‘The burden laid upon her’

Australia’s policy gyrations on China
by
August 2022, no. 445
Buy this book

Australia’s China Odyssey: From euphoria to fear by James Curran

NewSouth, $34.99 pb, 334 pp

‘The burden laid upon her’

Australia’s policy gyrations on China
by
August 2022, no. 445
Gough Whitlam leaving Beijing at the end of his 1973 visit to China (photograph via National Archives of Australia A8746, KN15/11/73/79)
Gough Whitlam leaving Beijing at the end of his 1973 visit to China (photograph via National Archives of Australia A8746, KN15/11/73/79)

On 17 November 2011, President Barack Obama quoted Banjo Paterson to an audience of Australian and American military personnel at RAAF Base Darwin. He recited a question that Paterson posed about Australia in a poem he wrote to celebrate Federation in 1901: ‘Hath she the strength for the burden laid upon her, hath she the power to protect and guard her own?’ The question haunts us still. Obama assured his listeners that the answer was ‘yes’, but everything about the circumstances of his speech suggested the opposite.

Hugh White reviews 'Australia’s China Odyssey: From euphoria to fear' by James Curran

Australia’s China Odyssey: From euphoria to fear

by James Curran

NewSouth, $34.99 pb, 334 pp

Buy this book

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