As far as kick-offs go, Xi Jinping’s speech upon his ascension to the Chinese Communist Party throne was a ripper. If I could have tweeted, that’s what I’d have said.
I watched it on telly in my Beijing living room. With me sat my husband, a Hong Kong-born, Brisbane-raised Australian investment banker, our five month old baby girl and a friend of ours, a smart, driven young twenty-something from Hefei.
On two sofas and a play mat we watched Mr Xi and the remaining six new members of the Standing Committee walk onto the red carpeted stage in front of that vast depiction of the Great Wall.
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While the Australian media is working itself into a frenzy over the jailing of Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu, the public seems to be forming a more pragmatic view of our relationship with China.
The Federal Opposition’s attempts to whip up a new round of dog whistling over the arrest have fallen on deaf ears as the public accepts there are things that are outside the power of even a Mandarin-speaking Prime Minister.
But the failure of the Hu jailing to bite with the public may speak to a broader maturing in out attitude towards the emerging superpower to which our fortunes are so closely tied.
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