Strategic shadows

Nat­u­ral­ly, giv­en China’s rapid eco­nom­ic growth and the high­er pro­file it has adopt­ed in for­eign pol­i­cy in the past two or three years, our inter­est tends to be in what Chi­na will become. But we also have to pay close atten­tion to what we will become as a result of our rela­tions with Chi­na. Although he with­drew his spec­u­la­tion that Aus­tralia would not back the USA under the ANZUS treaty in a con­flict over Tai­wan, Alexan­der Downer’s error was prob­a­bly diplo­mat­ic, rather than strate­gic. bq. “For Mr Down­er to make the point pub­licly in Bei­jing sug­gests a sig­nif­i­cant shift in our rela­tions with the US and a grow­ing recog­ni­tion of China’s pow­er in the Pacif­ic,” Lowy Insti­tute senior fel­low Alan Dupont said last night. “And this has come from an Aus­tralian gov­ern­ment far clos­er to Wash­ing­ton than most.” (“The Australian”:http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,10504935%5E601,00.html)

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