Paul Keating issues dire warning about the rise of China 17



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Former prime minister Paul Keating says Australia is not prepared for the rapid rise of China and says we need to do more if we want the rest of the world to take us seriously.

Mr Keating was speaking about Australia-China relations when he said that our international influence was “waning” and that we need to pull our socks up if we want to play with major world powers.

He also addressed the number of Chinese buyers in the country, saying the government was right to block the major sale of Ausgrid to them.

“The fact is Australia needs a foreign policy and it needs it urgently and Australia does not have a foreign policy, that’s the biggest problem,” he said.

He said that while our humanitarian efforts are commendable, they do nothing for our power and influence overseas.

“Whether we’re recovering people from the Ukraine after that disaster or these things, these are worthy things for an Australian nation … but they are not a foreign policy,” he said.

“We both need and deserved a nuanced foreign policy which does take account of these big seismic shifts in the world.”

Mr Keating said Australia should not assist the US in trying to remain the most dominant and powerful country in the world and should instead “try and preserve strategic hegemony in Asia and the Pacific”.

“Strategic hegemony by the United States in the Pacific is incapable of preservation,” he said.

With so much talk about the rise of China and their influence in Australian business, could he be onto something here?

He also adressed Chinese buyers in Australia, saying it sometimes pays to be cautious.

He backed the governments block over the sale of power company Ausgrid to Chinese government buyers who were in a bidding war trying to get their hands on it.

“I don’t think any state-owned company of any country ought to hold or be able to own and control key strategic telecommunications assets in Australia,” Mr Keating said.

What do you think about Paul Keating’s comments? Do you think we need to be more prepared for the rise of China and Chinese buyers in Australia?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. We do not have an independent foreign policy and Keating is right to say “Mr Keating said Australia should not assist the US in trying to remain the most dominant and powerful country in the world and should instead “try and preserve strategic hegemony in Asia and the Pacific”. We have a ‘Military/Security takeover of Australia’s foreign policy which join us to hip of the United States!
    “Our autonomy and independence is also at great risk because our defence/security elite in Canberra have as their holy grail the concept of ‘interoperability’ with the US. This is mirrored in all US official and think-tank commentary on the role they see for us in our region with their ‘pivot’ to the Pacific. This factor plays heavily in any policies emanating from the elite in Canberra.
    The concept of interoperability does not only mean equipment. It also means personnel where increasingly large numbers of Australian military personnel are embedded in the US military and defence establishments – especially in the Pacific Command in Hawaii where recent visitors have noted a significant increase in Australian uniforms around the US headquarters. Prominent among the latter, is Major General Burt who occupies the position of Deputy Commander, US Army Pacific, wearing his Australian uniform. His placement was never announced by the usually hyperactive Defence Department media machine.” JOHN MENADUE

    1 REPLY
    • The increased Australian Military in Hawaii at present is due to a training exercise that they are involved in – it has now been completed and they will all be returning home very shortly

  2. As usual, Mr. Keating is showing his astute reading of economics and foreign affairs. He was without doubt, our greatest ever Treasurer, who set the cornerstones in place that led to the Health if the Australian economy in the early 2000’s even through the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. Once again, what he says makes complete sense.

  3. A very astute and accurate summing up of our lack of foresight.

  4. The public would do well to read and listen to what Paul Keating is saying here. No foreign policy, losing influence in the world, re working the role for Australia in Asia and Pacific nations. Much to do and Paul Keating is a well read and informed resource with an excellent track record in many areas.

  5. Australia’s greatest political loss was Paul Keating. He was probably the most astute politician this country has ever had.

  6. Keating says that Australia needs a foreign policy, we do have one and it is to sell everything including the kitchen sink to overseas interests!

  7. Too late Australia. We have sold this country already. I’m glad I’m over 60 and won’t have to watch the disaster our next generation will face. Every time I shop I’m surrounded by Asians, some of whom probably shot at me in Vietnam.

  8. Think it is naive to think Australia is up there with world powers, that is why we need strong links to powers like USA.
    China is a huge threat to Australia and they do covet our beautiful country and ways of life, what they are doing is taking it over one property at a time. Cannot understand our governments complacency and why they did not stop the take over years ago. China has us in their grip and will be able to so restrict our trade and access to goods to force us to do things. We have no real industry anymore, everything is made in China and supplied to us, I really despair or the inheritance we are leaving to our grand children.

    1 REPLY
    • You are so right there Vivienne….we will be serfs to China in our own country eating their noxious waste for food….our kids and grandkids are the ones who will suffer the most….our pollies treat us with sheer contempt when they think we will accept China’s purchase and ownership of our country as investment…..

  9. The Chinese have been here and part of our history for 200 years ..,.they have had their problems internally and so far have confined to internal rhetoric. But if you think the US will back us when the sh… hits the fan you are mistaken ,if the Japanese had not bombed Pearl Harbour and got them into the war we would have been eventually overrun…it’s only a poor supply line that prevented the capture of Port Moresby and subsequently Darwin and beyond…The average American thinks we’re Austrian and still have kangaroos running down the street…Time for us to pick our mates locally!!

  10. We should recall Paul Keating and John Howard. The best politicians we had.
    The Clowns we have had in over the past few years are an embarrassment.
    Instead of scoring points off each other, why don’t both sides work together for the
    good of our Country, but, why would they, if they had a brain it would be lonely.
    I worry about what my Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren will have left of our

  11. Why have we got to have this person’s view on EVERYTHING?
    The media trot him out constantly, & it’s just plain boring.
    I’ve never been interested in what he said, & am not about to change my opinion of him now.

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