Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has delivered some advice to the United States which borders on a rebuke, telling the country it shouldn’t hold a grudge against China.
“For America to begrudge what the Chinese haven’t achieved more than to admire what they have is out of character – especially as the movement, in just a generation, of hundreds of millions of Chinese into the middle class is a transformation unparalleled in human history,” Abbott said, according to a Fairfax report.
“As citizens of a great power, it’s understandable Americans should be wary of potential rivals.
“But America is the first great power in history that has sought to liberate other countries rather than to dominate them.”
Abbott made the remarks in a speech delivered before his meeting with US President Barack Obama, and they come during a tense period in Asia-Pacific diplomatic relations.
Australia is caught between China, its biggest trading partner, which is flexing its muscles in the region, and the United States, a long-term ally, with all three countries keenly aware of the power shift.
China has been on the verge of a military skirmish with several countries in the region, including the Philippines and Japan, over territorial disputes. Analysts have described the tussles as inevitable displays of power from China, given its increasing economic might.
The United States has outlined plans to shift its focus to the Pacific, which includes a deployment of Marines in Australia’s far north, however this has seemingly slowed as domestic sentiment and other world events dampen its motivation and restrict its capacity.
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