Australian Foreign Policy Assignment Help
As per the Foreign Policy White Paper of Australian Government 2017, Australia, as a country will always find it in its favor that tension between China and America doesn’t build up into strategic rivalry. If said case happens then it can have direct impact on joint trading system, something which Australia will not be benefitting from. Get best Australian Foreign Policy Assignment Help now by experts based in Australia.
It reflects the unease of Australian policymakers, to them balancing the U.S and China, if not a catch twenty two situation, then it certainly is an imminent dilemma. Although Australia’s choice is understandable, to stand firmly behind the rule based liberal world order. However, growing Chinese economic and military influence, on global scale in general and on the Asia Pacific region in particular, matters to the country. Therefore, this can be viewed as a difficult and delicate situation for Australia, maintaining robust ties with both the U.S and China, given the country’s history and geography.
After independence from the British Empire, the Commonwealth of Australia in southern hemisphere faced a challenging strategic environment around the continent. The first and second world war and decolonization following the rise of communism posed great dangers to the security of the country. The Japanese air raids on Northern city of Darwin and Sydney harbor attacks were on one hand while German U-2 boat assaults in the Pacific waters were on the other (Zalski, R., 2013). All of this had happened because Australia was suspect of the Britain allied force’s base in South Pacific However, the Second World War shattered the illusion that distant geography guaranteed security for any country. It was then that decision makers who were jolted by realities and shaken by the calamities of Second World War, Australia decided to look for a reliable and powerful strategic partner. It is crucial for any country to find an ally who can ensure the commitment of long term peace and stability. In order to seek a trustworthy strategic partnership Australia looked up to the U.S because of the Great Britain’s fading power and its engagement to keep other colonies in the fold was a big distraction to start any new alliance. The United States stood as a leading player amongst the European partners amid Second World War but still wasn’t ready for any security commitment or strategic alliance. The rehabilitation of post war Europe and Japan and growing influence of the USSR wasof extreme priority for the U.S at that time.When the NATO alliance in 1949 came into being, Australia and New Zealand saw the opportunity for a great arrangement for South Pacific states. As per Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, United States Department of State. (1951), in 1952 ANZUS (Australia-New Zealand-United States) treaty ratified and a strategic alliance was formulated between the three states.It was the beginning of Australia’s strategic partnership with the United States. The cooperation between two states has grown to wider horizons and opened up many avenues of bilateral ties.Since then, the relation between Australia and the US has turned out to be beneficial in ways economic and cultural ways as both they share a common vision in view.
The post ANZUS relation between Australia and the U.S remained multi-faceted though economic and strategic ties can be highlighted by Australia’s long standing commitments to the U.S. The United States military engagements in various countries have enjoyed Australia’s diplomatic support and physical contribution as well through troops deployment on these fronts. The U.S military base built-up in the Darwin city of northern territories and expansion of harbor in Perth for stationing American aircraft carrier and fleets are clear evidences of enhanced AUS-US strategic bond (Zalski, R., 2013).
Australia have advocated their positions on America’s inevitability for the Asia Pacific broader region vigorously. The same has been found in the recent foreign policy white paper issued by Australian government in November 2017 where they expressed that in order to ensure regional security, it is highly favorable that US alliances such as alliance between US and Japan, Australia and Republic of Korea exist. Australia will always work towards maintaining the auntheticy and importance of the alliance. It has also been reflected that a US economic strategy for national prosperity with Asia will be equally favorable.
In other white paper published by department of defence government of Australia which elaborates the AUS-US alliance’s vitality envisioning its present status and future value it’s highlighted that relationship between China and the United States will remain dominant factor holding utmost strategic importance with respect to economic development and security of the Indo-Pacific till 2035. It is likely that the United States will continue to be the leading military power in the coming two decades. As a result it will also remain Australia’s most important strategic partner and the United States’ active role will contribute towards Australia’s stability and prosperity. The world, in the future as well, will look up to United States whenever it will come to global security affairs which will be essential for the rule-based world order. Australia heavily relies on this for its own security and continued economic stability. The United States have always taken military superiority and sustainability as a prime concern in the 21st century, also reflected by their Defense Innovation Initiative. Acknowledging the United States as a key player in Indo-Pacific region for ensuing stability, Australia welcomes and supports it.
These two policy papers from the most relevant departments of the government outlined Aus-US long-term partnership from past to present. .
The presence of U.S naval, from a broader perspective, in Indo-Pacific region is a source of comfort for Australia’s partners. The same presence however, is not appreciated by China considering their security establishment. This is why despite heavy concentration of U.S and allied navies, China has adopted a more aggressive approach by building up islands in South-China Sea.
