This column has often referred to differences between politicians and businessmen in their attitude to China.
Australia is a case in point. In recent months the Australian Government has stepped up attacks on China’s policy on Taiwan, Hong Kong, the South China Sea and Xinjiang. It has also excluded Chinese companies like, Huawei, from Australia’s 5G telecommunications network.
China has responded calling Australian policy “mindless, belligerent,” and China trade restrictions on Australian exports of wine, beef, barley and coal have taken effect. The downward spiral has picked up pace following Australia’s call for an “independent” inquiry into the Covid-19 outbreak and police raids in Australia on Chinese-Australians.
But tensions between politicians and businessmen are growing. The latter now say that the intelligence community dominates Australian policy at the expense of commercial interests and are insisting that Canberra finds a way to rescue the relationship with China. Divisions abound.
It reminds us again that politicians have their agenda but business has its own agenda too – Same in UK?