China ties: History shows trade can lead to servitude

Today in The Australian
With China’s trade war against Australia escalating, the scene seems distressingly contemporary: a fraying global order, riven by mounting tensions between states; an ascendant, brutally authoritarian power, determined to throw its weight around; and dependent economies which, though formally independent, find their room for manoeuvre increasingly compromised as the rising power uses its economic clout to punish them for stepping out of line.

About Henry Ergas

Henry Ergas AO is a columnist for The Australian. From 2009 to 2015 he was Senior Economic Adviser to Deloitte Australia and from 2009 to 2017 was Professor of Infrastructure Economics at the University of Wollongong’s SMART Infrastructure Facility. He joined SMART and Deloitte after working as a consultant economist at NECG, CRA International and Concept Economics. Prior to that, he was an economist at the OECD in Paris from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. At the OECD, he headed the Secretary-General’s Task Force on Structural Adjustment (1984-1987), which concentrated on improving the efficiency of government policies in a wide range of areas, and was subsequently Counsellor for Structural Policy in the Economics Department. He has taught at a range of universities, undertaken a number of government inquiries and served as a Lay Member of the New Zealand High Court. In 2016, he was made an Officer in the Order of Australia.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to China ties: History shows trade can lead to servitude

  1. shady

    Why is anyone surprised by anything China does? After all this was the country that all but declared war on the United Nations in defence of North Korea.

  2. rickw

    We can feed ourselves easily. They can’t. Particularly with the Northern Hemisphere set for a series of harsh and early winters.

    Our weak, gullible and treacherous politicians need to bear this in mind.

    Australian’s can easily survive without cheap consumer goods. In fact a clampdown on Chinese imports could easily lead to a boom in Australian manufacturing. Australian manufacturing is only not competitive against China by a very slim margin.

  3. Struth

    Australian’s can easily survive without cheap consumer goods. In fact a clampdown on Chinese imports could easily lead to a boom in Australian manufacturing. Australian manufacturing is only not competitive against China by a very slim margin.

    And caused by having been shackled by the UN’s enviro-sabotage.

  4. a happy little debunker

    China state media calls Australia ‘dog’ of US

    The only barking I hear – is from Beijing.

  5. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    We can feed ourselves easily. They can’t. Particularly with the Northern Hemisphere set for a series of harsh and early winters.

    And their wheat crops rotten with stripe rust.

  6. Struth

    The truth is, Australia does not need China.
    It needs to boot it’s traitors out of government.
    If anyone is still looking at appeasing China, or dealing with them at all, because you feel like we need to for our survival than we are doomed.
    We are a food producer.
    A really fucking good one.
    China, not so much.
    To sort this out quickly there needs to be embargos placed on China, and the world would find itself infinitely better off after a very short period of supply chain issues.
    Nothing responds quicker to demand than the free market.
    Government telling us we couldn’t retool quick enough is codswallop spewed out by traitors and failures.

  7. Boambee John

    Australian manufacturing is only not competitive against China by a very slim margin.

    Reliable, cheap, elecricity could make a big difference.

  8. Up The Workers!

    Any chance we can send all of the Sheltered Workshop Public Serpent staff of “Old Aunty Ita’s House of Presstitution and Ill-Repute”, over to Wuhan or Beijing to report extensively on the growing crisis? (They lurve both Commo Chinese and crises).

    It world serve the purposes of saving Australian taxpayers another $1.3 billion in taxes; consume the left-over soup from Dodgy Dan’s “Uncle Xi’s” Bat Soup stall in the Wuhan Wet Market and Chemical Weapons Facility, and be partial down-payment for Dodgy Dan’s “Bat Soup and Toad” Initiative (or Pangolin, if you prefer).

    With Uncle Xi’s Wuhan Commo Pox having killed over 100 innocent Australians and caused billions of dollars of damage to our economy, is Dodgy Dan now seriously going to borrow hundreds of billions extra from the very same Communist tyrant who caused all the problems in the first instance?

