Australia-China; Politburo meeting; Xi on archaeology; Massive hydropower project in Tibet
Australia-China relations were already worsening into the weekend as China announced punishing tariffs on Australian wine, the latest in a series of economic penalties Beijing has imposed over the last few weeks.
Then Foreign Ministry spokesman and keyboard wolf warrior Zhao Lijian tweeted a drawing by a jingoist artist about the recent revelations of killings of innocents in Afghanistan by Australian soldiers:
Zhao’s tweet sparked outrage in Australia, and he doubled down by pinning it to the top of his Twitter profile. His boss Hua Chunying defended Zhao and attacked Australia again, making it crystal clear that this was not some sort of anomalous outburst by Zhao.
Why would Zhao increase tensions with Australia, a key US ally, just weeks before Joe Biden takes over as US President? This concerted PRC assault on everything Australian makes it even harder for a President Biden to revert to a less confrontational policy towards China, if that is something he is considering.
I can think…