Western Australia is increasingly a country of its own under Mark McGowan, so we shouldn’t be surprised that it’s pursuing a foreign policy of its own. We should, however, be concerned that it’s so at odds with Canberra’s.
The Peoples Republic of Westralia loves the Peoples Republic of China, you see, and the Peoples Republic of China loves the Peoples Republic of Westralia.
While political tensions between Beijing and Canberra were largely left aside, WA Premier Mark McGowan used an event with the state’s top Chinese diplomat to lament the eastern states’ failure to acknowledge China’s contribution to Australia’s economic success.
Neither Mark McGowan nor Consul General Long Dingbin made mention of their nations’ ongoing trade war, the AUKUS deal and the nuclear submarines that come with it, or the fact Australian Federal Ministers cannot get their Chinese counterparts to pick up the phone.
As guests of honour, alongside mining magnate Andrew Forrest, they both highlighted the strong relationship WA had with China at the China Australia Business Council event to celebrate the 72nd Chinese National Day…
Mr McGowan said WA had supported the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic by keeping open industries which export to China.
“A large amount of our exports do go to China, in fact the majority, and we are the nation’s biggest exporting state” he said.
“For other states that don’t export much, they don’t really get that…”
WA’s new China Consul General had praise for the Premier and a positive assessment of the Chinese Australian relationship.
“It has been nearly six months since my arrival in Perth in April and I am so glad to see that with the strong leadership of Premier McGowan’s government the pandemic has been brought under control,” Consul General Long said.
“And I am very glad to see that we are having a strong relationship between China and Australia.”
Consul General Long said China and Australia should look towards celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two nations in 2022.
“I think all of us should do something for the 50th anniversary,” he said.
“Let’s join hands together with endless effort for a smooth and healthy development of the China Australia relationship, which is beneficial for both of us, as well as the Asia Pacific region.”
Are all our naval assets in the West — including the submarine base at HMAS Stirling — safe?
Or does McGowan want to export them to China too?
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.