Asia and the Australia-US alliance

Parliament house flag post

Asia and the Australia-US alliance

Posted 26/08/2010 by Nina Markovic

What challenges lie in wait for Australia-US relations in the aftermath of the federal election? Although the alliance relationship has been historically close, the Asia-Pacific region is one issue over which Australia and the US appear to have divergent approaches.

Dr Satu Limaye, director of the Washington-based East-West Center, recently spoke at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute's (ASPI) Global Forces 2010 conference dinner on 18 August about the challenges and opportunities for bilateral relations presented by the rise of Asia. Dr Limaye observed many similarities in the respective foreign policy and strategic outlooks which characterise the long-standing alliance between Australia and the US. Some of these include:
  • Afghanistan
  • similar voting patterns in the United Nations
  • a continuing interest in the Middle East, and
  • close bilateral and multilateral engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.

However, the rise of Asia - and China in particular - tends to be viewed differently by Australia and the US, with the former seeing these developments as an economic opportunity, and the latter viewing them as a key strategic challenge.

It was suggested by Dr Limaye that contrary to the popular paradigm of a perceived American decline in the Asia-Pacific region, an elevated US presence and an ever-expanding Chinese sphere of influence can be expected to become the trend in the foreseeable future. He went on to claim that while the US sees Asia as critical to solving global problems, Australia tends to perceive Asia as a provider of economic prosperity and the US as the key security guarantor in the region and beyond.

With respect to Australia-US relations after the federal election, Dr Limaye singled out several areas of mutual interest which could require further management and closer coordination between Australia and the US. These include:

  • Afghanistan
  • overseas development assistance (ODA) in the Asia-Pacific region
  • continued strategic and intelligence dialogue, including in the non-government sectors
  • the maritime domain, including the Indian Ocean Rim
  • the enhanced capacity of Australia to play a greater role in the region given its defence spending, and
  • the United Nations system, particularly if Australia continues to pursue and succeeds in winning the UN Security Council bid for a two-year temporary seat.

Dr Limaye concluded that further collaboration between Australia and the US on these and other key shared strategic interests might pave the way towards a greater fulfilment of Australia's ambitions and capacity at the global and regional level.

The question is, will the incoming government see it this way, and will this be sufficient incentive for it to further energise the Australia-US alliance? The 60th anniversary of the ANZUS alliance in 2011 will inevitably place a spotlight on the alliance relationship and thus provide an opportunity for re-evaluation.



Thank you for your comment. If it does not require moderation, it will appear shortly.
Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Add | Email Print

FlagPost

Flagpost is a blog on current issues of interest to members of the Australian Parliament


