Friday, April 29, 2011

Meanwhile, on the foreign policy front,

while the prime minister's been

a) sucking up to the Yanks and

"Julia Gillard says she is 'all ears' about the possibility of the US placing more military forces on Australian soil if it believes this is necessary in the light of the growing might of China and India... Describing the relationship between Australia and the US as the equivalent of 'great mates'...[her] official program [in the US] will begin late tonight, Australian time, when she visits the Lincoln Memorial and is due to announce a $3 million Australian contribution to the US's official Vietnam memorial..." (Gillard open to more US forces, Matthew Franklin, The Australian, 7/3/11)

b) the Chinese,

"Julia Gillard has wound up her first visit to Beijing as Prime Minister by calling for Australia and China to gradually increase their co-operation on defence as a means to promote good relations and maintain regional peace and prosperity. Ms Gillard has also said China's naval vessels are welcome in Australia and that she wants to promote step-by-step collaboration and links between Australian and Chinese military officials... Speaking before the meeting with [President] Hu [Jintao], Ms Gillard confirmed she would raise concerns about China's record on human rights... She said Australia raised such issues because of 'who we are and what we believe'. 'It's part of us to believe in human rights and consequently to raise our voice on human rights', she said. 'I do believe that China does listen to and respond to international opinion'." (Gillard calls for closer defence ties with Beijing, Matthew Franklin, The Australian, 28/4/11)

who've told her to go suck eggs,

"Australia's human rights dialogue with China has achieved little, with Chinese officials laughing off concerns and questioning Australia's human rights performance, confidential US diplomatic cables show." (China laughs off human rights concerns, Philip Dorling, Sydney Morning Herald, 27/4/11)

Kevvie's been doing frantically trying to... ?

"Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has paid another flying visit to Israel - his third in 5 months... His office stated he would be discussing 'the impact of developments in the Middle East on Israel and the peace process'... Rudd was 'encouraged by Prime Minister [Binyamin] Netanyahu to take advantage of his proximity to Israel this week to make a short visit', a spokesperson for Rudd said." (Israeli trio of trips for Rudd, Australian Jewish News, 29/4/11)

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