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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Warning to America: Be prepared to use force against China

Former Austrailian leader Kevin Rudd with Hillary Clinton (AFP)

Then-Australian leader Kevin Rudd told the United States it should be prepared to use force against China “if everything goes wrong”, a US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks reveals.

In wide-ranging talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rudd also described Chinese leaders as “paranoid” about Taiwan and Tibet, and said that his push for a new Asia-Pacific body was designed to contain Chinese influence.

The State Department cable detailing a March 2009 conversation over lunch between Rudd, who was then prime minister, and Clinton in Washington states that the Australian leader described himself a “brutal realist on China”.

It said Rudd, a Mandarin-speaking former diplomat who was once posted to Beijing, argued for “multilateral engagement with bilateral vigour” in China.

He called for “integrating China effectively into the international community and allowing it to demonstrate greater responsibility, all while also preparing to deploy force if everything goes wrong”, the cable states.

Rudd, now Australia’s foreign minister, has not commented on the cable.

But Attorney-General Robert McClelland said the leak would not affect growing ties with China, which has become Australia’s largest trading partner as it imports natural resources to feed its booming economy.

“We have a very strong relationship with China … and that arrangement will continue,” McClelland told journalists.

There was no immediate response from Beijing.

Australia has a robust relationship with China, Rudd said Monday, and would not contact Beijing over the cable.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks has also released a secret list of key infrastructure sites around the world whose loss or attack by terrorists, according to the State Department, could “critically impact” US security.

The February 2009 cable from the State Department requested overseas US missions to list infrastructure and key resources around the globe “whose loss could critically impact the public health, economic security and/or national and homeland security of the United States”.

It lists undersea cables, key communications, ports, mineral resources and firms of strategic importance in countries ranging from Austria to New Zealand.

The diplomatic cable detailing Clinton and Rudd’s conversation reveals Clinton affirmed Washington’s desire for a successful China, with “a rising standard of living and improving democracy at a pace Chinese leaders could tolerate”.

It said Washington wanted China to take greater responsibility in global economics, build a better social safety net for its citizens, and a better regulatory framework for the goods it manufactures.

But Clinton also questioned the challenges arising from Beijing’s growing economic clout, asking: “How do you deal toughly with your banker?” China is the single biggest holder of US Treasury debt.

Rudd reviewed Chinese leaders for Clinton, saying President Hu Jintao “is no (predecessor) Jiang Zemin” and opining that Hu’s likely successor Xi Jinping could rise above his colleagues, thanks in part to his family’s military connections.

On Taiwan, Rudd said the feelings of Chinese leaders were “sub-rational and deeply emotional” while hardline policies on Tibet were designed to send messages to other ethnic minorities.

Rudd told Clinton he had urged China to agree to a “small ‘a’ autonomy” deal with the Dalai Lama on Tibet but that he saw little prospect of this idea succeeding.

Rudd also revealed that the thinking behind his ambitious “Asia-Pacific Community” was mostly to ensure Chinese dominance in the region did not result in “an Asia without the United States”.

Pakistan and Afghanistan were also discussed at the lunch, according to the memo, one of some 250,000 US cables being released by the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.

Rudd said Australia would be prepared to offer special operations and counterinsurgency help to Pakistan should it be requested, noting that success in war-torn Afghanistan would unravel if Pakistan fell apart.

The Australian government has previously condemned the release of all the cables and said it would support any US law enforcement moves against WikiLeaks, founded by Australian-born hacker Julian Assange.

Independent lawmaker Andrew Wilkie, whose support is critical to the government’s narrow majority in parliament, said it was likely Rudd was posturing.

Following the advice in the memo was an “inconceivable notion”, said Wilkie, a former intelligence analyst turned Iraq war whistleblower.

Copyright © AFP

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7 thoughts on “Warning to America: Be prepared to use force against China”

  1. “Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.” Sun Tzu

    • Thanks senegoid for offfering up what could be called the “prime directive” of the Sun Tzu, but in the event it cannot be achieved through artifice, then words uttered by the ultimate landmass conqueror of all time will prevail. He lived many centuries post General Tzu.


      “The Greatest Pleasure is to vanquish your enemies, and chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth and to so see those dear to them bathed with tears, to ride their horses and to clasp to your bosom their wive’s and daughter’s”…Temujin (Ghenghis Khan)


      Carl Nemo **==

      • Yes Carl, Ghenghis Khan knew how to do a job on the enemy, just ask the Afghanis.

        Maybe Samuel Clemens was channelling Khan when he wrote this:

        No doubt you have read The War Prayer, but it has far more impact when enacted.

        Good to see you talking sense old mate.

        With infinite fondness to you and your loved ones as the season of goodwill and mercy approaches.

        And cheers to Doug and the team in appreciation for taking democracy seriously, unlike the greedy bludgers running the show.


        • Thanks senegoid for “The War Prayer” enactment clip. You are right in that it has far greater impact than simply reading it.

          I enjoy your succinct thoughts posted to this site. You don’t participate all that often, but always offer satisfying “food for thought” . : )

          It is my wish that you and yours have an enjoyable holiday season and be thankful you live down under in a nation that’s quite solid, financially speaking, compared to most on earth and not engaged in frittering its resources away on waging endless wars for profit.

          Carl Nemo **==

  2. “Then-Australian leader Kevin Rudd told the United States it should be prepared to use force against China “if everything goes wrong”, a US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks reveals.” …extract from post

    Shy of strategic nuclear war there’s not much we can do to China if they decide to rollover in bed and take the blankets with them so to speak. They own “We the People” and our leadership’s butts lock, stock and barrel. Thirty years of pandering to China in order to bring on line their cheap labor markets is now backfiring in our collective faces. We’ve truly become “the paper tigers” that the “Red Chinese” liked to refer to the U.S. in the days of high international tensions during the cold war.

    The Chinese have been working on a “game-changing” land/sea warfare missile, the Dong Feng 21D designed to destroy aircraft carriers out to a range of 900 miles which will allow them to neutralize the presence of these mighty vessels of war. Little is known about them at this point in time, but they have been publicly displayed. Mind you these are launched from land out to sea and will have the ability to pinpoint and target a carrier. It’s also doubtful that these missiles we be armed with conventional explosives because such a military action is tantamount to strategic nuclear war; they will have a nuclear warhead which will allow for a more generous CEP (circular error probability) which is used to statistically calculate the damage to human populations upon detonation, but comes into play when targeting a carrier group that’s underway. The CEP will be much tighter, but still applicable. Of course a dead strike against the carrier will turn it and its personnel into so much hot plasma. The only countermeasure will be reincarnation.

    This new weapon is causing grave discomfiture among our military planners. Again, we’ve created this Chinese monster and now have to pay the price. Twenty years ago they were still living in communes and farming most of China just to subsist, now they are sitting on a 100 trillion yuan surplus while we have 12 plus trillion USD of debt hanging over our heads. Courtesy of Bill Clinton’s “Chinagate” debacle he gave them a 20 year leap in nuclear weapons and delivery technology via Loral Space Division. Bill supports the political science theory of “multi-polarity” that no single nation should have a military advantage over the other. It makes for great think tank discussionals but is deadly when it comes to protecting one’s nation from aggressors with an agenda such as the “Red Chinese” and so too the Russians, still “commies” to the core. The Chinese practice the theories of “Sun Tzu” while our leadership shoots hoops and/or engage in gadfly theories such as ‘multi-polarity’ all to our collective demise as a nation… / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

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