For detailed, expert analysis that confirms Paul Keating’s position, watch the ACP’s Citizens Insight interview with former Ambassador John Lander, “How many Australians will be sacrificed for the USA’s war on China?”, recorded two days before Keating’s explosive appearance at the National Press Club.
Since at least 2016 the Australian Citizens Party (ACP) has been the only registered political party in Australia to push back against false anti-China claims that have damaged Australia’s relationship with its biggest trading partner.
The ACP repeatedly debunked the claims, showing them to be WMD-type lies from certain politicians and media outlets connected to US and UK foreign interference operations in Australia.
Most notable of these is the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), supposedly an Australian Defence Department think tank, but which also takes money from the US State Department and the UK, Dutch and Japanese governments, and some of the world’s biggest weapons manufacturers to pump out anti-China lies.
In between lying that China hacked the 2016 census (it didn’t, it was a hardware problem), China is spying and interfering in Australia (deliberately twisting the “soft” diplomacy every country engages in), and China is “genociding” Uyghur Muslims (although their population and living standards have risen), ASPI’s former longtime boss Peter Jennings would regularly warn of war with China within “months”.
The ACP exposed that ASPI was being paid to propagandise Australians, to force us into line with the sudden anti-China shift in the USA, which started during the Obama administration and escalated dramatically in the Trump administration under the influence of pro-war neocons and Sinophobes including Steve Bannon, John Bolton, Peter Navarro, and Mike Pompeo.
These US anti-China forces, and their neocon allies in the UK’s evil Henry Jackson Society, had the objective of confronting China to contain its economic rise, so it couldn’t compete with the USA as a superpower.
To convince Australians to support this agenda presented a challenge, because Australia enjoys a massive annual trade surplus with China (currently $120 billion), so ASPI led the campaign to paint China as a military “threat”.
Enter Paul Keating
Former Prime Minister Paul Keating’s extraordinary intervention at the National Press Club on 15 March smashed the media’s China threat narrative to smithereens.
It also confirmed to anyone paying attention that the position espoused by the ACP and its collaborators is not isolated, but in agreement with statesmen with genuine foreign policy experience and insight, like Keating, former NSW Premier and Foreign Minister Bob Carr, and the late former PM Malcolm Fraser.
(Former Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, former Defence Materials Minister Kim Carr, and former Liberal Party leader John Hewson, have also spoken up in agreement with Keating).
In a printed statement released before his NPC appearance, Keating declared: “The Albanese Government’s complicity in joining with Britain and the United States in a tripartite build of a nuclear submarine for Australia under the AUKUS arrangements represents the worst international decision by an Australian Labor government since the former Labor leader, Billy Hughes, sought to introduce conscription to augment Australian forces in World War One.”
Keating then opened his NPC remarks by forcefully emphasising why it’s the worst ALP decision: China is not a military threat to Australia!
His statement elaborated: “China does not present and cannot present as an orthodox threat to the United States. By orthodox, I mean an invasive threat. The United States is protected by two vast oceans, with friendly neighbours north and south, in Canada and Mexico. And the United States possesses the greatest arsenal in all human history. There is no way the Chinese have ever intended to attack the United States and it is not capable of doing so even had it contemplated it. So, why does the United States and its Congress insist that China is a ‘threat’?”
Crucially, Keating identified the role of the unreformed imperialists in the United Kingdom in setting up Australia for this deal, and also slammed ASPI’s role:
“They [the British] believe they have turned up a bunch of naïve old comrades in Australia, an accommodating Prime Minister, a conservative defence minister and a risk-averse foreign minister—and all surrounded by a neo-con bureaucracy. Yet, we approached the United States—not the other way around, on the arguments put to Morrison by the security agencies led by [Director-General of National Intelligence] Andrew Shearer and ASPI and as it turns out, without even reference to the Department of Foreign Affairs or its minister. Rather, and remarkably, a Labor government has picked up Shearer’s neo-con proclivities and those of ASPI, a pro-US cell led by a recent former chief of staff to Liberal foreign minister Marise Payne. …
“The result is that through AUKUS, Australia is providing expensive support to the UK and US defence companies. At yesterday’s kabuki show in San Diego, there were three people but only one payer. The Australian Prime Minister. The US President and the UK Prime Minister could barely conceal their joy with $368 billion heading the way to their defence companies—in the UK, BAE Systems, in the US its east coast submarine shipyards. No wonder they were smiling, and the band was playing.”
Keating concluded his statement: “History will be the judge of this project in the end. But I want my name clearly recorded among those who say it is a mistake. Who believe that, despite its enormous cost, it does not offer a solution to the challenge of great-power competition in the region or to the security of the Australian people and its continent.”
Keating rightly directed his famous venom at the media, who instead of holding power to account, have cheered on this sudden shift in hostility against Australia’s greatest trading partner, faithfully regurgitating the lies of ASPI. The media’s role has been despicable, and it will share the blame for the mass deaths if their propaganda leads to war.
Now that Keating has shown the ACP isn’t alone in denouncing the claims as lies, all concerned Australians should get behind the anti-war fight.
Click here to watch the John Lander interview on Citizens Insight: “How many Australians will be sacrificed for the USA’s war on China?”