Under Trump, Australia and China are getting closer


Top politics and current affairs news for March 16, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "A craft beer bully in China."

  • In Australia, a call for closer ties to China gains support / NYT (paywall)
    Australia is recalibrating its strategies in the Asia-Pacific region for the Trump era, and this is likely to result in a closer relationship with China. Stephen FitzGerald, Australia’s first ambassador to China (between 1973 and 1976), said in a speech on Thursday that the world had reached the end of an era that was defined by American and European leadership, and that Australia must shift its focus from the U.S. to China. “We are living in a Chinese world,” he said. “But we don’t have a relationship to match it.” Since Trump was sworn in, his opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has caused concerns about a significant impact on Australia’s exports, while China is becoming (paywall) an increasingly important trade partner for the country. However, areas of conflicting interests still exist, including differing positions on the South China Sea dispute.
    You can read a book-length essay on the Middle Kingdom’s relations with the country down under titled Australia and China at Forty — Stretch of the Imagination, written by Stephen FitzGerald in 2013.