AUKUS News, Views, Analysis.


Lethe

Senior Member
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Australia would join US to defend Taiwan, defence minister says

  • Peter Dutton said it ‘would be inconceivable’ for Canberra not to support Washington
  • Secretary of State Blinken said earlier this week the US and its allies would take unspecified ‘action’ if Taiwan were attacked

I think the title speaks for itself, so I won't add more. Is this threat credible? If so, how should Beijing view and deal with Australia going forward?


For non-Australians, it's important to realise that Dutton is today the leading Anglo imperialist on the Australian political scene. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been in the headlines a bit recently, but he's really more of a marketing suit devoid of genuine ideological content. Dutton was undoubtedly instrumental in the dumping of the Attack-class program in favour of the AUKUS, and he's the one to watch going forward.

What is notable is that in recent days we have seen both "sides" of the Australian perspective re: China put forth by major figures in unusually blunt terms, from Keating on one side and Dutton on the other. And it is important to recognise that most Australians operate between these two extremes. The character of the rhetoric we have seen of late reflects the fact that public and substantive disagreements on foreign policy are rather unusual in the context of Australian politics. For the most part, foreign policy has been aloof from partisan politics, in the sense that both the Liberals and Labor agree on most matters, with disagreements limited to matters of perceived tone or emphasis.

Dutton and his All-Anglo uber alles faction have won a major victory in their struggle to determine the course of Australian foreign policy. But in doing so they have aroused a level of disquiet amongst the populace, of which Keating is the most unspoken voice. Keating is very much an outlier, more of an outlier than Dutton is, but there are many who are to a greater or lesser degree uncomfortable with recent developments and the trajectory of Australia-China relations. The point is: the debate continues. The question for China is how can it shape that debate to serve its interests? There are more productive, less productive and counter-productive paths available. China's restrictions on various Australian imports have been at best ineffective as a tool of foreign policy, and very likely counter-productive.

As for my own response to Dutton's comments, I would echo Hugh White: "Call me old-fashioned, but I think it's very important that, before you consider joining a war, you ask whether or not you're going to win."
 
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foxmulder

Junior Member
Australia is a vassal state and USA, once more, announced to the world that so called "international rules" means nothing to her including a corner stone: nuclear nonproliferation. USA thinks he is the god father and this is the jungle, looking for the next boogie, China. He likes to run the business as usual, as the emperor of the world.
 

Andy1974

Junior Member
Registered Member
I feel that Chinas restrictions on imports as a policy tool is only going to be effective from now on, and the effect that has happened until now has been mostly hidden by the incredible surge in iron ore prices.

China has now managed the price of iron ore to such a level that the import figures are now going to show both the effect of chinas policies so far AND the crushing of the iron ore price.

It’s going to take a month or more before this shows in the trade numbers, but it will be dramatic. Those are numbers that the gov cant brush off by saying that overall exports are rising.

Panicky headlines very soon I think from the Aus press.
 

Strangelove

Captain
Registered Member
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13 Nov, 2021 03:07

By Graham Hryce, an Australian journalist and former media lawyer, whose work has been published in The Australian, the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Sunday Mail, the Spectator and Quadrant.

A scathing critique of Australia’s foreign policy by former Labor PM Paul Keating has caused shockwaves Down Under. But he is correct to highlight the folly of the hardline attitude towards China and disrespect shown to France.

On Wednesday, the former prime minister delivered an important and provocative speech at the National Press Club in Canberra.

Keating, undoubtedly Australia’s last political leader of real intellectual stature and vision, left office in 1996. Since then, he has occasionally spoken out on political issues affecting Australia. His speech this week, however, went way beyond mere mundane commentary on domestic politics.

Rather, it constituted an at-times contemptuous critique of the conservative Scott Morrison government’s current foreign policy settings – which are supported, in bipartisan fashion, by the Labor opposition, led by Anthony Albanese.