The Chinese embolden military posturing is not emanating any direct threat to Australia’s sovereignty. However, Canberra’s growing economic interdependence with Beijing has reached to new levels of cooperation over the past decade. That really is a matter of concern considering the US is now replaced by China as Australia’s trading partner. . Australia is China’s sixth largest trading partner, it is China’s fifth biggest supplier of imports and its tenth biggest customer for exports. As mentioned in a paper by Dr Anne Holmes, 25% of Australia’s manufactured imports come from China; 13% of its exports are thermal coal to China. This mutually benefitting economic relation puts Beijing-Canberra bilateral ties in a unique position where both countries are simultaneously import-export interdependent and can exert certain amount of diplomatic pressure on each other. Facts support that Australia’s economy is less harmed and getting past through 2008 financial crisis was due to Chinese export market for Australian goods.
After 2008 financial crisis, Australia had trade decreased by 11.6 per cent in year 2009, the worst fall of exports since 1964–65. Exports fell by 12.2%, an overall decrease of $27.4 billion which once was a peak in 2008 of $224.3 billion. Imports fell by $25.5 billion or 11.1% to $203.2 billion. In the midst of crisis trade between Australia and its major trading partners fell considerably. However, trade between Australia and China, increased at a nominal rate of 15.6% reaching a record of $78.1 billion. Two-way trade grew from $67.6 billion in 2008 to $78.1 billion in 2009. China was Australia’s largest export market after Japan. Exports to China accounted for 21.6% of total exports ($42.4 billion) while Australia was the eighth largest exporter to China. China was also Australia’s largest import source in 2009, accounting for 17.8 per cent ($35.8 billion) of total imports. Driven by demand for resources and energy, the growth of exports far outstripped the growth in imports into Australia. The balance of trade swung in favor of Australia which recorded a trade surplus with China ($6.6 billion) for the first time (Priestley, M).
There are some other aspects of this mutually beneficial relationship as well., China is biggest destination for the Australian visitors and Australian universities are earning good revenues from Chinese students. Similarly there is an increasing investment trend that has been observed over the last 10 years in which China has invested in various sectors of Australian economy such as in Real Estate (45%), Infrastructure (3%), Renewable Energy (20%), Energy (3%), Agribusiness (3%), Healthcare (17%) and Mining (9%) (Myers, J., 2016). This indicates the foreign direct investment from China is rising but according to 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper of Australian government the U.S investment can be accounted to nearly 25% and thus far China is the biggest investor in Australia.
Australia’s measured response to certain developments vis-à-vis China exhibited its focused foreign policy objectives and that’s why Australia often refrain from taking clear stance on status of Taiwan. Similarly back in 2007 during a quadrilateral military exercise, Australia pulled out of it, sighting its own reason for not provoking China.
The Washington-Canberra-Beijing relationship triangle presents a typical complex figure of current dynamics of international political order. The state of affairs among these three strategic and trade partners is another example of geo-politics of continental integration. China and its allies are visualized as a major competitor by the U.S. They are taken as revisionists, cutting corners in order to expand their influence in prevailing international political economic order. The U.S on other hand is reluctant to accept China, gradually reducing influence on the world stage. Australia’s dilemma gets deeper due to its own strategic and economic considerations. But these challenges are also bringing opportunities for other nations as well where they can demand for more transparent and rule based world order. The AUS-US partnership based on broader cooperation favorably result in the form of economic ties, military cooperation, intelligence sharing, joint trainings and joint technological ventures in military hardware. Therefore this alliance having all tendencies, can bear any pressure and in retaliation can put even more pressure on rivals. However, the real question remains whether the role of the U.S power is significantly shrinking and it is facing credibility issues because of an ambitious and unpredictable leadership in the white house It will be after that that the real test will began which will determine longevity of the US-Australia ties.
1: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government Australia. (2017). Foreign Policy White Paper. Pp. 39.
Available at: www.fpwhitepaper.gov.au/WhitePaper/
2: Zalski, R. (2013). Australia’s Economic and Security Dilemma: US or China? Available at: http://www.e-ir.info/2013/01/06/australias-economic-and-security-dilemma-us-or-china /
3: Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, United States Department of State. (1951). The Australia, New Zealand and United States Security Treaty (ANZUS Treaty). Available at: https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/anzus
4: Zalski, R. (2013). Australia’s Economic and Security Dilemma: US or China? Available at: http://www.e-ir.info/2013/01/06/australias-economic-and-security-dilemma-us-or-china /
5: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government Australia. (2017). Foreign Policy White Paper. Pp. 38,
Available at: www.fpwhitepaper.gov.au/WhitePaper/
6: Department of Defence, Government of Australia. (2016). Defence White Paper. Pp. 40-41,
Available at: http://www.defence.gov.au/WhitePaper/
7: Dr Anne Holmes. Economics, Australia’s economic relationships with China. Available at:
8: Priestley, M. Economics Section, Australia, China and the Global Financial Crisis, Available at: https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook43p/australiachinagfc
9: Myers, J. (2016). 5 things to know about China and Australia’s economic ties. Available at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/04/5-things-to-know-about-china-and-australia-s-economic-ties/
10: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government Australia. (2017). Foreign Policy White Paper. Pp. 39,
Available at: www.fpwhitepaper.gov.au/WhitePaper/