To What Degree Is Australia Apprehensive About China’s Ascension?

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Canberra fortifies its security by joining forces with countries of shared values and beliefs.

Recently, the bonds between Australia and China have deteriorated sharply, compelling Canberra to re-evaluate its regional safety protocols and commercial connections.

Gideon, the chief foreign affairs commentator of the Financial Times, interviews Michael Fullilove, the esteemed leader of Lowy Institute – Australia’s top foreign-policy organisation – to gain insight into how our country is transitioning to this new world order.

Gideon Rachman asked how Australia has been an intimate ally of the United States for many years; however, with China’s booming ascendance, how worried is Australia? Despite its economic prosperity due to Chinese demand for resources and commodities over the past 30 years, political tensions have escalated between them.

As a consequence, Beijing imposed trade restrictions against Australian goods.

Gideon Rachman said,” Tensions eased a little at the recent G20 summit when for the first time in six years, an Australian prime minister met a Chinese president face to face as Anthony Albanese sat down with Xi Jinping.”

The meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Albanese is a welcomed step towards rebuilding the fractured relationship. However, surveys in Australia illustrate that it may be challenging to regain trust as Chinese-Australian ties have deteriorated incredibly over the last five years due to an intensifying strategic rivalry.

Michael Fullilove states, “Well, don’t forget that China’s relations with many of its neighbours and partners have been pretty poor over that period. But the decline in the Australia-China relationship was particularly stark.”

“We’ve been at daggers drawn effectively, which is a big deal for us because China is our largest trading partner and our most important economic partner. What’s the cause of it? It was partly changed in Beijing and China, generally hardening their approach to the world.

But it was also that the former government took a hawkish approach to China and made a series of decisions that China didn’t like. Now, I agreed with many of the decisions that the former government made, but it’s also true that diplomacy requires you to be shrewd and strong.”

And sometimes, in my view, the government went a little overboard in its rhetoric. But as you say, the net effect of this relationship decline was the tanking of Australian public opinion towards China.”

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