RICHARD WOOLCOTT. If the US treats China like an enemy, then it will become one.

 It is time for Australia to accept the reality of the rise of China and a resurgence of Russia.  

Chas Freeman’s lengthy article “The Sino-American Split and its Consequences” is of substantial interest. It is true that, if the United States does treat China like an enemy, then it will become one.

I consider that, notwithstanding Australia’s long tradition of supporting United States regional policies, Australia should certainly NOT follow the U S down its present dangerous path.  Australia’s national interest now lies in avoiding any opposition to the present realities of a rising China and a resurgent Russia.

China now sees the South China Sea region as an area in which its dominant influence must be acknowledged globally.  At the same time it should also be recognised that no ship carrying trade to Australia’s north, has been stopped or intercepted by China’s Navy.

The United States maintained that the area around Hawaii should be acknowledged as an area in which American influence would be dominant.  Indeed, if the Chinese Navy encircled Hawaii, Washington would have made its criticism very clear.Australia should now endeavour to ensure that both China and Russia  are well aware that Australia’s approach to the major changes now underway in China and Russia is completely different from that of the United States .

Richard Woolcott was formerly President of the UN Security Council and Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He is currently a consultant to the Asia Society.

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4 Responses to RICHARD WOOLCOTT. If the US treats China like an enemy, then it will become one.

  1. Kerry Faithfull says:

    Well said thank you.
    Watching interviews of Russian and Chinese leaders and diplomats it is remarkable that they do not use inflammatory language against western countries, even under extreme provocation from US and Allies. Contrasting this are America’s consistent aggressive rhetoric and military provocations.

    We need a diplomatic divorce!

  2. Anthony Pun says:

    Australia needs to overcome 2 hurdles if it wants to become relevant in the Asian century.
    (1) The Asian proverb “Like a frog sitting in the well” – a contented old frog sitting in the well can only see things and perspective within the walls.
    (2) You Can’t Teach An Old Dog New Tricks – Idiom (Or Proverb?) If is almost impossible, to change the way a person does something when they have been doing it the same way for many years. … The expression can relate to a person’s habits, traits or mindset.
    Type 1 Hurdle: Unless it significantly affects the citizen personally, ie. family and wealth, nothing will change. A bad Australia-China relation that brings adverse economics to Australia and would be a shocking wake up call.
    Type 2 Hurdle: Unless citizens are prepared to venture out into the world or watch international media, and appreciate the changes that has taken place elsewhere viz. SE Asia, China, South Korea, Japan and Russia, one would not be appreciate particularly how these countries have caught up with us.
    Asian countries have long discarded these hurdles and they sent their children to Australia & other Western countries to study. Hence, they know and appreciate the West better we do the East.
    Australia needs to overcome these two hurdles to plan a better future particularly and improve our relations with China and Asian countries in general to maintain our relevance in the Asian century.
    Complacency is a luxurious feeling that we can least afford.

  3. Robin Wingrove says:

    This should be required reading and implementation for all our politicians and public servants, especially those in the Defense and Intelligence agencies. Right now we are sticking our heads in a noose of our own making. And we read today that the US Marines are going to have (I know, it is ‘proposed’, fait accompli more like it) their own naval base 40Kms north of Darwin. That noose grows tighter by the day.

  4. Nick Deane says:

    “Australia should now endeavour to ensure that both China and Russia are well aware that Australia’s approach to the major changes now underway in China and Russia is completely different from that of the United States .” I couldn’t agree more!

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