  9. JohnJJJ

    As I was growing up our family used to save up and buy what we needed. We’d ensure that it could be repaired. Tables , chairs, clothes, shoes, crockery, a car ( the old man said only buy a car when the parts can be bought at a milk bar). We were never ‘customers’ and we never bought ‘products’. The council throw-outs were scoured to find material that could be reused. Today this would be called a “sustainability model”. Perhaps it is time to revisit.

  10. duncanm

    “Refuse to buy food from Australia”.

    ok.. how would they go if we refuse to sell food to them ?

    Food is pretty essential, cheap TV’s not so much.

  11. liliana

    JohnJJJ
    #3460631, posted on May 22, 2020 at 10:18 am

    Thanks for your comment. Brings back happy memories and it’s the way it should be.
    I can’t see how anyone can possibly call our congested, crowded, crap filled existence “progress”.

  12. Struth

    “Refuse to buy food from Australia”.

    ok.. how would they go if we refuse to sell food to them ?

    Food is pretty essential, cheap TV’s not so much.

    How would they go if Only Australia, USA, Canada and NZ refused to sell them food?

  13. Cynic of Ayr

    Take a walk through Silly Sollys, Reject Shop, and a few others whose names escape me. Most is Chinese Junk, , and about 90% of it we can do without.
    There must be hundreds of container loads of this stuff coming in, and, within a couple of weeks, it’s in landfill.
    So, not only do we buy it, we pay to dump it.

  14. Gerry

    Why hasn’t there been a detailed account of the effect of Chinese money in Africa in a newspaper or Sky News show …The hold China is having on a number of countries needs to be publicised and brought under scrutiny by the public.

  15. Rob MW

    How would they go if Only Australia, USA, Canada and NZ refused to sell them food?

    Struth – extend that to include coal and iron ore and have a conservation about nationalizing all Communist Party linked corporate assets, so the Commonwealth can cash in by selling the assets back into private enterprise. China could hardly complain given the little commies didn’t think twice about nationalizing that American company’s PPE manufacturing plant in China.

    Can’t wait for the next Davos corporate globalist meeting where it is explained exactly how concentrating low cost of production manufacturing in a single country is such a wonderful idea. No wonder they call it “just in time” supply. Fuck the lot of them.

    Bottom line, is it better to live on one’s knees or die on one’s feet ? – Me and with skin in the game, I choose feet.

  16. There is a reason why China is bothering with little ol’ Australia. It’s about the trade war with Trump.
    China needs to buy more from the US and do so as quickly as possible to avert those damaging tariffs.
    The trade surplus with the US is big. Around $350B per annum. China can’t just increase purchases from the US without reducing purchases from elsewhere.
    China has long term contracts with Australian suppliers.
    A quick and harsh trade war with Australia will give China the excuse to cancel contracts and buy from the US instead (The US can supply pretty much anything we can).
    Reduce the trade surplus with the US, get Trump’s boot off its neck.

    I’d be looking for China to start threatening long term contracts any day now.

  17. Entropy

    It’s also because China can’t lash out at the US without consequences, so we are the next best thing with little risk.

  18. The truth is, Australia does not need China.

    Oh yes it does. We sold out to China long ago. Our entire economy, what’s left of it anyway, is beholden to them. Right down to our construction industry which is entirely dependent on another 300K “Chinese-Australians” coming through the door every year that they can build shit boxes for. And our universities. And our resource sector. And agriculture. And on and on and on.

    Remember the GFC? It didn’t hit Australia because we threw all of our eggs in the Chinese basket. Not looking so healthy now, is it?

  19. Rockdoctor

    Take a walk through Silly Sollys, Reject Shop, and a few others whose names escape me. Most is Chinese Junk

    Once I would have agreed but I don’t think it is that cheap anymore and I think the working lifetimes are getting shorter. Don’t know who is skimming the profits but the cheap crap is getting more expensive and getting cheaper in quality.

  20. Squirrel

    The China trade has been too easy, for too long – just the thing for a lucky little country at the bottom of the world which has had a get rich quick atttitude for a century and a half, and a closely-related habit of finding a racket and going all-in on it until it implodes, explodes, or just quietly dies in the arse.

    Even without the thuggish attitude of the spawn of the one child policy, which is now on full display for the entire world to see, we would be wise to diversify – China’s debt and demographics don’t make them the best long term bet.

Comments are closed.