Kevin Rudd, the non-Chinese world's first Chinese-speaking prime minister seems to be in a hurry to Rub India's the wrong way.
Australia's Labor government says it will scrap a deal to sell uranium to India, reversing a decision taken by the previous government, unless New Delhi signs up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
He also dealt a lethal blow to a budding "Asian Arc of Democracy" that was actively pushed by then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that appeared designed to isolate Beijing.
Instead, Australia has decided to improve relations with China and has just launched the first "strategic dialogue" between the two countries with Stephen Smith, the new Australian foreign minister, meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi.
During the bilateral strategic meeting, Smith informed Yang that Australia would no longer participate in the quadrilateral strategic dialogue, which also involved the United States, Japan and India.
Rudd’s avowed lifelong interest in China, its language and its history, is born of a childhood interest and led to a diplomatic and private career in Beijing. He was even invited by Brookings Institute president Strobe Talbott to speak in Washington on the rise of China and its strategic implications for the US-Australia alliance. With this background, It seems Mr Rudd is going out of way to please China, last Year Mr Rudd impressed Chinese Premier Mr Hu with his Mandarin Skills. He used the language to welcome Mr Hu to Sydney during a luncheon hosted by Prime Minister John Howard.
Is India's Foreign Ministry (being remotely driven by CPM) taking Note!