Australia’s China Problem

This video is made possible by Shopify—the
platform behind Wendover and thousands of others’ e-commerce businesses. Among the many former British colonies that
have grown into some of the world’s most developed countries, Australia is unique. Specifically, its economy has developed into
something unlike that of any other, and a big player in the story of that economy is
China… for better or worse. To understand China’s role in Australia
and the problem this poses down under, one has to start in a very different place—the
United States. If it were not for the US, Australia might
not exist. Prior to the American Revolutionary War, Britain
would primarily send their prisoners to the American colonies when sentenced to transportation. Once the colonies became the independent country
of the United States, Britain needed to find a new place to put their convicts and for
that, they chose what is now Sydney. The first fleet of convicts who arrived in
Botany Bay were the origins of what is now the country of Australia, and they might not
have made the long trek to there if not for the founding of the United States. Beyond just this, the history of Australia
and the history of the US are eerily similar and interlinked. The two country’s foundings are offset from
each other by 180 years, but parallel significantly. Australia is almost the exact same size as
the contiguous United States, and even has similar dimensions to the US. Both nations include similarly diverse landscapes
and climates, and both started in the east. They then each expanded west, taking over
indigenous land, largely fueled by the discovery of gold and its subsequent mining. While the scale is obviously quite different,
both nations were quite isolated by distance to the European world, although close to a
number of other European colonies. Both nations started with their small British
populations but then grew primarily through immigration from English-speaking countries,
secondly through immigration from non English-speaking European countries, and thirdly through immigration
from the rest of the world. They even share the same story in the founding
of their capital cities—they each built a planned city in a central location between
their two major population centers as to not favor one over the other. The similarities go on and on, but the point
is that Australia and the US were largely dealt the same cards, but got vastly different
results The US quickly developed into one of the most
politically, economically, and socially powerfully countries on earth with a population well
over 300 million. Australia, however, never grew into more than
a small, regional power, with a small population of just 25 million. Now, Australia is no doubt a highly successful
nation. It’s among the world’s most wealthy countries,
the world’s most developed countries, it has one of the world’s lowest unemployment
rates, one of the world’s lowest poverty rates, and is one of the highest scoring in
the world happiness index. What the country is definitively not, though,
is a superpower. While you can never forget the role of pure
chance, given the similar starting position of both countries, the first thing one has
to look at for a reason behind this is Australia’s geography. Despite their similar sizes, what differentiates
Australia from the US is its desolation. About 35% of the landmass is considered desert,
which generally cannot sustain large population centers. There are of course exceptions to this, most
notably in the Middle East where huge cities such as Dubai, Doha, and Riyadh sprung up
in the middle of deserts, but each of these largely developed as a result of oil booms
in their respective countries. While the deserts of Australia do have oil
deposits, none of these are at a similar scale to those of the Middle East, have not been
significantly exploited, and, in addition, it’s largely Perth, on the western coast,
that has emerged as a hub for oil, rather than an inland city. With limited arable land and a harsh climate,
the inland of Australia just isn’t conducive to most human life. That results in a fairly striking population
density map. Just five major population centers have emerged—Brisbane,
Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth. Each of these is directly on the coast. The largest city in Australia that’s not
directly on the coast, in fact, is Canberra—the capital—which has a population of just 400,000
and was a planned city, meaning its development cannot be a perfect indicator for the viability
of inland life in Australia. Even then, it sits a mere 70 miles or 115
kilometers from the coast. If you’re talking about population centers
that are significantly offset from the coast, in the outback, as it’s called, the largest
would probably be Alice Springs—a northern territory town of just 24,000. This desolation can be further exemplified
by the country’s road network. The primary highway linking the population
centers of Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide to Perth is just a single, two-lane
road, traversing the southern coast of the country. The same is the case for the Stuart highway
which serves as the primary link from the south coast to the north coast up the center
of the country—it too is just a two-lane road. What this all means is that much of Australia’s
land just doesn’t lend itself to the development of large-scale human settlements, leaving
it fairly empty. Australia’s vastness served a crucial role
in developing it into one of the world’s wealthiest economies, though. The country is now the world’s largest exporter
of minerals. It has huge amounts of coal, iron, lead, diamonds,
gold, uranium, and more, mostly in its vast, open, outback. That means that the primary economic activity
in Australia’s interior is mining, and with natural resources making up a majority of
the country’s exports, it were these minerals that played a major part in growing Australia
into a wealthy economy. They also cemented who Australia’s economic
partners would be. Nearly 30% of Australia’s exports go to
