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

US investment in Australia helps both countries in China


Outgoing US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich speaks about his time in Australia and other observations on the eve of his departure

Outgoing US Ambassador Jeffrey Bleich speaks about his time in Australia and other observations on the eve of his departure

Massive investments by the US in Australian resources projects are helping both nations develop a healthy relationship with China, says departing American ambassador Jeffrey Bleich.

“People like to spin out doomsday scenarios,” Mr Bleich told The Australian in a farewell interview.

“They sell books and newspapers,” he said, of the view that China and the US were headed, ultimately, for conflict. “The truth is that the US and China’s relationship has been improving steadily because we’re both committed to making it work.”

Beijing and Washington were putting in a tremendous effort, he said, with their leaders rolling up their sleeves and spending days together in each other’s country.

“That’s how you warm up these relationships to build real confidence,” he said.

Mr Bleich said the US and China depended on each other.

“We’re invested in each other. We want each other to succeed,” he said.

“We would be much more afraid of China failing than of China succeeding, and China feels the same way about us.”

The US and China believed their relationship with Australia benefited all three nations.

The US was investing hundreds of billions of dollars in resources projects in Western Australia and Queensland, Mr Bleich said. “We’re building huge (liquefied natural gas) facilities so that you can sell more gas to China,” he said.

“That helps China grow. It helps Australia get rich and it does strengthen our key ally in the region. It’s win, win, win.”

Mr Bleich said that Lowy Institute polling indicated that more than 80 per cent of Australians believed they did not have to choose between China and the US.

“The Australian public gets it. You don’t have to chose between the US and China,” he said.

The ambassador welcomed the election of the Coalition and said any US administration could work well with any Australian government.

On impressions of his four years in Canberra, Mr Bleich said Australians had a great natural humility and tended to underestimate how well they were regarded around the world.

“And your treatment of your leaders is very different from ours,” he said.

“Once you are the president of the United States, you are always ‘Mr President’. But in Australia, the day after you leave office you’re ‘Bob’.”

Mr Bleich said Australians were less inclined to hyperbole than Americans and were less likely to laugh politely at a public speaker’s bad joke.

He said before Barack Obama had addressed Australia’s parliament, he warned the US President that Aussies were not likely to respond with a standing ovation.

“So the President delivers his address and there’s this thunderous, ongoing standing ovation.

“He gets into the car with me afterwards and says ‘I got the standing O, Jeff. I think you’ve got to raise your game a bit.’T”

When Mr Bleich was appointed ambassador, his children kept his ego in check with an equivalent promotion for Lucy, the family’s Boston terrier.

“When I got back from my confirmation hearings I got: ‘Hey Dad, the Dog Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary needs to go out.’ ”

Mr Bleich said Australia would be very impressed with his replacement, John Berry. The incoming ambassador had the ear of the President, which was very important for the relationship.

Mr Bleich said many Australians did not appreciate how central their nation was to world affairs.

“You’ll be chairing the G20 and you are currently on the UN Security Council but even apart from those roles you throw tremendous weight in international affairs and you are a real trusted partner,” the ambassador said. “In Afghanistan, we did not make a significant move in our overall strategy without lengthy consultations with Australia as a key partner.”

The US diplomatic, economic and security “rebalance” to the Asia-Pacific region was largely done in consultation with Australia, Mr Bleich said.

Many senior Australian military officers served in senior positions embedded in the US forces.

“You’re superb partners, well-trained, pragmatic, got good judgment and tremendous communications skills, and everyone loves Australians.”

Source: The Australian – Investment in Oz ‘helps US in China’
 

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.

Discussion

No comments yet.

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 15,050 other followers

An archive of all my old posts

Follow me on Twitter

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

China is preparing for the next pandemic – are we? 

China is preparing for the next pandemic – are we? 

A hypothetical scenario: The year is 2030. It’s been five years since you or your family members have stepped outside your home. It’s too dangerous out there. This pandemic is deadlier than anything humanity has seen before. Death is lurking in every corner of the city. It requires special gear to move in the dangerous […]

Cadence Column: Asia, January 17, 2022

Cadence Column: Asia, January 17, 2022

China is illegal. The US Department of State even says so. France even reports as such. This won’t exactly improve friendly relations across the Pacific. It’s actually a much larger step to an all out conflict. Just over a year ago, November 2020, Western allies declared that China’s 1984 treaty with Britain, the basis for […]

India’s offensive against China should be in the grey zone 

India’s offensive against China should be in the grey zone 

Grey zone is not a fixed concept but a hypothetical place between peace and war. While I was writing this article, a never heard of development was taking place in the Indian state of Punjab. The Indian Prime Minister was stuck on a bridge for 20 minutes since the highway was blocked by the protesters. […]

Cadence Column: Asia, January 10, 2022

Cadence Column: Asia, January 10, 2022

Lithuania has become the “Taiwan of Europe”. Since WWII, Americans never again struggled with the concept that a problem abroad is a problem at home. This is how we Americans can vote to interfere around the world that we know so little about. We think every squeal from another continent indicates a personal assault on […]

Is China ready to host the Winter Olympics?

Is China ready to host the Winter Olympics?

Chinese officials have promised that the 2022 Winter Olympics — to be held Feb. 4 to 20 and followed by the Paralympics March 4-13 — will be a “safe, streamlined and splendid” global event. But that won’t be easy. With less than four weeks to go, China is struggling to enforce its strict zero-covid policy […]

Crystal Gazing 2022: India and The World 

Crystal Gazing 2022: India and The World 

If we thought 2019 and 2020 presented uncertainties then 2022 is here to surprise all of us. It could be remembered as one of the most complex, unpredictable, and potentially dangerous years in the recent past. COVID-19, oil crossing $100/barrel, Iran-US nuclear talks, Iran-Israel tension, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, cryptocurrency, and militarization of outer […]

Japan looks west to guard against a rising China

Japan looks west to guard against a rising China

Japan signed on Thursday a new security treaty with Australia, a fellow middle power that is similarly aligning against an increasingly assertive China. The blandly-branded Reciprocal Access Agreement, which was signed virtually by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, marks the conclusion of a process that started in 2014, when […]

Cadence Column: Asia, January 3, 2022

Cadence Column: Asia, January 3, 2022

Taiwan is on the rise. With chip shortages, stock is booming. You know how graphics cards are astronomically high? A lot of that money is going into Taiwan. Meanwhile, China found an excuse to order a real estate developer to demolish 39 freshly, new-built “luxury apartments”—something about the building permit being illegal and violated zoning. […]

Cadence Column: Asia, December 27, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, December 27, 2021

Japan is on the scene in the Pacific. While Japanese athletes will attend the Olympics, Japanese officials will not. China doesn’t want Japan to “politicize” the games. But, consider 2008, the one-hour opening ceremony about nothing but China’s history, with President Xi marching in to a one-world dream at the end. For Beijing, hosting the […]

Cadence Column: Asia, December 20, 2021

Cadence Column: Asia, December 20, 2021

The US is hitting China hard over treatment of Uyghurs. Nearly all imports from Xinjiang will be banned. At the same time, the US bolsters the call to bolster Taiwan’s military defense. However, Taiwan has the seeds of the same tyranny; it just doesn’t materialize into anything alarming because Taiwan remains small. The most obvious […]

%d bloggers like this: