Although Australia claims to have “cured” itself of the Cold-War mentality, it still accords excessive priority to security over economic cooperation. For proof, one has to just look at Australia’s Foreign Policy White Paper released in November, which highly values the country’s longtime partnership with the United States and views with suspicion the actions of China, its largest trade partner. But it seems Washington’s political pressure – perhaps using security as a bargaining chip – prompted Canberra to adjust its diplomacy, which has had a negative impact on China-Australia ties. So it is necessary for Canberra to adjust its cooperation strategy, and accord the deserved importance to its relations with China, which is not only the largest investor in Australia but also Australia’s largest market. Zhai Shilei is a researcher and Xie Gang an associate researcher at the Center for Australia Studies, China University of Mining and Technology.
Source: The Nation Bangkok April 16, 2018 18:00 UTC