The Australian government's unflinching resolve in the face of the latest threats and posturing from Beijing is welcome and appropriate.
China's latest grievance is the decision to tear up our long-standing extradition treaty with Hong Kong, and to offer a safe haven for thousands of Hong Kong residents living here on visas.
While not as generous as Bob Hawke's actions in the wake of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989, what has been offered is a measured response to an alarming situation that has managed to shock the world.
It has become apparent Beijing will go to great lengths to clip the wings of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement. The passage, by diktat, of laws criminalising dissent many fear would result in activists being forcibly removed to the mainland for punishment has made a mockery of the conventions on which extradition treaties between sovereign states are based.
The independence of the jurisdictions concerned, and their ability to ensure persons extradited receive a fair trial, is the cornerstone on which all such agreements must rest.
Beijing will go to great lengths to clip the wings of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.
How can Hong Kong be considered to be a sovereign jurisdiction when its own laws can be ridden over rough shod by the mainland authorities at any time? By taking the steps it has, the Australian government has eliminated the possibility of pro-democracy campaigners being extradited back to Hong Kong from here for what would be nothing less than forced rendition to the mainland.
And, having gone this far, it then made sense to offer practical assistance to Hong Kongers living in Australia by changing the conditions of their visas to offer a pathway to permanent residency.
While it may be possible for people still living in Hong Kong to take advantage of these changes by applying for visas, that point is moot given the coronavirus travel restrictions.
What the government has done is to offer a lifeline to many of the 10,000 Hong Kongers in Australia right now on a student, graduate, and working visas, who may have fallen foul of the new laws criminalising dissent and opposition to Chinese rule.
China has not taken Australia's actions well. One quasi-official media outlet reportedly published a strongly worded article suggesting this country should watch its step as it was "replaceable". This came on top of previous trade sanctions and threats.
When asked if he was concerned about what appeared to be a threat at Friday's press briefing, the PM wasn't having a bar of it. He stated categorically that the government would continue to stand up for Australia's interests at all times - effectively code for saying he had no intention of kow-towing to our largest trading partner. It is a stance that appears to have bilateral support from the ALP, and would likely be endorsed by a majority of Australians.
Mr Morrison's stance may, at least in part, be informed by an understanding that China's rhetoric actually has little to do with Hong Kong and even less to do with this country. Beijing's real concern is the preservation of its own primacy, and all the perquisites that come with that, at a time when almost 1.5 billion Chinese are more affluent, better educated, well-travelled, and politically aware than at any time in the Middle Kingdom's history.
China's leaders are sitting on a powder keg. They are also painfully aware that the situation in Hong Kong could easily become the spark that blows up the whole magazine and that, unlike in 1949 when they came to power, history is not on their side.