Monday, 31 August 2009

The difficulty of China

It is worth reading A. Downer's article about Australia's foreign policy towards China(unfortunately haven't been able to get the link off the net yet). Not surprisingly he is critical (again) of the present government's performance. This is not really surprising since he was the minister responsible in a previous government of a different persuasion.
He does rightly make the point that foreign policy should be about pursuing the national interest and not about pleasing the Canberra Press gallery. It is good to be reminded that the situation in Tibet is more complex than most imagine. But perhaps a bit ingenuous to suggest that recent crackdowns are more the fault of the Tibetan resistance's agression than the Chinese military's disproportionate response.
There is no doubt that we need to be diplomatic in all our foreign relationships. But many of us feel particularly uncomfortable, when diplomatic seems to mean...if China doesn't like it then we capitulate, or keep quiet.
If nothing else diplomacy is surely not about allowing one matter how dominate.

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