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Tuesday, 26 September 1972
Page: 1143


Senator WHEELDON (WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - Does the Minister representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs not acknowledge that the establishment of diplomatic relations between

Japan and the People's Republic of China provides further evidence of the failure of this Government's policy towards the People's Republic of China? In view of this new development, does the Government intend to do anything to lessen its isolation from its neighbours which results from its refusal to recognise the existence of the People's Republic of China?


Senator WRIGHT - It is unfortunate, I think, that the honourable senator should use such flippant terms about a matter of such importance. The Japanese Government has kept the Australian Government fully informed of the development of its policy towards the People's Republic of China. We hope that the Japanese Prime Minister's visit to Peking will contribute to the peace and security of the Asian and Pacific region. Our position, as asked for by the honourable senator, was stated by the Minister for Foreign Affairs as recently as 9th May. I will remind the Senate of the terms in which our position is restated today. The Minister said: . . we will continue our present policy of seeking the progressive normalisation of bilateral relations with the People's Republic of China, moving at all times with prudent caution and being guided by a careful assessment of Australia's national interests, including the need to bear in mind the interests and concerns of our friends and neighbours.

If this brings that ludicrous smile to Senator Wheeldon's face it indicates the depth of his understanding.







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