Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Australia's top diplomat, Frances Adamson, have both set out a vision for Australia that accepts the old order is changing. In a speech to a British think tank, Morrison sent a message to China that Australia will not be America's "deputy sheriff" and Canberra will not be making decisions based on a choice between Washington and Beijing.
Meanwhile, Adamson candidly argued that Australia "is not about imposing our views on others", adding that "an era within which we felt comfortable has passed". She isn't telling us anything we shouldn't already have known, but when it comes to China, Australia has been a slow learner. Our strategy has been caught between what former prime minister Tony Abbott once described as a mixture of "fear and greed".