Australia’s former Ambassador to America Joe Hockey has called on Australian politicians from both sides of the political spectrum to stand firm on China.
Speaking on the Conversations with Future Generation podcast on June 12, Hockey said Beijing’s views and aggression toward Australia is “unacceptable.”
“It’s so important that that remains a bipartisan position in Australia, that we will not cower to bullies, no matter who it is,” said Hockey.
China has been increasingly hostile toward Australia since the federal government called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus. A call that was taken up by over 100 member nations at the World Health Assembly in May.
Explaining that Australia is one of America’s closest military and intelligence partners, Hockey said Australia would be crazy to walk away from its partnership with America.
“We are, in many ways, their closest military partner. We’re most importantly their closest intelligence partner,” said Hockey.
Hockey explained that Australia’s “formidable partnership” with the United States protects Australians at home and around the world “every single day from potential terrorist attacks” by “malevolent forces” that threaten our cybersecurity.
Hockey was Australia’s ambassador to the United States from 2016 to early 2020. Prior to his appointment as ambassador, he was the treasurer from 2013 to 2015.
Emerging Sino-American ‘Rivalry’ Is A Growing Threat
Discussing the emerging cold war between China and America, Hockey said it would be a difficult period.
“I see the growing rivalry between China and the United States as one of the most significant threats to global economic stability and geopolitical stability over the next decade,” said Hockey.
“China hasn’t got a friend in Washington DC, and there is a residual fear in parts of the White House and the Administration that the Democrats will go further in their anti-China sentiment than even the Republicans,” commented Hockey.
On June 10, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) called on Australia to join America and its allies in a “New Cold War” against China.
Speaking about Australia’s path through this rivalry Hockey said he believed that Australia would need to have very nuanced diplomacy when dealing with China, but at the same time take a very clear stance to avoid confusion.
“… I think that is the best way diplomatically to handle some of these relationships with other countries. They should know where you stand, you make it clear, but don’t try and humiliate them along the way,” said Hockey.