More love for Communist China from Keating
Former prime minister Paul Keating has begun his National Press Club appearance by lashing Australia’s foreign policy on China, saying the country is “at odds with its geography and has lost its way”.
He said Australia should be looking to its immediate north, Indonesia, to engage in the region, rather than the “Quad” alliance with the US, India and Japan.
The former Labor leader said India would never be engaged in a conflict in the South China Sea, and Japan should have reached a point of accommodation with China “years ago”.
“No, they are hanging out for some Quad which has us in it, the Americans, the Indians in it… This is the kind of hopeless environment we are in.”
He said China’s economy would be 250 per cent the size of the US in the years ahead, but the US was refusing to acknowledge China’s preeminence in East Asia.
Mr Keating said the problem with Australia’s foreign policy was that it is informed by the “spooks” - referring to intelligence and security agencies.
“It’s informed, our foreign policy debate now in Canberra, is informed by the security agencies.
“You are not getting a macro view of what China really is.”
Mr Keating’s views about China are, of course, well known.