Via the AFR:
A spokesperson for US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday (AEST) that the use of Chinese telecommunications equipment in 5G networks could leave sensitive data open to Chinese government access.
“The United States is very concerned about that – not only for American national security, but for the security of our allies and partners,” the spokesperson told The Australian Financial Review.
The reiteration of the US position suggests a degree of concern in Washington over Mr Keating’s blistering attack on Australia’s spy chiefs less than two weeks from an election that Labor is forecast to win.
This is highly irregular stuff for diplomatic circles and underlines just how tense the US/China stand-off is.
But is it any wonder that the US is alarmed after this:
Mr Keating says a Labor government would make “a huge shift” in Australian-Chinese relations, while calling for a “clean out” of spy agency ASIO.
“I think what we have to do is recognise the legitimacy of China,” he says.
“China’s entitled to be there … The fact that 20 per cent of humanity has dragged itself from poverty, I mean, is this illegitimate? Of course it’s not illegitimate. It may not suit the United States as a second rate economic power in the world.”
As for the security agencies that would be advising Bill Shorten as prime minister, he says: “You’d clean them out. You’d clean them out.”
“When you have the ASIO chief knocking on MPs’ doors, you know something’s wrong … When the security agencies are running foreign policy, the nutters are in charge.”
Mr Keating praises China as “a great state” and the world’s soon-to-be-largest economy, saying: “If we have a foreign policy that does not take that into account, we are fools.”
There were more attacks on the security agencies at Domain:
“They’ve lost their strategic bearings, these organisations.”
He added that they had “gone berko” over the threat of Chinese interference and influence in Australia.
…On Canberra’s relations with Beijing, Mr Keating said there was “healing to be done”.
…Mr Keating said the spy agencies had “gone berko” since that report was written.
The US is sharing all of its intelligence with these alleged “nutters” as it battles the rise of the tyrannical Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
The power of the CCP is obviously dangerous to the Australian way of life, which is based upon its opposite in liberal democracy. Australia’s only protection against it is US enforcement of the liberal democratic order it imposed upon Asia post-WWII. This is not some idle notion. It is the raw truth of power. The US liberal empire that, although deeply flawed, for the most part aims to govern on principles of freedom of expression, freedom of self-determination, freedom of commerce and the rule of law.
Australians (especially its leaders) should always remember that although alliances are supported by institutions and interests, the edifice is made up of people. Cast one too many aspersions, take one too many bribes, be ungrateful once too often and suddenly what you take for granted can become quite insecure.
Paul Keating has done real harm and should think long and hard before speaks on the subject again.