An Australian "China Choice"? No. But Multiple China Choices, Yes.

September 11, 2016 Topic: Politics Region: Oceania Tags: AustraliaUnited StatesChinaForeign PolicyEconomics

An Australian "China Choice"? No. But Multiple China Choices, Yes.

Australia will face many, relatively modest choices about how to balance its economic dependence on China, its alliance with the United States, and its desire to bolster the regional rules that Beijing increasingly transgresses.

Above all, policymakers and business leaders should understand that Australia does not, in fact, face a singular and nearly existential choice between security and prosperity. The country’s leaders have a task that is at once less consequential but more difficult: to make many choices, on many issues—and for years to come.

Richard Fontaine is president of the Center for a New American Security and recently served as the inaugural Alliance 21 Fellow at the University of Sydney’s US Studies Centre. You can follow him on Twitter: @RHFontaine.

Image: Barack Obama talking with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia. Wikimedia Commons/The White House/Pete Souza