Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rudd, China and the importance of poise

Greg Sheridan, has a good little opinion piece on the recent handling of the Australia-China relationship by the Rudd government.

I agree with his basic thrust. That the current Australian government has been wise in playing a straight bat to China, not getting over-wrought, not stamping our feet and holding our breathe, but rather quietly pointing out our concerns with issues such as the Stern Hu arrest, steadfastly sticking to our guns over the issue of a visa to Rebiya Kadeer, and working to secure a huge natural gas sale.

China has an alien political culture to us. And, casting all relativism aside, a vastly inferior one. There is no other way to characterize that countries authoritarian government, opaque legal system, endemic corruption and massive poverty. Australia and China will often disagree. I think the wise course is the one we have taken. Call it principled pragmatism. Basically we simply acknowledge our differences, deal with them best we can while being true to our values, always be on guard and dont trust to much but find a way to do business.

Perhaps one thing we need to always remember - China needs us, perhaps as much as we need them. We need to hold our nerve, not let the bully sense fear and above all retain our poise.

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