How to deal with a rising China constitutes one of the most seminal challenges facing the ANZUS alliance since its inception a half a century ago. Australia must reconcile its geography and economic interests in Asia with its post-war strategic and historic cultural orientation towards the United States. It must succeed in this policy task without alienating either Beijing or Washington in the process. The extent to which this is achieved will shape Australia's national security posture for decades to come. Three specific components of the 'Sino-American-Australian' triangle are assessed here: the future of Taiwan, the American development of a National Missile Defense (NMD), and the interplay between Sino-American power balancing and multilateral security politics. The policy stakes for Australia and for the continued viability of ANZUS are high in all three policy areas as a new US Administration takes office in early 2001. The article concludes that Australia's best interest is served by applying deliberate modes of decision-making in its own relations with both China and the US and by facilitating consistent and systematic dialogue and consultations with both of those great powers on key strategic issues.