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)
Peter Gallagher is a leading Australian consultant on trade and public policy.[bio].
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