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Just pick up the phone Mr Rudd.



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Just pick up the phone Mr Rudd

Friday, July 17, 2009

Source: Senator Barnaby Joyce

Mr Rudd has to realise that simply talking to the Australian people about Mr Stern Hu’s arrest in China won’t do much to resolve the issue. It might leave us all with a sense of warmth to see Mr Rudd’s serious looks and strong statements every night on television but it means nothing if the Prime Minister doesn’t have the capacity to engage with his counterpart in China and express these same concerns to him.

It’s apparent at this point in time that he still hasn’t managed to do that and I suspect the reason for this is that the President of China just doesn’t want to take Mr Rudd’s call.

It’s comforting that at least someone in the United States administration has had the foresight to raise the Stern Hu matter with the Chinese President; US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke appears to have had more luck addressing the plight of an Australian citizen than our own Prime Minister.

The question is, if the United States Commerce Secretary can get the attention of President Hu Jintao then what on earth is our own Prime Minister and our Foreign Minister waiting for.

It’s now been 11 days since Mr Stern Hu’s detention, without charge and without any transparency of the facts and what pertains to it.

This whole affair reeks of retribution from the failed Chinalco deal and the subsequent iron ore negotiations and as such it should send a very disturbing message across the globe about the reality of doing business in the Communist Peoples Republic of China.

What Australia has to recognise is that ownership of it’s assets by the Communist Peoples Republic of China comes with a caveat that is not a purely business relationship. We need to understand this is something distinctly different to commercial arrangements with other organisations and as such we should reflect that in our Foreign Investment Review guidelines.

If there is no change to the Foreign Investment Review guidelines after this episode then it shows that not only is Mr Rudd ineffectual when it comes to our own domestic policy but that he also lacks decisiveness, is ambivalent and could easily be perceived as being weak and foolish.