising is proof that “it must be right then”.
No, stupid! It’s evidence that however many urbane and thought-provoking Guardian or New York Times articles you read on matters that do not threaten core power interests, on matters that do these media can – for reasons set out here and here – be relied on to advance the agendas of power. Since the rise of China threatens US hegemony, and since those who rule Australia and Britain are obedient servants of Washington, it is criminally naive to expect ‘quality’ and ‘liberal’ media to be any less hostile to China than are Murdoch’s mouthpieces.
In her question to Mr Keating, that Sky News anchor-woman stands reality …
The USA rings the planet with 800 military bases, outspends on weaponry the next ten spenders put together, has been at war for almost its entire history and has slaughtered millions – by bombs, invasions, murderous ‘sanctions’ and terror unleashed – in this century alone. Mostly in far off lands.
In what universe can anything remotely similar be said of China or Russia?
… on its head. China has no reason to attack Australia. Australia has good reason to remain on friendly terms with its most important trading partner. Alas, these truths are trumped by one factor – fear of Washington. Beneath a fast-thinning veneer of democracy at home, and with a record of ceaseless and bloody aggression thousands of miles from its coastlines and borders, every US government advances the interests of an oligarchy whose exacting of global tribute, by way of dollar rule underwritten by armed might, is threatened by China’s economic rise.
This really is not rocket science. See Caitlin’s piece yesterday, On War With China, Australia Is Caught Between A Rock And A Pentagon. Its essence is held in this one simple paragraph:
Australia is not arming itself against China to protect itself from China. Australia is arming itself against China to protect itself from the United States.
- On the Aukus pact see my September 2021 post, Nuclear subs go down under
- Incidentally, is being able to eat – and see your children eat – a human right?
- For the benefit of those who think in Overton Binary, I’m not endorsing the tangerine narcissist here. Trump’s vision of working with Russia, when he hadn’t the political capital to pull that off even if theoretically possible, was not solely aimed at ISIS. Trump was arguably the last advocate for that current within the US ruling class which still thought Russia could be co-opted to the greater project of containing China. All the signs since Trump point to a ruling class more or less united in accepting that it can’t drive a wedge between Moscow and Beijing, and there’s nothing to be gained by trying.
- Just 13 of the world’s 193 countries, disproportionately Caribbean or Latin American, recognise Taiwan as sovereign. These are states not known for defiance of Washington so my guess – no more – is that the latter is having its cake and eating it. Not quite ready to revert to its pre 1979 position of Taiwan being indeed sovereign, it may suit the US to keep that pot on the back-burner in the knowledge it can swiftly be brought back to the boil by adding to its baker’s dozen the many states which – like Australia, Britain and a craven EU – will do whatever Washington tells them to do.