General Debate 25/04/11

Aussies fear threat of war with China

ALMOST half of Australians think their country will face China’s military might within 20 years, a poll has found. On the eve of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s first trip to China, a Lowy Institute poll found 44 per cent of people think the Asian powerhouse will pose a military threat to Australia.

Of those people, 82 per cent thought Australia’s land and resources could be a reason for an attack or invasion. Most people worried about China’s military rise think a war between China and the US, in which Australia would take part, is a more likely cause of strife.

The institute polled 1002 nationally representative Australians between March 30 and April 14. The poll results highlight some of the diplomatic challenges Ms Gillard faces when she travels to Beijing. Trade, human rights abuses and imprisoned Australians are other sticky issues experts say make any leader’s visit to China a difficult balancing act.

Professor of Asian languages and studies at Monash University, Bruce Jacobs, said the poll results were not surprising because China had issued threatening statements in the region and was building arms. “I think (concerns) are likely to increase,” Prof Jacobs said. But he rejected the theory Australia’s resources or land would be reason for attack.

Australian concerns about human rights abuses and foreign investment are also high, the Lowy poll shows. And as Ms Gillard today marks Anzac Day in South Korea, the poll shows the majority of people would support a war against North Korea if it attacked its southern neighbour.

Lowy Institute executive director Dr Michael Wesley said Ms Gillard must tread a fine line this week. “The results show just how difficult it will be for Prime Minister Gillard to balance the economic demands of the relationship with the Australian public’s concerns about human rights abuses in China, its military expansion, and negative perceptions about Chinese investment in Australia,” Dr Wesley said. Source- Herald Sun

10 thoughts on “General Debate 25/04/11

  1. Would it be a surprise if the Pacific was lost to China? They invest heavily in the Pacific and if it became a strategic asset to them…it is no wonder we are seeing China buy up land here and the govt is assisting their purchasing. We need the US ships back here esp because Chinese ships come when ever they please. I wonder why America doesn’t query that. Are all Chinese war ships non nuke?


  2. The Chinese have of course been sending tens of thousands of students all over the place for decades as well, apparently now also inviting students to China. I suppose that could be explained in different ways. In the very end, any “war” will be one of culture and economic strength, and from those perspectives the west isn’t helped by its gradual decline into socialism and multi-multiculturalism the last 50 years or so. On the other hand, China will also have plenty of trouble to keep its population in check, when their artificially bubbled economy comes under strain, let alone dominate other cultures. It may well be time for a paradigm shift in thinking about “war”. Time maybe to loose the politics and politicians on both sides of a potential conflict, based on the wisdom that no politician has ever instigated war with the benefit of the populace in mind. I for one have little problems with Chinese people in general.


  3. When I was younger I worked for a South African company building infrastructure for the Aussie military, take it from me any invasion from China will be no cake walk, the Aussies are fully aware where the threats lie.


  4. I reckon any invasion will be a “soft takeover” Bob, as China has done in parts of Africa. Buying and exploiting local resources (including labour) with the collusion of local politicians. Any Aussie forces would be used to keep the locals in check, should they object physically. Our politicians have more in common with China’s rulers than they do with the average Aussie–almost all of ’em are opportunistic criminals cast from pretty much the same mould.


  5. Unfortunately you probably right Kg, where I worked in Australia, well put it this way Australian civilians are to way to far away to be threatened by these military establishments, except if Julia does a Gaddafi.


  6. See the local journo’s spinning like crazy as well, not one of them taking the trouble to actually investigate, just taking the whole Obama ruse hook line and sinker.


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