In the last few days, Tony Abbott delivered two key speeches on his foreign policy tour of America and China, and they gave a clear indication where his loyalties lie.
In his keynote address in Beijing, he boldly urged the Chinese Communist party to undertake political reform to match its economic reform. He also signalled a tough new test on Chinese investment in Australia if he were to win government.
"It would rarely be in Australia’s national interest to allow a foreign government or its agencies to control an Australian business," he said. "We don’t support the nationalization of business by the Australian government, let alone by a foreign one."
Few political leaders have spoken so unequivocally on China in recent times.
The contrast to his earlier speech to America's Heritage Foundation was significant. "The United States and Australia," he said, "are separate legal entities but few Australians would regard America as a foreign country. We are more than allies, we’re family."