The recent APEC meeting in Port Moresby underlined the deepening competition between China and the United States in the Asia Pacific region. China has been expanding its influence in the South China Sea and beyond and with the United States,Japan,and regrettably Australia consulting on how it can check China’s expansion.
On November 18 Australia,the United States, Japan and New Zealand announced they would make available funds to bring electricity to 70 per cent of the people in Papua New Guinea. ( At present only 13 per cent have electric power ).
The Australian newspaper’s editor-at-large,Paul Kelly, has written that China would welcome the fact that the period of easy gains against a distracted Western alliance are now over. But, more importantly, Kelly observed that “containing China” could not be brought about. “China”,he noted, “cannot be contained “.
Both the Asian Infrastructure investment Bank and the Asian Development Bank have attracted Australian capital.
Development in the Asia Pacific region over the next ten years or more is expected to be very substantial .The best outcome would be for development to take place on a cooperative basis with the objective of alleviating poverty,rather than the United States continuing to display an unwillingness to accept the on-going growth of China’s influence .
The Australian Government needs to avoid exaggerating the importance of the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives .
Instead,it now needs To acknowledge the emergence of China as the world’s super-power.
Richard Woolcott is a former secretary of DFAT and President of the UN Security Council.