Australia turned blind eye to deeply offensive threat from China

What is it that terrifies the people of Hong Kong about the Chinese Communist Party that eludes so many pliant Australian academics, business leaders and ex-politicians?

In the same breath, some local cognoscenti lament the Australian government’s weakness in barely mentioning the troubles in the Chinese territory before returning to their rote gripe that Canberra’s national security establishment is too hawkish.

Protesters in Hong Kong chant outside the office of the Chief Executive.

Australia’s intelligence agencies are better described as cautious about the balance of risks and opportunities that come with China’s rise because, unlike their critics, they are not wilfully blind. The agencies are not seeking to contain China and understand it will be the dominant power in our region but worry about that because they see in the Chinese Communist Party what the people of Hong Kong see.