South Asia and Beyond

Australia Won’t Bend The Knee To Beijing: ASPI Senior Analyst Dr Malcolm Davis

NEW DELHI: The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wants Australia “to be compliant, recognise their rise and not stand in their way” with “pressure through economic boycotts, tariffs and wolf-warrior diplomacy, until we back down,” says Dr. Malcolm Davis, Senior Analyst with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). But, he’s adamant,” we won’t bend the knee to Beijing” adding,” this is part of a long-term strategy to assert their dominance over the region as a hegemonic power and isolate us from the U.S.” Dr Davis says, “if China succeeds, smaller countries will be more quick to bend the knee,” but, Canberra is “certainly not going to back down.” The CCP is “banking on pressure within Australia, from the business, political and university communities to try and convince the government to back down, but it’s not going to do that,” the analyst at ASPI says, admitting that past policy “was flawed” and “the (Kevin Rudd) government made a terrible mistake of judgement” but adding, “that was then and this is now.” On the controversial 2018 state of Victoria deal with China, Dr Davis says new federal legislation giving the government power to veto any agreement struck with a foreign state “is a real positive step and the government needs to swiftly tear up the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) deal,” also pointing out “China’s 99-year Darwin port lease deal needs to be revisited.” There have been calls to offer Darwin and Stirling ports to the U.S. Navy if Washington goes ahead with a plan to restore the 1st Fleet and even a suggestion to host its headquarters in Australia.

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Amitabh P. Revi

Russian language speaker and conflict journalist. Amitabh Revi has been there, done that—from the battlefields of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to sublime Russia, Australia and the United States. Along the way he's picked up the Dag Hammarskjöld Distinguished Journalist Fellowship, the Ramnath Goenka award for coverage of the Iraq War and RT's Khaled Alkhateb Award for his reporting from Palmyra, Syria.