Despite the strong words coming from the Coalition's corner about Australia taking a stand against China, it must be asked what effect such a stand would have -- if it ever happened. Crikey readers were not holding their breath for a result (and some pointed out that the game is rigged either way. Elsewhere, readers continued to mull over the implications of the Pell decision.

On China and free trade

Alexander Turnbull writes: I honestly don’t understand how arrogant you can be to announce those figures and not realise how fucked you are. Imagine being in Mughal official in around 1740 and thinking “we have figures that show that our calico and spice account for a huge part of the Britons' imports, so all we need to do is tell the East India Company to play by the rules. After all they need us a lot more than we need them.” Now imagine instead you're talking about the country that for almost all human history has been the paramount regional power. Seriously ask any peripheral state how being the supplier of a economically crucial commodity to a much larger power worked out for them…