How Gillard forged a post-Rudd China trust

Julia Gillard's deals with Beijing are not ground breaking, but her approach has made Australia's relations with China better than under Kevin Rudd.

Last week, Prime Minister Julia Gillard returned from China in a triumphant mood. Australia became one of just a small number of countries to secure an annual Strategic Economic Dialogue between its leader and the Chinese premier. Australian Treasury and Foreign Ministers will meet senior Chinese counterparts at the dialogue. A currency deal, which allows the Australian dollar to be directly converted into the Chinese yuan (without having to use the greenback as an intermediary currency) has been agreed to. There will be live firing exercises between the navies of the two countries and Chinese warships are likely to visit Australian ports later in the year. All in all, not bad for a prime minister who declared that she had little interest in foreign policy upon her ascension to power.

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Last week, Prime Minister Julia Gillard returned from China in a triumphant mood. Australia became one of just a small number of countries to secure an annual Strategic Economic Dialogue between its leader and the Chinese premier. Australian Treasury and Foreign Ministers will meet senior Chinese counterparts at the dialogue. A currency deal, which allows the Australian dollar to be directly converted into the Chinese yuan (without having to use the greenback as an intermediary currency) has been agreed to. There will be live firing exercises between the navies of the two countries and Chinese warships are likely to visit Australian ports later in the year. All in all, not bad for a prime minister who declared that she had little interest in foreign policy upon her ascension to power.

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