Paul French

BHP and Rio Tinto dominate the warped debate on China in Australia, says business analyst Paul French in Adelaide Now. Paul French was ‘down under’ past weekend and gave the Aussies some food for thought on their relationship with China.

Adelaide Now:

“Australia is having the most warped and deformed debate about China of any major country that I’ve experienced,” [Paul French] said. “It’s the least nuanced, the most suspect debate.”

China’s other trading partners, such as Germany, the US and Britain, managed to have a debate that balances business interests with human rights issues. In those countries, said French, the China business lobby ranges from corporations such as British Aerospace and McDonnell Douglas to fashion brands and investment banks.

“Here, that broad arc of business concern is two companies, who almost became one company, in the same business with pretty much the same agenda,” he said. “Almost everywhere else in the world, the China debate is balanced.

“So Angela Merkel, David Cameron, Sarkozy or even Obama, do sit down with the Dalai Lama when he comes to town and the Chinese jump up and down and throw their toys out of the pram for five minutes and then we just all get on with things.”

Both Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd before her have declined to meet the Tibetan spiritual leader.

“In Australia, you have these miners saying `if you do anything to annoy China they’ll cancel their contracts, every Australian household will drop $7000 overnight, we’ll all get creamed’,” said French.

“And there isn’t really any evidence of that. The Germans trade with China a lot more than you do.

“Outside of minerals and a bit of tourism, you have no trade with them.

“A bit of organic honey, and a bottle of wine or two, that’s about it.”

More in Adelaide Now.

Paul French is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need him at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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