Left to right: Defence Minister Stephen Smith, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Foreign Minister Bob Carr
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says Australia doesn’t have to choose between America and China.
“These last three days have reinforced the indispensability of these countries’ relationship… The relationship [is] not a matter for calculation or cost benefit analysis … it’s in our DNA,” she said.
Mrs Clinton was responding to former prime minister Paul Keating’s comment in Melbourne overnight that Australia should strengthen its ties with Indonesia and other Asian neighbours. The former Labor leader spent much of his time as PM in Indonesia and other countries in the region.
He also made mention that President Obama had, on his recent visit, “made an oral and policy assault on China and its polity, from the lower chamber of our Parliament House”.
On Wednesday, Secretary Clinton met with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Defence Minister Stephen Smith and Foreign Minister Bob Carr at the Australia and United States Ministerial talks in Perth.
Today, she was joined by Finance Minister Penny Wong when she visited Adelaide’s Techport military marine hub, a $300 million site that the US might use as a safe haven for war-ships and submarines.
She said “[US] is deeply committed to [Australia’s] continued security” in a “mutual partnership” and American defence manufactures are working to “modernise” Australian forces.
Mrs Clinton said all work done by the two countries so far, is not just for defence, but for jobs and trade. She boasted of America’s investment in Australia, listing just some companies like Cheveron, Boeing, GE, Citigroup and EXON which are operating and investing in Australia already.
Mrs Clinton finished: “God bless Australia and our relationship together.” – Louis Miles
Photo from Bob Carr’s Blog