Clive Palmer Apologises To China’s Ambassador For Q&A Outburst

Clive Palmer has apologised to China over his remarks on the ABC program Q&A last week.

Palmer wrote to Mr. Ma Zhaoxu, China’s Ambassador to Australia, to say he regretted “any hurt or anguish” his comments “may have caused any party”.

In his appearance on Q&A, Palmer called the Chinese “mongrels” and “bastards”. He said the “communists” were trying to take over Australia’s ports and steal Australia’s resources. [Read more…]

Asia-Ready People, Asia-Ready Policies: Wayne Swan Speech

This is the text of Treasurer Wayne Swan’s address to the Australia in China’s Century conference in Sydney today.

Wayne Swan

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Speech by Treasurer Wayne Swan to Australia in China’s Century conference.

Asia-Ready People, Asia-Ready Policies

Can I start by thanking you, Paul for that introduction, thanking you all here for that warm welcome, and especially acknowledging The Australian and The Wall Street Journal for putting this event together. The rise of China, and especially the stupendous growth in its middle class, sits alongside the Global Financial Crisis as one of the two defining economic events of our lifetimes. Both are transforming the world. Indeed, China’s return to pre-eminence in the global economy is the most momentous development since the industrial revolution re-shaped the Western world over 200 years ago. So what China’s rise means for our place in the global superstructure is certainly a big enough topic to warrant this high-quality gathering today. I’m thankful for the opportunity to offer some thoughts and then to discuss them with my distinguished colleagues on this panel. I know that by this stage you don’t want me to go over too much of the same ground or recite the same stats. Instead, I want to offer the personal perspective of an Australian Treasurer whose seven trips to China mean I’ve probably visited there more times than all my predecessors since federation combined. That’s not a perfect statistic, but it does illustrate the shifting focus of Treasurers since the second world war, from markets in London, New York and Tokyo towards Shanghai and Hong Kong today. [Read more…]

Tony Abbott’s China Speech: Working Harder On A Complex Relationship

The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott has delivered a keynote foreign policy address on the China relationship.

Speaking in China, Abbott said: “It will take time and much further evolution for our friendship with China to approach the warmth that we take for granted with America. But it is worth the effort and it must be made.”

Of Australia’s developing relationship with China, compared to more established relations with Japan and the United States, Abbott said: “Prime Minister John Howard understood that you could make a new friend without losing an old one.”

Abbott advocated political and legal reforms in China: “In the long term, China should prosper even more if its people enjoyed freedom under the law and the right to choose a government, despite the difficulty of managing this transition in a country with a tumultuous history.”

Abbott addresssed AustCham Beijing, the China-Australia Chamber of Commerce.

Text of Tony Abbott’s address to AustCham Beijing, China.


In just over 30 years, hundreds of millions of Chinese have entered the middle class acquiring TVs, motor cars, extensive wardrobes, and air-conditioned homes.

They have become better educated, more thoroughly informed and more widely travelled.

For the first time since 1949, Chinese people can more-or-less decide how they work and where they live, even outside the country, although they still can’t choose their government.

It’s been a great watershed in human development as well as one of the most remarkable economic transformations in human history. [Read more…]

Tony Abbott’s Foreign Policy Speech To The Heritage Foundation

This is the text of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s speech to the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC.

Abbott attracted criticism from Prime Minister Julia Gillard over his criticism of cuts in defence spending.

Tony Abbott

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Julia Gillard

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Text of Tony Abbott’s speech to the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC.

It was the US Information Agency that organised my first trip to America as a member of parliament. I’d just been elected as a Liberal Party MP and had previously been one of the leading opponents of Australia becoming a republic.

Something happened in translation, though, because my US hosts had been told that I was very liberal and strongly anti-republican so I spent most of my fortnight in America being introduced to virtual communists.

Perhaps this was an illustration of the capacity of government agencies to get things wrong, in this country as well as in my own.

In any event, it’s good, finally, to find myself amongst like-minded Americans.

