Captions please
Encouraging signals from Texas

The China-love is strong in Nick Whitlam

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Screen Shot 2021-05-05 at 7.44.35 amEvery day we read and hear about Chinese aggression. The militarisation of disputed atolls in the South China Sea certainly qualifies, albeit that it has nothing to do with Australia. (Whatever our thoughts about China’s treatment of Uighurs and the imposition of new laws in Hong Kong they are not Chinese aggression; they are internal matters, just as #MeToo, gun culture, money politics and voter suppression are matters internal to the US.) Was our banning of Huawei in 5G aggressive? Or our front-running for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus? The Chinese thought so.

Most Australians want our relations with China to be reset, for a return to civility and a restoration of some of the recently lost goodwill. National security has already been examined in the Darwin lease. So what has changed? We know the Americans were unhappy that they were not told of the deal before it closed, and we have a new defence minister. But if nothing has changed with respect to the lease, and nothing has, is it all to do with this government’s continued aggression towards China? Surely we can see that China will interpret it as such.

Nicholas Whitlam chaired the Port Authority of NSW and its predecessors from 2004 to 2018.