General Peter Leahy warns of US-China collision

Discussion in 'China' started by JAYRAM, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. JAYRAM

    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

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    by: MARK DODD and MATTHEW FRANKLIN
    From:The Australian
    April 12, 201212:00AM

    Video - http://video.theaustralian.com.au/2219332337/Smith-welcomes-US-marines-to-Darwin


    FORMER Australian army chief Peter Leahy has urged Australia to tread warily in expanding its military ties with the US to ensure they do not "lead to increased tension and even conflict" with China. Warning against becoming "caught" between the US as its security guarantor and China as its economic underwriter, Professor Leahy has welcomed Australia's decision to play host to US marines, but noted that "too much of a good thing" could put unnecessary pressure on China.

    His comments, in an opinion piece in today's edition of The Australian, came as the China Daily state-owned newspaper hit out at Australia's expanding links with the US, warning they could spark a collapse of trust and endanger Sino-Australian economic ties.

    In a strongly worded editorial, the newspaper yesterday also warned that the Gillard government's decision last month to ban Chinese communications giant Huawei from bidding for work in the $36 billion National Broadband Network had created the perception in Beijing that Australia wanted to obstruct Chinese companies.

    But, as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton insisted her nation wanted close and peaceful relations with Beijing, Julia Gillard rejected the Chinese newspaper's suggestion that Australian foreign policy was aimed at containing China.

    "Australia's clear and firm policy is to engage constructively with China as it continues its remarkable growth and development," the Prime Minister said through a spokesman.

    Relations between China and Australia have been under pressure since US President Barack Obama visited Canberra in November to announce plans to station up to 2500 US marines in Darwin within five years. The deployment, which started last week, was part of a US push to shift its defence posture towards Asia in recognition of the growing influence of China and India.

    Chinese suspicions were further provoked last month when The Washington Post reported that the US was interested in using the Australia-controlled Cocos Islands as a base for surveillance drones.

    Professor Leahy, who led the army between 2002 and 2008 and is now director of the University of Canberra's National Security Institute, argues against Australia becoming too closely tied to the US. "As a sovereign nation Australia should maintain the ability to say 'no' to the US and separate itself from their actions," he writes, predicting the US marines agreement will lead to US pressure for even closer military ties with Australia, including greater access for American air and naval forces.

    "These are momentous decisions with far-reaching consequences. They potentially implicate Australia in a series of actions that could lead to increased tension and even conflict with China.

    "War is improbable but not impossible. Australia needs to be careful that it does not make inevitable the future that it should fear the most."

    Yesterday's China Daily article accused Australia of jumping on "the bandwagon" of a US push to "contain" China, putting at risk the close economic ties developed since diplomatic relations were normalised four decades ago.

    "As an old Chinese saying said . . . the person attempting to travel two roads at once will get nowhere," the article said. "Canberra is in danger of learning the truth of the Chinese saying that he who does not trust enough will not be trusted.

    "If Canberra continues to place more importance on its alliance with Washington, the trend of giving China the cold shoulder will eventually hurt the good momentum that the two countries have worked hard to build."

    China is Australia's largest trading partner, with the emerging giant's hunger for coal and iron ore the key driver of Australia's ongoing resources boom.

    Ms Gillard visited Beijing last year and her government is preparing a discussion paper on the economic opportunities for Australia in targeting the consumer needs of the growing Chinese middle class.

    Last night, Ms Gillard said through a spokesman that Australia was committed to a positive and co-operative relationship and was deeply engaged at every level.

    "Our economic relationship is important to both countries and will only continue to strengthen and grow," the spokesman said. "Our political ties through steady high-level exchanges are robust."

    Mrs Clinton, speaking in the US early yesterday, said a thriving China was good for America. "And a thriving America is good for China, as long as we both thrive in a way that contributes to the regional and global good. We will only succeed in building a peaceful, prosperous Asia-Pacific if we succeed in building an effective US-China relationship."

    Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop said the China Daily attack showed Labor had created unnecessary tensions with China by failing to manage inevitable disagreements with sensitivity and respect. "For example, confusion about the Labor government's attitudes towards China was increased significantly by the 2009 defence white paper that implied China posed a direct conventional military threat to Australia," she said.

