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A China-led Asian order ‘has arrived,’ former Australian ambassador says – China’s latest political and current affairs news


“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.

—Lucas Niewenhuis


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Lucas Niewenhuis

Lucas Niewenhuis is an associate editor at SupChina who helps curate daily news and produce the company's newsletter, app, and website content. Previously, Lucas researched China-Africa relations at the Social Science Research Council and interned at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has studied Chinese language and culture in Shanghai and Beijing, and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.