Facing the Threat of the Dragon By James Reed
Good to see academics breaking from the herd, and saying that Australia needs to cuddle up to the US before we get eaten by the dragon:
“Australia must urgently strengthen its partnership with the United States, Japan and other regional partners to resist China’s gradual domination in the Indo-Pacific, a leading researcher has warned. The superpower has become increasingly brazen in its assumption of power throughout the region, according to the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre. The top research institute has outlined a policy framework for Australia and the US ahead of its upcoming ministerial meeting (AUSMIN), claiming the alliance has never had a “more urgent” time to show leadership. China’s Belt and Road Initiative, its island grabbing in the South China Sea, military force in the Taiwan Strait, its annexation of Hong Kong’s legal system and the recent clashes at the border with Indian forces reveal a menacing strategy for regional control, the centre said. “While the United States has been largely distracted during COVID-19 with its own domestic concerns, China has taken advantage of an uncertain regional situation to advance its expansive geopolitical interests in key flashpoints across the Indo-Pacific,” the centre’s director of foreign policy and defence Ashley Townshend told news.com.au. “China already has already taken advantage of the pandemic to prosecute its regional agenda in ways that are not favourable to our interests,” he said. A key recommendation from the research centre is for Australia and its allied powers to increase its spending on infrastructure to make the region less reliant on China’s Belt and Road Initiative. This cash splash has already allowed China to muscle into Cambodia where it now occupies a military base in the country’s south which it has been using to strengthen its territorial claims in the South China Sea.”
Really it comes down to this: who do we prefer shooting at us: the US or China? Choose; it is as easy as that in the end.