Beware the bully who is supposed to be watching Australia's back

Obviously, the values of Trump’s America don’t align with ours.

23/05/2020 1:30:00 AM

PM ScottMorrisonMP might owe realDonaldTrump a strategic apology. Australia's success in suppressing the first wave of the coronavirus doesn't sit well with the US President | OPINION by GMegalogenis

Obviously, the values of Trump’s America don’t align with ours.

Very large text sizeScott Morrison might owe Donald Trump a strategic apology. Australia's success in suppressing the first wave of the coronavirus doesn't sit well with the US President's latest attempt to avoid responsibility for the American death toll now approaching 100,000.

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Because if Trump is to be believed, no one could have stopped the plague. How else should the Prime Minister read the tweet Trump sent on Wednesday, directed at "some whacko in China" who was "blaming everybody other than China for the Virus which has now killed hundreds of thousands of people"?

President Trump isn't paying much attention to Australia's success against COVID-19.Credit:AP"Please explain to this dope that it was the 'incompetence of China', and nothing else, that did this mass Worldwide killing!" the President tweeted.

By that reckoning, the roll call of nations that have avoided the worst of the pandemic so far, including Australia and New Zealand in the Asia Pacific, South Korea and Taiwan in Asia, and Denmark and Greece in Europe, must have been lucky. All were in the direct line of transmission from Wuhan, but somehow the plague didn't bother knocking on their door.

AdvertisementThis is patently absurd. In Australia's case, the country responsible for the greatest number of infections happened to be the United States, not China. We closed our borders to China as soon as we appreciated the risk; just as Trump himself did in late January. But the Americans weren't testing for the virus, and Australian health officials drew false comfort from their apparent low number of cases in February. The virus almost got away from us because of a failure to anticipate the threat of community transmission from Australians returning from winter holidays in the US.

It was only after we shut the border to the US in late March, and enforced a 14-day quarantine for all Australians coming home, that the virus was suppressed. But that detail is best avoided between friends, because it would only draw Morrison into the cross-hairs of Trump's digital grievances.

Illustration: Simon LetchCredit:The President's trash-talking approach to international diplomacy lost its power to shock soon after his inauguration in 2017. Allies like Australia, and competitors like China, don't take his tweets literally because they know his intended audience is domestic, and that he routinely changes his positions. A threat to wipe out a country soon turns to a sheepish invitation to talk, as North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un learned.

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But it can't have escaped Australia's attention that Trump is testing a new boundary in his attacks on China, and that this might complicate the Morrison government's attempts to stand up to Beijing.Trump wanted to preserve the appearance of mutual respect with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Until this week. On Thursday, he followed up the "wacko" tweet with a direct jab at Xi. "[China's] disinformation and propaganda attack on the United States and Europe is a disgrace. It all comes from the top. They could have easily stopped the plague, but they didn't!"

LoadingTrump sees China as a useful foil in the coming election, and the Democrat nominee Joe Biden is happy to fight on this turf. Biden's campaign team has already broadcast racially charged ads accusing Trump of rolling over to the Chinese. A bipartisan escalation appears to be unavoidable.

There is a long history of "using China as a campaign cudgel" at election time, dating back to Bill Clinton in 1992, the former US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, wrote inThe New York Timesthis week. But she warns that the old playbook is "particularly dangerous in these tense times when it fuels anti-Asian hostility at home and anti-American sentiment abroad, makes governing more difficult and raises the prospect of a costly Cold War – or worse".

Australia should pause and reflect. There has been a tendency lately for the Australian and Chinese governments to trade cartoonish insults. Who started it tends to get lost in the mutual indignation. The danger for Australia is that we validate Chinese invective by accepting it as the normal way to do business. The risk beyond the immediate commercial relationship with China is that the rest of the world sees us as a smaller version of Trump's America, and stops taking us seriously.

