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Thursday, 1 March 1973
Page: 196


Mr Bury (WENTWORTH, NEW SOUTH WALES) asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs, upon notice:

(1)   Was any undertaking given to the Government of the People's Republic of China that Australia would withdraw its armed forces from the Malaysian area during the discussions which culminated in diplomatic recognition.

(2)   What demands were made by, the Government of the People's Republic of China upon the Australian Government as a condition for the establishment of diplomatic relations to. which the Australian Government acceded.

(3)   Were any demands refused by the Australian Government.


Mr Whitlam - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   No. Indeed, the Paris negotiations were narrowly confined to the question of recognition and diplomatic relations and to related questions associated with the status of Taiwan; no broader issues of foreign policy were raised by either side.

(2)   and (3) It is misleading to speak of either side making demands. Each began by presenting its own position; each moved some distance in the negotiations which resulted in the joint communique of 21st December (22nd December in Australia). Of course, before opening negotiations with China, the Government knew from the publicly expressed attitudes of both China and the authorities in Taipei that it would not be possible for Australia to establish diplomatic relations with China while retaining an Embassy in Taipei.







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