This chapter presents a case to the new Australian government to change Canberra's approach to the South China Sea disputes. Australia has a great deal more at stake in the unstable dynamics of the South China Sea than the approximately 54 per cent of its trade that traverses that waterway. If there is to be a more activist approach to foreign policy, it will present a marked departure from the approach of the outgoing Labor government. It is hard to separate the Labor government's cautious approach to the South China Sea disputes from the rising risk aversion of its political culture as a result of the China boom. Asia's pyramidal power topography is intensifying over time. The result is a complex and shifting strategic picture that significantly complicates America's capacity to stabilise the region through 'hegemony-lite'. China's military build-up has been targeted precisely on the vulnerabilities presented by the American strategic posture in the Western Pacific.
|Title of host publication||The South China Sea Maritime Dispute: Political, legal and regional perspectives|
|Editors||Leszek Buszynski, Christopher B. Roberts|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon and New York|
|Publisher||Routledge Taylor & Francis Group|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|