Australia’s ambassador to the United States, Kevin Rudd, has urged countries to stop throwing allies “under the bus” if they want to counter China’s economic influence in the Asia-Pacific region.
Rudd, Australia’s former Labor Prime Minister and set to become a diplomat in March, said the United States had “one arm tied behind its back” and said it had taken a collective stance to limit China’s influence. He said he was not using the economy as part of his security strategy. area.
“What is the missing piece in America’s grand strategy for the future? It’s called the economy, stupid,” he said. Said Bloomberg TV uses a famous quote from American political consultant James Carville.
“I don’t think collective solidarity will last on security issues, but when it comes to the economy, the United States is happy to throw some of its allies under the bus.”
Rudd said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan had done well to “get cats” in Asia and Europe, but the country’s “protectionist sentiments dominated.” ‘, which hinders market opening to Europe and Asia.
“For these reasons, the U.S. Congress, despite the general protectionist sentiment of the U.S. Congress and the political class more generally, will instead adopt a different strategy of opening markets more openly to its Asian and European allies. I need it,” he said.
Rudd, who has been a vocal critic of the Morrison administration’s approach to Beijing, former President Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch’s relationship with News Corporation, was appointed Australia’s next ambassador to the United States in December 2022.
He first took office in 2007 against Prime Minister John Howard of the Free Nationals and served until 2010, when he was ousted by his successor and fellow party member Julia Gillard.
The Mandarin-speaking ex-premier’s remarks also resonated with Australia’s Foreign Minister Penny Wong. made a similar comment Last month, the Indo-Pacific said it wanted U.S. leaders to do things like digital trade and the energy transition.
“We need to show that there are interests we want to foster beyond our security interests,” she said at the time.
Emphasizing that he was speaking in his capacity as president of the Asia Society, Rudd said he did not begin his role as an ambassador, saying, “It will take three months before I become a pumpkin.”
Highlighting the importance of Mr Rudd’s appointment last month, Foreign Secretary Simon Birmingham criticized Mr Rudd for risking a sour bilateral relationship before starting work.
“Encouraging the United States to pursue deeper economic engagement with our region and other allies is sensible, strategic and consistent with Australia’s recent ambassador to the United States,” he said. rice field.
“Even before you start your role as a new ambassador to the United States, it is far less strategic to speak out and lecture about the United States.”
“I doubt many would see Kevin Rudd’s tone as an encouraging start to a role that requires both tactful handling and wise policy.”