Australia's Foreign Policy White Paper: Navigating Uncertainty in the Indo-Pacific

Vol. 14 No. 1
Author name: 
Rory Medcalf
Institute for Regional Security
Journal title: 
Security Challenges

The prevalence of peril in the world of 2018 vindicates the sober, direct and hedging tenor of Australia’s recent foreign affairs White Paper. This major policy document, released in November 2017, takes both a more cautious and a more creative approach to protecting and advancing Australia’s interests than previous such efforts. In the age of Donald Trump, any policy document reflecting continued investment in an alliance with the United States is vulnerable to certain obvious observations. Washington may never again be quite the kind of stable and predictable ally we have known. Assuming a linear future of Chinese growth and American stagnation, Australia will struggle to come to terms with a rich and powerful China with different values and different and potentially opposing interests too.

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