Apr 11, 2014

Better optics, but Abbott sidestepping tricky issues of trade

The Australian trade mission is progressing as planned, but will anything tangible come of it?

Michael Sainsbury — Freelance correspondent in Asia and <em>Little Red Blog</em> Editor

Michael Sainsbury

Freelance correspondent in Asia and Little Red Blog Editor

An apparently chastened Tony Abbott ventured, at last, to north Asia this week, the epicentre of Australia’s continued prosperity. It was something of a relief to see him ratchet back the pro-Japanese rhetoric (at least in public) that has so incensed Beijing and deliver a much calmer and friendlier message to the Chinese on his first trip as Prime Minister.

In China — where apparently there were fewer in the travelling press pack than on his other stops — he wisely opted to emphasise that he was there as a friend of our largest trading partner. Clearly he’s learnt a few lessons, but insisting he was not there to “do a deal”, or at least pave the way for a few, was hard to swallow. Why else would he travel with a praetorian guard of 30 big-name chief executives and a further 500 Australian businesspeople in Shanghai with Andrew Robb, his Trade and Investment Minister?

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2 thoughts on “Better optics, but Abbott sidestepping tricky issues of trade

  1. klewso

    “…timely as National Party hysteria about Chinese investment in Australia fades and reality sets in”? Didn’t that hysteria die down as soon as they’d won power?

  2. Tyger Tyger

    “Optics is the branch of physics which involves the behaviour and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it.” (Wikipedia.)

    Bishop and Wang put on a light show, did they?

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