Darwin Harbour. Who does that unless you believe in the BRI? Did the rest of Australia have a say in that? So no wonder China thinks that we are ready to roll over.
No way in the world I live in Sihanoukville and everything your article says is true.
We should certainly consider opportunities provided by inclusion … but be mindful of the risks involved with being indebted to an initiative that is so closely aligned with the CCP … The challenge
will be finding the balance between opportunity and sovereign risk.
I have seen first hand the projects that the Chinese build for poor, third world countries in my own home country of Fiji. They fund projects that make no sense – high rise, high density housing projects in areas of no interest, hospitals in the middle of nowhere and roads to nothing important.
Some say it is for the good of a nation, others may see opportunities.
Guys, this is great investigative reporting but … you need to understand that these type of articles
unfortunately encourage Sinophobia and has resulted in a resurgence of the yellow peril in Australia. The people who suffer the most from these articles are … Asian Australians who are often born and bred, often not even of Chinese heritage, who pay their taxes and contribute immensely to Australian society, but are unfortunately seen as the same thing by ignorant people. Many of my friends who are Aussie as can be have experienced racism and harassment for the first time in their life.
Australia has little say in what China will do … To not support it will mean being left out in the economic wasteland.
Ross Le Bris
Yes, it would be wise and prosperous to. Has Australia not had 20 prosperous years of Chinese supported economic growth and development? Racist and anti-Chinese sentiment is both
embarrassing and non productive. Say ni hao ma hen hao.
After living in China for 20 years I am not surprised by the actions of the CCP. The Chinese are laughing at you playing by your politically correct laws. They only have one plan, at whatevercost,and that is to make China the Middle Kingdom of the world. Buyer beware of the Belt and Road Initiative, it does not end well for you.
It was a completely wrong question to ask in the first place, not sure China needs us to support. The better question is, do we want to miss out on this global economic collaboration? How could we
contribute and be part of it to make it a success with our experience and expertise?
There is a Chinese proverb, 虎头蛇尾 (‘head of tiger. tail of snake’), or a strong start but a weak finish.
No, Australia should not. This policy does not bring prosperity to local people it brings domination and destruction of local resources. When we travelled to Africa recently, people spoke of similar issues to the article above, in regard to Chinese funded development.
What does Australia have to lose? China is emerging, if it hasn’t already done so as the major force in this part of the world. There is no point in defying this unavoidable fact … Of course we should embrace this concept.
NO. It is a long term plan to take control and may take over sovereignty of countries that can not pay the debts – Sri Lanka is an example.
I think it is inevitable. When the most populous country in the world is also the best organised it is better to become an important cog in that wheel at a very early stage … We’ve had global trading for over one hundred years but Chinese will be dominant for the next one hundred. USA has lost the
plot and has had its day.
There is a Chinese proverb, 虎头蛇尾 (‘head of tiger. tail of snake’), or a strong start but a weak finish. That risk is there, but short of major catastrophe, BRI failure seems unlikely … With good
governance we can keep our self respect and still do good business via the BRI.
Probably not! What we have to do instead, is link closely (much closer than now!) with other wary countries like Europe, possibly India, Latin America, Canada, US (rather tricky currently) etc and form a similar development fund, so that desperate countries, which need infrastructure, have a choice. Basically, create competition.
Participate and influence or ignore and incur the consequence.
We have not dealt with major issues of waste management as a result of industrialisation like climate change and its impact on our lives … While the Belt and Road project is a visionary idea, I think there may well be mixed environmental, cultural and social consequences.
Yes, if it were a US or EU initiative, we would rush to be part of it. Our hesitancy is caused by anxiety about and reluctance to accept geopolitical change and the emergence of China as the economic
superpower that it already is. After the current period of huffing and puffing and general paranoia about China, we will ultimately follow the money.
Of course we should, and perhaps we can learn a thing or two about rail construction at the same time. The much talked about fast train to NSW and Queensland might become a reality in my
lifetime – but I am not holding my breath!
Yes. While our ally America spends a trillion dollars on war and destruction, China spends a trillion
dollars on trade and construction. Not to join the Belt and Road Initiative would put Australia on the wrong side of history.
No. China is definitely playing a long game which has as its outcome global hegemony. Australia in particular should be concerned about the militarisation of the Spratley islands. China is a beneficiary of the US retreat from global leadership and I believe is in the process of shaping a new world order.
Yes, we should support this initiative. China was 50 per cent of the world’s economy until 1790’s when the British shut down the Silk Road and Chinese trade ports across India, Sri Lanka and Middle East. They are now back where they were, and we need to be involved or miss out on the next 100 years of growth.
This is such a tricky question for us. Do we stand with our traditional trading partners and our allies or do we stand with a major trading partner and emerging super power? … I don’t vote Liberal, but Julie Bishop is right.
And we should be giving more support to our Pacific neighbours so that they
aren’t seduced by Beijing.