    If elected, a Coalition government would "restore the consistency and mutual respect" to the relationship that was the hallmark of the previous Coalition government, she said.

    Greens leader Bob Brown said his party supported a more independent policy stance.

    "It is inevitable that hosting US bases, including the potential for US nuclear-powered submarines and drones, will not just annoy China, it will worry all our neighbours including Indonesia and India," Senator Brown said.

    "The Greens have always pursued human rights abuses with both China and the USA and think Australia should be open and frank on such issues."

    Former defence force chief Chris Barrie said that, while he agreed in "broad terms" with Professor Leahy's comments, it would be hard for the government to turn down a request from the US.

    The former army chief and commander of UN forces in Cambodia, Lieutenant General John Sanderson, said that Australia's future lay in building a proper strategic relationship with its Asian neighbours.

    "This is where we live," he said. "And if there is anything about this relationship with the Americans that impairs our ability to build on that relationship then we should have a much deeper strategic debate."

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  3. J20!

    J20! Senior Member Senior Member

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    Gillard is just going too far. She and her parliament know exactly what the US military intends to do with that drone base AND the nuclear submarines that are to be based in Australia. They want China's economic friendship, but they also want to be part of US military action around China. I don't see how the two go together.

    They are flushing all the diplomatic paperwork and the political dances Kevin Rudd and China had to go through to build secure relations between the two countries down the crapper. I was rooting for him in his move to get the PM seat back. Gillard is eventually going to do something to appease the American Hillarys that's going to ruin the ongoing China-driven Australian economic boom.

    Getting raw materials such as iron ore may be more expensive from Africa than it is from Australia, but I think its better to build true trading friendships with neutrals states, than two-faced chess games with a US lackey.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  4. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    China driven Australian boom. Yeah, the world is booming with cheap Chinese import.
     
  5. J20!

    J20! Senior Member Senior Member

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    What's driving Australia's current economic boom? Its mining sector. Who buys a majority of all Aussie mining products including iron ore? China. Who is overwhelmingly Australia's largest trading partner? China. Who provides the largest market ON EARTH for Australian manufacturing? China.

    Get your mind out of the 90's. Its not about Chinese "cheap exports" anymore. We'll leave that to Vietnam and India.
     
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  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Australia is taking all action to safeguard herself from the encroachment that China is aiming at Southwards.

    Today, it is the South China Seas, tomorrow who knows - the Tasmanian Sea?

    Trade is not the be all and end all of existence.

    Some other country will buy if not China.

    Surely, China is not buying Australians minerals because of some undying love for the Australians or a unbridled desire to boost the Australian economy.

    China is buying because they require it.

    Australia is doing China a favour and not the other way around, The 'wealth' that China wants is in Australian earth!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  7. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I cannot understand the viral anger of some that Australia is following a policy as suited to their needs.

    How is Australia going too far?

    Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Brunnei, Indonesia and all others who have claims in the South China Sea also feels that China is going too far.

    Now, has it stopped China from going too far?

    So why the beef?
     
  8. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    It is not against China.

    Both the US and Australia only want close and peaceful relations with China.

    China is unnecessarily misinterpreting peaceful moves and considering these move as an attempt to choke China.
     
  9. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    china claim the south china sea for decades even before they start their economic development. i doubt china will claim australia part of ocean. this just mistrust between western nation and asia, especially that asia nation is a commy state.
     
  10. s002wjh

    s002wjh Senior Member Senior Member

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    no US is for sure want to keep its influence in the region. the biggest threat to US influence in that region is china. and australia is always consider ally of US, even though they benefit alot from export to china.
     
  11. panduranghari

    panduranghari Senior Member Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, the high end stuff is not manufactured in China. My brother who works in Texas Instruments said Chinese try to copy TI tech and make a nanoprobe which costs 1/10th of the real stuff but blows up in the 3rd or 4th use. TI is a huge tech company and they decided to take manufacturing to India though they had Chinese offices too.

    Get out of the noughties.
     
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  12. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    With USA still in a recession that many are blaming China for the collision
    will probably soon?
     

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