Parliamentary Library Logo showing Information Analysis & Advice

Archive

Syndication

Tagcloud

refugees asylum immigration Australian foreign policy Parliament climate change elections women social security Indigenous Australians Australian Bureau of Statistics Employment Sport illicit drugs people trafficking taxation Medicare welfare reform Australian Defence Force higher education welfare policy United Nations Asia income management Middle East criminal law disability Australian Sports Anti-Doping Agency World Anti-Doping Agency United States federal budget health financing gambling school education forced labour aid statistics Australian Electoral Commission WADA emissions trading Australia in the Asian Century steroids detention Private health insurance OECD ASADA labour force transport Law Enforcement Australian Federal Police Industrial Relations people smuggling dental health National Disability Insurance Scheme Australian Crime Commission slavery Senate election results Papua New Guinea Australian Public Service International Women's Day corruption Afghanistan Fair Work Act child protection debt federal election 2013 parliamentary procedure poker machines ALP New Zealand Newstart Parenting Payment 43rd Parliament political parties Census constitution High Court skilled migration voting Federal Court terrorist groups Higher Education Loan Program HECS youth paid parental leave Aviation environment foreign debt gross debt net debt defence capability customs doping health crime health risks multiculturalism aged care Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling sex slavery sea farers Special Rapporteur leadership United Kingdom UK Parliament Electoral reform politics banking firearms public policy violence against women domestic violence mental health China ADRV terrorism social media pensions welfare ASIO intelligence community Australian Security Intelligence Organisation governance public service reform Carbon Pricing Mechanism carbon tax mining military history employer employee fishing by-election European Union same sex relationships international relations coal seam gas family assistance planning United Nations Security Council Australian economy food vocational education and training Drugs Indonesia children codes of conduct terrorist financing money laundering Productivity asylum seekers early childhood education Canada Population Financial sector national security fuel disability employment Tasmania integrity science research and development Australian Secret Intelligence Service sexual abuse federal state relations World Trade Organization Australia accountability housing affordability bulk billing water renewable energy children's health health policy Governor-General US economy export liquefied natural gas foreign bribery question time speaker superannuation expertise Senators and Members climate Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry food labelling Pacific Islands reserved seats new psychoactive substances synthetic drugs UNODC carbon markets health reform Indigenous constitutional recognition of local government local government consumer laws PISA royal commission US politics language education baby bonus Leaders of the Opposition Parliamentary remuneration health system Australia Greens servitude Trafficking Protocol energy forced marriage rural and regional Northern Territory Emergency Response ministries social citizenship human rights citizenship Defence High Court; Indigenous; Indigenous Australians; Native Title ACT Indigenous education Norfolk Island External Territories emissions reduction fund; climate change child care funding refugees immigration asylum procurement Indigenous health e-voting internet voting nsw state elections 44th Parliament 2015 ABS Age Pension Death penalty capital punishment execution Bali nine Bali bombings Trade EU China soft power education Fiji India Disability Support Pension Antarctica Diplomacy by-elections state and territories workers Bills anti-corruption fraud bribery transparency corporate ownership whistleblower G20 economic reform innovation standards NATO Members of Parliament Scottish referendum Middle East; national security; terrorism social services Criminal Code Amendment (Misrepresentation of Age to a Minor) Bill 2013 online grooming sexual assault of minors ACT Assembly public health smoking plain packaging tobacco cigarettes Asia; Japan; international relations Work Health and Safety Migration; asylum seekers; regional processing China; United States; international relations fiscal policy Racial Discrimination Act; social policy; human rights; indigenous Australians Foreign policy Southeast Asia Israel Palestine regional unemployment asylum refugees immigration political finance donations foreign aid Economics efficiency human rights; Racial Discrimination Act employment law bullying Animal law; food copyright Australian Law Reform Commission industry peace keeping contracts workplace policies trade unions same-sex marriage disorderly conduct retirement Parliament House standing orders public housing prime ministers election timetable sitting days First speech defence budget submarines Somalia GDP forestry world heritage political engagement leave loading Trade; tariffs; safeguards; Anti-dumping public interest disclosure whistleblowing Productivity Commission regulation limitation period universities Ireland cancer gene patents genetic testing suspension of standing and sessional orders animal health live exports welfare systems infant mortality middle class welfare honorary citizen railways disciplinary tribunals standard of proof World Health Organisation arts international students skilled graduate visas temporary employment visas apologies roads Italy national heritage NHMRC nutrition anti-dumping Constitutional reform referendum Rent Assistance competition policy pharmaceutical benefits scheme obesity evidence law sacrament of confession US presidential election international days DFAT UN General Assembly deregulation Regulation Impact Statements administrative law small business Breaker Morant homelessness regional engagement social determinants of health abortion Youth Allowance Members suspension citizen engagement policymaking federal election 2010 workplace health and safety Trafficking in Persons Report marine reserves hearing TAFE Victoria astronomy resources sector YMCA youth parliament alcohol Korea rebate Australian Greens presidential nomination Racial Discrimination Act entitlements political parties preselection solar hot water Financial Action Taskforce Horn of Africa peacekeeping piracy Great Barrier Reef Stronger futures political financing Hung Parliament political education social inclusion Social Inclusion Board maritime early childhood National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care Murray-Darling Basin Iran sanctions Norway hospitals

Show all
Show less
Back to top