It bit rich, Julie, when the LNP have actively reduced Australia’s aid budget since coming to power. The government in seeking to fund tax cuts for Australia’s privileged class chose to make the Pacific expendable and now Australia wants to give the Pacific nations advice! Does the LNP ever have a long term idea bigger than their ledger politics? … Maybe these sovereign nations have their own national self interest at heart just like everyone else and maybe we should respect that. Name:
My opinion is no. I believe this is a push for China to expand its influence worldwide and ultimately influence the political system in all countries. Having travelled to Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam in the last year, there is clearly concern from the people in these countries. Having spent some time in the Mekong delta this includes China damming the Mekong in the upper levels and affecting rice
production. Reduced water flow means an increase in salinity which will also be exacerbated by global warming.
If one looks at work China did in Fiji, which failed after a cyclone and had to be redone by Australian contractors, one begins to wonder … The quality was appalling.
We might as well ask China to do these projects at much lower costs to Australia and Australian tax payers … China probably could build a High Speed Rail link between Sunshine Coast to Geelong … at one-fifth the costs of what Aussie consortiums would charge.
Yes. what have we got to lose? Pride?
We have just returned from three weeks around the South Pacific and it is too late. China has beaten Australia to the prize. It is headlines in all local newspapers.
The BRI is both the most massive economic development project seen in our recent history – and yes it is a huge power play aiming to increase China’s influence. Nothing however the Americans or other aspiring nations would not do or have not done in the past.
Australia should absolutely not participate in the BRI. China’s infrastructure building is self serving, corrupt and ultimately destructive to the countries it purports to help … China uses bribery, price
undercutting, Chinese labour and political motivation to tilt the playing field in its favour.
Unfortunately, no. We must continue to walk that increasingly more difficult middle ground of not upsetting China’s absurdly easily offended sensibilities, while maintaining our own stance and values in our own national interests as well. The future holds many stormy waters for Australia in managing a belligerent China.
It should be obvious to anyone paying any attention that it matters little whether Australia supports it or not. As the late [Zbigniew] Brzezinski noted, whoever controls the “world island” – or Eurasia – controls the world … Pax-Americana must make way for Pax-Sinica for a peaceful transition.
No we shouldn’t be supportive of something where the full facts are not available. We should be
curious, cautious and willing to participate where it can be clearly demonstrated that it is of long term economic benefit to Australia. If there is any doubt….bow out.
No , it should not! China has polluted its waters, air and soil. They have no respect to their own motherland. Why would they care about the environment of Australia?
The BRI is a natural overflow of China’s vast building capacity, and its willingness to bring 700 million out of poverty, and is in the process of help the rest of its population. “If you want to leave poverty behind, build roads”. This ancient saying has become a reality. And this is the lesson China
is sharing with the world. Australia needs basic cultural lessons to understand how China thinks, and why China does.
Short sighted and paranoid … we have a national identity crisis that now impacts both internal and external policy in an illogical manner … Australia’s governments are and continue to be Anglo-centric, and have failed to harness regional relationships. The next 30 years are now at peril as we close ourselves out of the growth opportunity.
My doubt in supporting such an initiative is little transparency … How many … former Australian politicians are now employed by China to push Chinese agendas? Interesting article.
Trojan Horses. Why would anyone accept one? … It is invariably filled with someone else’s soldiers and their purpose is not to make your life better, but to control or dominate you. Australia does not
need one, unless all we want to be is an offshore quarry, however the pressure to take one will rise, threats will amplify, and politicians will be coerced.
Yes, especially if the Chinese do NBNs.
Definitely … Rather than fighting for their survival in the political field and enjoying freebies and our leaders should follow what Paul Keating has said that we should consider ourselves as part of Asia.
The BRI is certainly China’s initiative to ensure trade and lasting peace: yet western media continuously snipes and snarls at the initiative … is [this] based on a belief that the west is better than the east?
Dr Anthony Ablong
No! We should not develop our commercial relationship with China until we have confidence that they will respect the international institutions that we should all live by. It is a risk placing our
economic and sovereignty neck any further into a noose if we have no transparency as to how to resolve future disputes.
No! The Belt and Road initiative is a long term strategy to financially enslave the countries who take up their expensive, non-economic infrastructure projects … Very little add-ons or employment to
the local economy. These are while elephant projects to bind the recipient countries to China.
Yes if it will get our outdated trains upgraded!
No … for exactly the same reasons that we neither support nor oppose something like NATO or Brexit. We have no voice in these decisions.
Sure, why shouldn’t China be the next global superpower? Would be an improvement to Trump’s America.
No. China is seeking to exert too great an influence in the world. It has a terrible human rights record and cannot be trusted. It said it would not militarise in the South China Sea; but did anyway.
China totally disregarded the ruling of the International Court concerning the dispute with the Philippines.
Michael Bachelard is Fairfax’s foreign editor and the investigations editor at The Age. He has worked in Canberra, Melbourne and Jakarta as Fairfax’s Indonesia correspondent. He and has written two books and won multiple awards for journalism, including the Gold Walkley in 2017.
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