Obviously, the values of Trump's America don't align with ours. Trump divides his country by political reflex. This wouldn't be unusual if he understood where to draw the line between robust debate and vilification, and between the scrutiny of his opponents and the criminalisation of their public service. But he doesn't. The race baiting at home, and abroad, isn't a tactic; it comes from deep within. So do the calls to lock people up. It is who he is. The bully that is supposed to have our back, Washington, is often indistinguishable from the bully who now threatens our economy, Beijing.

LoadingAnd Trump's economic interest in promoting an America First international order undermines our interest in a global trading system in which all nations continue to do business in good faith.Australia's two-way trade with China represents 26 per cent of our total trade with the world. Last financial year, that relationship was worth $235 billion, which almost equalled the combined value of our two-way trade with Japan ($88.5 billion), the United States ($76.4 billion), South Korea ($41.4 billion) and Singapore ($32.7 billion), our trading partners ranked second to fifth.

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Our two-way trade in goods and services with the Chinese has been in surplus since the global financial crisis of 2008-9, and for many decades more with the Japanese. With the Americans, we have always been in deficit. Last financial year, the surplus with China was $71.4 billion, and with Japan it was $34.9 billion. The deficit with the US was $26.9 billion.

Australia is the world's largest supplier of iron ore and coal, and China is the world's largest importer of these two commodities. In the year to March, Australia sold $82.6 billion in iron ore and $14 billion in coal to China – 64 per cent of our total export of goods to China in that period. The Chinese don't have another quarry, either at home, or overseas, that can easily replace Australia's. Their dependency on our raw materials might increase in the short run as Beijing restarts its industries after the lockdown.

If Trump took the time to ponder these numbers he might just advise Morrison to play nice with the Chinese because they let us screw them. He'd also be grateful that Australia allows itself to be ripped off by the Americans.LoadingOn the other hand, if the Chinese continue to pick off our second-tier exports to teach us a lesson for speaking out, perhaps Trump might want to open up his economy to Australia to compensate us for our losses? For example, Australia is the world's second-largest exporter of beef. But the Americans only bought $1.1 billion from Australian farmers in the year to March, while the Chinese imported more than double that amount – $2.8 billion. The Americans would surely want some Aussie wine to go with their Aussie steak. Australia is the world's fourth-largest exporter of wine but once again, the Chinese have been more willing to buy alcohol from us than the Americans – $1.2 billion versus $450 million.

Read more: The Age »

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis OMG! GET THE AGE OFF OUR COMPUTERS. Leftist, hateful, media outlet. ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Australia we need to become the country that out shines and leads the rest of the world in finance manufacturing and keep our resources and biggest strength needs to be able to achieve results without American or Chinese army's. WE are not bullys.

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis No. 1 bully - America No. 2 bully - China ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis What mainstream media horseshit. Inventing Trump drama for clicks. The virus was a scam and so is this 👎 ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis You mean our pointless attempt to eradicate a virus, leaving un-utilised hospital beds that has now just prolonged the problem

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Well he's the first president in 40 years who hasn't started a war. If that's bullying, then I'll take it. ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Fairfax is crap ... unadulterated globalist propaganda. Avoid The Age if you wish to know what's going on.

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis George, can we stop this brainless nonsense, there is no wave of this virus in any country, if it was a wave no one would need a surfboard, they would need scuba diving gear to find the tiny undersea ripple, ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis a known side-effect of hydroxylchloroquine is psychosis.

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Speaking of bullies, including CCP loving media ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis good piece, The Age is Aussie's best paper. ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Recommend watching MARS on Netflix- Season 2, Episode 4. Frighteningly accurate assessment of what's happening with right now with Covid19. The episode talks about SARS & how China hid the SARS virus to the world to protect its Trade & economic fallout.

