Asia and Australia’s Engagement with Asia | The Australian Curriculum
Foreign relations of Australia are influenced by its position as a leading trading nation and as a . Australia was a participant at the inaugural ASEAN sponsored East Asia Summit in Australia's place at the summit was Australia is a member of the Pacific Islands Forum and other regional organisations. It has High. Home page for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and Australia which is a key regional forum which promotes economic growth and prosperity in the. It is expected that on completing this course students will have acquired a basic understanding of the issues involved in Australia's relations with the Asia-Pacific.
Regional cooperation in East Asia and the Asia Pacific has confronted many obstacles, including the great diversity of peoples and countries, deep-seated rivalries for example, Japan and China and a preference for informality rather than rules-based institutions.
Multilateral cooperation has nonetheless enhanced security and development in the past four decades, especially in Southeast Asia. These and a number of other groupings have all made contributions. However, different states gather in different forums, which operate in parallel and sometimes overlap. Cooperation efforts are continuing at a time of dynamic change.
The changing regional environment is encouraging states to seek institutions which can include the Asia Pacific major powers China, Japan, India and the US to bolster cooperation, help ameliorate potentially dangerous rivalries and avoid conflict.
But they certainly know that we are close. When I am dealing with my colleagues, my interlocutors, in Indonesia, for example, we will talk freely about our relationship with the United States. They will ask us why the freeze, why these issues are occurring in their relationship with the United States, and we will tell them.
So they do not quite give us a message that they want to go through. We are not really in the message-carrying business. But they have an understanding when they are talking to us that it is quite likely that we will talk to our ally about them, and I think in so doing our frank relationship with them works. It is also understood that Australia has the potential to shape US policies to better serve regional needs and interests. While we can never hope to avoid all criticism that we have failed one side or the other, our longer term credibility is clearly dependent above all on the perception as well as reality that our policies, while reflecting a uniquely broad mix of interests and affiliations, are home grown.
Defence, gave us an insight into this deeper layer of cooperation: The US has had a number of security initiatives. In recent years, in the context of the global war on terror, it has been promoting the counter-terrorism capabilities in the region—in places like Malaysia and elsewhere.
ASIA - Australia and the Asia-Pacific | Course Outlines
It is also very interested in helping the Philippines resolve things like the Abu Sayyaf terrorism problem. It has also been on proliferation, and cooperation with everybody, including us, on proliferation security.
The first was there that has been a clear modification of the pre-emption doctrine in Washington over the last year, given the negative experiences of the occupation of Iraq by the coalition of the willing.
Second, some specific formulas were conveyed to Australia, particularly by South Korea but also by Japan, whereby there could be written understandings exchanged between Australia and ASEAN that would guarantee that adherence to the TAC would not compromise alliance responsibilities… whereby there was a softening of Australian concern about this initial conflict of interest problem. However China polarises opinion, both in the region and within the US where two conflicting views underpin US strategic discussion on China.
These can be broadly summarised as viewing China as either the great threat of the future or the great prize of the future. This view is based on American observations of the early decades of the 20th Century when Germany and Japan emerged or re-emerged on the scene, in which great powers inevitably clash when a rising power seeks to impose its will on the established power.
The island of Taiwan screens the maritime approaches from the east to both China and Japan. For China, who sees itself as a continental power, the issue of Taiwan is largely symbolic. For Japan, a Pacific maritime nation, reliant on the ocean for the import of resources and the delivery of exports, the dynamics of Chinese relations with Taiwan are crucial.
The Taiwan issue has become more complex since Taiwan became a democracy in which unpredictable rivals use their attitude to mainland China as a means to demonstrate differences in policy. At the same time these rivals use the US as a security blanket under which they can retreat if their posturing elicits the wrong response from China. While China, in particular, remains subject to an authoritarian government and culture, the dominant but self-restrained strategic presence of the United States in the Asia-Pacific remains an important constraint on the emergence of China as a potential contributor to strategic instability.Australia-China Relations: Three Things to Know
We simply do not know, and cannot accurately foresee, what will happen in our wider region over the next half century. Their strong recommendation that Australia maintain the important relationships it has developed with both countries as a tool able to reduce future disagreement best sums up the position taken in a number of submissions.
Australia’s regional engagements in East Asia and the Asia Pacific
There is clearly a risk that, over the longer term, US-China relationships could become more adversarial. That could pose Australia quite an acute choice. But that would be much less a generalised choice between the US and the region and more a specific choice between supporting the US and supporting China on a particular point.
I think there is a policy implication from that—that is, that we should work very hard both with the US and with China to prevent that from happening. Clearly China continues to emerge economically and also militarily. However, China has also, historically and today, not really demonstrated any hegemonic tendencies in the way some others have. China has been very clear about what it sees as its own territorial sovereignty, which of course includes the South China Sea, Taiwan and other places like that, but it has never seriously indicated any strategic hegemonic aspirations beyond that.
China will continue to become stronger. Its current incredible economic growth may well plateau for all sorts of reasons. It is really outstripping its capacity, and that will be a factor.
This is in turn putting increasing strategic pressure on India and of course on Japan. Australian dialogue and trade with China and our close relationship with the US are unlikely to be in conflict. A Griffith University submission summarises this position: Barring any such contingency, the core interests that have served as the glue for sustained alliance ties between Australia and the US remain in place. At the same time the US military have restructured their posture on the peninsula.
The US military justification for these changes is an increase in the technological capabilities of US forces in the region but it is reasonable to surmise that pressure from the Roh Government is also a factor in adjustments of the disposition of US forces on the peninsula.
Were the DPRK to develop or gain access to long range missiles, parts of Australia could be subject to the threat of nuclear attack, a prospect discussed in more detail in Chapter Five.
While air and maritime contributions would be valued it is likely such a coalition would also seek a significant contribution of ground forces, with a commensurate increase in the risk of casualties given the possible involvement of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical weapons. Tow and Trood state: ANZUS would be effectively terminated. While these talks have recently been suspended as a result of North Korean intransigence they continue to offer the best path toward the possible future denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
The drug interdiction activities focus on the movement of illicit drugs from North Korea which give indications of being a state sponsored means of raising foreign currency. Counter proliferation activities are designed to thwart prospects of WMD or related delivery systems transfers by Pyongyang to rogue states or international terrorists.
Non-traditional security threats to Southeast Asia and the South Pacific are increasingly understood as being linked to the security and prosperity of Australia itself. While ASEAN has proven to be a useful forum for humanitarian assistance and disaster relief coordination and counterterrorism initiatives, the centrality of ASEAN may be challenged by great power contestation.
It includes Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Animists and others. It uses English as its common language. Australians are slowly adjusting to the fact that they are not living in some kind of metaphorical mid-Atlantic. Despite genuine concerns over the divergence of interests over issues like democratisation and human rights, today the interests of Australia and ASEAN overlap to an unprecedented degree.
Shared geography is the key driver, but other factors feature prominently as well. These arrangements have witnessed growing ties over humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, piracy, terrorism, people smuggling, refugee flows, and illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, let alone concerns over great power contestation. Sure, considerable differences remain, particularly concerning democracy and human rights.
But, like Australia, the ASEAN states struggle to reconcile competing geostrategic and economic priorities, valuing the burgeoning trade ties with China while still valuing the enduring US contribution to stability that has been the great facilitator of prosperity.