//
you're reading...
Australian Current Affairs

China was furious because Australia would not submit to its demands under Kevin Rudd


Kevin Rudd, whose comments on Tibet have piqued the Chinese leadership, reviews a military guard in the Great Hall of the People with then Premier, Wen Jiabao in 2008

Kevin Rudd, whose comments on Tibet have piqued the Chinese leadership, reviews a military guard in the Great Hall of the People with then Premier, Wen Jiabao in 2008

One of Australia’s foremost China experts says then prime minister Kevin Rudd may have fallen victim to “bite your friend” syndrome during his dealings with the Asian power, as Beijing expected too much in return.

In a paper to be released today by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Ross Terrill, once described by the Chinese as a “vanguard officer” for Gough Whitlam‘s 1971 visit, says Mr Rudd, a “liberal internationalist”, was the first leader of an important power who knew China well, spoke Chinese and had lived in Beijing.

“This exposed him to the danger of what I call ‘bite your friend’ syndrome,” Dr Terrill says. “Someone with a foot in the Chinese cultural camp can be easy prey, expected to deliver for the camp, risking emotional kickback if he doesn’t.”

Dr Terrill says when Mr Rudd took office in 2007, he was hailed at home as a guaranteed wizard at handling China.

“But when he spoke Chinese with president Hu Jintao, many Australians were irritated. The initial Chinese embrace of Rudd soon led — surprising many — to Chinese demands on Australia,” Dr Terrill says. “The two nations’ cultural and economic relations hit their worst patch since Tiananmen in 1989.”

Beijing assailed Canberra for allowing exiled Chinese Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer into Australia, sabotaged the Melbourne Film Festival for showing a film about her, and tried to stop her speaking before the National Press Club.

“Photos of dead kangaroos mysteriously appeared on the film festival’s website,” Dr Terrill says.

Beijing also reacted angrily when Chinalco was unable to buy a large chunk of Rio Tinto. Soon, former Rio Tinto executive Stern Hu was in a Chinese prison, where he remains.

Mr Rudd’s hawkish defence white paper irritated China and the former PM told then US secretary of state Hillary Clinton he was a “brutal realist” about China. And while he argued for engagement to integrate China with the international community, he also said he was prepared to deploy force if things went wrong.

Dr Terrill says Mr Rudd’s acts on China policy were quite balanced, but Beijing perhaps expected better from a friend.

“Moments of instability in Rudd’s China policy may have resulted from a liberal internationalism being squeezed between a Chinese embrace and Australian scepticism about a tall poppy whispering in Chinese to Beijing’s leaders.”

Dr Terrill’s paper challenges the twin views that China’s rising economic and military power will dominate the region, and that the US is in decline. He says both Beijing and Washington see a power standoff looming between them in the Asia-Pacific. “The major question is whether it can be handled peacefully.”

Dr Terrill predicts China’s growth will slow, that American resilience is being widely underestimated, and that resistance to Beijing presiding over the Asia-Pacific would be robust.

Source: The Australian – ‘China felt Rudd failed as friend’
 

About Craig Hill

Teacher and Writer. Writing has been cited in New York Times, BBC, Fox News, Aljazeera, Philippines Star, South China Morning Post, National Interest, news.com.au, Wikipedia and others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

If you liked what you just read, click "Subscribe" to become a follower of the Craig Hill site. You will receive an email each time a new post is published.

Join 14,835 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

Most Recent Posts Post on My Blog About China: China News

Cadence Column: Asia, August 2, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, August 2, 2021

British aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is trudging through China’s backyard. Chinese government news “Global Times” describes Britain as trying to relive its old days. China was never happy about getting its ass whipped twice in the Opium Wars, which China provoked with its economic philosophy that “sliver-in, tealeaves-out” was sustainable trade. China, now with […]

Attacks on foreign journalists in China cast shadow over Beijing’s upcoming Olympics

Attacks on foreign journalists in China cast shadow over Beijing’s upcoming Olympics

After promises during the 2008 Olympics, “[f]ew could have imagined the CCP stooping to the level of running campaigns against individual news reporters and outlets, resulting in harassment and death threats against foreign reporters,” writes William Nee. On July 20, in the central plains of Henan province, one of China’s most important regional cities, Zhengzhou, […]

Tibet and China clash over next reincarnation of the Dalai Lama

Tibet and China clash over next reincarnation of the Dalai Lama

A couple of years ago, during a meeting of Tibetan leaders in Dharamshala in India, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, was asked about his reincarnation. Addressing the room of monks, religious teachers and Tibetan politicians, the Dalai Lama asked them to look into his eyes. “Do you think it’s time now?” he asked. It […]

China orders one member of each Tibetan family to enlist in the military to fight against India

China orders one member of each Tibetan family to enlist in the military to fight against India

China has been hatching several conspiracies since its defeat on the eastern Ladakh border against India last year. Considering the fact that Tibetan youth can play a vital role in fighting India in the Himalayan mountains on the borders of eastern Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh, China has made it mandatory for one member of every […]

China warns UK as carrier strike group approaches South China Sea

China warns UK as carrier strike group approaches South China Sea

China has warned the UK’s Carrier Strike Group, led by the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth not to carry out any “improper acts” as it enters the contested South China Sea. ‘The People’s Liberation Army Navy is at a high state of combat readiness’ says the pro-government Global Times, seen as a mouthpiece for the […]

China Has Reportedly Launched a Little Baby Version of the US X-37B Spaceplane

China Has Reportedly Launched a Little Baby Version of the US X-37B Spaceplane

A Chinese aerospace manufacturer hailed a successful test flight of a new spaceplane that will broaden China’s reusable spaceflight capabilities. The unnamed craft reportedly takes off like a rocket and lands like an airplane, much like the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B (pictured above), but can’t go all the way into orbit like the American spaceplane […]

China Discovers the Limits of Its Power

China Discovers the Limits of Its Power

Beijing’s confrontation with Australia should have been an unequal contest. That’s not how it worked out in practice. “Chewing gum stuck on the sole of China’s shoes.” That’s how Hu Xijin, the editor of the Chinese Communist Party–run Global Times, described Australia last year. The disparaging description is typical of the disdain that China’s diplomats […]

China looking at expropriating foreign-held tech shares

Those foreigners who hold shares in Chinese tech companies are being warned that all is not well. It is China expert Gordon Chang who explained at Gatestone Institute, where he is a distinguished senior fellow and a member of the advisory board, that the nation controlled by a repressive Communist regime is “on the road […]

Cadence Column: Asia, July 26, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, July 26, 2021

While a typhoon largely evaded Taiwan over the weekend, tragedy struck the mainland. Shanghai faced flooding and death while India suffered a landslide in the Himalayas. In a shocking video, one boulder took out a bridge. Several people died. But, speaking of Taiwan’s tendency to fall out of manure smelling like roses, there’s nothing like […]

On This Day In Australia: In 1950, Australia announced they would send troops to the Korean War

On This Day In Australia: In 1950, Australia announced they would send troops to the Korean War

Originally posted on Craig Hill:
Third Royal Australian Regiment Only five years after the end of the Second World War, Australia became involved in the Korean War. Personnel from the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), and the Australian Regular Army (ARA) were committed soon after the war began and would serve…

%d bloggers like this: