Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Why flying over Australia?

Caption: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at Beijing airport February 20, 2009. Clinton is on a week-long trip to Asia with stops in Japan and Indonesia, South Korea and China. She is focusing on expanding cooperation with Asia to deal with the global financial crisis, and issues such as climate change. [Agencies]

By Mathew Yakai

If the most powerful woman in the world in new Obama administration had flown across the Pacific to South Korea from Indonesia during his one week Asia tour then she must not have seen the Australian continent from her plane window because smoke from the devastating bush fire must have overwhelmed the land down under.

Though she fixed her Asian trip itinerary in Washington before the Australian bush fire, conventional wisdom would prevail that she should have changed it and drop bye Canberra to pay at least the condolence to the victims.

The Australian fathers and mothers who are facing the devastating fire have their sons serving in America’s instigated war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many have lost their lives.

I question why Hillary did not make a stop over given the fact that Australia is a strong allay of USA, apart from UK in the fight against terrorism and even the current world financial crises.

A first stop over in Japan does not mean that it goes well for Canberra because USA, Japan and Australia are close allies in Asia.

Even further, Obama would have made the right choice to send his angel messenger to China first, instead of Japan because China has the leverage over Korean Peninsula issue and the Iran nuclear issue.

China has been actively participating in the Six Party Talk. It is common knowledge that China can easily negotiate with North Korea and Iran to ease their nukes and turn to a cooperative diplomacy in the region.

Besides, China with its growing economy despite the world financial crises, show that it can still survive crises, though millions of Chinese have lost their jobs already.

Whatever it may be, USA must fully “engage” China in all regional issues, because since 1978, China has proven that its foreign policy is for world peace and thus been actively involved in many international and regional issues.

Any problems in the region and the world can not be solved without the full participation of China. Thus, China – US relationship is as important as USA-Japan relationship.

Papua New Guinea will still wait to see if Obama will visit Sabama in Port Moresby one day. If he does not then it’s okay, because USA’s ear and mouth is represented by Australia. And PNG has made the right choice by contributing towards the bush fire victims.

And equally important is PNG-China bilateral relationship because China is always, representing all developing countries when dealing with the hegemony, USA. As long as we keep in good terms with Beijing, President Hu will bring home a packet of “dumpling” for us.

This is evident when China’s high profile delegation visited Fiji recently while Kevin Rudd was busy trying to put off the bush fire. The Chinese delegation was well received and journalists were not allowed to talk with the delegation.

Fiji’s Bainimarama has been accused by Australia and New Zealand recently for failing to set a date for democratic election, and things seems pretty massy now. Bainimarama, the military man might find a new friendship in the largest remaining communist state, China. Then we don’t expect Australia and New Zealand to start accusing China because Bainimarama shall lead his people for Fiji’s benefit. And I would strongly recommend Fiji to seek China's guidance and learn from Beijing's "magic" in economic miracles.

While Obama was busy fixing his financial crises and Rudd was sweating to put off the bush fire, with other world leaders focusing on their domestic financial issues, Chinese leaders have visited Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania in this month alone.

After the Beijing Olympic with the catch phrase, “One World – One Dream”, China is travelling the world to make the dream come true, by strengthening friendship with old friends and meet new ones.

Twenty-first century is an interesting century because the geopolitics have changed very fast. Only time will tell for the better or the worst.

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