It is not surprising that Keating should have felt the need to speak out on the crisis that has recently engulfed Australia’s relations with China and other foreign countries. The Morrison government, over the past 18 months, has destroyed its previously amicable relationship with Beijing. More recently, its clumsy cancellation of its contract to purchase submarines from France has alienated President Macron, and resulted in the recall of France’s ambassador to Australia.

These developments are the product of Morrison’s political ineptitude and intellectual shortcomings, coupled with his craven desire to please the United States – attributes that he shares with his incompetent Foreign Affairs Minister, Marise Payne. They also flow, perfectly logically, from the crude Cold War worldview that completely dominates foreign-policy-making within the Morrison government.

It was perhaps the confrontational and ludicrous recent trip to Taiwan by former Liberal Prime minister Tony Abbott, sanctioned by the Morrison government, that caused Keating to speak out this week.

Keating made the following substantive points in his controversial speech:

Australia has recently “lost its way” and is “at odds with our geography.”
Australia is currently “incapable of being part of Asia” in a meaningful fashion.
Australia and the United States must accept China’s global “economic pre-eminence.”
China is not interested in military expansion in Southeast Asia, or elsewhere. It simply wants to preserve its territorial integrity – a legitimate aim.
China does not have a history of military intervention in foreign countries – unlike the United States, which disastrously intervened in Iran (to depose the democratically elected Mosaddegh regime in 1953), in Vietnam, in Iraq, in Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East during the Arab Spring.
China does not pose a military threat to Australia.
China wants to reform the economic world order, not overturn it.
Taiwan is not a vital Australian strategic interest. Australia has no treaty with Taiwan, nor does it recognise it as a sovereign state.
American global power is waning and American democracy, thanks in large part to Donald Trump, is in danger of collapsing.
It is doubtful whether America will go to war with China over Taiwan.
Nevertheless, the United States still has a role to play in South East Asia.
France also has a key strategic role to play in the Indo-Pacific, and “we have treated them appallingly.”
Australia must rebuild its relationships with China and France.
Australian foreign policy must be taken out of the hands of the Cold War warriors within the security agencies, who currently frame it.
Recent media coverage in Australia in relation to China and France has been “appalling.”

Keating’s speech was replete with typical Keatingesque phrases. During his political career, as Treasurer and then Prime Minister, Keating was famous for his pithy comments.

He once categorised an obstructive Senate as “unrepresentative swill” and variously described some of his conservative political opponents as “all tip and no iceberg,” “an idiot son of the aristocracy” and “a shiver looking for a spine to run up.”

Keating, now in his late seventies, has lost none of his linguistic inventiveness and venom. In his speech, he said that America’s current China policy “would make a cat laugh,” and described Britain, compared to China, as “an old theme park collapsing into the Atlantic.”

He said that Morrison’s decision to cancel Australia’s agreement to purchase submarines from France, in order to buy attack-class submarines from the United States (which won’t be delivered until 2040) was “like throwing a handful of toothpicks at a mountain.”


Opinions may legitimately differ as to the views Keating put forward in his speech. Interestingly, some of the more astute commentators in the Rupert Murdoch-owned press have been willing to concede that some of Keating’s thoughts, at the very least, merit careful consideration and are worthy of debate.

The unreconstructed Cold War ideologues at Sky News and the Australian Spectator have simply described Keating as an “appeaser” and “apologist” for China. Woke media outlets – in particular the Channel 9 press – have also roundly condemned the former premier.

Morrison has petulantly rejected the criticisms out of hand – saying that Keating and the Labor Party “can’t be trusted on national security issues”. Defence Minister Peter Dutton labelled Keating “Grand Appeaser Comrade Keating.” This, unfortunately, is what passes for foreign-policy debate in Australia these days.

Labor opposition leader Albanese has quickly moved to distance himself from Keating’s views. Albanese’s party has come a long way from its principled opposition to the Vietnam War and its condemnation, under leader Mark Latham, of George W Bush’s invasion of Iraq. This is a reflection both of Albanese’s lack of political judgment and lack of principle.

