To fight China's economic extortion, take a page from the Cold War | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

To fight China's economic extortion, take a page from the Cold War

You may have missed it amid the usual flurry of social media trends, but for a time, there was a campaign amongst politicos and policy wonks alike to encourage the purchase of Australian wines in response to what amounted to a ban from the Chinese Communist Party. In March, some 11,000 liters of wine were seized in Shenzhen alone, as the party imposed over 200 percent anti-dumping duties. The duties were the latest in a string of moves by Beijing to punish Canberra for supporting an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus, but are also indicative of the growing tension between the two countries.

While the import duties on wine and the resulting social media campaign may seem silly, they are indicative of a much more alarming trend in the behavior of the Chinese Communist Party, which amounts to economic extortion and coercion in support of its geopolitical aims.

The economic extortion isn't limited to Australia. In Africa, allegations of bribery followed Huawei as it attempted to secure an exclusive contract to build a 5G network in Namibia. A member of city council was allegedly offered upwards of $360,000 to drop her opposition to the agreement. In Ecuador, a dam project that was ostensibly intended to help lift the country out of poverty led to a national scandal with shoddy workmanship, unmet promises, bribes and the Chinese Communist Party effectively owning the dam in question as Quito could not keep up with the payments. In Sri Lanka, too, the Chinese Communist Party, through the Belt and Road Initiative managed to get Columbo to hand over a port and some 15,000 acres for a 99-year lease after the government couldn't make payments on the development project.