Power shift: Rethinking Australia's place in the Asian century

Hugh White*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    44 Citations (Scopus)


    Australian foreign and strategic policy has not yet begun to address the implications for Australia's international situation of China's growing power. China today already challenges the American leadership that has kept Asia peaceful and Australia secure for many decades. There are real and growing risks that Washington and Beijing will not find a way to work together peacefully as relative power shifts from one to the other. Unless they do, Asia's future is bleak, and so is Australia's. Australia therefore needs to work to promote a new order in Asia which accommodates China's power without conceding more than is necessary to keep the peace. This will mean encouraging America to forgo primacy in Asia in favour of working with China and others in a shared regional leadership. Australia also needs to start preparing for the possibility that Asia will nonetheless become a more contested and dangerous place over coming decades, and consider what its options would be. None of them appear attractive.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-93
    Number of pages13
    JournalAustralian Journal of International Affairs
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2011


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