Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. File photo: VCG
Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. File photo: AFP
Canberra (People's Daily) -- Former Australian PM Kevin Rudd accused the Turnbull government of failing to develop the right policies to deal with China.
“China has long sought to increase its international influence, both in Australia and around the world. Other foreign powers do this in Australia too,” Rudd wrote in a piece published in The Weekend Australian.
As Rudd’s piece pointed out, “The question is not one of whether China is seeking to do so here. The real question is to what extent is it increasing; to what extent is it manageable while maintaining a normal, healthy, balanced bilateral relationship still capable of advancing the vast array of common interests we share, which I believe we can.”
Rudd goes on to accuse Turnbull of fostering “McCarthyism” towards China, points that were echoed by former Turnbull Trade Minister Andrew Robb, who called on the Prime Minister to tone down his anti-China rhetoric.
While speaking at a recent National Press Club event, Rudd criticized the Turnbull government for implementing “neo-McCarthyism” over its foreign interference package, a measure aimed at curbing China’s influence in Australia.
In Rudd’s opinion, Turnbull’s response to the controversy surrounding deceased Senator Dastyari has caused patriotic Chinese-Australians to experience “unnecessary anxiety.”
“As a result of that, after a period, Turnbull found himself almost unable to control himself regarding pursuing a domestic political agenda,” said Rudd.
What Rudd has been pursuing is a more balanced China strategy and “not one that waves the neo-McCarthyism flag in this country against the Chinese communities who live here.”
US President Donald Trump held a news conference with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia in the East Room at the White House in Washington, DC on February 23, 2018. Photo: VCG
In an ABC News interview first broadcast on February 11, Rudd lashed out at Turnbull for going wherever "the political winds blow in" and following Washington at a time when the US-China relationship is ‘in a deeply fragile state.’”