Keating: a 'more complex, trickier world' is ... better

Paul Keating, Lateline
TONY JONES: Well it has strategic implications as well as economic ones, and I know that you're actually concerned about this and what happens when China or if China starts to feel hemmed in by strategic adversaries?


Well, you might remember, Tony, I put together with Bill Clinton the APEC Leaders' Meeting in 1992. That was 18 years ago.

Because I could see China coming, in a sense, then and the key things was to have a structure to receive it in.

In other words, I thought it was important that we do not do to China what Russia, Britain and France did to Germany at the end of the 19th Century. Essentially, they cavilled at Bismarck’s creation and that sort of view of illegitimacy played its role in bringing on the First World War and of course the Second World War.

So we had two world wars over the status of Germany. And I never believed we should have a third world war over the status of China.

TONY JONES: Is that a genuine possibility, and are you talking about a kind of Chinese version of living space, or lebensraum, as the Germans called it?

PAUL KEATING: No, I don't think it's likely to happen. Because China, you know, has joined the World Trade Organisation, it's part of the G7.

But China will need some strategic space. Just like all great rising powers are always feared, they demand - great powers demand some strategic space. So the United States made a huge mistake with Russia at the end of the Cold War.

There's Gorbachev magnanimously agreeing to a united Germany in NATO. Six years later, the United States has Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic in NATO up to the Russian border.

President Obama is now seeking to change that, to give the Russians a better stake in the game. Well, what we do for the Russians, which I certainly approve of, we have to do for the Chinese. That is, China I don't think is an expansionist power, but it is a great power.

I mean, we've had this sort of unusual situation in the world for 60 years where the second economic power in the world has been a strategic client of the first economic power. This has never happened in history. This is Japan and the United States.

Well, the second economic power in the world today, China, will definitely not be a strategic client of the first economic power, the United States.

So we're going to have a change of the world. We're going to go back to the world the way it used to be. The world is fundamentally anarchic. It was anarchic, is anarchic. The peace we've had for 60 or 70 years has been highly unusual - 65 years. So, we're going to be in a more complex, trickier world, but a better world.
File under: in the ideology of trading with lions, complex and trickier and anarchic are better, and structure tames lions. What utter nonsense that only a progressive ideologue passive fatalist could come up with.

The ideological lion tamers are never short of confidence they can tame the lion but, being devoid of prudence and identity, their brain cannot contemplate the question: why are we trading with a lion? Keating is another dangerously vacuous man without identity, and almost as loopy as Kevin Rudd.

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