In November 2017, Australia released its Foreign Policy White Paper, the first comprehensive foreign affairs blueprint for the country since 2003, which is meant to guide policy over the next decade and beyond. As its primary objective, the paper highlighted collaboration with democratic allies and other partners to maintain and extend a balance of power favorable to the international rules-based order throughout the Indo-Pacific.
This objective is being pursued at a time when there are uncertainties with respect to the future role of the United States in leading this rules-based order. Under Xi Jinping, the People’s Republic of China has become more assertive and increasingly willing to challenge both U.S. regional leadership and the global rules-based order. What are the assumptions and strategy behind the Australian perspective? What is Australia’s assessment of the geostrategic and economic trends in the Indo-Pacific one year into the Trump administration and with Xi entrenched as China’s paramount leader?
On April 27, Hudson Institute hosted a panel to discuss Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper and its implications for the region. Panelists included Dr. John Lee, senior fellow at Hudson Institute and former senior national security adviser to the Australian Foreign Minister, and Bonnie Glaser, senior advisor for Asia, Center for Strategic and International Studies. The panel was moderated by Hudson senior fellow Eric Brown.