The wit and wisdom (if any can be found) of Shane Bradley.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

FTA with China

Should Australia be pursuing a free trade agreement with the People's Republic of China?

My reflexive response is no, on the basis that we should not reward dictatorships of any stripe, in any way. A move to a liberal democratic system with civil liberties for all on China's part is the goal I would put forward before any FTA discussions would take place.

But on reflection, trade creates wealth and the richer the Chinese people become, the more likely it will be that democratic reform must take place, to give those that create China's wealth a say in how China is run. China's burgeoning middle class will soon want more than the economic freedom that the ruling clique in Beijing have allowed.