Australian business leaders are said to be at the forefront of a new battlefield with China.
At the Australian National University’s Crawford Leadership Forum in Canberra on September 6, Federal Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg said Australia “is at the forefront of new strategic competition and has core values from Beijing. We are facing increasing pressure to compromise. “
“We are facing increasing pressure to compromise core values,” Frydenberg said. “And when we stood firm as usual, we were exposed to financial coercion.”
Frydenberg picks China as the cause of bullying and forces the Chinese government to change the government with 14 “dissatisfactions” that cover everything from Australia’s foreign investment law to the government’s willingness to call for cyberattacks. Said that the attempt was included.
“It is a well-known fact that China has recently tried to target the Australian economy,” Frydenberg said. “They are targeting our agricultural and resource sectors by taking steps that affect a variety of products, including wine, seafood, barley and coal.”
He also said the Morrison administration would remain “steadily defending our sovereignty and our core values.”
In response to the comment, Professor Rory Medcalf, President of ANU’s National Security University, said in a Twitter post that Freidenberg’s speech “economics is now a security issue.” “A strong message to the business,” he said.
Main theme @JoshFrydenberg Economic speech @ANUmedia Currently, ANU Crawford Leadership Forum-China’s economic coercion against Australia is not working. We stand firmly and continue to make the economy more resilient. Economics is now a security issue.
— Rory Medcalf (@Rory_Medcalf) September 6, 2021
The speech was given with growing global awareness that economic coercion is becoming a weapon in the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP)’s daily foreign policy and is stimulating political opposition to the administration’s tactics. Will be.
Last month, European Union (EU) leaders and the United States announced solidarity with Lithuania after Beijing frozen rail freight to the Baltic states and suspended export licenses for the Lithuanian industry.
Lithuania, a small European country, has been targeted by the CCP after choosing to open a diplomatic office in Taiwan.
so Joint statement Drawn from 13 chairs of the US and EU foreign affairs committees and from 11 EU member states, including Germany, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom and France, they said they “stood firmly with Lithuania.”
“We, the chairman of the Diplomatic Commission, strongly condemn the political, diplomatic and economic pressures of the People’s Republic of China on Lithuania. Interference with the internal affairs of the European Union and NATO member states is neither welcome nor appropriate.” Said.
We are standing with Lithuania ??
Free nations stand together as China pressures the sovereigns to change their policies.We are standing together @NATO And Europe. pic.twitter.com/dX0Ob9FnNZ
— Tom Tagendat (@TomTugendhat) August 27, 2021
They also urged Lithuania to maintain its current policy of refusing China’s actions.
Despite the imminent economic threat of CCP, the Australian Government was optimistic in the long run, and Frydenberg told the forum that the economic impact of CCP enforcement was “moderate.”
The treasurer left this to an Australian exporter finding alternative markets in South Asia and around the world, which he said was increasingly hungry for Australian goods.
Frydenberg also urged businesses to “diversify their markets and not be overly dependent on any country,” and promised that the government would help them “diversify and adapt to this new environment.”
However, Frydenberg’s speech faces criticism with Daryl Guppy, a board member of the Australian-China Business Council. Opinion piece Because CTGN called for wishful thinking of treasurers’ diversification.
“Some industries were able to find alternative markets for lost markets in China, but many weren’t,” Guppy said.