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Port of Darwin: Australia's Relationship between China and the US

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15.09.2020

In recent years, Australia has established increasingly close economic relations with China yet, at the same time, it relies on a strategic alliance with the United States being the guarantor of its defense capability. But Australia’s growing dependence on trade with China is having an increasing impact on foreign policy. Canberra is finding it difficult to maintain a balance between its leading trading partner, China, and its major ally, the United States, at the same time.

For 70 years, the basis of bilateral relations between Canberra and Washington has been the ANZUS Treaty. The Australian and American sides should work together to strengthen their military capabilities, hold consultations and counter common threats in the Pacific. But the ANZUS is not binding, which provides Australia a wide field for strategic maneuvers to ensure its own security. After the global financial crisis of 2008, which negatively affected the American economy, Australia began to shift the vector of its foreign policy from West to East. During the 2010s, active trade and economic rapprochement with China, the main competitor of the US in the Indo-Pacific region, started. Washington showed its concern with its desire to strengthen its position in Australia and in the Indo-Pacific region as a whole and agreed to deploy a rotating US force near the Australian port city of Darwin in 2011 with a gradual increase in the contingent to 2,500 people. It is worth noting that Darwin is located about 3,000 km from the geopolitically important and politically turbulent South China Sea. The presence of US rotational troops in the Northern Territory will help supplement the US........

© New Eastern Outlook


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