Australia is now in federal election mode – one must be held before May next year – and the leaders of both major political parties believe that crude anti-China and anti-France rhetoric will play well with the Australian electorate. It is doubtful whether that view is correct.

Morrison’s incompetence in respect of foreign policy matters is now on show for all to see, and recent polls record a sharp decline in his government’s popularity, while Albanese’s personal approval rating remains troublingly low. Nor have Morrison’s attempts to curry favour with the United States succeeded.

President Biden condemned Morrison’s treatment of the French over the cancellation of the submarine contract, and this week Biden announced that America and China had reached a landmark agreement on climate change. And, to add insult to injury, this week Vice-President Kamala Harris had a meeting with President Macron in Paris.

More embarrassingly for Morrison, just this week Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, gave a keynote speech to the Lowy Institute in Australia in which he categorically stated that the United States had no interest in a Cold War with China.

This important pronouncement by the Biden administration – which signifies a retreat from America’s previous hardline attitude towards China – has left the hapless Morrison and his government looking like fools.


The truth is that Australia’s current foreign policy settings are, as Keating pointed out, a complete shambles. What could be more absurd than Morrison’s war-mongering stance towards Beijing, now that it’s clear the United States is unwilling to engage even in a Cold War with China?

Australian politicians these days lack not only intelligence, but even a rudimentary understanding of history. That is why only a former statesman like Keating – who has been out of power for 25 years – is capable of putting forward a cogent analysis of the country’s current foreign policy crisis.

But even Keating’s critique has failed to prompt a genuine intellectual debate over foreign policy in Australia. In his speech, he described Japanese politicians as “the Bourbons of South East Asia” – because, in Talleyrand’s famous phrase, they “have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing.”

That description, however, can be much more aptly applied to mainstream Australian politicians.

It remains to be seen what price Australia will ultimately pay for the egregious stupidity and historical blindness of its current crop of fourth-rate political leaders.
 
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escobar

Brigadier
China's restrictions on various Australian imports have been at best ineffective as a tool of foreign policy, and very likely counter-productive.
For now, seem to be as ineffective as US trade war against CN. An emotionnal and easy response rather than a well thought and effective strategy
 

Sleepyjam

Junior Member
Registered Member
I feel that Chinas restrictions on imports as a policy tool is only going to be effective from now on, and the effect that has happened until now has been mostly hidden by the incredible surge in iron ore prices.

China has now managed the price of iron ore to such a level that the import figures are now going to show both the effect of chinas policies so far AND the crushing of the iron ore price.

It’s going to take a month or more before this shows in the trade numbers, but it will be dramatic. Those are numbers that the gov cant brush off by saying that overall exports are rising.

Panicky headlines very soon I think from the Aus press.
Not only that it has helped China fostered better trade relations with other countries and demonstrates Australia’s economic isolation with even the US eating it’s lunch.
 

Bellum_Romanum

Major
Registered Member
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In a pre cursor to Auskus talks between Aus and indo, fishing boat incident occured where indonesian boats were burned. I wasn't hoping for much but I didn't expect indonesia to back down so quickly. Why so weak? Disappointed. I guess they won't put too much dissent against Auskus anyway.
But these same Indonesia would raise their howls if the incident r the offending country was China. Why are these ASEAN countries not that fearful of Chinese military.
 

montyp165

Junior Member
But these same Indonesia would raise their howls if the incident r the offending country was China. Why are these ASEAN countries not that fearful of Chinese military.

It's written by an Australian publication, so of course they'll spin it to make themselves look as strong as possible, actual Indonesian and objective observers would say something quite different.
 

emblem21

Senior Member
Registered Member
For non-Australians, it's important to realise that Dutton is today the leading Anglo imperialist on the Australian political scene. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been in the headlines a bit recently, but he's really more of a marketing suit devoid of genuine ideological content. Dutton was undoubtedly instrumental in the dumping of the Attack-class program in favour of the AUKUS, and he's the one to watch going forward.

