Former Australian foreign minister sharply criticizes Trump

Former Australian foreign minister sharply criticizes Trump

HASH(0xbef548)

SYDNEY, Australia — A former Australian foreign affairs minister has dubbed Donald Trump the most “psychologically ill-equipped president” in American history, and called on Australia to distance itself from the United States in favour of forging closer ties with China.

Gareth Evans, who served as Australia’s foreign minister from 1988 to 1996, urged Australia to become more independent, back away from its longtime reliance on the U.S. and instead recognize China as a “global rule-maker.”

In a speech to the National Press Club in Canberra, Evans questioned whether Australia’s historically close alliance with the U.S. still serves the nation’s interests amid China’s rising power and Trump’s unpredictable leadership.

“The Australia-United States alliance has become much more immediately salient since the election of Donald Trump — manifestly, the most ill-informed, underprepared, ethically challenged and psychologically ill-equipped president in the United States history,” said Evans, who is now the chancellor of the Australian National University. “Personally driven by instinct and impulse, unhampered by knowledge or judgment, he has led an administration acting so far manifestly on the basis of postures, not of policies.”

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has repeatedly rejected arguments that Australia must choose between its most important security partner, the U.S., and its most important trading partner, China, as tensions escalate between the economic superpowers.

Evans said Australia shouldn’t abandon its alliance with the United States, but said the government should stop reflexively supporting everything the U.S. does, such as Trump’s decision to launch missiles at a Syrian air base. Turnbull praised the strike as “a calibrated, proportionate and targeted response.”

The relationship between the longtime allies is at its lowest point in decades. Australia was disappointed by Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. Relations soured further following a widely publicized spat between Turnbull and Trump over a refugee resettlement deal struck by the previous Obama administration.

The countries will look to shore up relations during a visit to Australia next week by Vice-President Mike Pence, who is also planning stops in Korea, Japan and Indonesia on a tour of the Asia-Pacific region.

Kristen Gelineau, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Man in custody linked to Silver Creek property search

Police are not saying how this search is related to Wayne Curtis Sagmoen’s current criminal charges

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

Day 2 of RCMP search at Silver Creek residence

Police use backhoe in ongoing search effort at residential/agricultural Salmon River Road property

Residents pay tribute to city’s homeless

He was articulate and well-spoken. He was great at self-reflection. He liked watching the Canucks. And more often than not, he lived at the Howard House Men’s Shelter.

Controlled burns no cause for concern

Annual clean-up by forestry companies includes burning debris from logging activity

Mixing up local talent and cocktails

The annual Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery Mixoff takes place in Kelowna in November

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Symphony trumpets in new season

Kamloops Symphony makes first appearance of the 2017-18 season in Salmon Arm

Column: Back to the land in the 21st century

By Jim Cooperman, Observer columnist There is a slowly growing movement back… Continue reading

Column: Sockeye fisheries hinder recovery

While driving to the Coast a few weeks ago, the last week… Continue reading

Friends & Neighbours: Sewing their patriotism

By Leah Blain, Observer columnist The red walls were the perfect background.… Continue reading

Auntie Says: Don’t bring your dope to my house

Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you, but if you try and smoke at my house, you’ll be asked to leave

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Most Read