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis What? ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis ...opinions are worth their weight in toilet paper... ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis USA has never cares for Australia, we are just a pawn for them to use. Sooner we rip up alliance the better. Didn't hurt NZ doing it

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Dotard trump psychopath jealousy is causing world wide troubles now! His No. 1 Fren: Jair Bolsonaro; No. 2 fren: Vladimir Putin! ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis 'First Wave' ? You are so confident that there's going to be a 2nd wave..... Of course there is..it's SCRIPTED. Fuken kunts.

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Yes let’s apologize for beating it early. WTF ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis George Megalogenis is one of Australia's brainiest journals & commentators - but he's wrong about this. For too long Australia has rolled over on the Chinese Communist dictatorship in exchange for a few shekels of silver. Time for Australia to partner with the world on this.

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Bullshit Fakenews! ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Good journalism in Aust seems to be where the idiots who approve of Goebbels News Corp SkyNewsAust sabotaging the Australian economy since January, with zero facts or proof why China did this deliberately or deserves this media tirade?

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis United States of Chaos screwed up, managing covid-19 & instigated a trade war they were losing to China.. This virus has yet to reach the catastrophic peak of the American swine flu H1N1 that killed over 190 Aussies & over half a million people worldwide.

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis ‘The first wave’....as though there will be a second wave. More nonsense media messaging. ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Oh, FFS. Tight for copy deadlines? An inanely bad take. ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Well, there’s a lot of food for thought in the article. Put your political bias aside and read it with an open mind.

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis What a ridiculous article.. ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Shocking boring not true article Slow news day ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis George, you’ve become just another lazy, sloganeering lefty journalist. ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Scomo you are a shame job if you give this bloody old fool and credit.....

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis You might as well call your newspaper the project , with all your bullshit articles ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Reckless journalism. Be better Age, we're not the US. ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis This take is so bad that even my dog winced when I read it.

ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Rubbish. Donald luvs us😘 ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis TrumpOwnsEveryDeath TrumpIsALaughingStock ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis This explains why GladysB is planning the second wave in NSW, start with schools. ScottMorrisonMP realDonaldTrump GMegalogenis Bullying? Such lazy journalism.

Beware the bully who is supposed to be watching Australia's backPerspective: Australia's success in suppressing the first wave of the coronavirus doesn't sit well with the US President's latest attempt to avoid responsibility for the American death toll now approaching 100,000. No one cares what you think Everything in the world is trumps fault. Someone died of cancer? Let's blame trump. Someone died in a car accident? Let's blame trump. Someone fell of a building? Guess it's trumps fault I mean has the US ever really had our back? We hold them up as this great ally, but we’ve been dragged into all of their wars and they use our land. We asked them to come help us once and they were all like ‘lol nah’. There’s a reason NZ is no longer in ANZUS.

Beware the bully who is supposed to be watching Australia's backPerspective: Australia's success in suppressing the first wave of the coronavirus doesn't sit well with the US President's latest attempt to avoid responsibility for the American death toll now approaching 100,000. No one cares what you think Everything in the world is trumps fault. Someone died of cancer? Let's blame trump. Someone died in a car accident? Let's blame trump. Someone fell of a building? Guess it's trumps fault I mean has the US ever really had our back? We hold them up as this great ally, but we’ve been dragged into all of their wars and they use our land. We asked them to come help us once and they were all like ‘lol nah’. There’s a reason NZ is no longer in ANZUS.

Clive Palmer planning High Court challenge after being denied entry into locked-down WAQueensland billionaire Clive Palmer has had an application to enter Western Australia knocked back and plans to challenge the border closure in the High Court. ... Again, he has a hidden agenda.... but this time it’s not very well hidden. So the media outlets can report he can go to court to fight a border entry dispute. Yet no news about him not facing court for his multiple corruption charges.

International students rethinking plans to study in Australia if not allowed to return by second semesterInternational students stuck in China are pleading with the Australian government to let them return in time for the start of semester two in July, saying their education and careers are at risk. Nonsense. The entire world is paused, stop being so dramatic. It can be done online Stuck in China - but that’s where they live,

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