China, primarily driven by China’s significant demand for minerals. China, in fact, in the number one spot, buys
more from Australia than the number two, three, and four countries combined—Japan, the US,
and South Korea. Beyond just Chinese companies buying minerals
from Australian mining companies to use in their factories, there are also sizable amounts
of investment coming in from Chinese companies. Overall, it’s safe to say that the Australian
mining sector would not be what it is without China, but Australia also relies on the billion
people up north to act as customers for another crucial aspect of their economy—education. As strange as it might sound, universities,
which in most cases are non-profits, form a sizable part of the Australian economy as
Australian universities are some of the most successful in the world at attracting international
students. The country is home to about 875,000
international students across all types of schools. Now, of course, remember, the entire population
of Australia is only about 25 million. What that means is that, in the entire country,
1 out of every 28 people are international students. Of these international students, the highest
proportion, by far, are Chinese, at 30%. That represents a quarter of a million Chinese
students studying in Australia. On the flip side, that means that at any given
time, 1 out of every 5,000 Chinese people are studying in Australia. Within universities, Chinese make up 10% of
the average student body, however, considering they tend to cluster together, certain universities
have far higher proportions. At UNSW the proportion is 23%, at the University
of Sydney, it’s 24%, and numbers are similar at other hotspots. All in all, these Chinese students contribute
more than about $10 billion a year to the Australian economy. There are also plenty of other sectors that
play a part of China’s huge economic influence in Australia such as tourism, manufacturing,
services, and more. Given how much the two economies are interlinked,
therefore, as China has risen, so too has Australia. This link to the success of one of the biggest
economic success stories ever has helped Australia earn an impressive record. It has gone 28 years, since 1991, without
a recession. While the rest of world struggled through
the Asian Financial crisis, the collapse of the dot-com bubble, and the Great Recession,
Australia just kept on going with quarter after quarter after quarter of economic growth. By most measures, in modern history, no developed
country has ever gone such a long period without a recession. But this all, of course, has a flip side. Such heavy economic reliance on a country
that politically, Australia doesn’t always agree with is dangerous. An Australian-Chinese trade war would certainly
cause a lot more damage down under than up north. At the same time, there are quite a few efforts
by China to influence Australia. China has made plenty of attempts to tip politics
in the country in their favor. As one, small example, Chinese Communist Party
run or affiliated WeChat accounts, a popular social network in China, released posts critical
and mocking of Australian politician and current prime minister Scott Morrison in the run-up
to the May, 2019 Australian election. Beyond that, the Chinese government has been
known to unofficially sponsor certain pro-China, ethnically-Chinese candidates for various
Australian offices through a variety of methods. In media, China has been known to impart vast
control over Chinese-language outlets in Australia and responds harshly to criticism through
defamation lawsuits and more. On university campuses, the Chinese Communist
Party is known to have vast amounts of influence, with accusations that the government has built
spy networks within Australian universities to monitor Chinese students and their political
views. In one instance, a Chinese student studying
in Brisbane participated in a rally supporting the anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong, and
days later, the student’s family back in China were visited by the authorities. There is a very clear but unspoken threat
by China to Australia—if you make things difficult for us politically, we’ll make
things difficult for you economically. How things typically work in China is that,
in order to achieve business success, even when running a fully private company, one
needs to be cosy with the Chinese Communist Party that runs the government. Therefore, even if a Chinese company is fully
private, it knows that it needs to act in a way that aligns with China’s politics. Of course, while some of China’s tools of
economic warfare are more traditional, like tariffs, a lot of its influence stems from
the actions of the private sector. Any private Chinese company knows that, if
Australia suddenly took a hard pro Hong Kong independence stance, for example, the CCP
might not be happy about continued business with the country. Australia’s therefore in a tricky spot where
it’s a western country socially and politically, but in many ways, an eastern country economically. As a result, taking a political stance against
any actions by China comes at a much higher cost than that of a less economically linked
country. Australia quite literally cannot afford to
lose China. A trade-war with China on the scale of the
US’ would devastate the Australian economy. China no doubt has done wonders for Australia,
but the point is that too much reliance on any economy, no matter how strong that economy
may be, is a risky strategy. When that strong economy is run by a foreign
government that can adjust its flows in an instant, that’s even riskier. According to one study run by the Reserve
Bank of Australia, if China’s GDP contracted by just 5%, that would result in Australia’s
GDP falling by 2.5%. That is a clear-cut case of economic reliance,
so, if Australia wants to keep up its unprecedented period of economic growth irregardless of
how China’s doing, diversification is crucial. I know a lot of Wendover Productions viewers
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100 thoughts on “Australia’s China Problem

  1. To be honest, there is no way right now that Australia is not influenced by China. The government and people just couldn’t take the hit. It is obvious that China do not need Australia to take a side between US and China in the trade war. China wants Australia to not take a side, that’s enough for China – do not make a stand politically. China’s approach is simple: let’s talk business, do not mention politics. That how RCEP get done. Let’s focus on economics and business putting aside politics and disputes.

  2. Great video but there is a ton of inland cities with more population then Alice springs I think the biggest inland city may be tamworth but I could be wrong about that.

  3. Australia doesn’t have a china problem it has a government problem that is selling it to the highest bidder

  4. To sum it up, basically when China stops buying our education, real estate and dirt. Australia is f#$ked. Diversify with what, We don't create, innovate or build anything

  5. Trump drinks some vodka: everyone goes fucking bonkers

    China literally subverts Australian democracy: i sleep (with ur mom lol)

  6. The first time I went to Italy, which was in 1997, there were several Australians in our tour group. They seemed to be lovely people.

  7. According to situation in EU and US, we can simply predict a mass flood of refugees from China to Australia. First from Hong Kong, then from other parts.

  8. The more correct title would be Australia's America Problem. Seriously, China helps us with our economy, why is this even a problem. The US on the other hand always meddle with our politics.

  9. Bruh, the whole world has a China problem, even China has a China problem and that is saying something as China has thousands of years of having China problems.

  10. you forgot the part about Australia and USA both building their country on the subjugation, enslavement and genocide of the indigenous population!

  11. US was built o slavery that is how it develped and stop giving credit to US were it's not warranted England was sending people to Australia as well as US good information in the main

  12. "If you make things difficult for us politically, we make things difficult for you economically."

    Reminds me of USA policy and their use of sanctions.

  13. A few points to note:
    1. Australia = The USA's very own B!t(H.
    2. Australia's identity is defined by Indigenous issues and celebrating War victims.
    3. Australia is not a "happy" country: it has a massive drug mafia and pandemic mental health disorders.
    4. Kalgoorlie (WA) is also a major urban center in the middle of the desert (29000 inhabitants).
    5. International students are the second biggest ponzi scheme in Australia (after Real Estate).
    6. Australia is slowly getting rid of its "Chinese" problem by importing more Indians (in Healthcare, IT, Telecommunications, Tourism, Farming, etc).

    So, as usual, she'll be alright, mate. 🙂

    Edit: Spellings.

  14. Australia notin a recession? Lol. What planet are you from? We got businesses shutting down left right and centre and people loosing their jobs.

  15. Shopify CEO is a pretty cool guy (at least in his public accounts you never know in personal life), sponsonsoring planting trees, sponsoring Tournaments of his favorite esport Starcraft 2 etc.. Really cool to see you being sponsored by them aswell.

  16. This isn't a purely good or bad thing. Some people in this comment section only look at the positives or only look at the negatives, but you never get to understand these situation if you look at it through a single lens.

  17. Here is a video showing the lack of empathy among Chinese people (unspace the URLs, I had to space out the URLs to avoid censorship by Youtube):

    h t t p s : / / i . 4 p c d n . o r g / p o l / 1 4 1 8 5 0 0 6 7 6 3 1 3 . w e b m

    Here is a video of Chinese engineering:

    h t t p s : / / i . 4 p c d n . o r g / p o l / 1 4 5 7 5 9 5 9 9 5 0 5 6 . w e b m

    Here is a video of Chinese people boiling rats alive:

    h t t p s : / / i . 4 p c d n . o r g / p o l / 1 5 1 0 5 3 9 1 1 7 1 7 7 . w e b m

    Here is a video of a Chinese person burning a dog:

    h t t p s : / / i . 4 p c d n . o r g / p o l / 1 4 8 3 7 9 6 4 6 6 7 7 4 . w e b m

    Here is a video of a Chinese woman being killed by a Chinese escalator:

    h t t p s : / / i . 4 p c d n . o r g / p o l / 1 4 4 5 1 8 6 2 5 9 9 2 2 . w e b m

    Also, China is jealous of superior American technology and that's why it often tries to steal superior American technology:

  18. I for one do not consider land empty if there are no man made structures. It's like saying a glass of water is empty but a glass of gatorade is full. Why are white people so inimical to nature??

