Comedian Tommy Little has brushed off any potential threat China poses to Australia, claiming there would be no point as Beijing ‘owns half the joint already’.
The Project on Sunday discussed how the communist superpower launched ballistic missiles into waters around Taiwan and what the show of force means for Australia.
The widely condemned military intimidation tactic came after US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the disputed island last week – a move that infuriated China sparking threats of war against the west.
The island nation, backed by the US and Japan, broke away from the mainland in 1949 after the civil war.
It has democratically-elected leaders and fiercely opposes reunification and the totalitarian rule of Beijing.
But President Xi Jinping has repeatedly stated he plans to take over Taiwan by 2027 as part of the ‘great rejuvenation of China’ using military force if necessary.
The Project’s Tommy Little (pictured) questioned why China would be a threat to Australia as they ‘own half the joint already’
The current affairs program played a news story on China launching ballistic missiles (pictured) which landed in waters around Taiwan
‘Do we have to get involved here?’ he asked. ‘I feel like China aren’t going to be a threat to us, they own half the joint already,’ Little said.
‘Why are they going to attack a joint when they own half of it?’
A handful of audience members began to laugh at the comedians cheeky response.
But co-host Hamish MacDonald expressed his view that the threat of China needed to be taken seriously.
‘You’ve got to imagine the reality that China might want to retake Taiwan by force,’ he said.
‘And put it in the context of what happened in Russia and Ukraine earlier this year, I think when that happened, the world did respond.
‘This is much closer to us. I think the implications for us is far greater, to be honest.’
MacDonald added that while China taking control of Taiwan wouldn’t pose a ‘direct, physical threat to the Australian mainland’, there was the issue of Australia being in the ‘middle of a contest’ between China and the United States.
Hamish MacDonald (left) said the threat of China needed to be taken seriously as the ‘implications’ for Australia ‘are far greater’
MacDonald added that Australia was in the ‘middle of a contest’ between China and the United States (pictured, Chinese soldiers during a military parade)
While Beijing has slashed its investment into Australia since the onset of the Covid pandemic, vast tracts of the country are still Chinese-owned.
The communist superpower last year spent 28 times less Down Under than at its peak, investing just $815million in 2021, compared to the $22.5billion-plus it splurged in 2008.
Since the global financial crisis, China has pumped a staggering $153billion into Australia, splashing more cash here than anywhere else in the world except the USA.
The Chinese have snapped up a key port, mines, agricultural land, dairy processors, valuable real estate, state-sponsored schools, plus water and energy companies.
Almost every aspect of Australian life now has Chinese influence – even down to paying with Afterpay, which is part-owned by China’s Tencent.
But a recent study revealed Chinese investment in Australia in 2021 was down by almost 70 per cent on 2020, which was already the lowest since 2007.
Tougher scrutiny for overseas takeovers and tighter screening have been key factors for China’s sliding interest in Australia, said international accountants KPMG in a report.
Pictured: A map highlighting some of China’s purchases and deals on Australian soil
China’s President Xi Jinping is pictured during a military parade in 2017
Just two major Chinese acquisitions made it past Australian business regulators in the past year, after earlier Beijing bids for Lion Drinks and Alita Resources – worth a combined $670million – were blocked.
Both of the latest buys were in the mining sector, with 24 per cent of lithium miners AVZ Minerals bought by Suzhou CATH Energy-Technologies for $318million, and Balmoral Iron Pty Ltd bought by CITIC for $187million.
Overall, just 11 Chinese transactions got the green light in the last year, compared to 20 the year before.
‘There are a number of administrative obstacles in more stringent regulations for Chinese companies investing in Australia now,’ report co-author Dr Hans Hendrischke told Daily Mail Australia recently.
‘And the political issues mean people would consider the long term commitment very carefully now before they decide to invest.’
China’s 15-year spending spree here means the superpower still owns huge chunks of Australia, despite the escalating tensions between the two nations.