Australia’s recently released foreign policy white paper, the first to be produced in 14 years, tries to bring together two competing tensions. First, Australia’s region is in the process of being redefined by greater Chinese influence and decreased US dominance. That requires Canberra to assert its own agency in a contested space. Second, and more complicated, is the reality of Australia’s relations to these two major powers. Australia’s security is tied to an alliance with Washington, but economically China is by some distance its major trading partner.
The white paper states that ‘more than ever, Australia must be sovereign, not reliant’, but it understands that whatever stability can be achieved – whatever space for Australian agency – will be dependent on the relationship between the US and China.… Seguir leyendo »