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Since his election as Prime Minister in 1996, John Howard has visited the United States X times. At the culmination of his latest tour, and as he makes his way to the UK, The Wire spoke to Professor Carl Thayer, director of the University of New South Wales defence studies forum at the Australian Defence Force Academy. Professor Thayer says both John Howard and US President George W. Bush are monitoring China’s economic growth, but Australia is more interested in trade while the US is concerned about miliatry expansion. But Professor Thayer says the relationship between Australia and the US is still close, though it has been controversial at times.

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