*Pic: Image prepared in Second Life by Kim Peart
IMAGE ~ Mesmerized by iPhones made in China, are the Antipodeans sleepwalking into oblivion as a nation, like sheep into the abattoir?
In the eyes of China, we now know that we are seen as a paper cat. 
With the China panda now raging through the South China Sea, how will this paper cat fare?
Australia has a small population in a rather large land, the only continent that was not carved up in the days of colonial expansion.
The Chinese can look to Australia and wonder where all the people are, and think the place is an empty land, with only 0.06 of China’s population.
In the tussle of geopolitics, where madness could end all life in nuclear death, the World is moving again.
When the Berlin Wall fell, the West believed it was king of the rock pile and in charge of a new World order.
But the Russian bear came back out of its cave, and the Chinese panda kept growing money like there was no tomorrow.
When the twin towers fell, the West went mad and destabilised the Middle East with a concocted invasion of Iraq, believing they had all the best rocks.
Now a Syrian civil war is so hauntingly like the 1930s conflict in Spain, which served as a preview for the Second World War, like a surrealist canvas.
The two main powers that we were at war with then, Germany and Japan, were kept apart by a Russian bear.
That horrible conflict tumbled into a long Cold War, where little states were sacrificed for the greater good, including West Papua, which was given to Indonesia to buy a pro-Western peace.
Too bad about the hundreds of thousands of people tortured, raped and killed suppressing the Papuans, wiping out Communism and invading East Timor.
Australia, fearing a red invasion, went along with that horrible slave trade in Papuan lives, the Indonesian suppression of their Red peril and the conquest of East Timor.
Our behaviour over West Papua is a spectre that may yet come home to scare us all to death.
Russia has been invaded many times, as has China and both in their heart are fearful of what will happen if they do not get strong.
Russia is moving west again, into lands that were once part of the Russian empire and many Russians regret losing those lands.
There is a frozen conflict in Ukraine now and if it fires up again, it is unlikely to move toward Moscow.
What happens next in Ukraine may be swift and decisive, but may also stumble into nuclear war.
So the bear growls and inches west, claw by claw, and also claims the North Pole, which may be held by force.
China has amazed the West with a bold leap into the South China Sea and shows no signs of stepping back, building all the trappings of full occupation.
The panda has become a dragon, moving south claw by claw, into a sea of nitroglycerine, which could blow into a third world war and take us all to the brink of a nuclear apocalypse.
That the Russian navy is joining China in the South China Sea for military games, is no small act in this great global drama. 
Russia and China are proceeding as if two feet of the East, seeking to stand up and dominate a larger sphere of influence.
It is hard to see how there will be a new cold war.
If the West does not have a stomach for total death, a deal may be struck.
Better a deal, mayhap, than lose the lot in a nuclear winter.
With the Chinese media calling Australia a paper cat and an easy target of the Western alliance, the trip wire of world war three may be kicked, and what might happen next?
The Russian bear may begin to move further west and the Chinese dragon may step onto Australia.
A Chinese company already holds a 99 year lease on the Port of Darwin.
Is that a foothold?
The military logic of an Antipodean occupation by China would be to prevent the south being used to fight back, as happened against Japan in the last great war.
There would also be new land and resources for the taking, if like the South China Sea, they can get away with it.
Then there is Antarctica, which two Antipodean nations claim half of.
THE NEW PEACE DEAL
Rather than risk losing the lot in a nuclear war and a winter of death, the West and the East may strike a deal.
The East may demand and be given the Antipodes, including Antarctica, to avoid total war.
Isn’t that what happened to West Papua in 1962?
In the new peace, Indonesia may gain Papua New Guinea and the Solomons.
Russia and China may carve up the land DownUnder between them and collaborate on mining Antarctica.
The denizens of DownUnder may be allowed to stay, as 100 million Chinese move in to take over the empty land, or we could be told to go.
The Antipodean population could all be moved to Western nations, which would be a better fate than suffered by the western Papuans.
We could move to America and not even be noticed.
Peter Jackson would be happy in Hollywood making movies and the land around San Francisco is surprisingly similar to Tasmania.
The loss of the Antipodes would be a small price to pay for World peace, a new era of happiness that may last for a thousand years.
China and Russia will know what to do with our resources, building rockets to go to the Moon and Mars and in time, build orbital space settlements anywhere in the Solar System.
That the West has not bothered expanding beyond Earth after winning the Moon race, has left space wide open and the East are keen for new lands.
The real gold in space is the Sun, pumping out a huge volume of energy each second, which can be used to make anything in space factories.
Chinese shops in space will be smarter than anything in China now.
We would all get to live and use the power of the Sun to deal with all problems on Earth.
What would be so bad about living in Silicon Valley in the shadow of Apple?
IF THE ANTIPODES WAKES UP
We have been living in a dream, secure beneath the Western nuclear umbrella, but that shield may not last now.
