May 2, 2012
Don't Show China Deference
Rowan Callick, The Australian
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked prime minister Kevin Rudd three years ago, presumably in a reflective tone: "How do you deal toughly with your banker?"
It was widely presumed, when this conversation was revealed by Wikileaks, that this question, about US-China relations, was a rhetorical one, hinting - with schadenfreude from many commentators in Australia - that the spendthrift Yanks were skewered by righteous Chinese savings, giving them no choice but to concede ideological high ground.
But Clinton's question wasn't rhetorical. Rudd's response was: "Multilateral engagement with bilateral vigour."
The Americans have demonstrated that they won't be deflected from the latter, even by economic exigencies. And events in China are underlining the US's role...
TAGGED: Secretary of State, United States, China, Australia, Kevin Rudd, Hillary Clinton, Prime Minister, Wang Lijun, Chen Guangcheng, banker