SYDNEY (AFP) — A cartoon on the front page of Australia's national newspaper Thursday neatly illustrates an irony admitted by the government: communist China could save capitalism.
The illustration shows a Chinese man in a Superman outfit telling exactly this to a bankrupt, cigar-smoking Wall Street tycoon covering his nakedness in a barrel.
"Oh, you're just loving this, aren't you," the fallen high-flyer replies in the cartoon in The Australian.
Amid turmoil in the world financial sector, the International Monetary Fund predicted Wednesday that China's economy would grow at more than 9.0 percent next year while much of the West faces recession.
That's good news for Australia, whose own economic boom has been driven for years by China's insatiable demand for mineral resources such as iron ore for steelmaking and coal to fire up its industries.
"China is now a major influence in the world economy and it's significant that the IMF doesn't downgrade its growth prospects," Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner told national radio Thursday.
"So we are well positioned to continue to sell an awful lot of exports to China and we believe that that's one of the important factors that's protecting Australia, to some extent, from the influences of the US financial crisis," he said.
Tanner's remarks followed those of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, a Chinese-speaking former diplomat who has made building closer ties with Beijing a central plank of his foreign policy since taking office last year.
"China has a huge impact on the economies of the east Asia region, as well as the global economy," Rudd said Wednesday.
"My understanding is that China will continue to drive strong economic growth for its own national purposes, but that's also good for countries like Australia because China is such a major trading partner of ours."
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