PM targets ‘out of line’ Keating

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Targeting his Labor predecessor Paul Keating, who argued that China is too strong for Australia to resist, Morrison said the former prime minister’s stance was “out of line”. “We have taken a very strong position here in India. – We have taken a very strong stance in the Pacific and defending the interests of Australia, and we have taken a very strong stance with our allies and partners, not just the United States (but also) Japan and India and across many regions. “The ASEAN countries we’re working with to make sure we’re not being pushed around in this part of the world,” Morrison said. “I think Australians understand. We want to have a positive relationship with countries like China and trade with them, but at the same time we won’t be pushed around. According to former prime minister Paul Keating, we want to have a positive relationship with countries like China that doesn’t pose a constant threat,” he said. and should be allowed to be “rude” because there have been other superpowers in the past. In a sensationalized assessment of his powers that contradicts national security experts, Mr. Keating said that Australia has no strategic interest in preserving Taiwan’s autonomy and should avoid any conflict between the United States and China on the matter. “Taiwan is not a vital Australian interest,” he said. Former Labor Prime Minister Australia, New Zealand and the USA (ANZUS) agreed that “US forces are committed to consulting us in the event of an attack on US forces”. “This means that, in my view, Australia should not be drawn into a military agreement over Taiwan, sponsored by the US or otherwise,” he said. Speaking to the National Press Club on Wednesday for the first time since his disappearance, Mr. Keating downplayed China’s militarization of the South China Sea and its refusal to respect neighboring countries’ fishing rights during his 1996 premiership. “Big countries are rude,” he said. “They’re doing this.” Defense Minister Peter Dutton mocked Mr. Keating’s outdated views on China. “Important speech delivered today (again) by Comrade Keating, former beloved leader and Great Soothing, in humiliation of Australia,” Mr Dutton wrote on Twitter. Mr Keating also criticized Australia’s agreement with the US and UK to purchase nuclear-powered submarines. “Eight subs against China in 20 years will be like throwing a handful of toothpicks up a mountain,” he said. Mr Keating said Australia should at least “respect” China, pointing to Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne’s decision to call for an investigation into the origins of Covid-19, reportedly without a cabinet decision. “What the Chinese want is to respect their creations,” Mr. Keating said. When asked about China’s treatment of the Uyghur minority, Mr Keating said Australia “should always talk about human rights”, but questioned why there was no similar anger when India suspended the autonomy of the Kashmir region. Mr. Keating claimed that China’s ambitions were not “international ideology” like the “former Soviet Union”, that Beijing instead wanted to join the existing world order but had “reformed justly”. Mr Keating said Australia and the USA needed it. Adopting China would play an important role in “East Asia and the Asian mainland”, suggesting Beijing was a rising power in the “adolescence of diplomacy.” “There’s testosterone everywhere, you know, but we’re going to have to deal with them because their strength is going to be so profoundly great in this part of the world,” he said. with the USA, India and Japan. The United States should be the guarantor and leader in the West, and the stabilizer and conciliator in East Asia.” “In other words, it is important to have American military strength in East Asia to deal with any pressure from other states, including China.”