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Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 6919


Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 20/05/1986

Release Type: Interview

Transcript ID: 6919

PM.. substitute for the hard work that has to be done on
negotiating a comprehensive test ban treaty.
Q. Prime Minister, I have a question too. Not long ago
Indonesia forced some of your journalists out of the
country. What is your Government's view towards that
problem? PM. Where was this?
A. In Indonesia
PM* We quite frankly believe that there was an act of
discrimination on the part of Indonesia. Ours were the
only journalists who were precluded from being there to
cc) ver the visit of President Reagan an@' it was done as
a result of the publication in one of our newspapers, the
Sydney Morning Herald, of an article which had some things
to say about internal Indonesian affairs. Now, what we've
said is that the Indonesian authori-ties have to understand
that under our political system under that democratic system
the Government has no control and seeks no control-over our
-media and if in the media articles appear, we don't know
what is going to be written, I mean a lot of the time they
even have the temerity to be critical of me and I can't do
anything about that. But the Indonesians must understand
that that is our system and we think that their reaction is
not the proper one and we hope that they will come to
understand that in our system that s ort of thing may occur.
We don't encourage it but if it does then they have to
understand that that is part of our sort of system.
Q. Excuse me Mr Prime Minister. What do you think the most
satisfying result of your talks with Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang?

PM. Well I think really the confirmation, the very warm
and strong confirmation of the relationship between our two
countries. We see eye to eye on a great majority of issues
of international and regional significance. We are committed
to trying to build a strong and growi9Maionship between
us on the basis of mutual benefit and we have many things that
we can do and provide to help China in its magnificent program
of reform and development and similarly there are things
which can be done from China which will be of assistance
in our patterns of growth in Australia. So the most important
thing was the reaffirmation between the two leaders of what
is a very, I think, special relationship between our two
countries and the commitment to see this grow zakxomty as
I have said not only in the economic field but in the areas
of culture, science, sport and most particularly as I said
there's a particular responsibility now I think to develop
the relationship in the area of education.
Q. What do you from your talks with Deng Ziaoping last night.
PM I had them this morning.
PM Well, firstly, he is a remarkable man physically. Eightytwo
years of age and I can assure you his mind is in Al
condition. He spoke perceptive-ly and at length about the
essential nature of the changes that are taking place in
China and. he put not merely in the short term of the Seventh
or the-Sixth Five-Year Plan that's just been completed andnot
merely in terms of the current Seventh Five Year Plan.
But he was looking to the end of the century and the middle
of the next century and was seeing in that vision China coming
from what he described as previously a poor country moving
up to the position where as you develop in the next century
you will be attaining a position of the developed countries
so that the level of income and the capacity for improved
standard and quality of life for all the Chinese people will
be lifted Very high. And it was very well, stimulating and
moving in a sense to seekhis grand old man who had committed

his life to seeing the uplifting of his people still thinking
not just of tomorrow but well into the next century of a
China in which all the people of this country were going
to be able to have a much higher standard and quality of
life and that was very important.
PM One more question
Q Some Westerners think that China will stop our reformation.
What do you think of this matter?
PM That's a good question
Q Whom do you respect most among our leadership
PM Laughing well I'll answer the second question first
but I will not choose between them. They are all outstanding
in the job that they have to and I have unqualified respect
for all of them. And that is not just a politician' s answer,
I mean that, I do mean that. Now in regard to the first
question, it is a very important question and I have been
saying since 1983 when I first meet Premier Zhao in April
1983 and I think he knows wi
that I have been saying in Aus-tralia and in every country
where I have been where this qiuestion has been expressed
can the reforms last, I have'said yes, they are irreversible
and there are good reasons why-they are irreversible. It's
not Just think something'I say because it is the right thing
to say. I think there are very, very sound reasons for saying
that the changes are irreversible. And they are these.
Firstly, in a sense as Chairman Deng said to me today. He said
-we allow the facts to be the evidence and the facts are there.
They are overwhelming. I , f you look at what has happened in
the first area of change in rural China, if you look at what's
happened under the Sixth Five Year Plan of the enormous
increase in production but not just the increase in production

the lifting of incomes of the people in rural China which
has now been extended into the urban areas. That is the
first reason when people see the results that's important.
Secondly, if you see the way in which incentives and
opportunities have been given to people to develop for
themselve s, nor merely in economic terms but in the areas
of education, when people see that they are now going to
have the opportunities to develop their full potential
in a way that they previously couldn't have, then who amongst
the educated people, amongst the professional people,
amongst the technically trained people, who is going to say
we want to go back to something different from that. No one
is going to say it. If you look at the armed forces, the
armed forces while there is this very significant reduction
of a million people in the numbers, nevertheless the armed
forces remain an important part of China and of its security.
Now the efficiency of the armed forces depends very much
upon an efficient growing strong economy and as the armed
forces right through see and understand that the capacity
of China, the Chinese economy, to provide them with the
sort c4 equipment and services they need, has improved so
much there is no one in the armed forces who is going to be
wanting to change from that system. And so wherever you look,
amongst workers, amongst professional people, amongst the
whole system of education, everywhere you are going to have
people who are benefitting from the changes. So there is
not going to be any locus or opposition and reversion to the
past. Thank you very much Mr Hawke
PM That's the first lecture

Transcript 6919