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Bob Carr interviewed by Corin Dann

Q+A: Former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr interviewed by Corin Dann

‘Be careful of China panic’ - warns former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr

Bob Carr now heads independent think tank the Australia-China Relations Institute and counters claims of Chinese interference in Australian politics.

He says in both Australia and New Zealand it’s been easy to generate headlines that suggest China is compromising our sovereignty.

Bob Carr says he’s not buying into concerns about alleged Chinese soft power or political influence in Australia or New Zealand.

‘I gotta say Chinese born Australians aren’t pressing on the neuralgic issues like Tibet, Taiwan or South China Sea. They’re relatively non-political. I think the soft power in Australia and New Zealand is pretty modest.’

Bob Carr says, ‘we have got to accept that China is on the rise and it will start to behave like a country that is a major economic power because it is.’

Mr Carr says New Zealand’s dependence on China for trade should not limit our ability to criticise China.

Mr Carr says ‘in listing human rights concerns, pre-eminently the treatment of Uyghurs, as an issue that America is entitled to pursue with China and that’s true of Australia and New Zealand as well.’

On New Zealand’s MOU with China on the One Belt One Road initiative, Mr Carr says, ‘I think New Zealand will have done itself a favour with the Memorandum of Understanding because its businesses are going to be briefed before anyone else but that’s all it amounts to then you get down to the specific deals.’

And he says he is ‘terribly pessimistic’ about the potential for a trade war between China and the US.

Please find the full transcript attached and you can watch the interview here.

Q+A, 9:30pm Sundays on TVNZ 1 and one hour later on TVNZ 1 + 1.

Streamed live at www.tvnz.co.nz

Thanks to the support from NZ On Air.

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