The global context of China’s assault on Australian trade and diplomacy

For Australia, lessons can be learned from Japan. New Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga used his first overseas trip to visit Indonesia and Vietnam. Suga signed a defence export deal with Hanoi and provided a $670 million low-interest loan to Jakarta. Suga also deepened security relations with Australia through a defence pact. Suga is making clear and systematic moves to diversify relations and contain Chinese expansion, yet is doing so without the belligerent bluster and crude diplomatic noise found in Morrison’s public displays. Japan has ongoing disputes with China over the South China Sea and tensions remain over Japan’s security arrangements with the United States, yet the two maintain productive and mutually beneficial trade and diplomatic relations. Former Prime Minister and specialist in Sino-Australia relations, Kevin Rudd, has described Japan’s approach as “do more, talk less”. For attention-hungry Morrison, such a strategy is inconceivable.

The global context of China’s assault on Australian trade and diplomacy

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