Is this China Syndrome 2


The 1979 movie The China Syndrome told the story of a wicked nuclear power company hushing up a nuclear meltdown, only to be busted by courageous, truth seeking journalists.

The China reference was from the idea that the nuclear core would melt down and continue ‘all the way through to China’ from the USA.

Today’s China syndrome is a bit different. China Syndrome

Hush ups are still the order of the day, but this time it’s China in the dock and it’s our doctors and medical professionals gallantly chasing the truth.

How our relationship with China is going to change in a post coronavirus world is something worth thinking about, because change it most surely will: the Chinese Government’s colours aren’t looking so flash.

This is after all the same Chinese Government that persecuted the whistle blower doctors who first called out the corona virus in December, forcing them into a public apology and retraction. At least one later died.

They’ve since tried to convince the word that they have things under control, as part of a growing propaganda war with global trade as the stakes.

This is the same Government that tried to introduce a Fugitive Offenders bill in Hong Kong which would have potentially allowed political protesters to be extradited to China, where many seem to just simply disappear. That led to the ongoing student and community riots of late 2019.

It’s also the same crowd who have been building military basis in the South China sea on contested islands.


And this is the same Government which has reportedly forced as many as one million people – mostly Muslim Uighars – into “re-education camps” without trial, and from which many are said to never leave.

The exact numbers are unknown of course, because being a Communist state, they also control the state media.

It’s a vision of totalitarian rule and thought crimes torn straight from the pages of Orwell’s Big Brother.

Chinese Government-backed companies haven’t helped things either.

There have been at least two reports so far of Chinese companies stripping Australia of more than 80 tonnes of medical supplies including 100,000 protective coveralls & 900,000 pairs of medical gloves.

Apparently, the order went out to do this worldwide before the virus took hold in other nations.

Only the morons at the woke Sydney Morning Herald could be so gullible as to suggest “The humanitarian efforts of Chinese companies to help their desperate compatriots back home may have contributed to shortages of products in Australia.”

Seriously, how dumb can you be and still write for a leading masthead?

“Humanitarian” … “desperate compatriots back home…” What about Australians in need?

Not only this but we’ve discovered (hopefully not too late) that such heavy reliance on one country for so much of our goods and services may not be such a good thing.

Supplies across the board, traditionally sourced from China, were interrupted as a result of the virus and in turn disrupted everything from construction to consumer goods.

And the impact on our tertiary education sector – which has become increasingly reliant on full fee paying foreign students (particularly from China) – has been profound.

As the recovery sets in – which it will – Australia will need to earn foreign income quickly.

We will be looking for export markets and no doubt looking closely at import-replacement options.

Low cost energy and its central importance to local manufacture and industry may see costly and highly subsidised green energy schemes pushed to one side.

Our resources sector should logically be freed from vexatious objections by green groups in order to bring the much-needed cash back into Australia.

And this is where the new China syndrome kicks in.

  • The biggest customer for our resources? China.
  • The biggest source of foreign students, with education now being such a massive income earner for Australia? China.
  • Fastest growing tourism market? China.
  • Country worth the most in exports? China.
  • Country we import the most from? China.

Australia has found itself wedded to China and to the Chinese Government in ways unimaginable only a few years ago. globe-economy-growth-health-world-heart-decline-map

As the economies of the world move into recovery phase, it seems inevitable that relationships – trading and political – with China are going to change.

Self sufficiency may be valued more than before, and border security rather than open borders could be an elevated consideration, compared with recent years.

In all this, Australia is going to find itself facing some difficult political and economic challenges. Our economic recovery, earned through increased export volumes and import replacement, is related primarily to the Government of one country – and it’s not exactly got a nice reputation right now.

I was born and raised in Hong Kong, back then a largely free city-state sharing a closed border with a hostile, suspicious, communist China.

I made many very good Chinese friends and I genuinely like the Chinese people.

I also watched many attempt to flee Communist China.

I watched the Communist Chinese sponsor riots, unrest and bombs that killed innocents in HK, and I saw the bloated bodies in the harbour of failed attempts to swim across the border to freedom.

Would I trust their Communist Party leaders or Government?

Only the Sydney Morning Herald could be so silly.


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Ross Elliott has spent close to 30 years in real estate and property roles, including as a State Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Property Council of Australia, as well a national executive director of the Residential Development Council. He has authored and edited a large number of research and policy papers and spoken at numerous conferences and industry events.Visit

'Is this China Syndrome 2' have 12 comments

    Avatar for Ross Elliott

    April 6, 2020 Ross Elliott

    I’m sorry if this article offended some readers. I tried to draw the distinction between the Chinese people, and their government. It is the latter we need to be wary of. That was the point of the article. Surely we can be critical of a Government – especially one that is unelected and with such a chequered history of abuses – without being accused of tarnishing a race of people?


    Avatar for Ross Elliott

    April 6, 2020 S. Lloyd

    I work in the mining industry and there is a concern that upsetting China would result in damage to the industry. However I also believe that the reason that we are selling so much Iron Ore and other minerals to China is because everyone is either buying their manufactured products, which is amplified by the proportion of worldwide manufacturing companies making their products in China.
    This is a ‘no brainer’ but basically we are all shovelling as much of our money as possible into their economy. We are making them very wealthy and with that wealth comes power, the two things that the Chinese government craves the most! They have already proven to the world that they can be trusted with neither.
    How do we reverse this situation? the same way it started. We make choices as consumers. When we are looking to buy something, first and foremost we find out where it was made. If we don’t know then ask around. At least make some effort to find out. Then prioritise products other than Chinese made ones, preferably Australian but at least from a country other than China.
    The next step is to let the seller of that product that you don’t want to buy any Chinese made products from them. If they don’t have anything suitable then go to someone else. If everyone makes this kind of effort then the sellers, followed by the manufacturers will soon get the message. The message is that having their products made in China is hurting their sales, their bottom line.
    If the world consumer populations squeeze hard enough then the sellers and manufacturers will have no choice but to find somewhere other than China to make their goods.
    This will, of course, stimulate the economies of other nations, who, in turn, will desire more of what we have: Iron ore and other minerals. The collective power of consumers worldwide can take the wealth and power off China and redistribute it to more deserving and at least more trustworthy nations.


