Gaping contradiction in Australian Foreign Policy

Apr 23, 2023
USA and China cooperation concept. US America and China flags on chess kings on a chess board, brown wooden background.

Dear friends, an excellent piece has been published by Professor Hugh White in the Lowy Interpreter that highlights a contradiction in our federal government’s foreign policy.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong says our government wants a multipolar Asian order which implies America accommodate China as co-partner in maintaining regional order.

But at the same time, her government’s AUKUS announcements assert that Australia supports US military policy in Asia (which is to maintain a unipolar order led by America).

When this contradiction is brought to Wong’s attention, she says she rejects stark “simple choices, black and white”.

But whether Australia supports a US led unipolar Asian order to stop China’s rise or a multipolar one that seeks a regional power balance between the USA and China is the key issue for our foreign policy.

If we want to box in China by joining America’s military quest to do so we could get involved in a military confrontation. But if we want America to accommodate China’s rise, we should tell it so to avoid any confusion about our policy.

You can read the full version of Hugh White’s article below:

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