By Denis Bright
Paul Keating needs support in his promotion of balanced engagement with Asia and the Pacific. The concept of America First as advocated by Donald Trump is a challenge to Australiaâ€™s regional identity and should be opposed in a bipartisan manner.
Stopping the rise of legitimate emergent great powers with economic and strategic diplomacy is a dangerous political game. Take the example of Germany in the 1900s, Japan in the 1920s and Russia in the Cold War.
On our northern door-step, the ASEAN Countries have emerged as a bastion of commitment to peace and development in South East Asia and positive links to China as the emergent Asia economic power.
With its headquarters in Jakarta, ASEAN should be growing in stature and influence in global affairs. ASEAN countries are all members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) which rejects the value of hegemony in international relations.
Timor-Leste is likely to become the 11th member of ASEAN in 2017. Bangla Desh, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Fiji are all NAM countries with observer status in the ASEAN Forum.
Of the major Asian economies, only Taiwan is not part of the diverse ASEAN forums. In discussing strategic matters, ASEAN countries have chosen not to become involved in the long-standing differences between China and Taiwan.
Past Labor leaders like Paul Keating have a proven record in being tactful about the vital structural issues in domestic and international affairs.
It is Paul Keating who won the impossible election in 1993 with a strident populist commitment to traditional Labor values. This attracted widespread support in heartland urban and regional electorates. Despite the swing back to Labor in 2016, this heartland is only partly recovered.
In 2016, One Nation and other far-right preferences are still re-electing old style LNP federal members like the member for Dawson.
The LNPâ€™s support for gunboat diplomacy is one of the great tragedies of Prime Minister Turnbullâ€™s policy settings.
China is our most profitable trading and investment partner and should remain so. Supporting the formation of a Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) without China is an appalling breach of protocol. This predates last weekâ€™s congratulatory call from Prime Minister Tsai Ing-wen in Taiwan to Donald Trump.
Appeasing Donald Trump is the biggest challenge to our national security in 2017.
Denis BrightÂ (pictured) is a registered teacher and a member of the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). Denis has recent postgraduate qualifications in journalism, public policy and international relations. He is interested in promoting discussion about progressive pragmatic public policies compatible with contemporary globalization.