Australia's Engagement with Asia: Strategic or Transactional?

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    The ebb and flow of coping with Australia's identity dilemma as a European settler society located on the geographical edge of Asia leads to bouts of agonising, excitement and temporising. This has been given particular cogency with the power shift underway from the trans-Atlantic to the Asia-Pacific. The 2012 White Paper set 25 national objectives to be met by 2025, with targets ranging from improving trade links and increasing scholarships to teaching priority Asian languages. But in this transactional embrace of Asia that highlights economic and trade links, gaps might open up between ambition and delivery, especially amidst continuing evidence of insensitivity to how Asians forge lasting relationships. Ties with China are dominated by trade but security concerns remain. Relations with India should improve with the removal of the nuclear issue as an irritant and growing trade and tourist numbers. Japan remains an important trade and diplomatic partner. And geography and demography ensure that Indonesia is no less important to Australia than Asia's big three.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)335-350
    JournalIndia Quarterly
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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