April 21, 2011

Australia Navigates Tricky Asian Waters

John Lee, The Australian

AP Photo

The fact one of Rudd's first foreign policy decisions as leader was to ask his then foreign minister Stephen Smith to unilaterally withdraw from the Quadrilateral Initiative (involving the US, Japan, India and Australia) while standing next to his Chinese counterpart Wang Jiechi gave Beijing the impression that Canberra's move away from the US and towards the Chinese sphere of influence had begun. That Rudd visited China but not Japan on his first overseas trip in Asia reconfirmed that impression to the Chinese.

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TAGGED: Asia, Australia, Japan, United States, India, China, Canberra, Beijing, foreign minister

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