Security Challenges
Volume 13, No.1 (2017)

Strategic Balancing Act - Australia’s approach to Managing China, the USA and Regional Security Priorities

This paper examines and takes stock of the changed dynamics in Australia’s relationships with China and the United States. It revisits the importance of the US alliance to Australia’s security and considers a range of regional bilateral and multilateral options to pursue as Australian strategists seek to bolster the security and prosperity of the nation and the region. It argues that in the absence of compelling alternatives, Australia must hold its nerve in remaining actively engaged with the United States and China. That involves carefully balancing economic and security interests while maintaining a focus on the goal of regional security and prosperity. Additional measures to pursue include enhanced relations with Indonesia, Japan, India and Canada, as well as the ASEAN related forums, the Five Power Defence Arrangements and a proposed MANIS regional maritime cooperation forum to sweeten ties between Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Singapore.

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