Thursday 26 Nov 2020 | 01:40 | SYDNEY
Thursday 26 Nov 2020 | 01:40 | SYDNEY

Wednesday Lowy Lunch: Foreign policy under Rudd


Sam Roggeveen


5 December 2007 14:13

An mp3 of today's Wednesday Lowy Lunch, in which Michael Fullilove, Rory Medcalf and Malcolm Cook spoke on Australia's likely international policy under the new government, should be up on the Institute's homepage tomorrow. For now, here are some highlights:

  • Michael Fullilove argued there would be strong differences between Rudd's foreign policy and that of the last government: I liked his point that there are signs of daring and ambition in Rudd's career, suggesting he wants to make his mark.
  • Michael said the Rudd Government will be less sympathetic to Bush, might move closer to the US under a Democratic president, and will have a less jaundiced view of multilateralism.
  • Rory Medcalf said Labor will have to be careful that its early foreign policy moves don't make it look more radical than it really is: pulling out of Iraq, getting somewhat closer to China and ruling out uranium sales to India could collectively send the wrong signal to Washington.
  • Malcolm Cook said the new government had to manage expectations in Asia. On a recent visit to China and Japan, he was struck by how much was made of not only of Rudd's own links to China, but those of Rudd's children. That may make Beijing too optimistic about the future, and Tokyo too pessimistic.
  • Malcolm also cautioned that the new government may soon face its first foreign policy crisis, with the Japanese whaling fleet heading south.