“Whether we like it or not, and mostly we don’t, Xi Jinping will be the single most important influence shaping the region over the next five years. Xi Jinping will have a profound effect on the regional order and stability, and consequently on Australia’s security and fortunes.”
That is the conclusion of Geoff Raby, the Australian ambassador to China from 2007-2011, writing in the Australian Financial Review. After observing the great strides China has made under General Secretary Xi since 2012 in its international presentation, military muscle, and economic initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Raby adds:
“This is the new order in Asia. It is no longer emerging, it has arrived. Under Xi, China’s foreign policy has become confident, assertive and muscular. This is the world Australia’s foreign policy makers must now learn to live with.
How does he suggest Australia deals with China?
- To stop looking over its shoulder at the U.S. position on foreign policy, to avoid being seen as America’s spokesman in the region.
- To “develop a consistent hedging strategy with south-east Asia which we have so far neglected to do.”
- To stop dismissing out of hand China’s economic initiatives.
- To hold more of and improve the execution of diplomatic initiatives.
Raby provided this perspective ahead of the Australian government’s release of a landmark Foreign Policy White Paper, the first since 2003. For more on the discussion of Australia-China relations among Australian politicians, see this piece in the Guardian.
19th Party Congress, propaganda, and ideology
Fruit, prawns off the menu at China’s austere party Congress / Reuters
China confirms will amend party constitution, likely to include Xi’s theories / Reuters
To inspire young communists, China turns to ‘Red Army’ schools / NYT (paywall)
In China women ‘hold up half the sky’ but can’t touch the political glass ceiling / The Guardian
Opinion: Xi Jinping’s quest to revive Stalin’s communist ideology / Washington Post
China Party Congress expected to signal next 5 years of maritime policy / VOA
Chairman Xi crushes dissent but poor believe he’s making China great / The Guardian
As U.S. confronts internet’s disruptions, China feels vindicated / NYT (paywall)
Beyond the worst-case assumptions on China’s cybersecurity law / New America
China threatens U.S. Congress for crossing its ‘red line’ on Taiwan / Washington Post
Taiwan seeks to build soft power with retooled southbound policy / Reuters
Court condemns ex-securities regulatory official to life in prison / Caixin
Communist party expels former justice minister / Caixin