July 17, 2015

Australian Labor Party Policies Less Close to US and Japan. China?


The following article is something that Japanese submarine builders and the Abe Government might need to consider if Labor wins the next Australia Election (probably in 2016). Over the 15 years of the build of Australia's future submarines (in Japan or Australia) Labor is likely to win government. Under Australian Coalition or Labor Governments Japanese submarine technology might be increasingly at risk when sent to Australia's close economic ally, China.


The Business Spectator, July 17, 2015 reports http://www.businessspectator.com.au/news/2015/7/17/national-affairs/labor-tones-down-us-embrace:

Labor tones down US embrace

Labor has watered down its ­language on the US-Australia ­alliance, abandoning references to the ANZUS Treaty as “one of Australia’s great national assets’’ and “the bedrock of regional stability’’ as part of its policy blueprint for government.
The significant foreign policy shift, which could hand a future Labor government more room to balance the relationship between the US and China in the Asia-­Pacific, was drafted by foreign affairs spokeswoman and deputy leader Tanya Plibersek, in consultation with members of the party’s shadow cabinet national security committee.
Labor’s draft national platform drops a reference to Japan being “Australia’s closest partner in Asia’’, and strengthens the party’s position on China’s re-emergence, describing it as “one of the most significant developments of the 21st century”.
The changes did not “cause any ripples” with committee members who include right and left-wing Labor MPs: Bill Shorten, Ms Plibersek, Stephen Conroy, Mark Dreyfus, David Feeney, Richard Marles and Jacinta Collins. But The Australian understands the US has noted the shift in Labor’s stance.
The party’s existing national platform, agreed to in December 2011, states: “Labor believes that the ANZUS Treaty, which is central to the alliance relationship, is one of Australia’s great national assets.”
It says: “Labor’s response to the security challenges in our region is multifaceted. Labor strongly supports the US Alliance and continued US military engagement in the region, which has provided the bedrock of regional stability for decades.’’
The platform was endorsed a month after then prime minister Julia Gillard hosted US President Barack Obama in Australia, and the pair visited Darwin where they launched to great fanfare the stationing of US marines on Australian soil.
Labor’s draft platform, to be ­debated at the ALP national conference in Melbourne at the end of next week, has streamlined the language on the ANZUS Treaty and US-Australia alliance. The changes come amid an internal Labor push to give greater foreign policy prominence to the relationship with China, despite the party’s industrial wing running a ­protectionist-style scare campaign against the China-Australia free trade agreement."


Anonymous said...

Hi Pete

Based on behaviors of former ALP government, especially Rudd government and Mr. Shorten, I have got impression that compared with Coalition, ALP is less friendly to Japan. I have no intension to interfere in Australia’s domestic affair.


Peter Coates said...

Hi S

Sorry to take so long to reply as I've been at a novel writing class.

Yes it could be that Shorten is not as friendly to Japan. But if Shorten-Labor regain power the US will put more pressure on them to firmly be in military alliance with Japan (of which buying a Japanese submarine is a major part).

Have no concerns about commenting on Australia’s domestic affairs as I comment on the LDP and Abe in the Diet quite often. Domestic affairs are an important force in international politics.