Economy & Politics

CommentWhy we should drink Australian “freedom wine”

China recently introduced high import duties on wine from Australia imago images / VCG

In his little “Red Book”, Mao Zedong once warned the West with the martial words: “The stone that the reactionaries have raised falls on their own feet!” The saying of the great chairman now applies more to his successor Xi Jinping, who is already known in the People’s Republic of China as “little Mao”. With his imperial foreign policy, the head of state and party harm himself more than the addressees of his blackmail attempts, as the example of Australia shows.

For months, Xi has been trying to economically bring the 25 million Australians to their knees. First China stopped importing raw materials from the country, then the ban beam Xis hit the Australian universities and last week the vintners. Since then, up to 212 percent tariffs have been levied on the well-known red wines from Australia.

All of these measures are not about an economic dispute, as with the US, but about politics. Since the Australians have been resisting the infiltration of their universities and political parties by China, denouncing the ongoing espionage attacks and openly taking a stand against human rights violations in the Chinese province of Xinjiang, they have been regarded as enemies in the People’s Republic. The barrel overflowed with the Australian government’s request to investigate the origins of the corona pandemic in China. Now China wants to set an example – based on another Mao saying: “If you want to frighten a monkey, you have to kill a chicken in front of his eyes”.

Criticism of China is also growing in Germany

The chicken – this is Australia; the monkey is Europe. The Chinese are very concerned that criticism of Xi’s policies is growing in the European Union (EU). So far, many EU members have refrained from political pressure for fear of the lucrative sales market. This is especially true for Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel has so far had the weal and woe of our auto industry in the Middle Kingdom in mind – and has therefore repeatedly made a name for herself at EU level as a brake on a more critical China policy. But meanwhile the mood in her own party and in the whole Bundestag is changing. From China’s point of view, this means that if Germany falls over, the whole EU will shake. Xi’s horror scenario: The Europeans could agree on a common China policy with the new American President Joe Biden.

So far, the Chinese have not only succeeded in playing Americans and Europeans off against one another, but also between the EU members. For example, some EU countries such as Italy or Hungary support the notorious model project of a “new silk road”, while others strictly reject it. More importantly, whenever the Chinese punished an EU member state for any “wrongdoing”, the other EU states went underground. Divide and rule – this Chinese motto worked well in the past. However, the more brutal Xi Jinping appears, the more common resistance grows.

The Europeans should therefore not leave Australia alone in their own best interests. Every consumer can take part – and order a bottle of Shiraz or Cabernet from the fifth continent. In any case, it is recommended by activists around the world who use the hashtag “freedom wine” to show the Chinese in an unusual way: with a good sip from the glass.

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