Australia warned US to prepare to use force in China

Former Australian leader Kevin Rudd told the United States it should be prepared to use force in China “if everything goes wrong”, a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks reveals.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton with Australian leader Kevin Rudd (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

In wide-ranging talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Rudd also described Chinese leaders as “paranoid” about Taiwan and Tibet and said his push for a new Asia-Pacific body was designed to contain Chinese influence.

The memo detailing a March 2009 lunch conversation between Rudd, who was then prime minister, and Clinton in Washington states that the Australian leader described himself a “brutal realist on China”.

It said Rudd, a Mandarin-speaking former diplomat who was once posted to Beijing, argued for “multilateral engagement with bilateral vigour” in China.

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