Australian newswpapers are not the same as others. The opening paragraphs are as written Terry McCann, a journalist on The Australian. Nothing has been added or subtracted.
‘Rio Tinto’s switch from Chinalco to BHP Billiton raises a series of questions — challenges even — for the company and its shareholders.
‘Also for the country more generally and the government in particular.
Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan might think they have fair dinkum dodged a bullet, in not having to suck on this particular sauce bottle.
‘They would have breathed an even bigger sigh of relief that OZ Minerals’ deal with China Minmetals wasn’t rejected. Otherwise, our relations with China might have been blown sky-high like an outback dunny down which a couple of sticks of dynamite had been dropped. ‘
It then eases out of the Australian vernacular and proceeds:
‘While narrowly that’s all true, the overall issue is not going to go away.
‘The complex bilateral, multilateral and multi-layered relationship with China is not just the single most important for Australia in the 21st century, its importance is only going to grow in both absolute terms and relative to all the others. To paraphrase the archetype useful idiot, Lincoln Steffens, I have seen Australia’s future and it is almost entirely made in China.
‘We might see China as a two-way Aladdin’s Cave. Paying us extraordinary amounts for hundreds of millions of tonnes of Western Australia and Queensland each year. And then sending some of it back in seemingly ever-cheaper consumer goods. But what Chinalco demonstrated, is that it is actually a two-way street. It’s as much about China as it is about us. We need to have a much realistic, more holistic approach and crucially, a more sophisticated understanding.’
The article in The Australian then goes on to say: There’s no question Rio stiffed Chinalco, and so ‘China Inc’, and so China itself. They had a deal, Rio reneged. Because, to put it simply, it got a better offer.