As our former prime minister, John Howard, often pointed out, the Liberal Party is the custodian in Australia of both the classical liberal and the conservative tradition.

The Heritage Foundation’s support for free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional values and strong national defence; and its mission to promote freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society closely correspond with the objectives of my own party.

The quest for freedom is the defining characteristic of the story of England but it has arguably been taken to a new pitch on this side of the Atlantic.

In a few pithy lines, Tennyson encapsulated the marriage of liberalism and conservatism in our tradition when he spoke of: “a land of just and old renown where freedom broadens slowly down from precedent to precedent”.

This is the heritage of the Magna Carta, the Provisions of Oxford, and the Glorious Revolution which the minutemen asserted against King George and which this Foundation celebrates. [Read more…]

Hillary Clinton On China

United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has delivered an important speech on China which appears to depart from the line previously taken by the Obama Administration.

Addressing the US Institute of Peace China Conference to celebrate the 40th anniversary of President Nixon’s visit to China, Clinton seemed to call for another “Nixon moment”. [Read more…]

Obama And Gillard Hold Joint Press Conference In Canberra

President Obama and Prime Minister Gillard have held a joint press conference in Canberra at which they announced new US troop deployments to the Northern Territory.

Obama and Gillard at Canberra press conference

Obama welcomed “a rising, peaceful China” and said China’s rise came with responsibilities such as helping to underwrite rules for economic growth. He said that China and India need to do their share of fighting climate change.

Obama said the notion that the US fears China or wants to exclude it is “mistaken”, but he emphasised a “consistent theme” that China needs to rethink its approaches to trade.

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APEC: John Howard and George Bush Joint Press Conference

The United States President, George W. Bush, held a joint press conference with the Prime Minister, John Howard, in Sydney today.

The press conference followed Bush’s arrival in Australia last night, ahead of the APEC meeting at the end of the week. [Read more…]

Kevin Rudd Commits To Emissions Trading Regime

The Leader of the Opposition, Kevin Rudd, has delivered a keynote speech on foreign policy to The Global Foundation, in Melbourne.

This is the text of Kevin Rudd’s speech to The Global Foundation in Melbourne.

Thank you, David Hawes. My good friend, Steve Howard, Councillor John So, the Lord Mayor of the City of Melbourne – our host, distinguished guests and Roundtable participants.

Socrates once said, ‘I am not Athenian or Greek, but a citizen of the world.’

This is also true for Australia. By virtue of our size, our economic clout and our geography, our destiny is – and has always been – to be a citizen of the world. Like all of us who share this planet, we are stakeholders in a global community. We have rights and responsibilities to each other and to the world we all populate. [Read more…]

Australia’s Trade Performance: Speech by Kevin Rudd

This is the text of a speech on Australia’s trade performance by Kevin Rudd, shadow minister for Foreign Affairs.

Text of Kevin Rudd speech to National Union of Workers Conference.

I want to use the opportunity today to address two key challenges confronting Australia’s trading regime:

  • Australia’s continuing poor trade performance; and
  • The impact of China on the future of Australian exports.

Australia’s Trade Performance

The Federal Parliamentary Labor Party remains strongly of the view that Australia’s engagement in an open international trading system is an overwhelmingly positive force for our community, our workers and our economy. [Read more…]

Greens Claim Presiding Officers ‘Kowtowed’ To Chinese President

Following last Thursday’s parliamentary address by President Bush, during which Senators Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle interjected, the Greens have objected to their treatement at the hands of the parliament’s presiding officers during yesterday’s address by China’s President Hu Jintao.

The Greens senators have been on the receiving end of considerable media criticism following their performance during Bush’s speech, but the strong-arm tactics of the Chinese will unsettle many.

A report by Steve Lewis in The Australian today claims that the Chinese President threatened not to deliver his speech unless he was guaranteed a silent reception. Lewis paints a picture of frantic last-minute activity as Hu arrived at Parliament House:

Just before 9.30am yesterday, the Foreign Minister of China, Li Zhaoxing, pulled up at Parliament House in his chauffeur-driven limousine. [Read more…]