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Malcolm Fraser agreed with Sam Dastyari on South China Sea

Malcolm Fraser agreed with Sam Dastyari on South China Sea

In 2016 an Australian Labor Party Senator gave a speech shamelessly sucking up to the strategic interests of a foreign country, which went against Australia’s clear national interests. It wasn’t Sam Dastyari.

Citizens Electoral Council of Australia
Media Release Thursday, 14 December 2017
Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Malcolm Fraser agreed with Sam Dastyari on South China Sea

In 2016 an Australian Labor Party Senator gave a speech shamelessly sucking up to the strategic interests of a foreign country, which went against Australia’s clear national interests. It wasn’t Sam Dastyari.

The Senator was Stephen Conroy, whose 16 June speech to the National Press Club slammed China’s claims in the South China Sea and threatened that, if elected, a Labor government would take the USA’s lead and conduct provocative naval exercises in that region. In case there was any doubt that Conroy was shamelessly genuflecting to the Obama administration, he repeated his belligerent threats the following month in Washington, while attending the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue.

The day after Conroy addressed the National Press Club, fellow ALP Senator Sam Dastyari told Chinese language media at Parliament House that “The Chinese integrity of its borders is a matter for China.”

Reportedly, Dastyari made the remarks to salvage a $400,000 donation to the ALP. While it is clearly wrong to make policies in exchange for money, don’t kid yourself: both major parties do it all the time. They are whores to large financial donors, and cheap ones at that. (Conroy would say he wasn’t speaking on that issue in exchange for money, but he’s since leveraged his political contacts into a job as chief Australian lobbyist for the world’s biggest on-line gaming companies.)

The important question is: which Senator spoke for Australia’s national interest?

It’s interesting to note that a former Cold War warrior, the late Malcolm Fraser, agreed with the position Dastyari stated. Modern Liberals accuse Dastyari of “treason”, being a “double agent” and being “disloyal”, but Mr Fraser spent his final years fighting to expose the truth that Australia didn’t have an independent foreign policy; that our subservience to and integration with the US military meant that

Australia’s foreign policy was made in Washington.

Dastyari’s alleged disloyalty was to the USA, not Australia.

Malcolm Fraser is viewed as a leader whose views radically altered after he left office. He maintained, however, that Australian politics shifted far more than he did. In his last interview with the ABC, he revealed that from his first days as prime minister, he had to fight against the assumptions of the USA and UK that Australia would simply do as it was told. Explaining why he made his first foreign visit to China, in 1976, he said: “My first visit overseas was designed to say to Asia, and to China, this is the region most important to us. It was also designed to send the same message to Washington and to London.” He recounted how, just after taking office, he had received a telegram from the British government telling Australia which way to vote on an issue at the UN; Mr Fraser replied to the telegram that first the UK should explain the issue, Australia would think about it and decide for itself which way to vote.

Not ‘freedom of navigation’

In a 30 June 2014 column in the Guardian, entitled “Could Australia stay independent if the US went to war in the Pacific?”, Mr Fraser addressed the issues at the heart of the Dastyari scandal. “Events in the Middle East have not gone well for the US, or for peace, or for that matter, for any of the inhabitants in the region”, he observed. “Now, the US has turned their attention to the western Pacific.

There are no real signs that its diplomatic skills will be better demonstrated in this region than they were in the Middle East. There are many who support the military build-up, but I would argue, as has Singapore’s [former Prime Minister] Goh Chok Tong, that such a build-up is dangerous, ill-conceived and cannot succeed.”

Mr Fraser then destroyed the ridiculous assertion that America’s naval exercises, which Conroy demanded Australia join, are about “freedom” of navigation: “I have been told by Americans that China is a threat to freedom of the seas in the East and South China Seas. It is an absurd claim. Two-thirds of their own trade goes through those seas, it’s a two way business, and a two way benefit to China and the US, and the countries in between. Nobody would want to upset that trade.”

Contrary to the claims that such naval provocations are intended to resolve the disputes over the islands, the former PM insisted they would hinder a resolution. “ASEAN countries have demonstrated that if left to themselves, they can form a useful and effective association”, Mr Fraser said. “ASEAN is also negotiating with China for a code of conduct within the South China Sea. The US has had no part in this and US interference now would make agreement harder to achieve.”

In other words, what Dastyari said to the Chinese media.

What sovereignty?

The views of experienced hands like Malcolm Fraser and others show that the real foreign interference in Australia is obvious. How can China be interfering in Australia’s sovereignty, when Australia doesn’t have any sovereignty?

As another former prime minister, Paul Keating, said to ABC 7.30 on 10 November 2016: “We’ve got into this almost sort of crazy position now where the American alliance, instead of simply being a treaty where the United States is obliged to consult with us in the event of adverse strategic circumstances, it has now taken on a reverential, sacramental quality. It’s like a sacrament. I’m not talking about simply the government; I’m talking about some people on the Labor side as well.”

Mr Keating is now being called a foreign agent, because he consults to one of the development banks China established to engage nations in its cooperative economic development projects. However, he identified a real source of direct foreign interference into Australia’s politics, the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue, at which Stephen Conroy beat his chest about China: “There’s a view, there was a thing called the Australian-American dialogue, which by the way I never attended, which is a sort of a cult thing that’s gone on for years, and I don’t know what the Americans put in the drinking water, but whenever the Australians come back, they’re all bowing and scraping and going on.

“I mean”, he continued, echoing Malcolm Fraser, “what we have to do is make our way in Asia ourselves, with an independent foreign policy.”

Australia is witnessing the determination of the Anglo-American establishment and its integrated Five Eyes intelligence agencies, including ASIO, to stop us from doing that.

Click here for a free copy of the CEC’s colour pamphlet, The World Land-Bridge: Peace on Earth, Good Will towards All Men, about the economic opportunity that China is offering to the world through its Belt and Road Initiative.

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Last modified onSunday, 17 December 2017 23:10

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