Crikey Says

Jul 9, 2014

Crikey says: Abbott looks ruffled on China

Mathias Cormann’s revenge. Australia’s migration zone explained. The Oz turns 50 – and we’re on party watch. Fact-checking The Guardian. No caipirinhas in Copacabana as Germany trounces Brazil. Tweets for Jesus. Challenging the Anzac myth. And bah humbug! Bernard Keane our very own World Cup scrooge.

The Abbott government has decided to more closely align itself with Japan, including on defence technology, at a point when the Japanese government’s abandonment of the country’s deeply pacifist post-war stance on defence is worrying its neighbours. The Australian government is right to do so: as a liberal democracy, Japan shares many important political and economic values with us. It remains a vital trading partner and source of investment for Australia. Closer cooperation, including on defence, is in Australia’s national interest no matter how much it upsets Beijing or those apologists for China who participate in domestic debate here. And that national interest forms the strategic context for the Prime Minister’s meeting with his Japanese counterpart and the latter’s historic address to Parliament yesterday. In his Diaries -- amid the laments about his diet as he travelled the globe -- former foreign minister Bob Carr hit upon an intelligent approach of being more publicly relaxed, "unruffled and unintimidated", about China. He advocated understanding its concerns, working constructively on our relationship with our most important trading partner, but ultimately not overreacting to its rhetoric regarding the US -- or, for that matter, Japan. Over the last 48 hours, the Abbott government has appeared to both pre-emptively assuage Beijing’s concerns about our closer relationship with Japan and imply that Beijing’s regional ambitions are seen as a threat. In this way, the Australian government risks looking ruffled about China. Tony Abbott and his foreign minister would do well to consider Carr’s more relaxed attitude. We are acting in our national interest -- exactly as China expects us to.

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7 thoughts on “Crikey says: Abbott looks ruffled on China

  1. paddy

    Well Crikey, in just 4 paras, you’ve managed to utterly confuse me and say very little.
    Perhaps that’s good diplomacy, but it’s lousy journalism.

  2. Jaybuoy

    when did this cretinous mob get a mandate to remodel our foreign policy and align us with the Japanese..
    Japan has had a NO military posture since WW2 and for good reason,a cursory browse through the recent history of the region makes this stance self explanatory.Getting us involved in the American inspired pivot is stupid,neither the Yanks or the Japanese have our interests in mind.. this is the first time Abbott has appeared Menzian and as usual he has managed to extract the worst traits..

  3. David Hand

    Sorry, my previous post was on the wrong item. I meant the “click bait” comment for the “I despise the World Cup” story.

  4. AR

    Can anyone dig out some of the old BULLETIN cartoons fulminating against the then British effort to have Japan recognised as Honourary White and an Uncle to the fledging Oz?

  5. AR

    Strangely(?), the Japanese were Oz’s gallant allies in WWI, wresting German colonies from the evil grip of the Hun into soothing Dependency status under OZ suzerainty.
    The Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Zone just took a little longer to organise that originally planned.

  6. klewso

    If only Abbott had a real adult or two around him to show him how to do government?

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