Skip to comments.Free Trade - The Spirit Of The Ocean
Posted on 09/15/2018 6:19:08 AM PDT by Ozguy1945
Chinese power is expanding. Chinese claims to the South China Sea are not going to go away in a hurry.
At the moment, American power represents a restraint on Chinese expansion. It is not clear how that will hold into the future.
In his landmark foreign policy speech in April 2016 candidate Trump said, our resources are totally over extended. . the U.S. must be prepared to let these (European and Asian) countries defend themselves. We have no choice.
My unique country, Australia, a predominantly European nation on the edge of Asia, does have very deep emotional, cultural and historical bonds with the United States. Americas greatest generation played a crucial role in saving us from the threat of Japanese imperialism in the 1940s.
On a recent visit to Australia, Steve Bannon is reported to have said, Australia is at the forefront of the geopolitical contest of our time." He described Australia as . the San Andreas fault between China and the West. These are the two great systems that have built up over 2000 years. You are the representative of Athens and the democratic Western tradition, and China is a Confucian totalitarian system. The South China Sea is very quickly going to become the front line. The South China Sea will be the focus of an intense global crisis."
I believe it is possible for Australia to have a positive trading relationship with China and to avoid threats to our sovereignty. But I also believe it is possible that Steve Bannon is right.
One fantastic safeguard for Australias future would be a very positive relationship with the Republic of Indonesia, a nation of 260,000,000 people between us and China.
My father served under the command of General Douglas MacArthur in WW2 in the newborn Republic Of Indonesia, when that Republics independence was proclaimed. Rick Fox, as he was known to his friends, faced Japanese bullets on the beach at Balikpapan in July 1945. 229 Australians died in that battle to loosen the grip of imperialist Japanese power in the region. Since then Japan has democratised and become a militarily non aggressive nation.
Indonesia has become a second home for me. I have some great friends there with wonderful insights to what different peoples need to live in peace. One of these is Bugis elder Aspar Paturusi. The Bugis people are a famous sea faring people who often sailed far from home and traded with aboriginal people in Northern Australia. Aspar talks about the tax that killed this trade and the importance of genuinely free trade to Bugis people in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWNSkNpxbfw
The modern issues around trade and protection of sovereignty are complex.
The lessons of Bugis-Australian history are worth learning.
As Donald Trump demonstrated in Singapore, people to people contacts matter.
Geoff Fox September 16, 2018, Jakarta.
An interesting evaluation of America’s one sided free trade produced in early 2012. Foreshadows Trump’s tariff battles.
Warms the cockles of my heart that the name of MacArthur - the Redeemer of the Philippines, the Protector of Australia - is still remembered and respected in Australia.
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