Bob Carr, courtesy of The Australian Financial Review, 10 July 2018, where the title reads as follows:’Get tough rhetoric has denied us any sway in Beijing”… with highlights being the work of The Editor, Thuppahi
As foreign minister I recall an irritating flare-up in our relations with one of the Pacific states. There had been a “misunderstanding” at Sydney airport that upset the island state’s prime minister. The anger ran strong and the state contemplated a big anti-Australian gesture: terminating an arrangement under which we trained their police. And, here’s the rub, inviting China to fill the gap.
More interesting was the Chinese response, captured by one of our agencies. China rejected the notion of moving in because it knew it would antagonise Australia. At the time we had differences with China over Huawei and US Marines, but still managed a mutually respectful, pragmatic relationship.