Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

China’s anxiety about Abbott’s pro USA attitudes?

What, for example, should the Chinese make of a throwaway line in his 2009 conservative manifesto Battlelines, that, ”Although China is likely to become even stronger in the years ahead, this may not mean much change for Australia’s international relationships or foreign policy priorities.” This is the same rising China whose insatiable demand for resources has kept Australia afloat and is on track to become the world’s largest economy. The shift of power to Asia, centred on China, has prompted the Americans to deploy 60 per cent of its navy to the region – hardly something to be dismissed as not ”much change”…..

The view of Abbott the neo-con confronting ideological enemies won’t be helped by his choice of venue for a speech in Washington in the days before he goes to Beijing: the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation.

Does Abbott have a plan for managing China in a changing world? Illawarra Mercusry, Daniel Flitton, 24 July 12, PAUL Keating went to Beijing a few months ago, only to find himself at the receiving end of a lecture that is becoming all too familiar for Australian visitors to the Asian superpower.

The feelings of the Chinese people, he was told by a senior official, had been greatly hurt by the recent deployment
of 200 American marines to a base near Darwin…….
what sort of a perspective will Abbott bring to Australia’s international affairs?He has made few forays into foreign policy
matters beyond the realm of border protection. His statements on
Australia in the world are captured in sound bites – ”a Jakarta focus
rather than a Geneva one” or praise for the old saw, ”speak softly
and carry a big stick” – and complaints about how Labor has
mismanaged issues, from uranium sales to India or banning cattle
exports to Indonesia.
This doesn’t tell much about Abbott’s vision for Australia in a changing world.

What, for example, should the Chinese make of a throwaway line in his 2009 conservative manifesto Battlelines, that, ”Although China is likely to become even stronger in the years ahead, this may not mean much change for Australia’s international relationships or foreign policy priorities.” This is the same rising China whose insatiable
demand for resources has kept Australia afloat and is on track to become the world’s largest economy. The shift of power to Asia, centred on China, has prompted the Americans to deploy 60 per cent of its navy to the region – hardly something to be dismissed as not ”much change”…..
The most obvious reading of the China statement is he is championing
Australia’s democratic values and historic alliances with like-minded
countries. He hinted last year that a free trade deal with Japan would
be a higher priority than one with China – Japan’s system of
government was ”advantageous in any serious person’s view”, whereas
China was ”one of the more problematic” deals under negotiation. In
simple terms, shared values is what matters, not just the amount of
goods traded.

This fits with past praise for the ”Anglosphere”, a notion he has
tried to broaden beyond the countries founded as British colonies (the
US, Canada, Australia) to include parliamentary democracies such as
Japan. He has stopped using the term, sensibly given the ethnic
exclusion, but along with his fervent monarchism, it shows where his
heart lies……
He sounds suspiciously like an Antipodean neo-con when he speaks in
these terms – the same sort of zeal that drove the Bush
administration’s disastrous invasion of Iraq.
He warned in Battlelines, that ”if Australia is to matter in the
wider world, Australians should expect more, not less, future
involvement in international security issues.”

The view of Abbott the neo-con confronting ideological enemies won’t be helped by his choice of venue for a speech in Washington in the days before he goes to Beijing: the conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation. The Australia-US alliance is the theme of his address and there is no sensible way to approach this topic without considering China. If Abbott doesn’t set out his thinking about China,
and explain how Australia will manage ties between its most important
economic partner and its old ally, he may well be counted in the
circles of those seen to celebrate China’s economic decline.

With Keating, the Chinese at least knew where he was coming from, but
with Abbott, they will want to know where he is going.

July 24, 2012 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, politics international

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