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Australia and U.S.-China Relations: Bandwagoned and Unbalancing
Published February 26, 2016
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Since Kevin Rudd and the Australian Labor Party ended Prime Minister John Howard’s 11 1/2 years in office in late 2007, each new government in Canberra has faced a very similar and rather narrow foreign policy fixation. Australia’s relations with China, and Australian policies or pronouncements that may affect China, have become the main focus of foreign policy commentary both inside and outside the country. Increasingly, Australia’s own defense and foreign policy pronouncements and long-standing and deep relations with the United States and Japan are being reinterpreted through this China lens. This mostly critical commentary has tried to divine new directions in Australian foreign and security policy and reasons why these perceived new directions are harmful to Australia’s relations with China. From their very first baby steps, the Abbott administration and Prime Minister Tony Abbott himself have been subject to this increasingly singular China-centered focus and its set of questionable underlying assumptions.

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