Australian Citizens Party formerly Citizens Electoral Council

To avert war, Australia must adopt an independent foreign policy

- Citizens Party Media Release

All Australians, without exception, should be highly alarmed by the dangerous tone of this federal election campaign.

What was previously unthinkable—a war with China—is now being normalised by the rhetoric of our leading [sic] politicians.

Tonight at 7:30 PM Australian Eastern Standard Time (7:00 PM Adelaide, 6:00 PM Darwin, 5:30 PM Perth), the Citizens Party will hold a YouTube livestream candidate’s forum on the subject of “An independent foreign policy for sovereignty and security”, in which all Australians are invited, and urged, to tune in and participate by asking questions via the email ask@citizensparty.org.au

Click here to watch “An independent foreign policy for sovereignty and security”.

All Australians must take stock of how we got to this point, where our politicians are now actually campaigning for votes by threatening war.

On 24 April, despite acknowledging that the Solomon Islands’ security deal with China does not include a military base, Prime Minister Scott Morrison fueled the “khaki election” hysteria by calling the Solomon Islands a “red line”, declaring that “we won’t be having Chinese military naval bases in our region–on our doorstep. … I share the same red line that the US has when it comes to these issues.

The next day, Peter Dutton used the sombre commemoration of ANZAC Day to escalate the war rhetoric, starting off by invoking Hitler as a context for Russia and China—a deliberate provocation to the Russians and Chinese who both lost tens of millions of people fighting the German and Japanese fascists in WWII.

(The irony which makes Dutton’s comments so insulting is that it was future Liberal Party doyens in the 1930s who were pro-Hitler, including Sir Robert Menzies, with whom Peter Dutton would have marched in lockstep if he had lived in the 1930s.)

Dutton ranted: “The Chinese, through their actions, through their words, are on a very deliberate course at the moment, and we have to stand up with countries to stare down any act of aggression… The only way you can preserve peace is to prepare for war, and be strong as a country.” (Emphasis added.)

Oh, really? Before you nod in agreement, ask yourself: how well prepared are we actually, under Dutton and Morrison, and the last few decades of Liberal and Labor governments?

How large is Australia’s fuel reserve under them? It’s only 21 days! And while experts have been screaming about this for years, the only thing the Liberals have done is buy and store a tiny “strategic reserve” of crude oil—in the USA! What good will that do us in a war?

What is the state of our manufacturing? It’s gone—kaput! This Liberal government taunted the car industry—which is the best industry for quickly re-tasking for war production—into shutting down. When the pandemic hit, they all talked about manufacturing, but have only announced a $1.5 billion fund—worse than pathetic! The Citizens Party has pushed for a national development bank to invest hundreds of billions into manufacturing, only to have the Liberals say “we shouldn’t be picking winners”.

What is our sovereign military capability? Very, very little. Australia’s military has been made totally “interoperable” with the USA. That means the USA controls our military capability! The F35 Joint Strike Fighter lemon will only be able to fight in US wars, and Morrison’s AUKUS nuclear submarine farce will be entirely controlled by the USA and UK.

What Dutton really means by being prepared for war is pouring hundreds of billions of Australian taxpayers’ dollars into the coffers of US and UK arms manufacturers.

The Labor Party should be destroying Morrison and Dutton’s lunacy, but instead they are hyping the fictitious threat even more in order to score electoral points. To blame the supposed Solomons issue on Morrison, ALP foreign affairs spokesperson Penny Wong said on 26 April: “The prospect of a Chinese base less than 2,000km from Australia’s coastline is dramatically detrimental to Australia’s security interests.”

There is no military base!

Even though he also bought into the military base narrative, Channel 10’s The Project host Waleed Aly is the only person in the mainstream media to provide any context, by noting the USA’s prior escalations in the Pacific, to which China is responding. On 26 April he asked Labor’s Kristina Kenneally: “The US in the middle of last year announced a new military base in the Federated States of Micronesia. They are planning to extend compacts that they have with three different North Pacific states to allow for free military movement across those countries and include military installations. And looking at that, China would probably understandably say ‘well hang on, if you’re going to up your presence, we’re going to up ours’. Do you hold the view that America is the only country in the world that is entitled to establish a military presence across a region like this?” Kenneally choked on her answer, stammering out that “China doesn’t share our democratic values”.

What these politicians are talking themselves into is a war of annihilation for Australia, in which, as former Australian Ambassador John Lander warned the Citizens Party in a 31 March interview, Australia would be a proxy for the United States to fight China, as Ukraine is for NATO to fight Russia.

This is a deliberate US strategy, to embroil its main adversaries Russia and China in costly wars for them, but which stop just short of escalating to a global nuclear war because the USA doesn’t engage directly.

The real cost is borne by the proxies—as Ukraine is experiencing right now; as Taiwan would experience in the war the USA is trying to provoke with China; and as Australia would learn quick-smart if Peter Dutton gets his way and commits Australia to fighting alongside Taiwan.

This is a war we could never win—former Ambassador Lander warns Chinese missiles would destroy whole chunks of Australia—but the USA would stand by, pat us on the back, and sell us more weapons, happy to fight China to the last Taiwanese and last Australian, in the hope of “weakening” China, as US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin this week admitted is their strategy against Russia.

This is not in Australia’s national interest! This is lunacy from politicians who are subservient to foreign powers, namely the USA and UK, whom the late former Liberal PM Malcolm Fraser—after witnessing the lies used to invade Iraq, and seeing the war escalation against China—denounced as our “dangerous allies” who lock us into their wars.

Until as recently as 2019, when Scott Morrison “welcomed” China’s peaceful infrastructure vision, the Belt and Road Initiative, our political leaders were positive towards our biggest trading partner. Their position changed under intense US pressure, at the expense of our trade (with Chinese markets which, ironically, the USA has now stolen from us), and our security.

The Citizens Party has documented in its 2020 “China narrative” series how the USA and UK, using the Five Eyes intelligence agencies including ASIO, and associated politicians and journalists, hyped disinformation and lies to convince us that everything Chinese is a mortal threat. It worked. Now our politicians have given up any pretext of sovereignty to march in lockstep with this Anglo-American war agenda—to the point of seeing votes in hyping war!

This issue, and the economic crisis that is now erupting, are the biggest issues facing Australia right now. Tune in tonight to see the discussion among the candidates of the Citizens Party, which is the only party in this election fighting for real sovereignty and security, through a truly independent foreign policy.

Click here to watch “An independent foreign policy for sovereignty and security”.

Send your questions to ask@citizensparty.org.au

Foreign Policy
China
War