Rudd snubbing India due to China obsession, claims Oz opposition

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Melbourne, June 4 : Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's obsession with China and snubbing of key Asian allies like India, has damaged important regional relationships, the country's opposition has claimed.

Just days before Rudd departs on a tour of Japan and Indonesia, opposition foreign spokesman Andrew Robb said: "The prime minister abandoned Australia's commitment to the quadrilateral dialogue between India, the United States, Japan and Australia, again raising concerns, especially with India and Japan, about the Rudd government's China bias."

The Labor Government's refusal to sell uranium to the tiger economy because it was not a party to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT), was also questionable, the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Robb, as saying.

"For all the talk of the prime minister's foreign affairs experience ... all the talk in our region is about the prime minister's obsession with China at the expense of all the other relationships in ... Asia. Already, there has emerged a serious concern about the lack of balance and perspective in Australia's regional foreign policy under the Rudd government," Robb told parliament.

"It is clear that this government came to office with no clear plan for protecting and growing and balancing our critical relationships in the Asia-Pacific region," he added.

"In just six months the prime minister has snubbed Japan and every other Asian country except China in his ... world tour," Robb said.

He will spend four days in Japan next week and then return in early July for the G-8 summit.

Rudd travelled to Indonesia just days after winning government for the Bali climate change conference and has also visited Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Iraq and Afghanistan.

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