Way Behind in Following the USA over China: The Lack of any Liberal Tradition in Australian Foreign Policy, 1970-1972

Roderic Pitty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Liberal Party's failure to grant diplomatic recognition to the People's Republic of China in the early 1970s soon became a source of embarrassment, after President Richard Nixon announced US recognition in 1972. In pursuing the question of why the Gorton and McMahon governments were so wrong-footed, factors such as the role of the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) in domestic politics and the hierarchical bureaucracy in the Department of External Affairs are important. But one theme looms largest, and it is a theme dear to the hearts of Liberal foreign policy-makers, namely the dominant role of the American alliance. Nixon's administration excluded the Australian Government from its shifting thinking about China just as the Australians confirmed their dependence on a US lead before doing anything.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-450
JournalAustralian Journal of Politics and History
Volume51
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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