Don’t take on China alone, says ex-Australia PM Kevin Rudd

Don't take on China alone, says ex-Australia PM Kevin Rudd
Former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: Countries should unite against China’s growing geopolitical and economic coercion or risk being singled out and punished by China, former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said.

Mr Rudd said western governments should not be afraid to challenge China on issues such as human rights.

Countries around the world are navigating a new geopolitical order framed by the rising dominance of China.

In an interview with BBC, Mr Rudd said: “If you are going to have a disagreement with Beijing, as many governments around the world are now doing, it’s far better to arrive at that position conjointly with other countries rather than unilaterally, because it makes it easier for China to exert bilateral leverage against you.”

His comments come as relations between China and Australia have deteriorated to their worst point in decades. The relationship has soured following a series of diplomatic and economic blows dealt by each side.

Australia has scrapped agreements tied to China’s massive Belt and Road Initiative project. Australia also banned leading Chinese telecommunications firm Huawei from building the country’s 5G network.

But it was really Australia’s call for an investigation into the origins of the Covid-19 that set off a new storm between the two sides.

China retaliated by placing sanctions on Australian imports – including lobster, wine, beef and barley – and has hinted more may come.

China has also suspended key economic dialogues with Canberra, which effectively means there is no high-level contact to smooth things out.

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