nothing new. This has been the policy of both sides of government for some time now. It is the right policy.
It is the right policy because far too many people have drowned at sea. They have drowned because they are being put on vessels which are not seaworthy. Those vessels also tend to be so overcrowded that the numbers on board would make it dangerous even for a seaworthy vessel.
It is also the right policy because the "migration agents" who charge the exorbitant amounts for these illegal attempts to enter another country are nothing more than the worst sort of criminals. They are murderers as well as thieves. The amount of money they charge would actually buy more than one plane ticket into this country but they still tell people this is how it can and should be done.
The policy of the new government won't change much. We are too close to one of the countries from which people try to leave - and that country is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention.
And yes, in the normal way we do hear about boats being intercepted. This is done because it also sends a message both to people smugglers and to certain people within this country who believe that this might be a way of getting "refugees" into the country. To be blunt not everyone has the best interests of people who arrive this way at heart.
So the previous government was not doing anything it had not done before when it announced a boat was not far off its target. What was unusual is that it was done on the day of the election. The not too subtle hint was "vote for us to stop this". The new government has complained about this. Of course it is equally possible to say that had the announcement not been made the new government would have said the old government was hiding a boat arrival and acting secretively. The old government was in a no-win situation.
Our new government is "trying to repair the relationship with Beijing". This comes as no surprise. The relationship under the previous government was not good. There was a good reason for this. We did the right thing. We attempted to stand up to a very powerful bully. We lost.
Yes, we can do business with Beijing as long as we do it on their terms. Negotiation is not part of the game. There is no criticism allowed. The bribes must be paid. In no way are we permitted to interfere with what they want.
Beijing is now darting around the islands north of us and "signing security pacts and agreements". The "agreements" of course are nothing of the sort. Those tiny nations know they have no choice. The so called security pacts are just another name for taking over land by force while still pretending it belongs to someone else. You can live there if you like but you will do it according to our rules. We will have bases right around the region and then pounce on those ridiculous people in our territory of Taiwan.
I am glad I do not live in Taiwan. I am very worried about the way our new government is already giving in to Beijing's interests. It is possible that I could be wrong but I suspect that the vast majority of Chinese have no desire for a war with Taiwan. They will simply expect Taiwan to give in without a fight. They will see the "gifts" given to island nations and think they are ungrateful for them if there are complaints made.
But take a look at what is happening in Africa and other parts of Asia. Take a look at how countries who accepted "help" from Beijing are now even worse off than they were before. If you doubt this then why is there a message from me this morning saying that a small village in Zambia has just had the water supply from the lake cut off? Beijing gave them a "gift" of a pump in return for some men in the village "helping" with a new road built to service a nearby mine. This is how the men were paid. They did the work. Now the men are no longer needed. The pump has been removed but access to the lake is still blocked - unless the women walk two hours for water.
Do we really want to do business with Beijing?