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What Thinking Australians Are Thinking

Bob Carr appears determined to sidestep the main issue: namely that China is a rising imperial power with no respect for the rule of law within its own borders, let alone without.

The Chinese Communist Party regime was responsible for the deaths of between 40 and 70 million of its own citizens in the 20th century — a matter which is still taboo for public discussion in China today. These sobering facts should lead us to treat China with extreme caution, and not with the juvenile fawning that is all too common among our political and business elites.

Peter Cook, Spring Hill, Qld

Peter Costello gloats about having delivered ten balanced budgets (“Costello’s blast: Libs lack vision”, 10/9). It was certainly a good time to be a treasurer. The budget benefit from an eight-year mining boom peaked at an annual $80 billion just before the defeat of the Howard government.

What the former treasurer didn’t acknowledge was that his budgets also locked in middle class welfare which makes it much more difficult to budget now. On the broken federal budget, neither of the major parties comes to the table with clean hands.

Richard Yeeles, Millswood, SA

Turnbull’s wasted year

Your pointed editorial (“Another year of waiting for economic reform”, 10/9) was far too kind to Malcolm Turnbull’s year of leadership. When two political notables, Jeff Kennett and Peta Credlin, were asked to name anything he had achieved, they were stumped. Exactly. However, I could name at least one achievement — he gifted 14 hard-worn seats to the Labor Opposition. When Turnbull was asked during his trip away to the G20 conference to name something he had implemented in the past year, he replied “jobs and growth”. We were told there would be no more three word slogans when he snatched Tony Abbott’s leadership. This year has been a waste of time for the Coalition government and our nation. The federal Liberal Party has been weakened by the gratuitous act of ambition and treachery to remove Tony Abbott, who would have won the election because of his superior campaigning.

Lesley Beckhouse, Queanbeyan, NSW

A very good and timely article by Greg Sheridan (“Coalition’s China spying inquiry”, 10/9). Interesting to see how all of our journos have “discovered” Chinese influence in Australia during the past fortnight. The answer to Sheridan’s question on “how does a democracy respond to a totalitarian state using our liberalism against us” is unpalatable and possibly expensive.

We employ bilateralism in all trade and contact with such an entity. We approach them in the same manner that they approach us. We use their illiberalism against them. If we do not, we will soon be owned and operated as a branch office of the People’s Liberation Army and politburo.

Chris Squelch, Townsville, Qld