May 31, 2010

Rudd’s Asia-Pacific plan lost at sea?

Kevin Rudd's vision of a Pacific community has been given a chilly Asian reception. Is it just bad timing or is the issue deeper? Anthony Fensom reports.

Two years after proposing a new Asia Pacific community (APc) encompassing economic, political and security issues, Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd’s grand plan for the region appears to be sinking as quickly as his government’s other much-hyped schemes on emissions trading, education and health.

With critics at home — including two former prime ministers from his own Labor Party — and the region itself seemingly less than welcoming to yet another diplomatic talkfest, the prospects for the new APc being in place by the stated goal of 2020 appear remote.

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