Former PM Keating today:
The Morrison government is wantonly leading Australia into a strategic dead end by its needless provocations against China.
…Save for its front porch, the South China Sea, it broadly keeps to itself.
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Is the Morrison Government a ham-fisted China basher? Yes. Does it have a plan for the divorce? No. Is it in the Australian national interest? Yes! We allowed ourselves to become too dependent and should shift away.
Why? More Keating:
It is true that China, like all big states, has become ruder as it has got bigger.
…But big states are invariably rude; it is the role of foreign policy to navigate the dangers without pulling the roof in – without military conflict.
But we now have an ambassador to the United States, Arthur Sinodinos, usurping the role of the foreign minister by making declaratory statements to claim that China’s coercion in the Pacific is now a bigger threat than September 11 terrorism and that ANZUS will hasten military and economic tie-ups to counter Beijing.
Sinodinos has even invented a Chinese challenge to “the way we run our domestic economy”.
Would any sane person suggest the various Chinese trade bans are a cause for war – or anything like a cause for war? But Sinodinos does.
- Would any sane person see a few terrorists at the arse end of the world as a comparable threat to the rise of the most powerful communist state in history?
- Would any sane person see the silent invasion of Australia by CCP interests as anything other than a threat to democracy?
- Would any sane person ignore the cyber, trade and coercive wars on Australia by the CCP?
- Would any sane person fail to mention the 14 conditions to end democracy?
- Would any sane person celebrate Chinese engagement from his position on the advisory board of the China Development Bank?
- Would any sane person hold to utterly dated notions of Asian engagement in the face of all this evidence?
- Would any same person not court the only countervailing force of liberalism that matters?
The answers are pretty obvious and Keating raising these questions only underlines Labor’s China problem.