China knows the governments of the world are lukewarm on Tibet protests

I love Kevin Rudd’s dedication to diplomatic style. Today we have him saying he may not go to the Olympic games but only because his schedule may preclude it. The spin here is that the Chinese will know that he may not go if their record on human rights is further blighted by more murderous oppression of civilians in Tibet. He didn’t antagonise them by saying Australia is not going because you’re a bunch of murderous tyrants with genocide on your mind, he just delivered them a slap on the wrist to give them some idea of the temperature on the issue. He didn’t follow Germany down the road to banning their team from participating. Germany has contemplated the effects of attempted genocide for quite sometime now, and emotion runs strongly in such circumstances.

So, giving China the temperature – which is that world governments are lukewarm on Tibet protest – he is really spying for them. “Hey, Kevin has given us the goods again we’ll do more trade with Australia.” Not quite so simple perhaps, and Kevin may indeed be letting them know that there is a more moderate way for them to go and to cool it on murdering people in Tibet. But this diplomatic instinct of Kevin’s does obliterate the strong abhorrence of such actions and so doesn’t have the desired effect of China discovering that they can’t go around killing innocent people without stimulating world condemnation.

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