Australia’s diplomatic course between China and the United States
One of the greatest ironies of recent months lies in the implicit rejection by both Australian parties of the White House’s increasingly belligerent stance on China, encapsulated in Vice President Mike Pence’s remarks in early October. Widely heralded by a host of eminent Australian academics and commentators as the inauguration of ‘Cold War 2.0’, Australian politicians have wisely looked askance at this US crusade. Prime Minister Morrison argued strongly that US–China relations should not be ‘defined by confrontation’ and went on to reject a ‘Cold War’ billing for his so-called ‘Pacific Pivot’. Labor Party leader Bill Shorten was similarly emphatic that ‘pre-emptively framing China as a strategic threat’ was unhelpful.