Australia China Relations Essay

2179 Words9 Pages
Historically, Australia’s most important political and economic relationships have been with countries that are of Western orientation. This is not the case with China. Despite the fact that Australia has become increasingly dependent on China for its economic prosperity and has enjoyed benefits such as job creation, rising incomes and tax revenues, the Australia-China relationship faces many challenges. This essay will argue that Australia remains ambivalent in its approach to China, conscious that with the benefits Australia gains from Chinese economic growth comes a degree of National vulnerability. First, this essay will discuss the geo-political concerns regarding the Australia-China relationship and the degree to which economic incentives dictate Australia’s foreign policy. Secondly, this essay examines the political relationship between Australia and China and how the uncertainty of this association has defined Australian perceptions of China. Thirdly, this essay defines the role of the Australian media and the impact negative reporting can have on the China-Australia relationship. Lastly, this essay considers the role of the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) and issues of discrimination perceived by Chinese investors. Despite the high degree of interdependence and the “complementary” nature of the Australian and Chinese economies (Camilleri, Martin and Michael 2013, p5), Australia needs to balance immediate economic gains in the light of broader issues (English, Andressen and Upton 2005, p8), such as our strategic allegiance with America, that make a growing relationship with China difficult to manage. One scholar has suggested that our association with China is already imposing strains on our relationship with Washington (White 2005, p. 478), which has been reinforced in speeches by members of parliament clearly indicating that Australia “will not
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