Keating Warns Against Tillerson’s South China Sea Adventurism

Former prime minister Paul Keating has criticised remarks by the US Secretary of State-designate, Rex Tillerson, regarding what he terms “adventurism” over the South China Sea.

Keating issued a statement following remarks by Tillerson at his confirmation hearings in Washington DC. Tillerson said that a “signal” should be sent to China over its access to islands in the South China Sea. He said that American allies should be there to “show back-up”.

Keating says Australia should have no part of such adventurism, as it should have had no part in the Iraq war 15 years ago.

Statement by Paul Keating.

Keating


Chinese Own Less Than 1% Of Agricultural Land; Figures Show 86% Land Australian-Owned; Half Of All Foreign Investment Is From UK

Figures released today by the Australian Taxation Office show that 86.4% of the nation’s agricultural land is held by Australians. Foreign interests hold 13.6%, whilst Chinese interests control just 0.4% of the total.

Figures from the Register of Foreign Ownership of Agricultural Land show that over half of all foreign investment in Australian agricultural land is held by the United Kingdom (52.7%), which has 27.5 million hectares, or 7.2%, of total agricultural land.

United States interests hold 14.8% of all foreign investment in land. This represents 7.7 million hectares, or 2% of the total.

The Netherlands, Singapore, China, Philippines, Switzerland, Jersey, Indonesia and Japan hold 21% of all foreign investment. Together, the top 10 countries account for 88.5% of all foreign investment in agricultural land.

The figures debunk claims by populist and fringe political groups about Chinese holdings of land. Just 2.8% of all foreign investment in land is Chinese, or 0.4% of all agricultural land. [Read more…]


Tony Abbott’s Weary Dunlop Speech To AsiaLink

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has given a wide-ranging speech about Australia’s relationship with Asia.

Abbott delivered the Weary Dunlop lecture to AsiaLink in Melbourne.

Abbott

He reiterated his earlier remarks that his approach to foreign policy would have a “Jakarta not Geneva” focus.

In the speech, Abbott discussed Australia’s relationship with Indonesia, India and China. He touched on foreign aid, international students and the study of Asian languages in Australian schools. [Read more…]


Paul Keating’s Murdoch Oration: Asia In The New Order

The former Labor Prime Minister, Paul Keating, has delivered a stinging criticism of Australia’s foreign policy direction in a speech in Melbourne tonight.

Paul KeatingKeating delivered the Keith Murdoch Oration at the State Library of Victoria.

He argued the era of effective foreign policy activism had passed, replaced by a flagging sense of independence and “an easy accommodation with the foreign policy objectives of the United States”.

Keating reiterated his long-held views about the decline of the “Anglosphere”. He said that as prime minister, “I rejoiced in the diversity around us and the fact that the big and old societies of the East, formerly locked down by colonialism and poverty, were free to go their own way.”

“We need to concentrate on where we can be effective and where we can make the greatest difference.”

Text of Paul Keating’s Keith Murdoch Oration.

Asia in the New Order: Australia’s Diminishing Sphere of Influence

Keith Murdoch, in whose name this oration is given, represents an important position in the history of this institution. Chairman of the Board of Trustees from 1939 to1945, of what was then the Melbourne Public Library, he came to the position from an industry devoted to information, namely, newspapers.

He was appointed editor of the Melbourne Herald in 1921 and played a corporate role in the Herald acquiring the Sun News-Pictorial in 1925, becoming managing director of the Herald and Weekly Times in 1928. And so began the entrepreneurial career of the first Murdoch, building the Herald and Weekly Times, which sixty years later his son Rupert acquired. [Read more…]


Gillard Launches Asian Century White Paper

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has launched the federal government’s White Paper on the Asian Century.

Julia Gillard

In her speech to the Lowy Institute, Gillard announced that Trade Minister Craig Emerson would take charge of a new ministry of “Asian century policy”. The White Paper sets out a plan for regional engagement which includes all Australian school students having “continuous access to a priority Asian language”: Mandarin, Hindi, Indonesian or Japanese. [Read more…]


Paul Keating Speech At Launch Of ‘The China Choice’

Former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating has delivered a speech in which he criticises United States policy towards China.

Paul Keating

The China ChoiceKeating said the United States could not expect to win a war against China on the Asian mainland. “I have long held the view that the future of Asian stability cannot be cast by a non-Asian power – especially by the application of US military force.”

“The failure of US wars in Korea, Vietnam and – outside Asia – in Iraq and Afghanistan, should lead the US to believe that war on the Asian mainland is unwinnable.” [Read more…]


Rudd: Global Challenges, Global Responses And Global Governance

Kevin Rudd has addressed the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs.

The former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister spoke on “Global Challenges, Global Responses and Global Governance”.

Transcript of Kevin Rudd’s Address to the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

My good friend Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird.

Distinguished members of the Canadian Government.

Distinguished members of the Diplomatic Corps.

Distinguished representatives of the Canadian Foreign Service.

Merci beaucoup tout le monde.

Merci pour cette aimable présentation.

Je veux vous remercier également de me recevoir ici aujourd’hui au Ministère des Affaires étrangères et du Commerce international. [Read more…]