The Economics of Power Transitions : Australia between China and the United States

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalNot applicablepeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)846-864
Journal / PublicationJournal of Contemporary China
Volume24
Issue number95
Early online date26 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Abstract

This article examines Sino–Australian economic relations, and their impact on the ties between the United States and Australia. First, drawing on power transition theory, it is argued that in a post-Cold War environment, economic ties play as great a role as strategic relations in determining the orientation of third-party states. Second, it is also argued that Australia's deeper economic and commercial ties with China have usurped a role previously held by the United States. This has forced Australia to pursue a bifurcated foreign policy—one split between its economic and national security needs. Third, these deeper ties with China have generated a degree of alliance drift between Australia and the United States. As a result, there is now a significant debate in Australia over the future of both bilateral relations—even as its space for policy innovation remains limited.