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Reader’s comment: Coals from Newcastle


In response to Niall McCrae: Australia’s Chinese takeover, Roger Watson wrote:

Poor old Australia – they are utterly dependent on selling coal to China; if China doesn’t buy it, their economy is in trouble and towns like Newcastle NSW would go under. I stayed in the hotel on the docks there once and spent hours watching the coal tankers come and go – all with Chinese names on them. I travel to both China and Australia regularly and love both places and love the Chinese people. But anybody who thinks that China is benign is naive – it is a high surveillance, low trust culture. Every academic department in a university has a ‘director’ – often not cognate to the subject of the department – and this is code for Party man/woman – they rule with a rod and keep the staff tuned to the latest message from Beijing.

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