“Australia not nervous of China”

Trade Minister Craig Emerson has said that Australia is not nervous about the rising power of China. His remarks came ahead of a review of Australian relationship with Asia.

The rapid rise of China and India, and the threats and opportunities posed by the rise of these two countries will be at the forefront of this review. The review is to be conducted by former Treasury head Ken Henry and will be released in mid-2012.

The review will talk of Australia’s place in the so-called Asian century.

According to Dr. Emerson, Australia is well positioned to benefit from the Asian century because of good management and visionary leadership. He rejected suggestions there was an edge of nervousness about China’s rising power.

“I don’t accept that,” he told.”With the rise of economic power comes broader responsibility. We’re indicating to China we want to deepen the relationship.”

Dr Emerson said China was keen to diversify its relationship with Australia beyond mining resources and into the service economy. But he’s not worried about increasing foreign ownership of Australian resources.

The foreign review board screening process was ‘reasonable’ and provided a good balance, the minister said.

Dr. Emerson dismissed Opposition claims the white paper on Asia would gather dust like they said Dr Henry’s tax review had.

“I don’t think we need lectures from the Coalition on tax reforms. Thirty-odd recommendations were accepted.”

The white paper will consider the current and future course of economic, political and strategic change in Asia, including China, India Japan, Korea and the major ASEAN nations. It will examine the political and strategic implications of these changes for Australia and seek to identify key challenges and opportunities.