Tony Abbott turned his back and faced Europe changing the nature of the region. (ODT)
After riding the coattails of China’s boom for decades, Australian conservatives are now railing against China. They’re not just following a lead from Washington — the Liberal Party’s corporate backers are anxious to maintain Australian dominance in the South Pacific.
After letting its guard down in the Pacific, Australia has found that the superpower whose growth has helped to sustain the Australian economy is now staking its own claim to a region it perceives as its own. Australia’s resource giants have long enjoyed the best of both worlds: a vast Chinese export market and privileged access to resources in the South Pacific. But now both privileges are in jeopardy, and Australia is struggling to formulate a response.
After three decades of a China-fueled economic boom, the bust may have deep and dangerous consequences — especially for Pacific island peoples who find themselves, once again, caught in a game where no matter who wins, they lose.