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It’s a big call, but given the way the Chinese play international politics and assuming a great deal of Australias borrowings are from China, I wonder if their “downturn” isn’t a confected downturn and they are sourcing their raw materials elsewhere.

This confected “downturn” would have the effect of negatively impacting our balance of trade with them and so giving them the opportunity to put the squeeze on us and force economic surrender as it were.
China would be very much aware of our addicition to free stuff (Medicare and social wlefare etc) and very much aware that it is the China boom thats been funding it. This is not unlike drug dealers and pimps funding the addiction to keep you on a string.

In other words, the unspoke threat is, “give us what we want in terms of access to markets and public assetts etc or we’ll turn off the money tap thats been funding your social programs.”

Is that the game I wonder??