Recent changes of government in Australia and Japan, and a pending one in the United States, signifies a historical crossroads in these three alliesï¿½ security politics in the Asia-Pacific region. In recent years, all three countries have tended to rationalize their strategic collaboration on the need to build innovative and competitive-oriented ï¿½strategic geometriesï¿½ as a means to counter Chinaï¿½s growing power and to meet new types of threats in the region. Yet the Australian Government under John Howard simultaneously pursued a hedging strategy, exploiting its growing economic relationship with China while strengthening its diplomatic and strategic profile with the United States. Despite Tokyoï¿½s own substantial economic relationship with Beijing, recent Japanese leaders were unable to pursue the same type of ï¿½dual trackï¿½ strategy to the same extent as Howard. With Kevin Ruddï¿½s election as the new Australian Prime Minister and Yasuo Fukudaï¿½s ascent to power in Japan, prospects for Australia and Japan to cultivate more independent politico-security ties with Beijing have strengthened. If so, the evolving regional security postures of both these US allies may compel the United States to reassess its own traditional skepticism towards multilateral security groupings in the region.
|Journal||Contemporary Southeast Asia|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|