Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has done what few if any visiting leaders have ever dared: warned Australia that it must keep out of the South China Sea except when allowed to do so, and Australia must accept all and any forms of Chinese investment.
In response Australian PM Malcom Turnbull, who may well be compromised by his business interests and family ties, has reminded Australians of how lucky they are to have China as a trading partner.
Li's comments are reproduced below and readers can decide for themselves if this would have been tolerated of any visitor:
A)With regards the South China Sea, given that there is that Law Of The Sea decision against China that China will not accept:
“China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and we pursue a national development path suited to our traditions. Likewise, we respect your choice in your foreign policy,” he told guests in Mandarin at a lunch inside federal parliament in Canberra.
B) With regards free trade, given that there is already a FTA between Australia and China:
“I come here for free trade. In the world protectionism is rising and there are more voices against economic globalisation.”
And then the warning:
“We don’t want to see (Australia) taking sides, as happened during the Cold War,”
Does anyone really believe that simply ignoring all this and instead talking up trade with China is in Australia's interest? If yes, perhaps those who hold that view might want to have a chat with one James Packer.....