China’s rise has created anxiousness among most of its Asian neighbors, and that includes long-time U.S. ally Australia. And, as Beijing becomes more powerful and spreads its influence more widely across the region, the relationship between Canberra and Washington is coming under strain.
As long as China is not too aggressive, there is a general feeling throughout Australia to allow Beijing to play a larger role. In fact, there are even rumblings that Australia should change its long-held grand security strategy of remaining a steadfast U.S. ally, a change that would similarly upend U.S. grand strategy in the Asia-Pacific region.
Economically, China is Australia’s largest trading partner, absorbing more than one-quarter of all Australian exports, an arrangement that has led to years of uninterrupted and steadily increasing growth for the Land Down Under — meaning the economic symbiosis will likely continue to grow.
But at the same time, China’s rise is becoming Australia’s biggest security concern since Japan dominated the region in the 1930s and through much of World War II.
See the rest of our analysis on this and other developments in this week’s Executive Intelligence Summary, due out Friday. To subscribe, click here.