Ming-era map showing China, Australia and New Zealand. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.
"'Now, if China was to turn its back on that or not be responsible, the world would soon know,' Rudd said. 'They're not perfect. They've done some bad things in the past. But let's look at the opportunities, rather than simply assume it's all threat and all risk.'"
Ahem Mr. Rudd: they're doing bad things right now. Freedom of religion? Freedom of expression? Elections? All a pipe dream in today's China. As I wrote before, there are some progressive voices in the CCP who realize that a more confident and successful China is a liberalized and open China. It's not there yet, and the world's democracies are well-served by remembering that better than Mr. Rudd is doing.
Interestingly, this is the same Australian PM (and ex-ambassador to China, and ex-KPMG China expert) who lobbies for China's voice at the G20, tells us China is an ally, and is the head of the same administration that built a Great Firewall around Australia. I don't want to get all Manchurian-Candidate, but Rudd is clearly putting Australia's Asia-Pacific relations ahead of encouraging democracy.