Obama, Australia and ASEAN

FAR EAST CORRESPONDENT — As U.S. President Barak Obama began his address to the Australian Parliament yesterday, some of the locals had worked themselves into a lather. The pro-China lobby was complaining that a decision to allow US troops to be permanently based in Darwin might upset Beijing.

The preoccupation with China is everywhere these days, and it’s understandable to a point down south, given the extent to which the Chinese government has sustained the Australian economy through the global financial crisis by paying top dollar for items like iron ore.

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Luke Hunt is a foreign correspondent, author and occasional photographer who has covered much of Asia fr the last 30 years.

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