What is notable is that in recent days we have seen both "sides" of the Australian perspective re: China put forth by major figures in unusually blunt terms, from Keating on one side and Dutton on the other. And it is important to recognise that most Australians operate between these two extremes. The character of the rhetoric we have seen of late reflects the fact that public and substantive disagreements on foreign policy are rather unusual in the context of Australian politics. For the most part, foreign policy has been aloof from partisan politics, in the sense that both the Liberals and Labor agree on most matters, with disagreements limited to matters of perceived tone or emphasis.

Dutton and his All-Anglo uber alles faction have won a major victory in their struggle to determine the course of Australian foreign policy. But in doing so they have aroused a level of disquiet amongst the populace, of which Keating is the most unspoken voice. Keating is very much an outlier, more of an outlier than Dutton is, but there are many who are to a greater or lesser degree uncomfortable with recent developments and the trajectory of Australia-China relations. The point is: the debate continues. The question for China is how can it shape that debate to serve its interests? There are more productive, less productive and counter-productive paths available. China's restrictions on various Australian imports have been at best ineffective as a tool of foreign policy, and very likely counter-productive.

As for my own response to Dutton's comments, I would echo Hugh White: "Call me old-fashioned, but I think it's very important that, before you consider joining a war, you ask whether or not you're going to win."
All Peter Dutton has done right now is put a massive bulls eye on his and his families head to which in the event that australia gets their long awaited ass kicking that he and his supports are going to be targeted for the rest of their lives dead or alive just like those decedents in Taiwan that are getting sanctioned to the extreme right now, which is going to greatly foreshadow just what is going to happen to these idiots in the future. I will be frank, in australia, particularly in the population not in parliament, no one is trying to bring this up because is that australia believes that the USA will come to protect them when the reality shows otherwise and they are trying to pretend everything is ok and two when the USA inevitably collapses, no one in right mind believes that Australia will win any fight against China no matter how stupidly gun hoe your leadership becomes, even in Australian territory where they will experience a total destruction of the entire military in a matter of hours and China will make it known. Most nations neighboring Australia are looking to benefit from having raw fee white aussies to lecture them on anything and it is almost guaranteed that most Australians , just to survive will sell out the entire leadership without question for basically letting idiots like Peter Dutton start this fight when it is completely avoidable. Hence why most Aussies tend to advise each other to learn Chinese because they know on an instinctual level that China can and will win any open battle that isn’t America and what is more that no other nation would consider helping australia in the event that the USA is dealing with their own collapse. Australia has given every reason for China to want australia to go down under, and the sad part is, is that the leaders have literally no plan be in the event that they lose except pray that China has some kind of mercy when it is all but shown in history that no such a mercy will ever be given, not from a betrayal as vast as Australia has committed and one that australia is going to pay an extremely high price for in the coming years. Australia may win one or two small battles in the media on their home terf but if my predictions are true in regards to the collapse of the USA in The coming decade, Australia will not only be next to go down, which all those anti China agents/leaders being targeted to be brought in front of the international criminal court to answer for everything they have done and this is in the best case, so we should expect a lot worse to come and when China comes to extract compensation for all the harm done to China, China knows and will follow through in regards to extracting EVERYTHING from the ones that have wrong them and when I mean everything, I mean EVERYTHING and absolutely no mercy will be shown in the slightest
 
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B.I.B.

Captain
But these same Indonesia would raise their howls if the incident r the offending country was China. Why are these ASEAN countries not that fearful of Chinese military.
Actually what I find more interesting is the ongoing scrimmaging between China and a Australian lead western effort over Kiribatis intention to develop facilities for tuna fishing. It's more than just tuna as it is strategically placed in the mid pacific and would be a win for China to have Kirbatis leaders lean towards supporting China in a significant manner.
 

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