Opinion Piece - China Free Trade

Let’s get a few things straight first, so there’s no confusion between us.


When it comes to expressing my strong reservations about ChAFTA or the China Free Trade Deal, it’s not because I don’t like Chinese people - and I want to discriminate against them.


Like every Australian, who values the democratic freedoms and liberties our troops over the years have shed blood for - I’m just very suspicious of people who push totalitarian ideologies. And I whole-heartedly discriminate against those people and governments who are anti-democratic.


Even if they have big armies and lots of money, I’m not afraid of them. I’m not going to bow down to anyone who is a bully, thief, liar and international human rights abuser.


If I did, I may as well not turn up on ANZAC day and pretend I honor the precious legacy that has been gifted to you and me by the brave and courageous Australians who have fought and died for our freedoms.


So, after clearing up that little bit of confusion, let’s get down to business. The Liberal and National parties desperately want myself, and other crossbench senators to support ChAFTA or the China Free Trade Agreement.


They negotiated the Agreement in secret, with the Communist Government of China and are now pouring $10 million of taxpayers’ funds into an advertising campaign urging support for it, before the legislation is introduced in the Senate and the detail fully known.


If Labor and the Greens oppose this deal then - like a number of important matters brought before the Senate - my vote could decide whether the ChAFTA deal passes, or is knocked out.


(However, I’ve got the feeling that Labor will talk tough, but abandon the workers and eventually cave into to the Lib’s ChAFTA deal.)


Nonetheless, I’m treating this matter very seriously and I’ve met people who both strongly support and oppose this free trade deal.


Supporters of this deal will argue,


“What’s the big deal? We’ve signed up to free trade agreements in the past with other countries and overwhelmingly they’ve been good for Australia’s economy and job growth. Let’s get on with it!”


Well, it’s clear that the free trade deals signed off with New Zealand 1983, Singapore 2003, Thailand 2005, United States 2005, Chile 2009, ASEAN 2010, Malaysia 2013, Korea 2014 and Japan 2015 – have delivered some increased national prosperity, economic benefits and jobs for Australia.


However, doing a deal with those free, democratic countries who respect and obey international law, markets and human rights - has far less risks, than doing a deal with an expansionist, aggressive Communist Government - that is now being described by intelligence experts as in danger of transitioning into a Communist dictatorship.


History shows, the only law the Chinese Communist government obeys is the law created by the military might of the Chinese Communist Government. Unfortunately, history also shows the only thing the Chinese government fears and respects is the combined military might of the US and its allies, not UN sanctions, nor court rulings of other countries’ opinions.


So doing a deal with China, is a little more complicated than doing a deal with South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia etc. – who cannot be called an international security risk, bully, thief, liar or serial human rights abuser.


Because if you are honest and have respect for the facts – you will agree that China is a security risk to Australia and our Allies. Oh - and they aren’t my words.


They are the words from a report put out by our Prime Minister’s son-in-law, James Brown of the United States Studies Centre - at the University of Sydney, which examines foreign policies of the 2016 US presidential candidates.




Mr Brown’s report states:


  • “China has become a security issue - and candidates' positions towards Beijing have considerably hardened.”

The facts also clearly show, that the Communist Government of China has in recent times:


  • Flexed its military muscles in the international waters of the South China Seas and closer to Australia’s territorial waters, in order to bully its neighbours, indeed all western democracies, into submission to their national will.
  • Using sophisticated cyber crime technology, organized the world-wide theft of data and intellectual property from all governments and private companies to further their national interests.
  • Covered up and lied, about the true state of its economy and financial figures, while actively manipulating international currency markets to favor its state run companies and national interests.
  • Participated in gross and systemic human rights abuses on its home soil, in Tibet and over other peoples to further their national interests.

So clearly – a deal with a superpower who has one of the largest standing armies in the world and up to 300 nuclear war heads, is unprecedented - and it deserves careful consideration and approached with great caution.


Which is exactly what I’m now doing for all Tasmanians, indeed all Australian workers whose jobs may be easily taken by Chinese workers – and whose national sovereignty is compromised by ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlement) clauses inserted into the current Liberal / National Party China Free Trade Agreement.