This is not the time to trust China

by Avi Yemini

Today I sat with Morgan Jonas who is the organiser of the upcoming “Stop The Sale Of Victoria” rally later this month.

In a video that has recently gone viral, Morgan says

Our premier Daniel Andrews went to China and signed an agreement with the Chinese government called the belt and road initiative (or BRI for short).
 
This deal is China’s multi-trillion dollar strategy for dominating global waterways, infrastructure, trade and resources; these deals are notorious for being predatory and secretive.”

The Chinese government has a long history of offering states and territories vast loans which are supposed to build infrastructure. However, these loans come with a host of usurious terms.

Some of the terms often require the borrowing nation to contract Chinese infrastructure firms over local firms. They force the import of Chinese materials instead of using locally sourced materials and force the employment of foreign workers over domestic workers.

But it doesn’t stop there.

Countries that sign onto the BRI are all complaining about the same things:

    1. High-interest unsustainable loans which often results in the forfeiture of state assets to China, assets such as ports, infrastructure and resources rights.
    2. A substandard infrastructure that (a) doesn’t meet the needs of the people and (b) are built with inferior workmanship and cheap materials; often these projects fall entirely apart within just a couple of years of construction.
    3. Drastically overpriced infrastructure, so projects costing several times than what they should.
    4. Unemployment, so jobs for these projects that should be going to local workers end up going to Chinese nationals.
    5. Corruption, funds are often siphoned out of these projects to line the pockets of corrupt politicians and fund the election campaigns of pro-Beijing candidates.
    6. Political interference, countries that become overly economically intertwined with China become increasingly exposed to Chinese government meddling in domestic affairs, such as elections.

Most western countries around the world, including Australia’s federal government, and all rational think-tanks have expressed security concerns about the belt and road initiative.

The general consensus is that the BRI has nothing to do with infrastructure and everything to do with advancing the leadership regime Chinese Communist party.

What Daniel Andrews has done is unprecedented in Australian history, never before has a state premier acted with such recklessness, he’s put Victoria’s security at risk and compromised Australian democracy.

Andrews is not qualified to negotiate foreign policy and has ignored Canberra; he’s ignored the experts.

The rally to stop Daniel Andrews and his “Sale Of Victoria” to China is planned for March 22, from noon outside the State Library in Melbourne.

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