    Avatar for Ross Elliott

    April 5, 2020 George

    Whilst I agree with the premise of the article, that Australia has become too dependant on China with respect to trade, the tone of this article is sensationalist trash. The author seems very light on actual facts – some of these things “apparently” happened. Referring to journalists from the SMH as morons, and “woke” (Ross must have learnt a new word and was desperate to use it so he could sound clever) is equally trashy, and unbecoming of the advice provided on this website. Sensationalist language like “Chinese companies stripping Australia of medical supplies” is what I’d expect to see or hear on A Current Affair or 2GB. Let’s keep in mind that these medical supplies flew out of Australia on Feb 24. At that time Australia had about 22 cases of COVID-19, and the Prime Minister was still going to the footy on the weekend. No one in Australia, or for that matter around the world, likely expected it to turn into the pandemic it has. Australia didn’t start taking it seriously until the 13th March when the National Cabinet was formed and it wasn’t until the 18th March when a Biosecurity Emergency was called, and strict measures started taking place. So maybe there is some merit in the idea that some Chinese business people were simply trying to help out their countrymen with medical equipment, not fully realising how significantly affected Australia and other countries would be. Also, let’s keep in mind, they didn’t steal it, but purchased it legally. Someone expressing that view doesn’t make them a moron or “woke”. They just have a different opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no fan of Australia’s reliance on China, and the current situation has certainly highlighted the problems it presents us, nor am I fan of their authoritarian government, but we should be critical in the way we assess information, especially if we are sensibly contributing to that discourse in the public media. I see enough of this rubbish circulating on Facebook (the only thing missing was a meme to go with it). I don’t expect to see it from a reputable provider of solid, and trustworthy investment advise. Again, it’s not the premise of the argument, just the inflammatory and sensational way it is presented. No more of this rubbish please.


      April 5, 2020 Michael Yardney

      Thanks George – Clealry this article has offended a few people – I didn’t write it, but I’s sorry if it offended you


    Avatar for Ross Elliott

    April 5, 2020 Richard Ng

    It’s very disappointing to see typical anti Chinese propaganda on an otherwise quality property investment education platform. Don’t we get enough of this (and belittling of other races) on our mainstream media? It’s very easy to demonise an entire people and question the legitimacy of their government when we focus 100% on the negative all the time. That’s how major misunderstandings and conflicts always start. Don’t think that Chinese citizens are the only ones being brainwashed in this day and age. Please don’t risk alienating a portion of your reader base. There’s enough Chinese (and other minority group) bashing in our so called Free press.


      April 5, 2020 Michael Yardney

      Thanks for following my regular commentary, and in particular thank you for taking the time to leave this comment.

      I did not write this article and I have huge respect for the Chinese community as many of our clients are Chinese and we have a number of senior staff members who are Chinese

      As you can imagine, I have many many “so-called” expert’s wanting to have their work published on Property Update – which is over the last years become the leading property news portal

      Obviously I’m careful with who’s I commentary I publish – Ross Elliott has a very good reputation and a strong professional background.

      While I don’t always agree with the views of the various commentators, I am careful in not censoring them (too much😊)

      A long time ago I learned that the way to overcome confirmation bias – in other words only reading things that you believe which keeps reinforcing your preconceived ideas – that’s just one of the ways our brain trick us into believing the world is the way we see it – is to read contrary views – even if you disagree with them.

      However, your point is right, that we need to be very careful who we listen to because at present it’s too easy to be frightened and scared.

      I wish you and your family all the best during these difficult times – this too shall pass and life we will get back to normal whatever that’s going to be. However I have strong confidence and faith in humanity


        Avatar for Ross Elliott

        April 24, 2020 Raymond Tai

        Michael, your decision to post this article on your communication has created a questionable attitude and posture towards a certain country and group of people. I would not say that your decision in highlighting this article in your communication is one of your better judgements.


          April 24, 2020 Michael Yardney

          Raymond I apologise – we’ve regularly run Ross Elliot’s blogs and I accept that this time round our editors choice (and as publisher I must take final responsibility) was a poor choice


    Avatar for Ross Elliott

    April 5, 2020 Gerry

    Unfortunately Australia is partly owned by China. And now I think when we get over this virus mess we are in . I think they will be back buying more of Australian assets .
    We need to get our manufacturing up and running again not much hope of that’s as it’s to costly to produce here ..
    I would not like to see the likes of this ever again ..
    But if something like this occurs again we could be in serious trouble …
    This is a serious wake up call …


      April 5, 2020 Michael Yardney

      yes Gerry – It’s likely we will be conducting business differently in the future, however one of the good things about the coronavirus epidemic is that it is brought more of us together as it has affected everybody around the world.

      Let’s hope the good things last


    Avatar for Ross Elliott

    April 5, 2020 Jo

    I totally agree. After living in China fir a brief period myself and experiencing not only the extremes of wealth & poverty but also the control that the Communist Govt has over its residents & media. It is worrying to realise the extent that Australia is now involved and reliant on a Country that sadly does not seem to show any real care or consideration for its own people and from my experience see’s other nations as an enemy or at a minimum lesser. I truly hope that Australia as a nation can find a way to move forward by reducing or reliance on them.


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