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Negotiating A Tricky Diplomatic Tightrope

Negotiating A Tricky Diplomatic Tightrope

John Lee

More than half the Australians surveyed in a Pew Research Centre poll of global attitudes and trends last year expressed increased concern over China’s growing power and influence. This is hardly surprising given China’s recent efforts to interfere in and influence Australian institutions and civil society, cyber attacks against Australian political and academic targets, and diplomatic and economic threats against Australia over issues such as Huawei.

As Australia seeks to address and manage these challenges, it has naturally looked to its largest foreign investor and closest historical ally, the US. In a region where the Chinese military budget comprises about two-thirds of all military spending in Asia, the US provides a necessary and critical balance in the region. The US also works closely with its allies and partners in the region through a series of treaty agreements and security partnerships. Among those is the Australian-American alliance, commonly referred to as ANZUS, widely recognised as one of the most robust and important bilateral strategic relationships in the region.

Yet these are challenging times for ANZUS. In particular, many Australians are unsettled by the current US administration and apprehensive about how the US is wielding its power and influence, and its more muscular American approach to global affairs.

Read the full article in The Australian here

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