Balancing Act

That’s what conventional “wisdom” says confronts the government of Australia as it contemplates buying nuclear-powered submarines from the US. The buy is part of AUKUS’ combined effort to counter the People’s Republic of China’s military buildup and its continued strengthening of the PLA in the PRC’s occupation of the South China Sea.

Australia is trying to strike a balance between its close relationship with the US and its ties to China, which buys much of its valuable iron ore and is its largest trading partner.

There’s nothing to balance here. There are lots of nations, all over the world, with an interest in buying Australian iron ore, Australia’s iron processed from that ore, such steel as Australia chooses to produce. There is a wide world of existing and potential trading partners for Australia’s other goods and services. Shipping need not be that expensive, either: the nations metaphorically next door that rim the South China Sea, the Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, and Japan all have need of iron ore and iron and are interested in the plethora of additional goods and services that Australia might sell.

Australia has no need of the PRC’s market, and the sooner it divests itself, the sooner it will shake its dependency on and pressure from the PRC.

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