China’s takedown of new Aussie logo
A new logo representing Australia shows our nation's deep "confusion and anxiety" Chinese state media has claimed.
Costing taxpayers $10 million, the controversial new logo will be used at promotional events such as trade shows and conferences.
It is meant to resemble Australia's native golden wattle, but it has drawn criticism for looking like a "virus".
Now China has added to the pile-on, with its state media drawing some sweeping conclusions from the rebranding.
The Global Times, a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party, says the logo swap is a "sign of the growing anxiety" in Australia.
"To a certain extent, the use of the controversial new logo may underscore (the) Australian government's eagerness to promote its profile in the global marketplace," an editorial published overnight read.
"It is also a sign of the growing anxiety over its trade prospects amid its deteriorating relationship with China - its largest trade partner."
It argued that only through "careful calculations and soul-searching" can Australia realise how valuable the Chinese market is.
It goes on to describe how Australia struck trade deals with India and the UK in June but in reality, it argued, we need China.
"While it is understandable that Australia is eagerly seeking to diversify its export markets to reduce its economic dependence on China, it is dubious how much of its diversification efforts could really cushion the economic blow from China on the Australian economy," it read.
"This is because the coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for Australia to maintain its trade volume with India and the UK."
It claims the Australian economy has started to feel the pinch of its deteriorating relations with China - pointing to data that suggests inquiries for Australian homes plunged by more than 65 per cent in May compared to April.
"Australian government is not forward-looking," it said. "It is still obsessed with escalating the political spat rather than easing the tensions with China. Australia's choice to follow closely the steps of the US politically will be self-destructive economically."
The new golden wattle logo was revealed yesterday, after the Australia's Nation Brand Advisory Council argued classic kangaroo symbolism was internationally recognised but did not represent Australia's lesser-known assets such as technology and education.
This led to fears our famous kangaroo logo would be ditched altogether.
However, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, who signed off on the change, said the Morrison Government remained "100 per cent committed to the Australian Made Kangaroo".
He said the new logo would "bring some consistency" for Australian businesses presenting themselves on the international stage.
The new logo will be used by business, industry and government agencies, replacing the current one depicting two orange boomerangs that form an outline of Australia.
It's understood a new redesigned kangaroo logo will still be used for Australian-made products.
The new wattle logo has not gone down well, with NSW MP Mark Coure saying it looked like a virus.
A poll found that 97 per cent of our readers thought the new logo was "horrible".
I can’t believe they have changed the Australian made logo to look like this, it looks like a virus. I will be writing to the Australia’s Nation Brand Advisory Council & Trade Minister @Birmo to reinstate the Kangaroo! pic.twitter.com/KzfMebQ9wR— Mark Coure MP (@markcourelive) June 30, 2020
I'm amazed to read this morning that we're changing the Australian Made logo from the iconic kangaroo to a generic looking splash of colour.— Cr Kevin Baker (@CrKevinBaker) June 30, 2020
The kangaroo logo has been an icon locally and overseas for decades - a uniquely Aussie way of showing the pride we have in our products. pic.twitter.com/rG4ahXR3je
However, the Nation Brand Advisory Council, set up under former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, said the new logo will be good for investment in Australia.
"Australia is internationally popular for its friendly people and natural beauty. However, there is room to improve perceptions around our business capability. There is an opportunity to increase foreign investment if we can strengthen awareness of our products and services overseas," a Nation Brand Advisory Council report said.
"We love our kangaroo - it is currently the most internationally recognised shortcut to Australia. But we considered whether it would shift perceptions of our nation, or simply reinforce what people already knew about us."
Originally published as China's takedown of new Aussie logo