Tied to the rail tracks by inaction, the powerful locomotive of the East is roaring down upon us and if we will not help ourselves, we cannot expect the Western alliance to risk nuclear annihilation for our sake.
Remaining frozen in the lights and noise is no option.
We must either act, or be acted upon.
The Antipodes must act and swiftly, or we may wake up to find a deal has been struck and it’s simply a matter of moving to a list of Western countries that will have us.
What if no nation will have us?
We may end up like the refugees that we have sent to Manus Island.
If we wake up from our dreaming, we could try forward defence, and build on our strengths as an advanced nation.
We could invite all leading nations, including the United States and China, to work with us, to build a future that includes space.
The first stage would be to build solar power stations in space, which will allow industry to be launched beyond Earth and power brought down for terrestrial needs.
Space action may interest India, South Africa and England, along with other members of the Commonwealth of Nations.
The cricketing nations could hit a six for space.
Walking this path, it will be possible to plan for expansion beyond Earth, which will take away the demand for land on Earth.
We can defend the Antipodes by assisting expansion beyond Earth, which we would be a part of.
In this way, the land of the Antipodes can continue to be free, nuclear war avoided through global cooperation and a much more advanced future delivered for all Earth’s children.
We will also get to explore the stars.
THE DARK HEART OF INACTION
If we will not act in our own best interests in such a way that will assist our survival, what happens?
Either we all go down in a maelstrom of nuclear madness, or we are sacrificed to buy peace, so the East can take the prize of space and explore the stars.
When the Japanese Empire were in the mountains of New Guinea in 1942, what did we do?
The Chinese Empire is now expanding south, and with a foothold in Darwin already.
That paper cat, that is the Antipodes, will either get smart, or like any feral animal, risks getting removed.
A swift invasion by the East will remove all choice.
There may not be nuclear war, but if not, there will be a new world order, one way or the other.
We must each decide now, if we are Antipodean tigers, or merely a paper cat.
After a recent visit to China, Ross Gittins writes, “China is big; we think of ourselves as small. China is confident, impatiently pushing towards a better future; we are fearful, waiting for more luck to turn up.” 
If we will not fight with forward defence, do we deserve liberty in the land of our birth, or adoption?
Will we be the cat that roars?
A DIFFICULT POLITICAL CHOICE
To find a new vision for the Antipodes, one that includes building forward defence by gunning for space, we will need to act politically.
Old ways will not save our skins.
We must learn new ways, and learn them fast.
If the politics that currently exists will not rise to the challenge of survival, then new politics will need to be formed.
The drums of war are beating and the guns can be heard.
We cannot win this war, or save our land, by force of arms.
To fight a third world war will be to lose the Earth, and that would be mass murder on a planetary scale.
We may kill the Earth.
The only way we can fight and win, is to inspire a new direction among the stars.
Our only hope is to see the stars of the Southern Cross flying in the celestial realm beyond Earth.
If we will not fight with our imagination and technical abilities, collaborating with all willing nations in space development, then we will lose, either this land, or the whole Earth.
We can avoid a third great war of complete annihilation, or a deal that sees our lives, land and resources traded for peace, if we will fight for a future beyond Earth.
Our survival as Antipodeans now hinges on what we choose.
 South China Sea: China warns Australia must ‘cautiously behave’ in row over contested waterway
Bill Birtles, 1 August 2016, ABC News Online
 China, Russia set up for naval war games in South China Sea
Jeremy Page, 30 July 2016, The Australian
 China thinks big, while Australia waits for luck to strike
Ross Gittins, 3 August 2016, Sydney Morning Herald
*Kim Peart was raised in Howrah from 1952, when there were farms there. Finding adventure in Scouts and Army Cadets, Kim later pursued art and founded a Viking Society in Tasmania in 1975, seeking history and culture in the spirit of adventure. In 1976 Kim saw an ad for space settlement and signed up to be a space development advocate. Environmental matters came later and figuring out how we can live in harmony with Nature. Earth matters and space issues merged in 2006 when Kim wrote his document ~ Creating A Solar Civilization ~ exploring how we can only achieve a sustainable human presence on Earth, by building a sustainable industrial presence beyond Earth. Kim now lives in Ross with his wife, Jennifer, where an interest is taken in the Ross Bridge and other history, as well as a local space project on our land and using the virtual worlds to connect globally with like-minded people, to plan local action toward creating a celestial future and winning back a safe Earth. Kim is the director of Space Pioneers and may be contacted about art, Vikings, Tasmanian history, Earth care, building a stronger Australia, sending poverty into history, space settlement, stellar exploration and virtual world technologies ~ firstname.lastname@example.org ~ In 2014 Kim attended the first Silicon Valley Virtual Reality conference, where he met the pioneers of a new age of the Internet. The adventure has only just begun.