  19. 😏😏😏😏😏

    I was hoping this was going to be about the problems with kilns and baking ceramic bowls downunder.


  20. Great now .. lets now lets do one about America & why it’s literally involved itself in every conflict since the 1900’s all for the sake of MONEY!

  21. Geography is the problem because if you look in a flat Earth module, it is not in the middle of trades. The Earth is flat. We are the center of the universe. And Epstein didn't kill himself.

  22. Australia never grew like the US because we only have 200ish (1788) years of white settlement while America has had just over 400 (1492) and we never had slaves. If anything we are closer to Canada in in respect to culture and vast open spaces that is possible to live in for the people. But yes, We now belong to China thanks to the Chinese ass kissing Liberal gov.

  23. Ten years ago the Australian government could see the need to do something about its over reliance on mining and exporting to china. They tried to implement super profits tax to get a fair share from that once in a generation mining boom. But the conservative opposition and the mining lobby shot it down all the money that could have helped to support entrepreneurs in new industries wound up in private hands and the public got shafted while China had a mighty good chuckle.

  24. Defectors from China have reported that China has already drawn up invasion plans and intends to take over Australia.

  25. Make videos for clicks. Know international political lobbing is gripping the youtube videos just to brain wash people. How this Asshole connects China's problem into Australia,

  26. I have to say the one thing I like that Australia is the outback make sure you take a satellite phone with you you don't want to break down out there trust me

  27. 11:04 IRREGARDLESS??? Not a word! It's a conflation of "regardless" and "irrespective." Of course, "regardless" is the word you should have used.

  28. If the USA and China ever get into a serious dispute then Australia has to pick a side. Currently we're a firm ally of the USA and rely on the ANZUS treaty for implicit protection. But if push comes to shove, both countries will ask Australia to pick a side. We won't be able to sit on the fence as we currently do, firmly supporting the USA while doing everything possible not to upset China.

  29. Great video! just psa I cringed at 11:03 when you said "irregardless". because regardless means 'without regard' then 'irregardless' is essentially a double negative. that was just a grammatical pet peeve of mine but really this was a well done video and I gave it a like

  30. Malay people in malaysia be like: first time?
    Australian better handle it carefully and immediately before its too late…chinese always want to dominate everything, everywhere, everyone…especially the one who from communist background…get ready for capitalism if they rule you…in malaysia if you a malay, you hardly to get a job from chinese company (except multinational company) or if you get it, your salary will be much lower compare to other chinese colleague…yup, same position, same job description n responsibility….when we point out this issues, they said we trying to be racist against them….whathehell?…since they really love money, the only legal way to fight against them is through economy…in malaysia we do 'buy muslim first' (bmf) campaign since the bad and greedy chinese mostly buddha….we are not boycotting them but we buy muslim's product first since the chinese does not 'treat' us properly when we supporting their business…now, they seem a little 'tamer' after their businesses drop drastically since this campaign was launched 'officially' last august…actually, my family practicing bmf since 10 years ago after realize they start to cross a line…but, even they seem a little tamer and nicer to us, for now, we will not allow the same thing happens all over again…we dont trust chinese anymore…it doesnt matter where they from, chinese always a chinese even they already leave mainland china for generations…

  31. Australian does have all those minerals. They represent leverage in political negotiations. That said, I believe the Chinese economy is more diversified. In any trade war, China can endure more economic pain, for a longer period, than Australia can. What is Canberra doing to hedge its all-in bet on Chinese trade?

  32. Australia is 10 years behind the United States and they're stupid most of their highways are not bigger than 2 lanes except for some in the bigger cities that are 3 lanes.

  33. Lol you called the Australia and United States being dealt similar cards with just a difference of lots of deserts in Australia making agriculture difficult. That is a big difference.

  34. “if it were not for the u.s, australia might not exist!”
    fuck off, stop thinking the u.s is the centre of the world.
    not. everything. is. about. the. u.s.

  35. CANZUK is a viable association which could safeguard the sovereignties of all its members, and it just makes sense.

  36. Both USA and Australia have something common. Both are stolen land from its natives.
    So dont say China is a problem.
    Instead Australia is a problem.
    Its whiteman in the wrong part of the world. Same with Diego Garcia. You all came from Europe. Lets not forget that.

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