- When China sneezes, Australia catches a cold. This is ever more so the case.
- The Chinese New Year of the Ox starts tomorrow.
- Some property companies in Australia are luring Chinese buyers with discounts.
They used to say, ‘When America sneezes, the world catches a cold’. These days, the saying is more like to be about China sneezing.
Sadly, this had become devastatingly true over the past year, with the COVID-19 pandemic emanating out from Wuhan, China, and swiftly engulfing the globe.
It was more than a metaphorical cold. Far more.
For Australia, who managed the pandemic relatively well compared to many other countries, our economy has been hard-wired to the strengths or otherwise of our Chinese neighbours for years.
China imports 60 per cent of its iron ore from Australia, and it needs that ore to feed its steel plants and economic growth. When the pandemic took hold in Brazil, shutting down its iron ore industry for months, the price of the ore grew to US$160/tonne and Australian producers reaped the rewards.
The souring of the Australian-Chinese relationship has led to tariffs on other products, such as barley, but not iron ore. Interfering in this market could spite its own face.
As we enter a new Chinese New year tomorrow, will the Year of the Ox provide more of the same?
The Year of the Ox
This week, Chinese families all over the world are heading back to the respective head of their families to pay their respects, if they can.
Tonight’s New Year’s Eve reunion dinner is the most important meal of the year, something akin to the annual Christmas turkey lunch for western European Christians.
Consulting the zodiac, we see that, from tomorrow, we enter the Year of the Ox. If you are 12, 24, 36 or some other multiple of a dozen, you are an Ox too.
Oxes are said to honest, diligent, dependable, strong and determined. We probably need a few oxen to get us through this pandemic and out to the other side.
Lucky directions this year will be north and south. China is to our north. We are to her south.
Because they work hard, oxes need to concentrate on finding time to relax and get enough rest.
Famous oxes include Barack Obama, Margaret Thatcher, Walt Disney and Vincent van Gogh.
There have been recent reports of Chinese buyers being lured to purchase Australian property with personalised concierge services, developer rebates and free immigration advice.
Nevermore has the Australian economy – and our local property market – been so tied to the health or otherwise of China.
Gong Xi Fa Cai (Happy New Year).