You may have heard that tensions between Australia and China are brewing.
For decades, the states have enjoyed a strong partnership primarily based on trade and economic complementarities. Essentially, both countries invested in each other and both countries benefited from the arrangement.
In fact, China is Australia's largest trade partner and in 2014, both government leaders said they had formed a "comprehensive strategic partnership".
But within six years, the pleasantries have dwindled and political disputes have seemingly taken over.
There's a lot that has gone on in the past few months. Here's just a quick snapshot:
- Scott Morrison called for an investigation into the origins of COVID-19 and the subsequent handling by China.
- China then increased tariffs on imports to Australia, including on meat.
- In July, China accused Australia of “gross interference” after Scott Morrison said he would extend Hong Kong visa holders in Australia because of a national security law imposed by China.
- The same month, Australians were warned that travelling to China may result in being “arbitrarily detained”.
- In August, Chinese-Australian journalist Cheng Lei was detained for unknown reasons. In early September, it was revealed she was suspected of "criminal activity endangering China's national security".
- Also in September, the last two journalists working in China for Australian publications were flown home after a diplomatic standoff.
- And that's only the tip of the iceberg...
Mamamia's 'The Quicky' interviewed former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd about what he believes is happening between the two countries.
Kevin Rudd says the worst-case scenario for Australia is that "we end up in conflict or war between the US and China".
Listen to Kevin Rudd's full interview here...
Feature image: Getty.
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