Raby, Former Australian diplomat blames Canberra for deterioration of ties with China

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China, pointed out how the lack of strategy with its biggest trading partner has been costing Canberra both in terms of economic and political ties. Due to ongoing row between Canberra and Beijing over a series of issues, their relationship has spiralled downwards, hitting the lowest in decades. Raby categorically mentioned that his nation has been at the receiving end of this dispute as China imposed huge import duties on a range of goods imported from Australian, including barley, beef, wine, lobsters, cotton and timber. Beijing also completely blocked the delivery of Australian coal, transported in over 50 ships. Worst of all, he emphasised was zero direct contact between Chinese and Australian officials.

Raby, who has also worked at World Trade Organisation, said, “The problem with the Australian position is that it’s all tactics and no strategy.” He added that diplomacy “has been marginalized by the domestic foreign policy debate with respect to China. In other areas it’s been fine, but China policy has for many years been the domain of the security and defense establishment, and it’s that establishment that really is behind the current tit-for-tat retaliations with China, and the hardening of Australia’s positions against China.”

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